Compulsive Jhānas as No-Self: A Colloquy with Eric

Macro-level no-self feels like someone else is pulling the strings.
Eric

This may sound silly, but when jhānas are taking over, do you ever try to note it? Even a simple note like “seeing” for five or “nothingness” for seven may help to disembed. I know you aren’t a big fan of noting, but it may be worth a shot. 

Jenny

Well, not exactly note, but for months now one of my main practices has been to look at the Three Charactistics (3Cs) of whatever jhana state really kicks in and holds out for a while. It is interesting practice. When I say “take over,” I mean that the jhānas become really hard, solidified, and I “forget” to look for their characteristics.

I don’t think it is really a problem for occasional sits to really just be samatha. I think I’m just (1) being superstitious about all the hype there is against jhānas (problem of “jhānas junkies”), and (2) being too impatient and effortful about getting second path. Daniel told me back in September (August?) that jhānas will not make a person a jhana junkie if first path really has been attained.

Eric

Another thing you could try is seeing the no-self aspect of it, seeing that there is no one to which these jhānas are happening, that they happen on their own. You could do some kind of self-inquiry, like “Who is perceiving Nothingness?” Or you could surrender completely and see where the jhānas take you.

Jenny

Wise advice. This is exactly what Daniel said—the taking over is no-self. It is just such a macro-level thing that I wasn’t seeing that as “counting.” I’m still too much in the habit of thinking that the 3Cs are at the vibratory micro level. In EQ and in paths past first in general, I think, these things are seen in bigger and bigger swaths until the whole field is it.

Eric

About the fans and the powersy-stuff– have you ever heard of biaurnal beats? Two different frequencies in each ear that create a type of interference, e.g. 100 hertz in the right ear and 90 hertz in the left ear would be a 10 hertz beat. When I was interested in out-of-body travel they were all the rage, apparently certain frequencies could really get the powers going. Robert Monroe, the out-of-body dude whom I’ve mentioned before, used them quite a bit, and they are used at the Monroe Institute to this very day.

You know, in WW2, pilots had to be careful about adjusting the RPM of the propellers on their aircraft, because if there was any kind of difference in the frequencies of the two propellers, they would fall asleep.

Jenny

Fascinating! Yeah, the two fans where engulfing and definitely calling out some unusual visions. I was also sleep deprived and had had a kind of emotional exhaustion from long all-night intense conversations with my son, who told me how he’s long had something almost matching exactly what I had in August with stream entry.

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