Of the four degrees in Buddhist life
And how the adept for whom this treatise was written
Would advance in his spiritual vocation.
Dear Spiritual Friend in the Unborn, you need to be aware what I have observed concerning the formation of the Buddhist Path. There are four degrees of Buddhist Living: Common, Special, Singular, and Perfect. The first three may be completed during this present life-cycle; but the fourth, which begins here, continues without end in the bliss of Nirvana.
Firstly, you are already aware of how you pursued the Unborn path in common-fellowship with your fellow sojourners, until such time that the Transcendent Calling of the Unborn Spirit instilled in your heart the realization that the Absolute was calling you to something far more profound. Therefore, in Infinite Compassion, the Unborn Lord instilled that Special yearning to be at One with Him Alone. He was calling you to be his friend and so come to live in a Special manner of living that you were to become an adept among his own Special adepts. In this fashion he drew you infinitely closer to enjoy the inward spiritual life more undividedly than when you lived among the common herd.
And what is more? Yea, from the very beginning ITs design for you could not leave you uncompleted, and so you have been drawn-forth to the Singular Way—awakening that deep and solitary core of your very being. And there you shall now rest until the state of Perfection draws nigh.
The four stages: Common, living the ordinary Buddhist life—meditating, reading, exchanging ideas with others on the path; Special, making the extra effort to go beyond mere study and comfort in meditation in order to advance towards a higher contemplative spiritual realization; Singular, beyond this point one comes into contact with a spirit of transcendence, issuing-forth the complete turn-about from one’s former efforts and now being determined to seek deeper spiritual truths; Perfect, the adept now makes a complete break from society, seeking out eremitic solitude alone and in seclusion to BE-AT-ONE with the Unborn. One’s entire attention is to enter into unionship with the Unborn Spirit. The great wordless and imageless transfer of self-identity.