lunedì 30 giugno 2014

corpo e anima del Tao


Lo incontrai per la prima volta al Pireo, dove aspettavo di imbarcarmi per Creta. Il giorno stava declinando e pioveva, soffiava un forte scirocco.
In Oriente la gente ha condannato il corpo, biasimato la materia, definendola “illusoria”, maya - affermando che di fatto non esiste, sembra solo esistere; è fatta della stessa sostanza dei sogni. Hanno negato il mondo, ed è per questo che l'Oriente è rimasto povero, malato, denutrito. Metà dell'umanità ha accettato il mondo interiore, ma ha negato il mondo esteriore. L'altra metà del genere umano ha accettato il mondo materiale e ha negato il mondo interiore. Entrambe sono parziali, e nessun uomo che sia parziale potrà essere appagato. Devi essere totale, integro: ricco nel corpo, ricco per ciò che riguarda la scienza; e ricco in meditazione, in consapevolezza. Solo una persona globale è santa, per ciò che mi riguarda. Io voglio che Zorba e Buddha s'incontrino. Da solo, Zorba è vacuo, vuoto: la sua danza non ha un valore eterno, è un piacere del momento. Ben presto se ne stancherà. Solo se possiedi fonti inesauribili, solo se puoi attingere alle fonti stesse del cosmo... Se non diventi esistenziale, non potrai diventare integro. Questo è il mio contributo all'umanità: l'uomo integro, globale.
Buddha di Smeraldo, Grande Palazzo Reale, Wat Phra Kaew, Bangkok, Thailand
Zorba non è intero
e nemmeno Buddha lo è.
Amo Zorba e amo Buddha,
ma quando guardo nel profondo di Zorba,
qualcosa manca...
Non c'è un'anima !
Anche quando guardo Buddha,
qualcosa manca.
Non c'è il corpo !
Un incontro è necessario.
Il grande incontro tra
Zorba e il Buddha.

“My Concept of the new man is that he will be Zorba the Greek and he will also be Gautam the Buddha: the new man will be sensuous and spiritual, physical, utterly physical, in the body, in the senses, enjoying the body and all that the body makes possible and still a great consciousness, a great witnessing will be there. He will be Christ and Epicurus together.”
Agra, India
"Zorba è un simbolo: rappresenta l’essere umano naturale e spontaneo che abita in un angolo oscuro della cantina, e che ogni tanto fa capolino alla coscienza beffandosi delle precauzioni che questa ha preso per emarginarlo. Egli è il ribelle che rifiuta di giudicarsi per i suoi istinti, che non si conforma ai modelli comuni, che non si accontenta di stare nel recinto della morale. (...)"

"(...) Buddha è un simbolo: rappresenta l’essere umano che rinasce da se stesso, che abita in un angolo troppo luminoso per essere guardato, lassù, sotto il lucernario della soffitta, dove non abbiamo mai messo piede. Egli è l’essere che è andato oltre il dualismo, che ha trasceso il giudizio; esprime la propria unica individualità, stravolgendo modelli e morale."

"Zorba il Buddha è la risposta. E' la sintesi di anima e materia.
E' una dichiarazione che non c'è conflitto tra la materia e la coscienza, che possiamo essere ricchi da tutte e due le parti. Possiamo avere tutto quello che il mondo può fornire, che la scienza e la tecnologia possono produrre, e possiamo inoltre avere tutto quello che un Buddha (...) trova nel suo essere interiore: i fiori dell'estasi, la fragranza della religiosità, le ali della libertà suprema."

"Zorba il Buddha è un nuovo simbolo; raccoglie le opportunità del nostro tempo, riunisce l’eremita che vive in soffitta e l’errabondo che sta in cantina davanti al banchetto imbastito in soggiorno.
Egli lascia andare la superficialità dello Zorba per accogliere la profondità del Buddha, allo stesso modo in cui abbandona la serietà ascetica del Buddha a favore della giocosità vitale di Zorba. E’ il possibile Sapiens 3.0, scientifico e mistico, terreno e celeste, materiale e spirituale, sensuale e meditativo, sociale e silente.
Si occupa di realtà di dentro ma non tralascia quella di fuori. Guarda in se stesso, senza perdere di vista l’altro e quanto ha intorno.
E’ un rivoluzionario interiore, che comprende la consequenzialità di una rivoluzione esteriore.
Trasforma sé e le sue abitudini, fa sentire la sua voce se la nave va contro gli scogli. Zorba il Buddha tesse relazioni significative che vanno al di là di schemi e consuetudini, crea realtà associative, esplora l’amicizia e la verità, offre a sé e agli altri opportunità che stanno oltre i recinti comuni."
Martinego Bastion, Heraklion, Regional unit of Heraklion, Crete, Greece

il Te del Tao: LXXIX - OTTEMPERARE AI PATTI


LXXIX - OTTEMPERARE AI PATTI

Se cancelli un'offesa, ma un po' offeso
rimani ancora, credi che sia un bene?
Se, per contratto, il saggio è creditore,
dal debitore non esige nulla.
Adempie al proprio impegno chi è virtuoso;
bada agli impegni altrui chi non è virtuoso.
La Via del cielo non fa parentele,
ma sta costantemente con il buono.

in your Tao




Love I get so lost, sometimes
Days pass and this emptiness fills my heart
When I want to run away
I drive off in my car
But whichever way I go
I come back to the place you are

All my instincts, they return
And the grand facade, so soon will burn
Without a noise, without my pride
I reach out from the inside

In your eyes
The light the heat
In your eyes
I am complete
In your eyes
I see the doorway to a thousand churches
In your eyes
The resolution of all the fruitless searches
In your eyes
I see the light and the heat
In your eyes
Oh, I want to be that complete
I want to touch the light
The heat I see in your eyes

Love, I don't like to see so much pain
So much wasted and this moment keeps slipping away
I get so tired of working so hard for our survival
I look to the time with you to keep me awake and alive

And all my instincts, they return
And the grand facade, so soon will burn
Without a noise, without my pride
I reach out from the inside

In your eyes
The light the heat
In your eyes
I am complete
In your eyes
I see the doorway to a thousand churches
In your eyes
The resolution of all the fruitless searches
In your eyes
I see the light and the heat
In your eyes
Oh, I want to be that complete
I want to touch the light,
The heat I see in your eyes
In your eyes, in your eyes
In your eyes, in your eyes
In your eyes, in your eyes



venerdì 27 giugno 2014

Volgersi all'Interno (4 di Coppe)


La donna di questa figura ha sul volto un sorriso evanescente. Di fatto, sta semplicemente osservando le sciocchezze della mente - senza giudicare, senza cercare di arrestarle, senza identificarsi, le osserva come fossero il traffico di una strada, o le increspature sulla superficie di uno stagno. E le sciocchezze della mente sono alquanto divertenti, balzano di qui e di là, piroettano in un senso e nell'altro, nel tentativo di attrarre la tua attenzione e di sedurti perché giochi con loro. Sviluppare la maestria di prendere distanza dalla mente è una delle benedizioni più grandi. In realtà, la meditazione sta tutta in questa abilità - non si tratta di cantare un mantra, di ripetere affermazioni positive, ma di semplice osservare, come se la mente appartenesse a qualcun altro. Adesso sei pronto a prendere questa distanza, e a osservare lo spettacolo senza venir intrappolato nella tragedia. Concediti la semplice libertà di 'Volgerti all'interno' ogni volta che puoi, e la maestria della meditazione crescerà e diventerà sempre più profonda dentro di te.

Volgersi all'interno non è affatto un rivolgimento. Andare dentro di sé, non è affatto un andare. Volgersi all'interno significa semplicemente questo: hai inseguito questo o quel desiderio, hai corso e ti sei affannato per giungere sempre e comunque a una frustrazione. Ogni desiderio arreca infelicità; tramite il desiderio non esiste appagamento. Non sei mai arrivato da nessuna parte, quell'appagamento è impossibile. Vedendo questa verità, vedendo che questa corsa all'inseguimento dei desideri non ti porta da nessuna parte, ti fermi. Non è che fai uno sforzo per fermarti. Se facessi un qualsiasi sforzo per fermarti, sarebbe di nuovo un correre, in maniera sottile. Ancora stai desiderando - forse ora desideri l'assenza di desideri. Se fai un qualsiasi sforzo per entrare dentro di te, stai ancora muovendoti all'esterno. Qualsiasi sforzo ti può solo portare all'esterno, è estroverso. Qualsiasi viaggio è un viaggio all'esterno, non esiste alcun viaggio interiore. Come puoi viaggiare all'interno? Sei già lì, non c'è ragione di arrivarci! Allorché ogni moto si arresta, il viaggiare scompare; allorché il desiderare non oscura più la tua mente, sei dentro di te. Questo è detto “Volgersi all'interno”: ma non è affatto un volgersi, si tratta semplicemente di non andare più all'esterno.

ΚΑΤΑ ΤΟΝ TAO ΕΑΥΤΟΥ

video

This is the end, beautiful friend
This is the end, my only friend, the end
Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
I'll never look into your eyes
Again

Can you picture what will be
So limitless and free
Desperately in need
Of some stranger's hand
In a desperate land

Lost in a Roman wilderness of pain
And all the children are insane
All the children are insane
Waiting for the summer rain

There's danger on the edge of town
Ride the king's highway, baby
Weird scenes inside the gold mine
Ride the highway west, baby
Ride the snake
Ride the snake, to the lake, the ancient lake, baby
The snake is long seven miles
Ride the snake
He is old and his skin is cold

The West is the best
The West is the best
Get here and we'll do the rest
The blue bus is calling us
The blue bus is calling us
Driver, where you taking us

The killer awoke before dawn
He put his boots on
He took a face from the ancient gallery
And he walked on down the hall
He went to into the room where his sister lived
And then he paid a visit to his brother
And then he, he walked on down the hall
And he came to a door, and he looked inside
"Father?"-"Yes, son?"-"I want to kill you,
Mother, I want to..."

Come on, baby, take a chance with us
Come on, baby, take a chance with us
Come on, baby, take a chance with us
And meet me at the back of the blue bus

Still now
Blue bus
Oh now
Blue bus
Still now
Uuh yeah

This is the end, beautiful friend
This is the end, my only friend, the end
It hurts to set you free

But you'll never follow me
The end of laughter and soft lies
The end of night we tried to die
This is the end
Père-Lachaise, Paris
ΚΑΤΑ ΤΟΝ ΔΑΙΜΟΝΑ ΕΑΥΤΟΥ
κατα τον δαιμονα εαυτου
Fedele al suo Spirito

giovedì 26 giugno 2014

MeTa(o)logo: un Tao insistente


Metalogue: Persistent Shade (MCB)


FATHER: Still awake and working?
DAUGHTER: How about you? You‘re a remarkably persistent shade, you know. Sometimes I wish you were properly dead.
FATHER: As well you might. Certainly I always argued that the civilization is in trouble unless we can accept the fact of our dying. But such immortality as we have is in our ideas, which is why I left you the chore of finishing this book.
DAUGHTER: And a nasty, manipulative trick it was, too. A kind of huge lever to pry me away from other kinds of work. But you know what really bothers me as I work on this? It‘s the mediocrity of what gets attributed to ghosts ad séances, as if vivid and splendid people went into a mode of being that thins them out to banality. That‘s what I want to avoid. Incidentally, an excess of piety doesn‘t help. And the I‘m going to close up shop. At least among the New Guinea Manus the Sir Ghost dwindles away and finally floats out to sea, after running everyone‘s life for a generation or so.
FATHER: I told you about that psychic that turned up at Esalen, didn‘t I, who would go into a trance and paint and sign mediocre Monets?
DAUGHTER: Quite. A friend of mine has a room in her house where Margaret used to stay, where people still report dreams of Margaret. They dream that she comes and tells them to get on with the job, finish the research, take up some responsibility. She bullies them, as, of course, she would have, but they don‘t dream the other side of it, the way she would have coaxed them into clarity and awareness of the next step.
FATHER: Hmm. Ever sleep there?
DAUGHTER: Yes, but I had other things on my mind and she didn‘t turn up in my dreams. Anyhow, she has lost her otherness for me, so I no longer think of her as a vis-à-vis. But you have always had a quality of otherness. Strange.
FATHER: Yes, well, you can‘t get around the unconscious. I never quite managed to lay my father‘s ghost, but, of course, it made me rethink the nature of evolution.
DAUGHTER: That‘s a pretty one, because you picked up the new dialogue with your father with the paper about beetle teratology. W.B. had discovered that when a beetle has a freak extra leg, what it has is two legs in place of one, one a right leg and one a left leg, "Bateson‘s rule." And what you discovered was that this represented not the addition of an extra degree of bilateral symmetry, but a loss, the loss at some stage of epigenesis of the information needed to determine the asymmetry of right or left in the instruction to grow a leg in that particular position. And that was critical for you in the whole move to thinking about Creatura, the biological world, as the world of information.
FATHER: Cap, I don‘t think I ever told you about –
DAUGHTER: No, but that you cannot do. You cannot provide new pieces to the puzzle. I can pull some out of tapes of yours that I never heard or writing I haven‘t read, or I can get pieces from my experience, often experience that has nothing at all to do with you. But maybe you can remind me of pats of the argument that I have heard somewhere along the line, and I can do what I have done before pulling them together and making connections that were never made. A lot of that happened at the Wenner-Gren conference, where I made a book

by drawing the connections between pieces of thinking that the participants had perceived as disparate, even as dissonant. I had an image once, of the "angel" of Angels Fear, as a nude male figure (because, after all, the unconscious is always up to all sort of other business) marked with points of light, like the diagram of a constellation. That‘s what you can do with this whole body of ideas I‘m trying to work with – you can point to a symmetry here, an asymmetry there, a gracefulness in the predestined curve of the spine, even though your own spine was all squunched over in the effort to conceal your height in your youth.
FATHER: Yes, well. It‘s all in the connections. It is, after all, a tautology that we are trying to map out.
DAUGHTER: So it will all in the end seem as simple as "If P, then P"?
FATHER: There are the basic ideas, which are probably mathematical in form and which are necessarily true but need to be discovered, and there are the connections between them. And there are the bits of data that allow you to see the connections when you try to map them onto the necessary truths. A beetle, perhaps. I wish you had gone on in maths instead of getting distracted by all that nonsense about the Middle East and academic administration.
DAUGHTER: Mmm. You‘re a bit of a bully in your own way, you know. And sometimes I have this image of, say, Euclid – not the real Euclid, who probably existed but built on the work of others, but a sort of mythical Euclid, who might have worked out the whole of the Books – and one of his disciples comes up to him and says, very proudly, "Look, I‘ve worked out three new theorems." And Euclid says, "Yes, that’s all in there. You have recognized something that was there, in the axioms, all along." And then the theorems are just stitched into the whole. Well, you see, they aren‘t new theorems, the theorems are immanent in the axioms. That‘s how the whole business grows.
FATHER: NO, no, that‘s exactly the point. Growing is precisely what a tautology doesn‘t do. Theorems may get added but there is nothing new in them. They are only the same old axioms and definitions blown up bigger and recombined. The Pythagoras theorem is all there in the axioms. Mathematicians spend their lives trying to show that there is nothing new – trying to "prove" the four-color theorem – trying to reduce it to fit the axioms. No "self-evident" propositions – but self-evident links. The essential requirement of tautology is that the links between the propositions shall be empty – i.e. shall contain no information about the subject of discourse.
DAUGHTER: I tell you it grows.
FATHER: No! The hole idea that the axioms shall not grow!
DAUGHTER: All right. Don‘t shout at me. So the axioms and stuff don‘t grow. But in that sense a seed does not grow. It only gets blown up, as you call it; and its DNA consists of commands or "injunctions" that tell the embryo – the seedling – how to grow. Isn‘t it the same with the tautology? The axioms telling the tautology how to grow?
FATHER: All right. In that sense, yes. The seedling doesn‘t add anything new as it grows – or not much …
DAUGHTER: So now I start thinking of myself as a gardener. A gardener with a word processor. You know what your problem is? You may not believe in the existence of ghosts, but you do believe in the existence of ideas. Bloody hovering.
FATHER: Hmm,
DAUGHTER: You know, you never gave me the good lines when you were writing the metalogues.
FATHER: There‘s still the other problem for Angels Fear, the problem of the misuse of ideas. The engineers get hold of them. Look at the whole god-awful business of family therapy, therapists making "paradoxical interventions" in order to change people or families, or counting "double binds." You can‘t count double binds.
DAUGHTER: No, I know, because double binds have to do with the social contextual structure, so that a given instance of double binding that you might notice in a therapy session is one tip of an iceberg whose basic structure is the whole life of the family. But you can‘t stop people from trying to count double binds. This business of breaking up process into entities is pretty fundamental to human perception. Maybe correcting for it will turn out to be part of what religion is all about. But you became so grumpy about it, and rather nasty to people who admired you immensely.
FATHER: I kept trying to get people to think straight, Cap, to clean up their premises.
DAUGHTER: It looks like possessiveness. And just as you can‘t count double binds, you really can‘t own ideas. Look, I just saw a connection, I think. You know how you were always asking audiences to look at their hands – how many fingers do you have? Or, perhaps you have not five fingers but four relations between fingers?
FATHER: And then I suggested that might make them think rather differently about possessiveness. How do you won an idea, a relationship?
DAUGHTER: See, what I think is going on is the same process that produces the monstrous beetles with extra limbs, the same thing is creating a monstrousness in the family-therapy industry, and other places too. Some of the information has been lost, an essential part of the idea. Now that‘s useful. Instead of scolding those who have to work out their epigenesis with essential ideas or connections missing, we can try to identify the missing pieces. At least leave them with the right questions. Maybe Angels can help on that.
FATHER: When you start talking abut being useful, you sound like your mother. I‘m going to take a nape and let you get back to work. Good oatmeal they have here in Hades, but the coffee is pretty dreadful.













Jacques-Louis David, Madame Recamier, 1800. Oil on canvas, 173×243 cm. Paris, Louvre
René Magritte, Perspective I: David’s Madame Recamier, 1950. Oil on canvas, 60×80 cm. Private collection

tutti hanno bisogno di un Tao da amare

video

We're so glad to see so many of you lovely people here tonight, and we would especially like to welcome all the representatives of Illinois' Law Enforcement Community who have chosen to join us here in the Palace Hotel Ballroom at this time. We do sincerely hope you'll all enjoy the show, and please remember people, that no matter who you are, and what you do to live, thrive and survive, there are still some things that make us all the same. You, me them, everybody, everybody.

Everybody needs somebody
Everybody needs somebody to love (someone to love)
Sweetheart to miss (sweetheart to miss)
Sugar to kiss (sugar to kiss)
I need you you you
I need you you you
I need you you you In the morning
I need you you you When my soul's on fire

Sometimes I feel
I feel a little sad inside
When my baby mistreats me
I never never never have a place to hide
I need you

Sometimes I feel
I feel a little sad inside
When my baby mistreats me
I never never never have a place to hide
I need you you you
I need you you you
I need you you you
I need you you you
I need you

You know people when you do find that somebody
Hold that woman, hold that man
Love him, hold him, squeeze her, please her, hold her
Squeeze and please that person, give 'em all your love
Signify your feelings with every gentle caress
Because it's so important to have that special somebody
to hold, kiss, miss, squeeze and please

Everybody needs somebody
Everybody needs somebody to love
Someone to love
Sweetheart to miss
Sugar to kiss
I need you you you
I need you you you
I need you you you...

mercoledì 25 giugno 2014

il Tao dei morti - settimo stadio


LIBRO II

Il Sidpa Bardo

PARTE II

Il Procedimento Della Rinascita

(Istruzioni per l'Officiante): Nonostante tutto ciò, esistono molte classi di coloro che – anche se portati a ricordare, ed istruiti a dirigere i loro pensieri in assoluta focalizzazione – non vengono liberati, a causa del grande potere di oscurità del cattivo karma, e per mancanza di abitudine alle azioni pie, e per la forte abitudine, nel corso di eoni, alle azioni empie. Perciò, se la porta della rinascita non è stata chiusa per questo, viene dato di seguito anche un insegnamento per la scelta di una porta della utero. Adesso, invocando l‟aiuto di tutti i Buddha e di tutti i Bodhisattva, si ripeta la formula del Rifugio; e, chiamando ancora una volta il defunto per nome, si dica per tre volte quanto segue:
“Oh, nobile essere, (nome), ascolta. Per quanto le istruzioni dei precedenti confronti faccia a faccia ti siano state date con assoluta focalizzazione, ancora tu non le hai comprese. Perciò, se la porta della utero non è stata chiusa, è prossimo il momento di appropriarti di un corpo. Seleziona la utero seguendo le migliori istruzioni. Ascolta attentamente, e tieni a mente.


Le Visioni Premonitrici del Luogo della Rinascita

Oh, nobile essere, ora arrivano i segni e le caratteristiche del luogo della rinascita. Riconoscili. Osservando il luogo della rinascita, scegli anche il continente.
Se devi rinascere nel Continente Orientale di Lupah, vedrai un lago ornato da cigni maschi e femmine. Non andarvi. Ricorda la repulsione per questo luogo. Se si va in questo Continente – benché esso sia felice e calmo – sappi che è quello dove la religione non predomina. Perciò, non entrarvi.
Se devi rinascere nel Continente Meridionale di Jambu, vedrai delle case grandi e bellissime. Entraci, se devi entrarvi.
Se devi rinascere nel Continente Occidentale di Balang-Chod, vedrai un lago ornato da cavalli, maschi e femmine. Non andare nemmeno lì, ma ritorna indietro. Per quanto vi siano ricchezza ed abbondanza, in questa terra la religione non prevale, non entrarvi.
Se devi rinascere nel Continente Settentrionale di Daminyan, vedrai un lago ornato da armenti, maschi e femmine, o alberi. Per quanto la vita duri a lungo, e per quanto vi si trovino dei meriti, anche questo Continente è uno dove la religione non è predominante. Perciò, non entrarvi.
Questi sono segni premonitori della rinascita. Riconoscili. E non entrarvi.
Se si deve rinascere come deva, allora si vedranno templi magnifici, edificati con diversi metalli preziosi. Qui si può entrare; perciò entraci pure.
Se si deve rinascere come asura, si vedranno o foreste incantevoli oppure cerchi di fuoco rotanti in direzioni opposte.
Ricordati della repulsione; e fai tutto quello che puoi per non entrarvi.
Se si deve rinascere tra le bestie, appariranno caverne rocciose e profondi buchi nella terra. Non entrare qui dentro.
Se si deve rinascere tra i preta, si vedranno pianure desolate e nude, basse caverne, radure nella jungla e foreste grandissime. Se si va qui, rinascendo come un preta, si sarà tormentati dalla fame e dalla sete. Ricordati della repulsione; e fai tutto quello che è in tuo potere per non entrarvi.
Se si deve rinascere all'Inferno, si udranno suoni simili a lamenti, dovuti al cattivo karma. Si sarà attratti ad entrarvi in modo irresistibile. Appariranno distese di tenebre, case nere e case bianche, voragini nere nella terra, strade nere lungo le quali si dovrà andare. Se si va qui, si entra nell'Inferno; e, soffrendo insopportabili pene di freddo e calore, si dovrà restarvi per moltissimo tempo prima di uscire. Non infilarti in mezzo a questo. È stato detto: “Impiega tutta la tua energia, fino all‟ultimo”, è necessario.


La Protezione dalle Furie Tormentatrici

Oh, nobile essere, per quanto non piaccia, cionondimeno, essendo braccati dalle furie tormentatrici, ci si sente forzati senza volerlo ad andare avanti; con le furie tormentatrici davanti, e i distruttori di vite come un‟avanguardia che precede, e tenebre e uragani karmici, e rumori e neve e pioggia e terrificanti tempeste di grandine e trombe d‟aria ghiacciate; sorge il pensiero di scappare da loro.
Pertanto, cercando un rifugio a causa della paura, si apre la vista sulle suddette grandi dimore, caverne di roccia, scavi, jungle e fiori di loto, che si chiudono quando si entra in essi; e vi si fugge a nascondersi dentro e si teme di uscirne, e si pensa “E' meglio non uscire adesso”. E avendo paura di andare via da lì, ci si sente fortemente attratti in tali rifugi. Temendo, nell‟uscire, di ritrovare la paura ed il terrore del Bardo. Ma, se si resta lì dentro, per timore di incontrare le orrende creature, allora ci si appropria di un corpo miserabile e si soffrono terribili tormenti.
Questi sono indicatori che spiriti cattivi e rhakshasa (demoni) stanno interferendo. Per questo momento ci sono istruzioni profonde. Ascolta; e fai attenzione:
In questo momento – quando le furie tormentatrici ti stanno dando la caccia, e quando ti trovi sommerso dalla paura e dal terrore – visualizza istantaneamente l'Heruka Supremo, o Haya-Grďva, o Vajra-Pani, o un‟altra divinità protettrice, se ne hai una, perfetta nelle forme, enorme, con membra massicce, infuriata e d‟aspetto terrificante, capace di ridurre in polvere tutti questi spiriti malefici. Visualizzalo istantaneamente. Le onde benefiche ed il potere della sua grazia allontaneranno le furie tormentarici e avrai così la forza di scegliere la porta dell'utero. Questa è la magia vitale dell‟insegnamento profondo, pertanto tienilo bene in mente.
Oh, nobile essere, il dhyani e le altre divinità nascono dal potere del Samhadi. I preta (spiriti o ombre infelici) e gli spiriti maligni di alcuni ordini sono coloro che, cambiando i loro sentimenti (o attitudini mentali) mentre sono nello Stato Intermedio, assumono questa forma che poi mantengono in seguito, e diventano preta, spiriti malvagi, e rhakshasa (demoni), possedendo il potere di mutare aspetto. Tutti i preta, che esistono nello spazio, che attraversano il cielo, e le ottomila specie di spiriti malefici, sono divenuti ciò per aver mutato i loro sentimenti nel corpo mentale nel piano del Bardo.
In questo momento, sarà molto importante ricordarsi del Grande Simbolo riguardo alla Vacuità, se non si è stati preparati su questo, si educhino i poteri a osservare tutte le cose come illusioni (o maya). Se non riuscite a fare nemmeno questo, allora non fatevi attrarre da nulla. Meditando sulla Divinità Tutelare, il Grande Compassionevole, si raggiungerà lo stato di Buddha nel Sambhoga-Khaya.

La Scelta: Nascita Sopranormale o Nascita Nell'Utero

Oh, nobile essere, se comunque, a causa del poter del Karma, tu dovrai entrare in una utero, ti verranno ora date le istruzioni per la selezione della porta della utero. Ascolta.
Non entrare in nessuna utero che ti sia accessibile. Se le furie tormentatrici ti vogliono obbligare ad entrarvi, medita su Hayagriva.
Poiché tu possiedi un modesto potere sopranormale di prescienza, tutti i luoghi di rinascita ti saranno noti, uno dopo l'altro. Scegli di conseguenza.
Ci sono due alternative; il trasferimento in un puro regno di Buddha, e la selezione di una impura porta della utero samsarica, ecco come si compie:

Nascita Sopranormale per Trasferimento in un Regno Paradisiaco

In primo luogo – per il trasferimento in un paradiso puro – la proiezione è diretta (attraverso il pensiero o la meditazione) in questo modo:
“Ahime! Come è triste che, durante tutti gli innumerevoli kalpa fin dal tempo illimitato e senza inizio, sino ad ora, ho vagato nella Palude del Samshara. Oh, che pena non essere stato liberato, fino ad ora, nello stato di Buddha, attraverso il riconoscimento della coscienza come il “sé stesso”! Ora questo Samshara mi disgusta, mi fa orrore, mi ripugna; è ora giunto il momento di prepararsi a fuggirlo. Agirò io stesso in modo di rinascere nel Felice Regno Occidentale, ai piedi del Buddha Amithabha, miracolosamente in mezzo ad un fiore di loto.
Pensando così, dirigi la decisione (o il desiderio) con fervore, o, allo stesso modo, verso qualunque Regno tu possa desiderare; o dirigi il tuo voto verso quel Regno che desideri di più, con estrema concentrazione e senza distrarti. Così facendo, la rinascita avrà luogo istantaneamente in quel Regno.
Oppure, se desideri andare alla presenza di Maitreya, nei Cieli di Tashita, dirigi un voto fervente in questo modo e pensa: “Andrò alla presenza di Maitreya, nei Cieli di Tashita, perché l‟ora è scoccata per me nello Stato Intermedio.” La rinascita si otterrà miracolosamente dentro un fiore di loto alla presenza di Maitreya.

Nascita dalla Utero: Il Ritorno al Mondo degli Uomini

Se, tuttavia, una tale nascita sopranormale non è possibile, e ci si rallegra di entrare in una utero o vi si deve entrare, vengono qui dati gli insegnamenti per selezionare una porta della utero dell‟impuro Samshara. Ascolta:
Guardando i Continenti sopracitati con il potere sopranormale della prescienza, scegli quello dove la religione prevale, ed entra lì.
Se la nascita dovrà avvenire sopra un cumulo di impurità, si verrà attirati verso quella massa impura da un odore piacevole, e si otterrà così la rinascita.
In qualunque modo esse possano apparire, le matrici o le visoni, non considerarle per come sono o per come appaiono; e senza provare attrazione o repulsione potrai scegliere una buona utero. Poiché anche qui è importante dirigere il voto, rivolgiti così:
“Ah! Desidero nascere come un Imperatore dell'Universo, o come un Bramino, simile al grande albero di Sal; o come il essere di un adepto delle potenze siddhiche; o in una famiglia senza alcuna macchia nella sua discendenza; o in un uomo di casta che sia colmo di fede; e, essendo nato così, essere dotato di grandi meriti così che possa essere capace di servire tutti gli esseri coscienti.”
Pensando così, dirigi il tuo voto, ed entra nell‟utero. Nello stesso tempo, innonda di grazia e di buona volontà l'utero nel quale stai entrando, trasformandolo in una dimora celeste. E credendo che i Conquistatori ed i loro Figli (o Bodhisattva) delle Dieci Direzioni, e le divinità tutelari, specialmente il Grande Compassionevole, lostiano dotando di potenza, pregali, ed entra nell'utero.
Nel selezionare la porta dell'utero, c'è una possibilità di errore: a causa dell'influenza del karma, buoni uteri possono apparire cattivi e cattivi uteri possono apparire buoni; un tale errore è possibile. Anche in quel momento, essendo importante la magia dell‟insegnamento, fai subito quanto segue:
Anche se una porta dell‟utero appare buona, non lasciarti attrarre; se appare cattiva, non provare repulsione. Essere liberi dall'attrazione e dalla repulsione, o dal desiderio di prendere o di evitare – e cioè entrare nello stato di completa imparzialità – è la più potente delle magie. Ad eccezione unicamente dei pochi che hanno avuto alcune esperienze pratiche, è difficile sbarazzarsi dei resti del male delle cattive propensioni.
(Istruzioni per l'Officiante): Pertanto, se incapaci di staccarsi dall‟attrazione e dalla repulsione, quelli con una mente limitata e quelli con un cattivo karma, saranno esposti al rischio di prendere rifugio tra le bestie. Il modo di evitare che questo accada è chiamare nuovamente il defunto per nome e dire:
Oh, nobile essere, se non sei capace di sbarazzarti dall'attrazione e dalla repulsione, e non conosci la magia per selezionare la porta dell'utero, qualunque siano le sopradescritte visioni che possano apparirti, invoca la Preziosa Trinità e prendivi rifugio. Prega il Grande Compassionevole. Cammina con la testa sollevata. Riconosci di trovarti nel Bardo. Respingi ogni debolezza ed ogni attrazione verso i figli e le figlie ed ogni relazione lasciata alle tue spalle; non ti sono di alcun vantaggio. Entra nella Bianca Luce dei deva, o nella Luce Gialla degli esseri umani; entra nelle grandi dimore di metalli preziosi e nei deliziosi giardini.
(Istruzioni per l'Officiante): Ripetete ciò, rivolgendovi al defunto, per sette volte di seguito. Poi dovete elevare "L'Invocazione ai Buddha ed ai Bodhisattva", "Il Sentiero dei Buoni Voti che Proteggono dalle Paure del Bardo", "I Versetti Fondamentali del Bardo", e "Il Salvatore dalle Insidie del Bardo". Queste devono essere lette tre volte di fila. Deve poi essere letto "Il Thadol" che libera gli aggregati del corpo. Ed anche "Il Rito che da Sé Conferisce la Liberazione con le Propensioni."


Conclusioni Generali

Attraverso la lettura appropriata del Bardo, quei devoti (o yogi) che sono avanti nella comprensione al momento della morte potranno fare l'uso migliore del Trasferimento. Essi non avranno bisogno di attraversare lo Stato Intermedio, ma andranno dritti lungo il Grande Sentiero Verticale. Altri, che sono un po‟ meno pratici, riconoscendo, al momento della morte, la Chiara Luce nel Chonyid Bardo, andranno in alto. Coloro che sono inferiori a questi saranno liberati – concordemente alle loro particolari abilità ed alle connessioni karmiche – quando una o l'altra delle Divinità Pacificatrici o Furiose sorgeranno su di loro, nelle successive due settimane, durante il Chonyid Bardo.
Ci sono parecchi momenti critici, e la liberazione può essere ottenuta in uno o nell'altro attraverso il riconoscimento. Ma coloro che hanno connessioni karmiche molto deboli, nei quali la quantità di ottenebramento è grande per via delle cattive azioni, devono vagare sempre più giù, giù sino al Sidpa Bardo. Ma anche qui ci sono, come pioli di una scala, molti tipi di confronti faccia a faccia (o richiami), attraverso i quali la liberazione può essere , nell'uno o nell‟altro, attraverso il riconoscimento. Ma quelli con debolissime connessioni karmiche, a causa del non riconoscimento, saranno vittime della paura e del terrore. Per essi ci sono vari livelli di insegnamento per chiudere le porte dell‟utero e per selezionare la porta della rinascita; e, in uno o in un‟altro di questi, essi apprenderanno il metodo della visualizzazione e potranno applicare le illimitate virtù per migliorare la loro condizione. Anche il più infimo di loro, sollevandosi dall‟ordine delle bestie, sarà capace – grazie all'applicazione del Rifugio – di evitare di entrare nelle sofferenze; e ottenendo il grande beneficio di un corpo umano libero e perfettamente dotato, potrà incontrare, nella prossima rinascita, un guru che sia un amico virtuoso, ed ottenere i voti.
Se questa Dottrina arriva nel Sidpa Bardo, sarà come il connettersi di buone azioni, paragonabile al porre un canale in un canale di scarico rotto; tale è questo Insegnamento.
Coloro che hanno un pesante karma cattivo non possono assolutamente fallire dall'essere liberati tramite l'ascolto di questa Dottrina. Ci si può chiedere: perché? È perché, in quel momento, tutte le Divinità Pacificatrici e Furiose sono presenti per accogliere il defunto, e poiché i Mhara e gli Sterminatori similmente vengono a riceverlo accanto a loro, il semplice ascolto di questa Dottrina muterà la sua vista, e si conseguirà la liberazione; perché non dipende più da un corpo di carne e sangue, ma da un corpo mentale che è un simulacro. A qualsiasi distanza uno possa aggirarsi nel Bardo, può udire e muoversi, perché si possiedono i sottili sensi della percezione e della prescienza sopranormali; e, ricordando ed apprendendo istantaneamente, la mente può essere cambiata. Perciò essa è di grande utilità qui. È come il meccanismo di una catapulta. È come lo spostamento di un grande tronco che cento uomini non possono trasportare, ma che, se posto sull'acqua, può essere trainato dovunque si voglia in un momento. È come controllare un cavallo per mezzo delle briglie.
Dunque, ponendovi accanto a chi ha lasciato questa vita – se c'è il corpo – imprimete questo con energia, più e più volte, fino a che il sangue e un liquido giallastro non iniziano a uscire dalle narici. Per tutto questo tempo il cadavere non deve essere disturbato. Le regole che devono essere osservate a questo fine sono: nessun animale deve essere ucciso per conto del defunto; i parenti non devono piangere o disperarsi vicino al corpo esanime, ma compiere azioni virtuose più che sia possibile.
Anche questa Grande Dottrina del Bardo Thodol, come qualsiasi altro testo religioso, può essere esposto in altri modi. Se essa è unita alla fine de La Guida e recitata diventa molto efficace. In ogni modo essa dovrebbe essere recitata spessissimo. Le parole ed i significati dovrebbero essere tenuti a mente; e, quando la morte è inevitabile ed i sintomi della morte vengono riconosciuti – se le forze lo consentono – il morente dovrebbe recitarlo da sé, e riflettere sui significati. Se le forze non lo permettono, allora un amico dovrebbe leggere il libro ed imprimerlo con energia. E non vi sono dubbi circa la sua liberazione.
La Dottrina è quella che libera per mezzo della vista, senza bisogno della meditazione o del rito del sadhana; questi Profondi Insegnamenti liberano sia attraverso l‟ascolto che attraverso la vista. Questi Profondissimi Insegnamenti liberano coloro che hanno un pessimo karma attraverso il Sentiero Segreto. Nessuno dovrebbe dimenticare il suo significato e le sue parole, nemmeno se braccato da sette mastini.
Attraverso queste Istruzioni Selezionate, si consegue, al momento della morte, lo stato di Buddha. Se i Buddha dei Tre Tempi (Passato, Presente e Futuro) cercassero, non troverebbero una dottrina superiore a questa. Così è completato “Le Gocce Profonde del Cuore della Dottrina del Bardo, chiamato il Bardo Thodol, che libera gli esseri incarnati”.

Qui finisce il libro Tibetano dei Morti

dalla versione di W.Y. Evans - Wentz


il Tao dei morti - sesto stadio

dedicato a tutti quelli che stanno scappando nel Tao

uscire dall'illusione del Tao

L'ultimo argomento trattato da Charles T. Tart nella seconda parte di Stati di Coscienza riguarda i modi per uscire dallo stato di illusione della coscienza consensuale ordinaria:

Speculation



The discussion in Chapter 19 involves a value judgment that should be made more explicit: being in clear contact with external reality is good; being in poor contact with it is bad. This statement should not be overgeneralized: there is nothing wrong, for example, with deliberately becoming absorbed in a good movie and deliberately ignoring those aspects of reality that are inconsistent with enjoying the movie. It is undesirable, on the other hand, to believe you are in good contact with reality when you are not.
I think most readers will have difficulty accepting Chapter 19 on more than an intellectual level. In some of our bad moments we may be unhappy with the ordinary d-SoC, but generally we seem pleased. Feeling happy is a function of a viable culture. If the culture is to survive, the majority of its members must feel contented with what they are doing and feel they are carrying out a meaningful function in life. Whether we generally feel happy or not, however, my personal observations and understanding of much of the research findings of modern psychology have convinced me that the analysis of ordinary consciousness as samsara is basically true. The present chapter is based on the assumption that it is true and is concerned with ways out of a state of illusion. It is not a guide to "enlightenment," for that is both inappropriate in the context of the present volume and beyond the reach of my competence.
Why, then, would you or I or anyone want to escape from the samsaric state that is our ordinary state of consciousness? the exact answer varies for every individual, but in general there is a mixture of cultural, personal, and growth/curiosity reasons.
A major function of a culture is to provide a consensus reality that not only deals adequately with the physical world about it but also produces a psychologically satisfactory life for the majority of its members. Each of us needs to feel that he belongs and that his life has meaning in terms of some valued, larger scheme of things. So every society has a mythos, a set of explicit and implicit beliefs and myths about the nature of reality and the society's place in it, that makes the activities of the people in that society meaningful. The mythos that has sustained dour society for so long, largely the Judeo-Christian ethic, is no longer a very satisfactory mythos for many people. Similarly, the rationalism or scientism or materialism that tried to replace the religious mythos of our society has also turned out to be unsatisfactory for a large number of people. So we are faced with disruptions and conflicts in our society has also turned out to be unsatisfactory for a large number of people. So we are faced with disruptions and conflicts in our society as people search consciously or unconsciously for more satisfying values. Our wheels of life, to continue the analogy of Figure 19-2, are not rolling along smoothly through our consensus reality. There are too many flat spots on the wheel that produce unpleasant jolts, and too many pieces of broken glass and potholes in the road of our consensus reality. So the ride is no longer comfortable.
Personal reason for desiring a way out may involve initial poor enculturation, so we don't fit in well, knowledge of other cultural systems that seem advantageous in certain ways, and/or hope that a more satisfactory substitute can be found for our faulty culture. Various kinds of personal discontent make it difficult or impossible for an individual to find meaning in his life within the consensus reality of the culture. If he acts out these discontents, he may be classified as neurotic or psychotic, as a criminal, or as a rebel, depending on his particular style. If he acts out in a way that capitalizes on widespread cultural discontent, he may be seen as a reformer or pioneer. Or, he may outwardly conform to the mores of contemporary society but be inwardly alienated.
Finally, a person may want to escape for what I call growth/curiosity reasons, a healthy curiosity or desire to know. He may be able to tolerate the limitations and dissatisfactions of the culture around him and cope satisfactorily with it, and yet really want to know what lies outside that consensus reality, what other possibilities exist. He may see the limitations of the current worldview and want to know what worldviews could replace it or whether it can be modified.
I emphasize scientific curiosity in this book, the desire to understand coupled with realization that science is an excellent tool for gaining understanding. But even those of us who seek larger scientific understanding are also motivated by cultural and personal forces.

Are There Ways Out?

A major intellectual theme in the Western world lately has been that there are no ways out. Seeing the irrationality and horror, the samsaric nature of much of the world about us, some philosophers have concluded that this simply is human nature and that the best we can hope to do is tolerate it in existential despair or try, without much hope, to do the best we can. Indeed, a person can use such despair as a prop for the ego by priding himself on his "realism" and courage in facing such a dismal situation. While I respect these philosophies of despair for their honest recognition that there is no easy way out, I am of an optimistic nature myself and cannot accept despair as an end goal.
More importantly, my studies of people's experiences in various d-ASCs have convinced me that people can and do have vital, living experiences that are ways out. People have what Maslow {36} called peak experiences of openness, freedom, and belonging in which they feel they transcend, at least temporarily, the samsaric condition of ordinary consciousness. It can be argued that these experiences are just other illusions, that there is no freedom. But the belief that a way out does not exist may be just as illusory.
When the search for a way out is triggered by discontent with the ordinary d-SoC, a common reaction is to blame your discontent on some particular aspect of yourself or your society and look for ready-made solutions. There are thousands of leaders and groups who have ready-made solutions to sell you or give you—a multitudes of-isms and-ologies. Give yourself to Jesus, join this commune, join political party X and remake the world, support the revolution, the truth is now revealed through yogi Z, eat your way to enlightenment with organic foods, find health and happiness with a low-cholesterol (or a high-cholesterol) diet, live in foreign country K where nobody hassles you.
This is not meant to imply a blanket criticism of all communities, political and social ideas, or spiritual systems: indeed, in Transpersonal Psychologies I attempt to promote the psychologies inherent in spiritual disciplines because of their great value. Most of the-isms and-ologies being offered contain valuable techniques for personal growth, ideas and techniques that can help you get out. But, when you motive for escape stems from a momentary discomfort with your present consensus reality, from a feeling that your wheel of life has too many flat spots and is hitting too many bumps, you may be seeking not radical change in your self as the root cause of your problems, but simply a more satisfactory belief system, a rounder wheel, and a nicely protected consensus reality that has no bumps. Any tool for personal or spiritual growth that humanity has ever devised can be perverted from its original function and used for simply making a person feel comfortable. Too often, a person is not really interested in looking more directly at reality, he simply wants his current samsaric wheel of life, the structures of his mind, overhauled or replaced with a new set that provides many good feeling sand hardly any bad feelings.

Figure 20-1. Development of samsaric consciousness with positive rather than negative emotional tone. As in Figure 19-1, internal processes soon overwhelm perception and are mistaken for perception.
Figure 20-1 is a revision of Figure 19-1, used to illustrate the concept of samsara. The content of the associational chains that are activated is altered, and the tone of the emotional energies is changed from negative to positive, and so the person's experience is positive. The labels on the figure make it self-explanatory. Still, all that happens in reality is that a stranger walks up and says, "Hi, my name is Bill." But this time the person, who we can call Sara, becomes extremely happy as a result and feels very good about herself. Yet she is as much in a state of illusion, samsara, as she was before. She has a set of internal structures, internal machinery, that make her feel good, but she is no more in touch with reality than before.

D-ASCs as Ways Out

Since the ordinary d-SoC is the creator and maintainer of consensus reality on a personal level, and since the sharing of similar, ordinary, "normal" d-SoCs by others is the maintainer of the consensus reality on a social level, one way out of samsara is to enter a d-ASC, spend as much time there as possible, and get all your friends into that d-ASC too. You would choose a d-ASC or d-ASCs you valued, where you felt "high." To many people today the solution to the discomfort of current reality seems to be to get high and stay high.
Many of us are currently fascinated with the possibilities of being happy or solving our problem by entering into various d-ASCs, using chemical or nonchemical means. We have not yet learned to estimate realistically the costs of this route. We know the costs of chronic alcohol use, but seem willing to tolerate them. We do not know the costs of other d-ASCs very well. Consensus realities can exist and be created in various d-ASCs. The explanation of ordinary consciousness as samsara may well apply in d-ASCs such as drunkenness or marijuana intoxication. In other d-ASCs, such as meditative states, samsaric illusion may be less common, but this has not yet been shown scientifically.
We tend to get into what John Lilly calls "overvaluation spaces"; we tend to be carried away by the contrast between our experience of the d-ASC and the ordinary d-SoC, and so overvalue the d-ASC. I think this is largely a function of novelty or need motivated blindness. Especially if we have taken a risk, such as using illegal drugs, to attain a d-ASC, we have a need to convince ourselves that the experience was worthwhile.
Further discussion of the costs of various d-ASCs seems to me premature. The immense amount of cultural hysteria and propaganda in this area gives us distorted and mostly false views of what the costs are, and we must work through this and build up some scientific knowledge before we can talk adequately about costs and benefits of d-ASCs.
The values of experiencing and working in d-ASCs can b exceptionally high. But, as is true of all the many tools that have been devised for human growth, a d-ASC's value depends on how well it is used. Experiencing a d-ASC carries no guarantee of personal betterment. Achieving a valuable d-ASC experience depends on what we want, how deeply and sincerely we want it, what conflicting desires we have, how much insight we have into ourselves, and how well prepared we are to make use of what we get in the d-ASC. There is a saying in many spiritual traditions: "He who tastes, knows." The process is not that automatic. A truer saying is: "He who tastes has an opportunity to know."
In the d-ASCs we know much about scientifically, the experiencer can be in a samsaric condition, involved in a personal or a consensus reality that is cut off from reality, even though its style is different, interesting, or productive of greater happiness than the ordinary d-SoC.
Techniques exist, however, that are intended to free a person's awareness from the dominance of the structure, of the machinery that has been culturally programmed into him. In terms of the radical view of awareness, whatever basic awareness ultimately is, there are techniques that at least produce the experience of freeing awareness partially or wholly from the continual dominance of structure, of moving toward a freer, more wide-ranging awareness rather than a consciousness that is primarily a function of the automated structure pattern of consensus reality. Let us consider the general categories into which these techniques fall, remembering that any discussion of their ultimate usefulness is beyond current science.
The first step in using any of these techniques is to recognize that there is a problem. Assume, therefore, that an individual, through self-observation, has acquired enough experiential knowledge of his samsaric condition to know that he needs to and want to do something. Although there are many religious definitions of what a clear or higher state of consciousness simply as one in which external reality is recognized more for what it is, less distorted by internal processes.

Discriminative Awareness

One way to begin to escape from the samsaric condition is to pay enough directed attention to your mental processes so that you can distinguish between primary perception coming in from the external world and associational reaction to it. We tend to assume that we do this naturally, but I believe it is rare. This may be done by understanding how your associational structures are built and how they generally operate, thus distinguishing associational reactions on a content basis, and/or by getting a general experiential "feel" for a quality that distinguishes associational reactions. If you can keep your primary perception and your reactions to it clearly distinguished in your consciousness, you are less likely to project your reactions to stimuli onto the environment and others or to distort incoming perception to make your perceptions consistent with internal reactions.
I have found, from both personal observation and indications in the psychological literature that making this discrimination, putting a fairly high degree of awareness on the beginnings of the associational process, tend to undercut their ability to automatically stimulate other associational chains and thus activate emotions. You need not do anything in particular to the association, just be clearly aware that it is an associational reaction. The situation is analogous to being on your good behavior when you know others are watching, whether or not those others are doing anything in particular to influence your behavior.

A Watchman at the Gate

If you refer to Figure 19-1 and 20-1, you will notice the label, DEROPP'S "WATCHMAN AT THE GATE" ENTERS HERE. The analogy taken from DeRopp's book {15}, is to a watchman at the city gate (the senses) who knows that certain slums in the city of the mind have outbursts of rioting when certain mischievous characters (stimulus patterns) are allowed into the city. The watchman scrutinizes each traveler who comes up and does not admit those he knows will cause rioting. If you have a good understanding of your associational and reaction patterns, your prepotent needs, and the particular kinds of stimuli that set them off, you can maintain an attentive watchfulness on your primary perception. When you realize that an incoming stimulus is the sort that will trigger an undesirable reaction, you can inhibit the reaction. It is easier to become self-conscious, and thus remove some of the energy from incoming stimuli before they have activated associational chains and prepotent needs, than to stop the reactions once they have been activated.
To a certain extent the practice of discriminative awareness, described above, performs this function. Setting up the watchman, however, provides a more specialized discrimination, paying special attention to certain troublesome kinds of stimuli and taking more active measure when undesirable stimuli are perceived. The watchman robs the reaction of its power early enough to prevent it from gaining any appreciable momentum; discriminative awareness allows the reaction to tap into various prepotent needs, even though the continuous observation of it lessens identification and so takes away some of its power.

Nonattachment

A classical technique in the spiritual psychologies for escaping from samsara is the cultivation of nonattachment, learning to "look neutrally" on whatever happens, learning to pay full attention to stimuli and reactions but not to identify with them. The identification process, the quality added by the operation of the Sense of Identity subsystem discussed in Chapter 8, adds a great deal of energy to any psychological process. Without it, these processes have less energy and therefore make less mischief.
Vipassana meditation is a specific practice of nonattachment performed in the technically restricted meditative setting. Recall that the instructions (Chapter 7) are to pay attention to whatever happens, but not to try to make anything in particular happen or to try to prevent anything in particular from happening. The idea is neither to welcome nor reject any particular stimulus or experience. This is quite different from the ordinary stance toward events, where a person seeks out and tries to pleasant ones. Meditation, as Naranjo {39} points out, is a technically simplified situation: a person removes himself from the bustle of the world to make learning easier. But it is also designed to teach nonattachment so the practice can be transferred to everyday life.
If one is successful in practicing nonattachment, the machinery of the mind runs when stimulated, but does not automatically grab attention/awareness so readily; reactions and perceptions do not become indiscriminately fused together; and attention/awareness energy remains available for volitional use.
These are two clear ways in which the practice of nonattachment can be flawed. Often a person believes that he is unaffected by certain things, that he just is not interested in them or that they do not bother him. This apparent indifference, however, actually comes from an active inhibitory process that takes place outside that focus of awareness. So he is really up-tight even if he does not feel it. Self-observation and/feedback from others is a corrective for this. Effective growth practices can thus promote unhappiness and upset by breaking through an inhibitory layer before being able to work on the disturbances themselves.
The other flaw is that while nonattachment may free a person from the habitual loss of attention/awareness energy to the machinery of the mind, the machinery is still there. He no longer automatically identifies with the machinery; it no longer forcibly grabs his attention/awareness, but the machinery itself, while dormant, has not been dismantled. What happens if he is put in totally new circumstances in which he has not practiced nonattachment?
Recall that once the machinery of the mind is activated, it grabs attention/awareness energy, and after this, control may be difficult or impossible. Totally new circumstances may activate the previously inactive structures in novel ways so that they cannot be stopped. A person may be unaware that the machinery has begun operating, so it can grab his attention/awareness energy and plunge him into a samsaric state again. This appears to have happened, for example, to some Indian yogis who began living in the West. Their practice of nonattachment as a principal discipline in India had enabled them to achieve a special serenity of mind, but this was under particular cultural circumstances. As one example, yogis and holy men are treated as nonsexual beings in India. Thus women may worship them, but in a completely nonsexual way. When they come to the West and are besieged in a sexual way by beautiful young girls, the yogis, lacking practice in handling this, are subject to strongly activated samsaric mechanisms.

Dismantling Structures

The above techniques are mindfulness techniques, involving an increase in awareness of what is happening and how one is reacting to it, usually with some discipline, such as nonattachment, practiced in conjunction with this increased awareness. To some extent, these mindfulness techniques can actually dismantle some of the structures of the mind. This happens in two ways. First, some structures seem to need to operate in the dark; they cannot continue to operate when one is fully conscious of what is happening. Thus, insight into the nature of a structure results in its partial or full dissolution. Second, some structures and combinations of structures seem to need to be activated periodically to maintain their integrity. By practices like the watchman at the gate or nonattachment, which do not allow energy to flow freely into them, they are starved and gradually lose their integrity, Gurdjieff's technique of self-observation, for example, involves paying full attention to one's reactions without making any attempt to change them. Many people practicing self-observation have had the experience of watching an undesirable reaction occur repeatedly, then weakly and later not at all, even though the requisite stimulus occurs.
Many structures and subsystems are an intimate part of a person's enculturated personality, however, and are not only highly resistant to change by insight, but may be incapable of being perceived well at all. They are so connected to prepotent needs and defense mechanisms that they cannot be observed clearly, or else they are so implicit that they are outside awareness. They are never observed, so observation and mindfulness techniques do not work.
Here is where Western-developed psychotherapy becomes exceptionally valuable. Through feedback and pressure provided by others, whether a single therapist or a group, ordinarily invisible aspects a person's self may be so surcharged with emotional energy that he is forced to confront them, and this insight may change them. If insight alone is not sufficient, a variety of techniques are available, ranging from operant-conditioning to guided imagery techniques, which can deliberately change specific structures.
Western-style psychotherapy is limited because it is likely to be used not on structures that are basic to the samsaric condition, but only on structures that produce experiences and behaviors that are not acceptable in the particular consensus reality. Thus many psychotherapists are not growth agents in a general sense, but rather work to readjust a deviant person to the consensus reality of his culture. This is not a conscious manipulation on the part of these psychotherapists, but simply a reflection of the power and implicitness of their own enculturation processes. Psychotherapy can be a subversive tool in some practitioners' hands, for some of the assumptions of the consensus reality can be questioned in it, and the patient can grow beyond his culture in some ways. All too often, however, the implicit assumptions are not even questioned.
In stating that most patients do not learn to go beyond consensus reality, I do not want to imply that they should learn to behave in a way that is clearly at odds with consensus reality. To behave in "crazy" ways is no sure sign of escape from samsara. Knowing how to use effectively the consensus reality in which one lives in essential for survival. In terms of cultural, personal, and scientific goals of transcending samsaric limitations of the ordinary state, however, we should be aware of the limits of conventional psychotherapy.


I suspect, as Naranjo has suggested, that the synthesis of the psychotherapy techniques of the West and the spiritual disciplines of the East will form one of the most powerful tools for understanding ourselves that has ever existed. The various kinds mindfulness and nonattachment techniques are the ultimate tools because of their generality, but there may be some psychological structures in the personality that have so much energy, are so implicit, or are so heavily defended that they must be dealt with using specific psychotherapeutic techniques to dismantle them.

How Far Can We Go?

If we assume, for the purpose of this discussion, the at least partial) validity of the radical view of the mind, then what are the limits to human consciousness and awareness? Figure 20-2 presents some speculation along this line.
Consider reality as divided into two realms: MEST, the physical world, of which we know many of the basic laws and are discovering more, and the realm of awareness, whose basic laws are essentially unknown to us at this time. The ordinary d-SoC, then, is the gestalt product of awareness and structure, determined and limited by whatever laws inherently govern each realm, and yet is also an emergent synthesis not fully predictable from the laws of either realm.
In some ways the composite system is even more limited, for both the MEST structure and awareness have been further restricted in the enculturation process. Thus the ordinary d-SoC is capable of considerable expansion: we can change existing structures and build new ones, and we can cultivate the ability to control awareness more freely within these structures and to pay attention to things other than what the culture has defined as important.
Judging from experiential reports, some d-ASCs seem to be much less mechanical, much less controlled by structures and allowing more free range of awareness.

This is represented in Figure 20-2 by the oval just to the left of the ordinary d-SoC penetrating more into the realm of awareness and less into the realm of MEST. Similarly, experiential reports from some d-ASCs—those caused by sedatives, for example—suggest that there is less awareness and far more mechanicalness, that consciousness is far more restricted by structure than ordinarily. Thus another oval, further to the left, shown as more into the MEST realm and less into the awareness realm. The extreme case of this, of course, is mechanical intelligence, the computer, which (as far as we know) has no awareness at all but processes information in a totally mechanical way, a way totally controlled by the laws of the MEST realm. Present computers are also partially limited by cultural structuring; it only occurs to us to program them to do certain "sensible" things, giving them a range that is probably less than their total capability.
Up to this point the discussion is still compatible with the orthodox view of the mind, which sees awareness as a function of the brain. The circle to the far right in Figure 20-2, however, is compatible only with the radical view that awareness can operate partially or totally independently of the brain structure. In some mystical experiences, and in states called out-of-they-body experiences, people report existing at space/time locations different from that of their physical bodies, or being outside of space/time altogether. I believe that parapsychological data require us to consider this kind of statement as more than interesting experiential data, as possibly being valid rather than simply being nonsense. The reader interested in the implications of parapsychology for the study of consciousness should consult other writings of mine {128, 129, 131}. Let me note here that to the extent that this may be true, awareness may potentially become partially or wholly free of the patterning influence of MEST structure.
An awareness of how structures and systems of structures tend automatically to grab attention/awareness and other psychological energies makes it easy to form a picture of structure as bad and to see d-SoCs that are less involved with structure as automatically better or higher. This is a mistake. Structures perform valuable functions as well as confining ones. A d-SoC is not just a way of limiting awareness; it is also a way of focusing attention/awareness and other psychological energies to make effective tools, to enable us to cope in particular ways.
I have observed people in d-ASCs where they seem less caught in structures, more inclined toward the unstructured awareness dimension of mind. My impression is that it was both a gain and a loss: new insights were gained, but there was often an inability to hold to anything and change it in a desired direction. Certainly there are times when not attempting to change anything, just observing, is the best course, but the ability to move between activity and passivity as appropriate is optimal. The structures of d-SoCs aid us by restricting awareness and facilitating focusing. Perhaps as meditative and similar exercises teach us to control attention/awareness more precisely, we may have less need for structures.
As a scientist, I have tried to keep the speculation in these last three chapters compatible with the scientific worldview and the scientific method as I know them. I have often drawn on data not generally accepted in orthodox scientific circles, but they are data that I would be willing to argue are good enough to deserve closer examination. Because I have set myself that restriction in writing this book, I now end speculation on how far human awareness might be able to go, for to continue would take me further from my scientific data base than I am comfortable in going at this time.
Let me conclude with what may seem a curious observation: Western psychology has collected an immense amount of data supporting the concept in the first place. We have studied some aspects of samsara in far more detail than Eastern traditions that originated the concept of samsara. Yet almost no psychologists apply this idea to themselves! They apply all this knowledge of human compulsiveness and mechanicalness to other people, who are labeled "abnormal" or "neurotic," and assume that their own states of consciousness basically logical and clear. Western psychology now has a challenge to recognize this detailed evidence that our "normal" state is a state of samsara and to apply the immense power of science and our other spiritual traditions, East and West, to the search for a way out.