[written 1980 when I was 28]
My experiences with meditation and dreams differs in some respects NOT from my experiences from other methods such as emotional releasing psychotherapy. All methods have given me greater understanding of unconscious parts of myself, which then was no longer unconscious. While most psychotherapies known to me tend to identify between the subject and the emotions, meditation tends toward awareness and distance AWAY from the subject's side towards the emotions and thoughts (mind).
I say tends because both methods actually contain the other method's aspect. Thus, it is not a total separation, but only a weight of one aspect. Within the logic, I cannot say both 'I am anxious' and 'I'm not anxious'.
To solve this paradox, we can introduce a distinction between two different states of consciousness: the non-meditative and the meditative. In the non-meditative I AM the fear, because I experience it that way, if you can allow and accept the fear totally. I do NOT talking about the situation, where you try to escape or suppress the fear, because it is unpleasant or unwanted.
In the meditative state, I am able to view the anxiety as outside myself - this is a theoretical setup, in practice I have rarely been able to do this, but the point is that it is possible. This condition also presupposes that I allow the total fear.
This is theory, something else is practice. My experience shows that I had to pass through the non-meditative stage (ie, identify me with and accept my emotions/feelings as part of myself) to get to it meditative stage. Depending on when you start with a conscious mental development many years of suppression of emotions means that in the beginning you are literally experience to be sitting on a volcano that almost can explode every moment.
The repressed emotions initially emerge with an intensity as often scared me and still scares me. When I said before that was necessary to go through the non-meditative stage to get to the meditative stage, it does not mean that I have absolutely finished the non-meditative stage. In practice it can be experienced as moving through several layers of the psyche.
By getting 'deep' enough in a layer or situation - but only in relation to this layer or this specific situation - one might be confronted with a new layer, that may resemble the previous layer, ie. have a connection to this. Visually it seems like an extended spiral where you move up and down.
Essentially and often either not understood (eg Janov: 'Primal Scream') or poorly understood - moment is not the (re-) experience of a repressed emotion or situation (pattern), but the insight or understanding of the link between the repressed and the neurotic pattern, that you repeat in your daily life. This understanding is accompanied by an 'aha experience'.
This spontaneous and coincidental intellectual and intuitive emotional overall understanding is the real understanding, unlike the solely intellectual understanding, which in this context is of no use. The acquisition of and the understanding of the combined works of Freud, Jung, Reich, Grof and Bhagwan helps nothing. The real understanding happens in practice, in the 'real life'.
Several thousand years ago, when they in the East did not live such a stressful life as we do today in the West, traditionael sitting meditation was sufficient to unlock the unconscious. Today we in the West, most of us need to use body therapies with emotional release in order to penetrate the muscle and character armor, with whick we protect our unconscious.
Therefore, psychotherapeutic techniques such as primal therapy, bioenergetics, gestalt therapy, encounter groups, etc. are so popular in the West now , where still more people are unable to cope with the pressure of the repressed emotions (and this is the statistically greatest motive for starting therapy) or being interested in living more.
The turning point in the paradox 'I am my emotions' and 'I am not my emotions' is not only a theoretical finesse, but rather a good advice when working in practice and having to relate to ones feelings. In strong and intense emotional outbreaks, one can feel so overwhelmed by an emotion, that one is experiencing being the emotion - although one can basically still say that one is not the emotion.
The most important thing is the attitude you have before and during the experience. If you upfront have believe that 'I am not my emotions', it can cause you not to dare letting go and let the emotion come true, ie. you suppress part of it.
On the other hand, if you are able to say 'I am my feelings', it may be easier to allow the complete emotion without repression. The hard thing in practice is, that you very easily identify the I and the witness with the attitude that says: 'I am not my emotions.'
As far as I can see I am trying to describe the difference between Yoga and Tantra - this model I have borrowed from Jes Bertelsen. Where he has it from, I do not know. Almost all other models of explanation and descriptions I have borrowed from Bhagwan. In my own personal development, I often encountered paradoxical phenomena, which I could not grasp until I read or heard Bhagwan.
Yoga maintains a conscious control by maintaining the object (eg, emotion) separated from the subject (witness). It seems difficult to keep the witness and the I separated.
Tantra surrenders 'consciously', ie. you try to 'give up' deliberately. This is also a paradox like "be spontaneous". The point is that you have to make so much effort to surrender, that you cannot exert yourself more, and precisely here the surrender is happens spontaneously! Tantra does not fight the flow of the river but floats along - and with awareness.
Both the yogic and the tantric method emphasize awareness, and both have the same goal, but the roads are different. Certain therapeutic techniques such as 're-birthing' and Bhagwan's dynamic meditation (in Danish originally called HU meditation), both of which are physically dynamic, ie. that they by special conscious breathing enhances the repressed emotions' possiblity to get to sight of the consciousness, have aspects of both yoga and tantra. You try to release the mind control simultaneously with a deliberate breathing. You try to flow and just be a witness.
In the beginning, it will be difficult not to express the repressed emotions - because of their intensity - but later you try to let the emotions come forth without expressing them. You try to see them as a movie rolling in front of your eyes. Although it may sound contradictory and intricate in this dualistic languages, however, it can be done.
Both Yoga's and Tantra's goals are the ego's disappearance, where only the witness is left. From a higher consciousness plan, it is two sides of the same case. To comparison, the way of love (Jesus') and meditation (Buddha) is expressed the same difference, which is only an analytical difference between a dualistic one plane of consciousness. In both the deep love and the deep, ie. real meditation disappears the ego.
One of the appealing aspects of love is the ability to experience the egoless state. The same is the case of sexual orgasm. In meditation is for many more difficult - even myself - to surrender in this state because there is no external physical 'uterus' surrender to. But in all three cases it is associated with great anxiety to surrender to a state of no letting go of the ego.
My experience shows that I had to go through the 'I am my emotions' phase to experience 'I'm not my emotions'. My experience of deep pain and death is probably the most powerful experience I have ever had in this regard.
In order to make it concrete, I have chosen some of Bhagwan's answers to someone who asks:
Bhagwan, cowardice and hypocrisy can also be beautiful? Can I accept both my cowardice, my stinginess, my hypocrisy, and a tendency towards privatism that you have called idiotics. If I accept these trends, how will I be free?
No matter how strange and contradictory it sounds, peace is always only to be found in the midst of the pain, never in flight or the fight against, what appears to be negative or painful.
This and the subsequent in this long quote has been some of the most important to me in my development. It has often been a guide for me, some sort of 'Just come, it does make hurt like Hell, but it's the only way, and there is light on the other side!' Ever since I first read something from Bhagwan - although at that time I was in the AAO, which also rejected Bhagwan at that time - I have, in my specific experiences, increasingly been confirmed this truth, even though it is probably so 'uncomfortable', because I always hoped, that there was a shorcut thru the pain.
'A very fundamental thing to remember is: Only union with psychological pain opens the door to liberation and transcendence, only union with psychological pain. Anything that is painful must be accepted, a dialogue with it must be established. It is you. There is no other way around it. the only way is to absorb it. ...
Psychological pain does not exist simply because of some painful stimuli or realities. The pain, on the other hand, is produced by interpretations of these facts and realities ....
You have a specific ego. This particular ego continues to constantly condemn cowardice. It is because of this condemnation and interpretation, that the pain occurs ....
Only when consciousness withdraws from the realities pain arises. You try to avoid facts like cowardice, fear, hatred, sadness. Do not withdraw. Avoidance creates the pain. Psychological pain is not contained in any emotion, but arises with the intention of avoiding. The moment you decide to avoid something, the pain arises.
In unity pain disappears. That's the division you create between the feeling — the fear, the hate — and yourself. You become two. You become the observed and the one, who observes. You say, 'I'm here, the one who observes, and there's pain, that observed, and I am not the pain.' This dualism creates pain. You are not the observed, you are not the one observing - you are both. You are both. Don't say, 'I feel pain.' That's a wrong way to put it. Don't say 'I'm scared.' Simply say, 'I'm afraid.' At this moment, 'I' is the fear. Do not divide ...
That's what Krishnamurti means when he keeps saying, 'The viewer is the viewed.' The viewer is the seen and the experience is the experienced - don't separate subject and object. That is the main reason for misery.'
Source: Danish magazine 'Rajneesh', year 5, no. 1
Bhagwan speaks from the level of the meditative state to the level of the mind to lead the questioner towards the level of the meditative state. I will try to describe the differences on the level of the mind, the level of the meditative state, and the enlightened level of consciousness.
Bhagwan and Krishnamurti both speak from the state of consciousness, where they are: the enlightened consciousness (often called Christ consciousness, Buddha consciousness or God consciousness).
The difficulty of understanding this, if one has not experienced a meditative state with awareness — provided it is at all possible to understand without such an experience (1) — is that we have learned from a child's perspective to see the world according to a certain agreement, but 'forgot' that it is an agreement. Or like Don Juan tries to explain Castaneda, who does NOT understand:
The world is such-and-such or so-and-so only because we tell ourselves that that is the way it is. If we stop telling ourselves that the world is so-and-so, the world will stop being so-and-so. At this moment I don't think you're ready for such a momentous blow (to be catapulted out of the level of the mind or the ego, where the subject is separated from the object and into the meditative state and possibly samadhi, My note.), therefore you must start slowly to undo the world. - 'to undo the world' I call to learn your unconscious, projections, neurotic patterns etc., my note. (Castaneda: A separate reality, p. 219)
(1) Before I had a meditative experience myself, I could neither understand or imagine how it might be experienced. I believed in the words and the possibility. What I have previously called total understanding is according to my own definition not possible without the experience itself.
In the hope of not increasing the confusion, I will try to illustrate the experience of the meditative state, in which 'the viewer is the viewed', by the diametrical opposite of the meditative state — diametrical, in terms of the intensity of awareness — namely, by the experience we popularly call 'to fall into spell.' And from the following example we can see that the meditative state may have different degrees of awareness. I've been in both a meditative state with no awareness ('into spell') and in state with 100% awareness (samadhi or satori).
See my previous description, where I for a brief moment experienced exceeding our normal definition of the usual reality with full awareness. Whether my awareness was really 100% I can neither be sure nor 'prove', but it matches the descriptions of samadhi from Bhagwan.
In the commendable book 'THE BOOK, On the Taboo against knowing who you are' Watts writes about approaching death and the experience of death - as 'only' is the death of the ego! - in a similar tantric way like Bhagwan in the previous long quote (THE BOOK, p. 36):
'If you are afraid of death, be afraid. The point is to get with it, to let it take over - fear, ghosts, pains, transience, dissolution and all. And then comes the hitherto unbelievable surprise: you don't die, because you were never born. You had just forgotten, who you are.'
Those readers who have experienced the fear of death and the fear of total surrender, will agree, that 'words are poor' to describe it.
My samadhi experience described earlier was anything but voluntary, but I had no other resort - if we disregard suicide, which basically is the same, to escape the mind - because of distress. And what Watts says in the quote is a thousand times easier said than done. There has to be a lot, that is 100% confidence (eg to a person who has come through) or courage voluntarily to take the chance into the unknown because it is so shocking compared to our normal view of reality and of who we are.
If I had not read or heard that death was 'only' the death of the mind or of the ego and the fear of experiencing this was immense and possibly associated with suicidal thoughts, I consider it very likely that I had tried suicide. When I found myself in all the hopelessness, the pointlessness, that darkest darkness and the physical pain of my stomach ulcer, I suddenly realised, why so many people in this situation choose to commit suicide.
I have to honestly admit that at the time I was scared to death and fucking scared, and all this I do not write to scare others, but hopefully to help. It is terrible and horrible, but it is not the death, that we learn about in our Christian culture. I'm still scared to experience it, but not so much as I was then and I think, that is important.
Now back to the text, where I try to describe, through an example, the meditative state and samadhi. The characteristic of the meditative state is thus the experience of 'non-difference' between the viewer and the viewed, and this state can be experienced with varying degrees of awareness. The following quote is a description in Jung's terminology: