Thursday, June 14, 2012
The Phenomenology of the Healing Power of the Awareness Field
1. Welcome to our study of the phenomenology of awareness and the power of the awareness field. Edmund Husserl, who was the father of phenomenology, would always say at the beginning of each lecture… “What is the wonder of all wonders? Pure consciousness; and the doorway is our own subjectivity.”
2. As we know from our last meeting, phenomenology influenced both western philosophy and western psychotherapy. Western phenomenology is very similar in both view and method to Dzogchen meditation which is a form of eastern meditative practice. Both phenomenology and Dzogchen are interested in the power of becoming aware of awareness itself…where the object of awareness becomes its own self. Moreover, in both phenomenology and Dzogchen, when one becomes aware of ones own awareness, the person experiences that their mind is not their awareness, awareness is not a thought, or affect, or sensation, or fantasy or even memory, but rather awareness is simply open knowingness….a non conceptual knowingness….a gaze of direct perception. And if one is able to stay with this knowingness of knowingness there appears the next discovery…when one becomes awareness of awareness itself. This awareness is a field……this field goes beyond the body boundaries…goes beyond the mind.
2b. The methods of both western phenomenology and Dzogchen are similar in that both at times use the epoché or the reduction or to use English “suspension “……suspension of the mind as method of entering into awareness field. What does one do…One shifts out of the analytic mind, thinking about the problem by suspending the mind or suspending being in the mind or mind functions….after making the suspension one is then in the awareness state (mindfulness) and one can be aware of the mind functions by gazing at thoughts, gazing at feelings, gazing at sensation, gazing at memory or gazing at the outside, gazing at otherness…the environment…the world. A person is experientially near, or experientially closer to the experience. This is very powerful and is the basis of experiential psychotherapies…
2c. Then if one wishes, or if one desires, the person can make one more reduction, or one more suspension and one suspends the inside and outside, one suspends their awareness of objects of mind or objects outside the mind, one suspends everything and one turns the gaze back on itself, one gazes into the gaze…one gazes into awareness itself...and in doing so one enters into awareness and even becomes awareness itself…in gazing into awareness the qualities of awareness begin to manifest…including spaciousness, energy, light and oneness….the oneness of the field…One discovers that this awareness has field characteristics, opens and closes, contracts and expands, it has depth and breath and the perception of this field can be extended and extended and this field is completely multidimensional. Ultimately, this field is direct perception, perception of the manifestations of awareness…manifestation in ones own self, manifestation in the other and also the manifestation of the field of awareness in this world.
3. This field has great power. The first power of the awareness field is that it becomes the base of experience, rather then our mind or a particular function of the mind. The awareness field and the qualities of the awareness field which are spaciousness, energy, lucidity and oneness become the base of our experience, and the mind and functions of the mind can be integrated into this base of oneness. Thus the mind or ego begins to experience itself in the oneness of the field, and the functions of the mind become infused by awareness field. One begins to live in and through the field.
4. The second power is that besides having the power to integrate ones mind functions in the awareness field, a person can more easily dissolve negative states of mind and negative states of experience into the awareness field. The field has a metabolizing or dissolving capacity or assimilating. This allows one to enter into various experiences and metabolize them…when one has little awareness, the metabolizing capacity is greatly limited and one begins to live with much unresolved experience and much unresolved unformulated experience.
5. The third power of the awareness field is that the field can become not only a base within a person; the field can become a base between two persons, or even a group of persons. When the field is between persons then the field gives both a base and support to the relatedness of the two people. The field assists by providing a base and support for conflict resolution, the dissolving of negative states of mind, and just as important and just as necessary. the offering of potential space for new experience and new views, new contactfulness. Without this newly formulated base, then the base between the two people will be the mind of each, or the group minds of the groups of people. The dilemma is that it is the mind itself of one or both parties is the problem. One mind talking to another mind and each mind with their own different and difficult generational fields behind each mind, often has no base other then some intention often implicit in the speaking.
6. The forth wonderful power of the awareness field is as one becomes aware of awareness and becomes more skillful in becoming aware of awareness one begins to completely embody the awareness field. In the beginning, one learns to hold the awareness field, or then enters into the awareness field and then one becomes the awareness field…aham ah I am becoming what I am. In embodying awareness, one begins to truly embody direct perception and direct experience of the immanence (a permanent abiding within; indwelling) of ones own beingness of being.
7. This sense of the immanence of the beingness of one’s own being is a source of great pleasure and happiness. We might say that this sense of the beingness of one’s own being is the sense of self. As one feels the ongoing continuity of beingness…this ongoing continuity of beingness protects one from fragmentation, protects one from states of psychological collapse and even the profound and ever present fear of death lessens….coming and going, absence and separation, oneness and separateness no longer have the same existential drama and trauma that these experiences once invoked. As the sense of the beingness of one’s own being grows, the sense of the beingness of being in others becomes more apparent, more visible, more real, more present. And so, oneness and a sense of the non-duality of the beingness of being begins to arise slowly but surely.
8. This subtle and initially implicit sense of oneness is not a function of sameness in the sense of likes and dislikes, same beliefs or disbeliefs, same tribe or same customs, the sameness of history or the sameness of attraction, but this sense of subtle oneness reflects the oneness of the beingness of being….that the same beingness of being is within all beings….all of the beings that one sees, and can touch.
9. As this oneness of beingness of being arises, the knowledge that awareness and beingness are in some way the same phenomena….knowingness and beingness are in oneness, are oneness. This experience, this awareness, is beingness and beingness is awareness becoming vivid, even for the most ordinary of persons. A great freedom and completeness arises from within as one realizes out of one’s own experience that one’s own awareness, one’s own consciousness is the beingness of being itself…and in these moments one becomes much less of a psychological person and more of a cosmological human being…the view and experience becomes much wider and has much more depth and breath then that of our own historically based psychological or mental viewpoint.
10. So we have spoken about the nature of the awareness field, the powers of the awareness field and some ways of entering into the awareness field. We have spoken about the importance of spaciousness, open spaciousness, the usefulness of the energy, and the necessity of lucidity and innate luminosity. We have emphasized the power of oneness of the field, oneness of body, oneness between therapist and client, oneness between couples, oneness within a group, oneness within conflict…within ones self or between others. We have spoken about the power of direct perception, knowing awareness in one’s self, knowing awareness within the other and even knowing awareness or consciousness within the phenomenal world.
11. I would like to describe one more important and mysterious quality about the nature of primordial awareness. As you and I experience the innate dimension of the awareness field, we will find that it is both in duration (in time) and at the same time (timeless). The primordial innate awareness field is both in time and also timelessness. Awareness is in duration and is in timelessness…we may speak about timeless awareness.
12. When you and I are in the field, deeply in the field of awareness, we can experience both duration and within the background of this vast unbound awareness timelessness, an eternal presence. The same description can be said of our awareness counterpart which is the beingness of one’s being…in experiencing the beingness of one’s being, one will feel both the time bound quality, the here and now quality in duration and also one can feel the unbound timeless quality of the beingness of one’s own being.
13. This sense of timelessness is an unbound stillness and this timelessness can infuse our sense of time….from the immediacy of the moment, to the immediacy of a day, to the immediacy of a year, to the immediacy of a life time. Timelessness is the base and the source…Within this timelessness of our own awareness is a grounded stability and grounded continuity of oneness.
14. This timeless awareness provides for the person a large and vast universal sense of ones being in the world, a world that itself is both in duration and beyond duration…timeless awareness opens for the person the sense of unbound potential space of manifestations ready to come forth…forever and forever and ever manifesting.
12. This timelessness provides the sense of this unbound potential spaciousness that opens up possibilities of manifestation, for bringing forth that which has not yet come forth into duration. This dimension is of the utmost importance in healing events and experience. This is not a mental hope. A hope based on probability and improbability. This timelessness is the state of potential space itself...it is the dharmakaya…the unbound voidness of creativeness.
14. You and I are in time, we are in duration and yet the beingness of our being is timelessness…time and timelessness are that close…they are in oneness…just as the nirmanakaya dimension is in oneness with the dharmakaya.
15. Time does not exist separately from beings…from entities…you are time, and I am a time…the manifestation of beingness becoming particular beings in time…unmanifested beingness is timelessness. Timelessness is completely immanent in all of us and is manifest in all of us as time. Time is the manifestation of timelessness. Time is the manifestation of awareness, the bringing forth of awareness in time…
16. The Dzogchen understanding of the three kayas brings forth some understanding for us…the knowing of awareness or consciousness or gnosis has three dimensions….from the unmanifest to the manifest…from timelessness into time, from no appearance to appearance of phenomena.
17. First dimension is pure knowingness without appearance, pure consciousness, the void, the unmanifest, potential space ready to bring forth itself….the second dimension, the manifestation of energy and light and the configuration of vortexes, and spiraling, luminous creative energy, this is the dimension of the cosmological archetypes, and then the third dimension, the manifestation of earth, embodiment, humans and human minds and generational fields. Timelessness infuses all the dimensions of awareness both the unmanifest and the manifest. There is no fragmentation within timelessness; there is stability and continuity of beingness.
18. The more the innate sense of timelessness is lost and disturbed then duration itself fragments more and more, splitting within splitting, part breaking into more and more parts, oneness of experience dissolving. The mind itself without the base of awareness field becomes more and more fragmented, and the innate continuity of persons and relatedness itself breaks into bits and bittles.
19. Working within the Field of Awareness in Psychotherapy and Consultation:
How to create a first phenomenological reduction
The required necessity of the therapist being in the state (awareness) and in being in the (awareness) field
Different positions for different experience
How to create the second phenomenological reduction
As a person has entered into the awareness of awareness itself and the field phenomena has manifested itself (spaciousness, energy, lucidity, and oneness) the next step is to have the person explore and articulate their experience of being in the field. This representation of experience of the field allows the experience to be entrained and remembered and even brought forth more easily and consistently…this articulation of the field begins to teach integration of the different ego functions or mind functions in the field. One will discover the difference of being in the mind, being in the awareness state, and being in the awareness field. This step of integrating the mind functions into the awareness field dissolves some primary dissociative experience and the bringing of the mind into the oneness of the field allows one to think, feel, remember, and have imagination and sensation in and through the field of spaciousness, energy and lucidity. Also a more pervasive sense of oneness pervades the body and mind.
There will be a co-emergence of the field between the two people and the corresponding experiential base that this provides for participates in individual, couple and group psychotherapy.
This co-emergence means that the more I am in the field the more you may experience the field out of resonance. And the more you are in the field the more I will be in the field…as we both are in the field, the experience of the field will be amplified. If you are in the field and have a strong field, the co-emergence of the field may be limited by the limitations of the other who is in the field.
The capacity to extend the field is most important for the therapist and the capacity to resonate to the other is equally important. The more one can sense the field in the other, the more probable the field will emerge in the other. The sense of recognition is most important.
Recognition is not simply a cognitive experience but is somatic and is a function of resonance which is a feeling, although not an affect…a bhave…
In certain situations, and everything does depend on the situation and ones own skills and capacities, one may utilize the body to help bring forth the field, and often using the hand can be most effective...however, one’s own body must be activated by one’s field …the activation of the field pulls forth the field.
One must have a sense of activation and pacification or how to intensify and pacify the field so that the experience is assimilated and usable.
12. For some, simply entering the field is enough and then one can integrate the mind functions in order to work within the field experientially…namely by focusing in and articulating experience of the difficulty or problem or goal… a narrative of the situation. Then one can work by amplifying the experience of the narrative in the field in an experiential manner. Sometimes having discussions in the field is extremely powerful ….the more one is skillful in being in the field and invoking the field then the less one has to work in a formal manner…everything becomes naturalistic.
13. By being in the field the intensity of the field brings forth both problematic experience and resources to solve the experience. We focus in a solution oriented manner and a resource oriented manner with the sense of the field which is the beingness of being becoming manifest as powerful source. Yes, two people can participate in the beingness of being…that is intimacy.
14. The sense of intimacy is the sense of inside to inside, of knowingness in a relatively direct manner and even unknowingness in a direct manner…both knowingness and unknowingness are both manifestations of awareness and can be known directly…inside to inside.
15. One will work with the different dimensions of the field, in other words, spaciousness, energy and lucidity of the experience unfolding.
16. For some, one will work with being in the intensity of the field and embodying of the field in different degrees and dimensions of embodiment. The embodiment of the field becomes more and more subtle…the energy proceeds from gross until luminosity.
17. We do not worry about the chakras or the mythology of the energy channels…rather we focus on the expansion, stability, intensity of the field of luminosity….light becoming flesh.
18. Not everyone can enter the field but will primarily work in the awareness state which is classical experiential psychotherapy.
19. Dissolving of negative experience is the bringing of the negative states into the awareness field…sometimes amplifying them…EMDR and other methods can be utilized…presenting a narrative in a strong field is working within luminosity and dedensifies the reified narrative. The strength of the field is in metabolistic function….the dissolving of energy cathexis (charging an idea or emotion into significance) to stories, memories and narratives.
20. The potential spaciousness of the field is completely excellent for the manifestation of new stories, narratives and actions.
21. There is a polarity of the unfolding of the light and the falling away of darkness. The falling away of darkness does involve the falling away of representations of oneself and others, and the falling away of connectedness to context that reflects darkness. This is very painful and so one may not want to move. This does not mean leaving everyone physically but there is a psychic transformation wherein you and the other no longer share the same psyche or the same beingness of being. The other may be family, groups, etc.
Written by: Rudolph Bauer, Ph.D.
Edited by: Mimi Malfitano