Reemergence of Cyclic Insight Stages
Past Progress of Insight
When I attained to Awake Awareness in July 2015, I blithely declared that either I was no longer cycling through the Progress of Insight stages, or the stages were so “drowned out” by openness and clarity that they were, for all intents and purposes, nullified. I did occasionally notice the Knowledge of the Arising and Passing Away (A&P) stage, with its hypomanic bliss and physical raptures, heightened sexuality, intensified interest in all things magickal, and desire to forgo sleep in favor of meditating or performing rituals all night. But these A&P emergences have been much milder than the ones I experienced for many years before Awake Awareness – well, until now.
Now, I am largely convinced I’ve just passed through an insight cycle over the past two weeks. I began with doldrums, progressed to sensations of anxiety (although I was strangely emotionally cleaved from them), awoke with misery for about a day, experienced nausea and disgust with everything, and even moved through Desire for Deliverance. Desire for Deliverance is a stage I used to experience intensely, every cycle, usually by kicking my meditation cushion away in favor of weeping and praying most of the night (what Daniel called “melodharmas,” haha). After Awake Awareness, this stage never emerged again, and I thought, “Oh wow! I’ve arrived.”
Current A&P and DFD
But not so fast. Last Night’s A&P with fractal Desire for Deliverance, ñ4.ñ9 in Daniel’s notation, was so intense that it was almost physically unbearable. I was flooded with energy all day, and spent much time researching how to help a young man who needs some stabilization. When I later practiced, with candles, in a hot bath, very intense love-compassion-bliss radiated out from my body-heart-mind to everyone and everything. I called in the Four Guests. I wept and prayed. Then I stopped and said to myself, “OMG! Am I in Desire for Deliverance or A&P?” After roaming the house and eating a sandwich to try to ground down through all the crazy raptures, I decided that I was in A&P (mostly) with a fractal stage of DFD within that. When I finally laid down to sleep, the raptures were so intense that I was trembling. It is a funny experience to want bliss to calm down just a tad.
The unique prominence and coherence of this post-awakening cycle, with its apparently not reaching Equanimity, makes me wonder whether some new level of insight is in the offing. There is never any way to tell beforehand, but unless I’m misremembering, intense cycles used to precede significant gains. Time will tell.
Emerging Secondary Effects of Luminosity in A&P
That visionary experience was an A&P Event. Why didn’t I see that when I wrote it, let alone when I had it? I have A&P stages all the time, but I didn’t think I had A&P Events anymore. Wrong: Exploding into a cascade of white flowers is definitely an A&P Event. Why explosions? Because the beauty cannot be contained. It is without boundary and boundedness. It must be free of its own intensity. It must express.
And last night . . . the intense tingling across the small of my back, and then dreaming of floating above and looking down into Kurt’s body and seeing that I could move the energy in him with just my eyes.
All day and night, the new way that perception happens was especially clear and royally vivid. It is during the A&P that the new directness is most constantly in my face, resolution is sharp. I see a cloud: Seeing is so thoroughly in the cloud seen that the cloud shines forth with the always already released. I have disappeared into it, into the seeing-seen ephemeral equipoise. So fused to it. No boundary.
Shining with the ever passing soft quiet clarity. The palest ice-blue cloud, the midnight-green juniper furs swaying, The cherry-red LED traffic light so stark, the brocaded blue and silver concert hall proscenium representing itself forth continually. “Always with an eye toward attention itself.” Is there attention itself? Yes, everywhere, all at the same time–awareness. And the relief is that it is not mine. Oh my God. This is it. This is it. This is it.
Kurt drove us tonight in his old Mercedes two-seater to Durham for a concert. I was riding gunshot and just staring out at vast twilight sky, somehow so close, completely one fused to here, the opening in the cloudy batting electric and implausibly nondistant. . . . And then on the car stereo Kurt played Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata.” And tears started down.
“Jenny, just what in the hell is the matter with you?”
I laughed and cried at the same time and said, “It is this impossible music, and the Everything. It is the last nth. It is really all too beautiful, you know, because so direct. It brings tears.”
“Well, you certainly are strange anymore—better somehow, less likely to jump at a surprise sound, but strange.”
It is true. I’m ecstatic and weepy all the time. I’m absorbed. I’m obsessed. I’m consumed with the pathos, granduer, supplication, and surrender to all this. All of it. The Path. I don’t want it to end. Oh, this Specialness. And yet, I’m fine with endings. Let it be. Let Death itself come to me. All bare experience. Let it come. Let it be. All. No boundary. All is so real that it is miraculously empty. Right this second.
I’m staring into my bedroom mirror at the reflection of nearby lamplight now. All this geometry is equally immediate at every point of perspective. It is more real for being vividly empty and ephemeral, starkly shining with the presence that is not. So present that it precludes distance, direction, and the processing that declares, “presence.” Everything arises and passes simultaneously where it is, instantly, automatically. All is particulate tiny tingle; all is One, yet with nothing holding it together and with no remainder beyond its very passing.
I’m at least 87.9% enlightened, Jim. And if I’m somehow mistaken, then I declare this entry my official miscall that all Third Pathers make at least once on the way, with nothing artificially Special and Transcendent superadded.
Look at subtle presence in Nothingness. Look at Specialness. Let them go by letting them run their full course to the heart of my intensity. I’ll meet you all at the signpost half past Twelfth Path, then, all right? For Every Good Badass Dharma Cowboy Deserves Favor. Even one who sits like a Girl.