The Total Life-World: Bardo 1, Conclusion

In the Spring of 1985 I concluded my Master’s Thesis and its theme was an unusual one: An Approach Towards Transcendent Exposures, A Greater Ministerial Awareness of The Significance (or Non) of Visions and Apparitions. I coined the term “Transcendent Exposures” to represent all those occurrences wherein, throughout the Millennium, people have had actual or purported exposure to something manifesting itself from the Transcendent Plane of reality—like the Apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Medjugorje that were most pronounced at the time. I say unusual, because whereas the others in my class were exclusively focusing upon conventional concerns in the area of ministerial praxis, I went out on a limb to portray a “transcendental dimension” which at the time was not looked upon too favorably within the scholastic field. In this sense, I was forever The Rebel {grin} amongst my peers; from the earliest days of my seminary training, right from the start as we all shared together in the classroom what brought us to the calling of priesthood, when I described my “mystical encounters” with the writings of St. John of the Cross, there were “grave looks upon the faces of the priests” present in the room. Indeed, theirs was a world centered on “historical consciousness” framed methodologies as any reference to spiritualities that bespoke of apophatic mysticism had fallen on bad times.

The thesis was comprised of scriptural, sociological, spiritual, theological, psychological, psychoanalytic and phenomenological perspectives; it is the latter that concerns us here. The phenomenologist Alfred Schütz, primarily in his groundbreaking work “Structures of the Life-World”, expanded upon Edmund Husserl’s pioneering realization of the “Lebenswelt”, or “Life-World”. Breaking this down, Husserl [and afterwards, Schütz] “brackets” all “natural attitudes” that have inherent prejudicial tendencies towards a given phenomenon—Husserl’s “phenomenological epoche” [from the Greek Stoics referring to abstention from all belief, or disbelief) in order to observe the content of the phenomenon “in itself”, prior to any outside limiting agencies. Then, afterwards, to weigh and confirm conclusions based upon an inter-relational and disciplinary assessment of the phenomenon. Essentially, my thesis utilized this “Total-Life-World” methodology in studying the Transcendent Exposure Phenomenon. Before drawing any conclusions or making sweeping generalizations on a given apparent phenomenon, one must first enter into discernment considering “all” its accompanying vantage-points—i.e., experiential, mystical, dialogical, and all interrelated disciplines. The following is a basic symbolic snapshot of what constituted my thesis: (click-on)

Based on this Total-Life-World methodology and vantage-point, one can see its essential value since it’s an all-inclusive enterprise: all assimilating factors are thrown into the equation. Nothing is left to chance or seen through the lens of mere myopic tunnel vision—this goes the same for those tunnel-brained Priest-professors as well as ANY given philosophical, political, psychological, sociological, scientific, religious, or spiritual disciplines-traditions-schools and “exclusive belief-systems or expressions” that attempt to claim absolute knowledge-command and dominion over the Life-World; indeed, these intolerant expressions and experiences are not Total, but partial. The ancient Tibetans went even one step further and employed a “cosmic-inter-dimensional field” to the Total-Spiritual Life-World experience that transcended any limited and partial extrapolations that emanate from the limited experiences, meanderings and karmic predilections of the clouded-mind. Hence their development and expedient employment (in the Tibetan Book of the Dead) of the Six-Bardo-Realms, or formally referred in the old-books as the “Six Doctrines”: in essence, the Great Synthesis and Revealed-Path of Liberation as Self-Realized and enjoyed by the Arising Awareness Principle; a Cosmic En-Join-Ment of the Self-discovery realms within the uncreated Sphere of Suchness.

In like-fashion, the Lankavatarian Book of the Dead is an expedient method employing those Six-Bardo-Realms in preparation for the Awareness Principle’s Cosmic Reunion with the Unborn Spirit and Mind on the imageless-field of Clear-Light Luminosity. It is a Mind-Trek across all those inter-relational dimensions that constitute the Total-Life-World-Environment and panoramic-enjoyment of the developing gotra that is the vehicle through which Primordial En-join-ment (Full Recollective Recognition) is won at the climatic and Luminous Transfiguration of Tathatic-Union, when the wheel of samsaric re-birth is forever stilled and its diurnal movement annulled and purified in the perpetual-flame and Unborn Light of Tathagatahood. The journey through Bardo-Realm-One is now winding down as the sign-post up ahead indicates the arrival of Bardo-Realm-Two, or the Realm of Dreams. Bardo One, though, is not to be forgotten or neglected, for its essential power of “rootedness in lucidity” is an equanimous factor that can help prevent the awareness-mechanism from self-destructive destabilization; for as we shall see, “we ARE such stuff AS dreams are made of…and our little life IS rounded with the sleep…”

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3 Responses to The Total Life-World: Bardo 1, Conclusion

  1. Icchantika says:

    Didn’t expect to find Husserl in this series! 🙂

  2. I will return to this in a bit. I did what was to be my MSc in Sociology on Schutz and am familiar with tantra psychologies, and related cultural narratives. Doing what is an expansion from Schutz’s relationship with Adolph Lowe. His wirkenvelt concept deserves further principles. Arendt, Linebaugh’s The Magna Charta Manifesto makes a connectio, as well as a re-write of early western philosophy, al’a Gadamer’s Retake on the so called “pre-Socratics.” when in fact Plato, Socrates et al were post Parmenideans.Mary Parker Follett shows up as well as a compatible industrial psychologist out of the US progressive era who admired and used Bergson as did Schutz, and she was a personal friend with William James, who Schutz admired later when he did his courses on American sociology.

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