Transcendental Illumination

You wrote:

“what if there is no “normal” and you no longer “return” to it? when consciousness of some “body”, some outer skin between “me” and the “environment” falls away…the happy delusion of me and them or it or other that calm happy separateness that we all meditate to go beyond…and then there is no control…I suppose that is what frightens me…no control over what is happening… “

In one of his songs Milarepa said something to the effect that “psychic illumination isn’t transcendental illumination”. It seems to me you have a couple of things going here—one is that you have the ability to be a trance medium, and the other is that you’ve had glimpses of transcendental illumination (that sounds way to pompous to my ears, but that’s the translation).

If you have the tendency towards trance mediumship it means you have the capacity to dislocate from yourself, and to give control over to another entity, or to another part of yourself. If you do this with chosen entities that you are comfortable with you can feel safe in relinquishing control. It’s as though you’re on a locked-in frequency with another entity or part of you. However, if you take the same capacity to dislocate and do it on a ‘general broadcast’ level as opposed to a specific locked-in frequency, you will become a sort of receiver for anything and everything that’s ‘in the air’, so to speak. Most people, when they begin meditation or spiritual practices, can barely receive their own signals and are utterly amazed that someone can actually pick up someone else’s, so most meditation practices are designed to deal with most people and most people’s barriers. If someone with an innate capacity to dislocate, with an innate capacity to receive, does the usual exercises and sets the usual targets and goals that are prescribed for most people, that person will most likely be thrown off balance because he/she will be on too wide a broadcast beam. It seems to me that what many trance mediums do is to un-ground themselves to be able to go into trance, and many do it automatically and unconsciously, so that as soon as they begin to do a meditation practice they automatically un-ground themselves as a matter of course because they see themselves as ‘going to a higher plane’, ‘being spiritual now’ or whatever. If you have this tendency towards trance mediumship, and if you unground yourself as a matter of course as a prerequisite to spiritual practice, or as what you see as feeling more spiritual than the way it feels to be grounded, and if you go into a general receiver mode, then you may run the risk of feeling like you’re losing control, and the ‘terror’ sets in. If you associate this feeling of loss of control with approaching the boundaries of a transcendental experience (because you’ve automatically ungrounded and dislocated yourself as a regular part of your practice), then it’s no wonder you back away.

Transcendental illumination (that phrase!) is like experiencing yourself as water, the ocean—the ocean can be seen as a solid seamless whole or it can be the sum total of all the drops of water in it. ‘Normal’ perception is to see yourself as a drop of water experiencing other drops of water (usually with no recognition that there’s such a thing as the ocean, or perhaps the ocean is ‘God’ or ‘Buddha’ or whatever, but you just figure it’s there because you are and others are). You may then perhaps consciously experience yourself as a drop of water in an infinite expanse of drops, or you may experience yourself as the totality of the drops of water, or you may experience yourself as the seamless ocean with no drops—and say that separate ‘dropness’ (drophood?) is an illusion (and tell others that they have to overcome their illusion of ‘drophood’)—or you can experience yourself as the seamless ocean, the totality of drops, a drop in the infinite expanse of drops, and an individual drop—at the same time. This last one is transcendental illumination. Transcendental illumination includes ‘normal’—it’s not someplace else.

You wrote:

what if there is no “normal” and you no longer “return” to it?

Transcendental illumination includes ‘normal’—it’s not someplace else. Is the ocean a seamless expanse or a collection of drops?

Permanent link to this article: