When it gets a little quiet here I have this urge to fill the silence with a few thoughts that are affecting my practice. I hope nobody minds. It is very helpful to me.
The Trikaya concept has become the foundation of my practice. As I look at other views of this from a more cosmopolitan perspective it seems to boil down to physical body (nirmanakaya), energy body (sambhogakaya) and spirit (dharmakaya).
I have come to the clear realization that the waking state is where lucidity matters the most and that the dream state is just the place where we can figure that out. This has changed my life. After three years or so of daily and nightly dedicated practice in lucid dreaming/dream yoga, working with every technique and concept I could find…I have pretty much stopped all of them…at least for a while. I find myself to be just letting lucidity happen on its own now.
I just finished reading “Why I Am Not a Buddhist” by Evan Thompson and I had to start again immediately from the beginning. I highly recommend this read for all of my Buddhist friends out there as it will give you a good look in the mirror.
Listening to the interview with Bernardo Kastrup (thank you for the link!). I find his analogy of the ‘dashboard on the airplane in a stormy sky very useful. The representation of the physical world on the dashboard gives the pilot accurate and useful information that allows safe navigation’ - but is not the physical world itself and the pilot knows that.
But analogously, we receive through our senses and our brain interpretation useful information that allows us to navigate the world… But the difference is we mistake the ‘dashboard’ of our sense perception as the reality itself. Great and clear example!
Donald Hoffman uses that analogy a lot as well. He likes to speak of our VR headset
I agree with @Andrew that Bernardo Kastrup is a rock star of sorts. His comments are always extremely clear and concise, even when he is put on the spot…as he was a few times in this other short conversation with Deepak.
This is sort as out of left-field for me. Not sure how it fits into my “view.” Sounds like the “unconscious mind.” Reminds me of the discussions about “free will,” and various songs of Milarepa. What do you make of it as it relates to how you operate?
I have been thinking about just that all day since watching this.
It definitely came out of left field for me as well…but it immediately resonated with me once I got past the word daemon and looked at the concept for what it is, that is, an internal metaphysical manifestation of the primordial influence of this vast, interconnected bio-system in which we live: a manifestation of the collective primordial consciousness of nature that is pure non-metacognitive energy.
With that description in mind, I have always lived my life under its sway, sometimes for the best…sometimes not. I look back at so many life changing decisions that I made in my life that were based on an overwhelming feeling that I was doing what I had to do. Even when those decisions were not the best for all parties (ahem…ex-wives), I never looked back.
Even these days I experience it with less momentous decisions…walking in the woods and a feeling sends me down a path that I was about to pass by.
And I really think this may be a dynamic in the dream. In the dream state we tie into a primordial metaphysical state. And, once again, one of the most momentous changes in my life came in this manner. I have written about this before and it is how I came to this path of dream yoga.
In a dream three years ago I woke up being told that this was no longer my path and that I had to find another. The voice was crystal clear and I ended up wide awake in the dream wondering how that could be. The next day I googled “waking up in a dream” and learned about lucid dreaming.
My daemon sent me a very clear message that night that absolutely changed my life.
Interestingly, I laid that map over my own life’s experiences and I see real explanatory evidence for a few things that couldn’t ever have happened to me, yet they happened to me. When I recounted these things to “experts” they said they couldn’t happen, so I stopped telling. Interesting.
I find this guy very interesting and clear, having been listening to videos with him today (thanks again for the link, Steve.)
I take his terminology of ‘the daemon’ to correspond with the subconscious, collective unconscious, and even perhaps with the universal mind… Expressing itself in various ways particular to individual persons…the part of nature that is beneath the visible tip of the iceberg (ego) and yet accessible to the specific individual manifestation of the person by way of intuition, dreams, Somatic experience… Everything in nature that is not the personalized ego of that person.
It is a motor and a force dispossessing of moral judgment…thus needs the ego to discern and measure it’s impulses. It is the source of creative energy. But not all good. He mentioned that Hitler listened to his ‘daemon’…as did Ghandi. The daemon’ will reflect different views for different people.
I am an inadequate paraphraser on him. I think he is very interesting and I would love to see Andrew do an interview with him.
Reminds me of how, as Andrew likes to mention, 98% of what we do comes from our unconscious. Links to the shadow but more.
Here are a few more thoughts…musings at the end of last night’s 2:00 AM WBTB:
I am the unborn essence, resting in the primordial state, outside of space and time. I will be born as light into a state of non-action and non-attainment where I will exist in the swirl of interdependent co-arising, abiding in the space between meditation and non-meditation.
So, of course, this morning I am trying to make some sense of all that.
Science has begun to understand that space/time is not the cosmological primitive. It exists within a larger, as yet undiscovered, context. As a human, I am born into the context of space/time where light is a common denominator.
I believe (from some experience) that there are metaphysical avenues for stepping out of the limitations of space/time, such as the Buddhist practice of Trikaya as well as the liminal spaces between dreams.
Something else I have been thinking about is the “bandwidth” of the human mind.
Rupert Spira speaks of how thought and perception limit (he uses the term “mediate”) our ability to get deeper into the understanding of reality. I think that may be a result of the limited amount of available bandwidth that out minds have relative to the massive amount of “reality data” that is available to us.
I would postulate (through experience) that we have a greater amount of available bandwidth at night during a WBTB period due to the lesser amount of input from the world around us. This allows us expanded glimpses of “reality”.
I would further postulate that in the dream state the available bandwidth of our mind increases exponentially to the point of allowing a somewhat uncontrolled flow of “reality data”. When we practice controlling our dreams through lucid dreaming, and especially through dream yoga, we “pinch off” that fire hose flow of data to get a flow that we are able to process and learn from.
What we are gaining, of course, is a deeper self-knowledge.
Maybe I’m way off here but isn’t that really making the unconscious “conscious” so that our actions are no longer 'reactive" but rather chosen in the moment? I think it’s tied to the question of/if free will existing and how we come to develop it.
I think that we are constantly being presented with massive amounts of information about “reality” on an unconscious level. I say unconscious because I think we have evolved (so far) to only be consciously aware of that information that directly affects our survival. If we were to be conscious of the true workings of the universe I think we would be completely overwhelmed. We just don’t have the bandwidth to take it all in.
Perhaps our next stage of evolution will be the development of more “mental bandwidth”.
Donald Hoffman always goes back to the metaphor of the icon on the computer screen. We click on that icon and it opens our document. It would be way too much information for us to have to deal with all of the micro-switches in the computer chips that really make that happen.
But…in the dream state our available bandwidth increases due to less demand on it by all of the stuff we need to be aware of in the waking state. That’s why our dreams get so wild and crazy at times. When we become consciously aware in the dream we can bend that garden hose over just enough to take a drink from it.
As for free will…it seems that 50K - 30K years ago the human species took a major step beyond most other life forms on this planet; we became self-aware. We became aware of our awareness. With that new metacognition we began making decisions about things relative to how they affected us as an individual. I would call that free will.
A strong case could be made that the onset of that metacognition/self-awareness/free will was the dawn of the age of suffering.