The developmental process is essentially the progressive introduction of the absolute into the magician’s life, with a concurrent gradual re-orientation of the ego. The natural tendency of the ego is to identify awareness with a self, but with the repeat experience of the absolute this identification is weakened, eventually leading to its abolishment.
There is a saying on the Theravada scene that ‘the arahat fractal is vast’. In other words, enlightenment as a plateau experience persists for a very long time, involving cycles upon cycles, before enlightenment becomes a permanent adaptation. For both me and Duncan, the time between enlightenment occurring as a plateau experience and the Cohen event was very short indeed. The fact enlightenment buggered off suggests it might have occurred too early – perhaps the ego had not been given enough time to adapt, and so enlightenment was ‘lost’.
But this is only true if we assume enlightenment is either a hit and miss affair or it is a state dependent upon the attitude of the ego, both of which are patently absurd.
Before the event, I experienced emptiness on-and-off during real time.
After the event, emptiness was no longer separate from reality, but seemed to be made up of it. I also gained the ability to experience non-duality by simply asking ‘who is the HGA?’, and my insight into the workings of the ego and the story-making faculty is something only an arahat or Ipsissimus is privy to. My current daily meditative practice (something similar to Ramana Maharshi’s ‘self-enquiry’) is a direct result of this insight.
I’m still going through cycles, and the other day I had a fruition followed by a kick-arse Naïve Enlightenment, involving a Big Ball vision beyond comprehension.
And for the first time since the Cohen event, the Wisdom Eye opened again this very morning. This experience made it apparent that my attitude towards enlightenment has been greatly affected, not only by the first occurrence of the opening of the Wisdom Eye, but by my new daily practice.
If the Cohen event had never occurred, I would still be using the same practice and still slogging my way through a ‘vast fractal’.
As a result of the event, I am using a completely different method and I’m certainly much closer to accomplishing the Great Work than could be expected for the bog standard anagami.
It’s all too easy for me to forget that everything that has happened, or ever will happen, is down to my work with my Holy Guardian Angel. He engineered the entire Cohen event (as my new ability to recognise my self as Him testifies) as the most efficient and appropriate means to my eventual enlightenment.
The Cohen event was never meant to be the completion of the Great Work, but a catalyst to an enlightenment that is due to arrive a damn sight sooner than previously expected.
If that isn’t an advertisement for gaining the Knowledge and Conversation of your Holy Guardian Angel, then I don’t know what is.