Kheper Home | Ken Wilber Home | Wilber IV - Developmental Levels | Topics Index | New or Updated | Search

Wilber IV - Developmental Levels
previousnext

Ken Wilber - the Non-Dual Realm

The following page is from a research notes page by external link Allan Combs which is no longer on line (original url http://www.unca.edu/~combs/HCP/II/Narrative/a10Nondual.htm ). I have kept the quotations, which are interesting, but left out the correspondences Of Wilber's Non-Dual Realm with other systems, as I feel these are - like the tables in the back of Wilber's Integral Psychology - rather forced. - MAK


An informal phenomenological narrative:

The phone rings and I run to pick it up. “Yes?”

“Hi, it’s Marci.”

“Hi, sweetie. What’s up?”

“I think we should go on a vacation, spur of the moment. Just do it.”

“Um, well, I’ve got all this work, you know, it’s sorta . . ."

“Come on, it won’t kill you to take a few days off.”

“Okay, okay. We’ve never been to South Beach, and we wanted to give it a try, so we might as well do it now, yes?”

“Yes!”

Two weeks later, here we are, in South Beach, Miami, of all places. And resting in the ocean, dipped into the sea, I find glimmers of Amazon com One Taste everywhere.

Emptiness, clarity, and care, are the names of this present moment, exactly as it is arising, now and now and now. The bodies of Buddha, the hands of Christ, the faces of Krishna, the breasts of the Goddess, the aspects of this very moment. I know that all of that is somehow tied to a pledge that I have made, deep in the heart of my very soul, how or where or when exactly, does not really matter. It is just that, for those who remember the course of their own consciousness—from mineral to plant to animal, from magic to mythic to mental to supramental, from body to ego to soul to Emptiness to radical Amazon com One Taste—there is an extra duty asked of them, and that is to communicate what they have seen, and what they have remembered, and what they have found—what each I has found in the school of I as it returns to itself, shining and free, empty and bright, called and caring, just so, and again, just so.

And truth be told, it was humorous, always.

 

...Marci is swimming. I finish my Coke and my sandwich. It is noon. The sky is clear, the ocean is blue, the waves surge freely on the beach, wet­ting the soft white sand.

Amazon com One Taste; pp. 151-152.

From descriptions of the major stages of insight meditation.

       Q: So that leaves the nondual level.

A: In the previous causal level, you are so absorbed in the unmanifest dimension that you might not even notice the manifest world. You are discovering Emptiness, and so you ignore Form. But at the ultimate or nondual level, you integrate the two. You see that Emptiness appears or manifests itself as Form, and that Form has as its essence Emptiness. In more concrete terms, what you are is all things that arise. All manifesta­tion arises, moment by moment, as a play of Emptiness. If the causal was like a radiant moonlit night, this is like a radiant autumn day.

‘What appear as hard or solid objects “out there” are really transpar­ent and translucent manifestations of your own Being or Isness. They are not obstacles to God, only expressions of God. They are therefore empty in the sense of not being an obstruction or impediment. They are a free expression of the Divine. As the Mahamudra tradition succinctly puts it, “All is Mind. Mind is Empty. Empty is freely-manifesting. Freely-manifesting is self—liberating.”

     The freedom that you found at the causal level—the freedom of Full­ness and Emptiness—that freedom is found to extend to all things, even to this “fallen” world of sin or samsara. Therefore, all things become self-liberated. And this extraordinary freedom, or absence of restriction, or total release—this clear bright autumn day—this is what you actually experience at this point. But then “experience” is the wrong word alto­gether. This realization is actually of the nonexperiential nature of Spirit. Experiences come and go. They all have a beginning in time, and an end in time. Even subtle experiences come and go. They are all wonderful, glorious, extraordinary. And they come, and they go.

       But this nondual “state” is not itself another experience. It is simply the opening or clearing in which all experiences arise and fall. It is the bright autumn sky through which the clouds come and go—it is not itself another cloud, another experience, another object, another mani­festation. This realization is actually of the utter fruitlessness of experi­ence, the utter futility of trying to experience release or liberation. All experiences lose their taste entirely—these passing clouds.

       You are not the one who experiences liberation; you are the clearing, the opening, the emptiness, in which any experience comes and goes, like reflections on the mirror.  And you are the mirror, the mirror mind, and not any experienced reflection. But you are not apart from the re­flections, standing back and watching. You are everything that is arising moment to moment. You can swallow the whole cosmos in one gulp, it is so small, and you can taste the entire sky without moving an inch.  

       This is why, in Zen, it is said that you cannot enter the Great Sama­dhi: it is actually the opening or clearing that is ever-present, and in which all experience—and all manifestation—arises moment to mo­ment. It seems like you “enter” this state, except that once there, you realize there was never a time that this state wasn’t fully present and fully recognized—”the gateless gate.” And so you deeply understand that you never entered this state; nor did the Buddhas, past or future, ever enter this state.

       In Dzogchen, this is the recognition of mind’s true nature. All things, all worlds, are self-liberated as they arise. All things are like sunlight on the water of a pond. It all shimmers. It is all empty. It is all light. It is all full, and it is all fulfilled. And the world goes on its ordinary way, and nobody notices at all.

{An interview published in Quest, 1994 Spring , pp. 43-46.}

“The entire World process then arises, moment to moment as one’s own Being, outside of which, and prior to which, nothing exists. That Being is totally beyond and prior to anything that arises, and yet no part of that Being is other than what arises.

    And so: as the center of the self was shown to be Archetype, and as the center of Archetype was shown to be Formlessness- so the center of Formlessness is shown to be not other than the entire world of Form.  “Form is no other than Void, Void is not other than Form” says the most famous Buddhist Sutra (called the Heart Sutra).”

Amazon com Atman Project pg.86

 

“This is also sahaja samadhi; the Turiya state, the Svabhavikaya- the ultimate Unity, wherein all things and events, while remaining perfectly separate and distinct, are only One. Therefore, this is not a special state- it is rather the suchness of all states, the water that forms itself in each and every wave of experience, as all experience. It cannot be seen, because it is everything, it cannot be heard, because it is hearing; it cannot be remembered because it only is. By the same token, this is the radically perfect integration of all prior levels- gross, subtle, and causal, which, now of themselves so, continue to arise moment to moment in an irridescent play of mutual interpenetrations. This is the final differentiation of Consciousness from all forms in Consciousness, whereupon Consciousness as Such is released in Perfect Transcendence, which is not a transcendence from the world but a final transcendence as the world.”

Amazon com Atman Project pg.86

 

The Nondual Level

"In the previous level, you are so absorbed in the unmanifest dimensions that you might not even notice the manifest world. You are discovering Emptiness, and so you ignore Form. But at the ultimate or nondual level, you integrate the two. You see that Emptiness appears or manifests itself as Form, and that Form has as its essence Emptiness. In more concrete terms, what you all is all things that arise. All manifestation arises, moment by moment, as a play of Emptiness. If the causal was like a radiant moonlit night, this is like a radiant autumn day.

            What appear as hard or solid objects “out there” are really transparent and translucent manifestations of your own Being or Isness. They are not obstacles to God, only expressions of God. They are therefore empty in the sense of not being an obstruction or impediment. They are a free expression of the Divine. As the Mahamudra tradition succinctly puts it, “ All is Mind. Mind is Empty. Empty is freely-manifesting. Freely manifesting is self-liberating.

            The freedom that you found at the causal level- the freedom of Fullness and Emptiness- that freedom is found to extend to all things, even to this “fallen” world of sin or samsara. Therefore, all things become self-liberated. And this is extraordinary freedom, or absence of restriction, or total release- this clear bright autumn day- this is what you actually experience at this point. But then “experience” is the wrong word all together. This realization is actually of the nonexperiential nature of Spirit. Experiences come and go. They all have a beginning in time, and an end in time. Even subtle experiences come and go. They are all wonderful, glorious, extraordinary. And they come and they go.

            But this nondual “state” is not itself another experience. It is simply the opening or clearing in which all experiences arise and fall. It is the bright autumn sky through which the clouds come and go- it is not itself another cloud, another experience, another object, another manifestation. This realization is actually of the utter fruitlessness of experiences, the utter futility of trying to experience release or liberation. All experiences lose their taste entirely- these passing clouds.

            You are not the one who experiences liberation; you are the clearing, the opening, the emptiness, in which any experience comes and goes, like reflections on the mirror. And you are the mirror, the mirror mind, and not any experienced reflection. But you are not apart from the reflections, standing back and watching. You are everything that is arising moment to moment. You can swallow the whole cosmos in one gulp, it is so small, and you can taste the sky without moving an inch.

            That is why in Zen, it is said that you cannot enter the Great Samadhi: it is actually the opening or clearing that is ever present, and in which all experience- and all manifestation- arises moment to moment. It seems like you “enter” this state, except that once there, you realize that there never was a time this state was not fully present and fully recognized- “ the gateless gate.” And so you deeply understand that you never entered this state; nor did the Buddhas, past or future, ever enter this state.

            In Dzogchen, this is the recognition of mind’s true nature. All things, in all worlds, are self-liberated as they arise. All things are like sunlight on the water of a pond. It all shimmers. It is all empty. It is all light. It is all full, and it is all fulfilled. And the world goes on it ordinary way,  and nobody notices at all.

Wilber, K. (1999). Stages of Spirituality. Collected Works, vol.4, pg.361-362.

           

Wilber Correlates

General Self Sense : spirit

Specific Aspects: Nondual

Fulcrum: Ground

Treatment: Path of Sages

Moral Span: (Post-postconventional) Buddhic, always already, all manifest and unmanifest reality.

Locus: Self liberation in primordial awareness

Affect: one taste

Levels of ‘Food’: sahaja

Worldview name: union of form and formless, Siddha

Worldview general characteristics:  Spirit and World Process, nondual mysticism



Kheper index page
Topics index page
Ken Wilber Home
Wilber Levels of Development main page


Kheper Home | Ken Wilber Home | Wilber IV - Developmental Levels | Topics Index | New or Updated | Search


images not loading? | error messages? | broken links? | suggestions? | criticism?
contact me

this page uploaded 8 December 2005