Beyond the Ascent

This blog-series based on previous contemplative formulations here at Unborn Mind Zen is representative of an apophatic climax culminating in a stage termed “Beyond the Ascent“. Previously the Ascent to higher contemplative and unitive frames of mind was of a singular and paramount import. Next must come the breakthrough that after many years of experiencing this unitive state, it is not the Summum Bonum of self-realization in the Unborn. Authentic Union with the Unborn is not complete until there is nothing left to be united. Beyond the Ascent of nirvanic Self-hood, which is not an end in itself, must dawn a higher-estate of Mind. Hence the assumption that the egoless-state is the final goal is a grave error indeed. The skandhic-self still clings tenaciously to the aura of human semblance which is the main hindrance to liberation of mind and spirit. In this context there is no true form of spiritual marriage that initiates this complete loss of the false skhandic-self, but rather years of self-less Bodhisattvic-resolve that is the highest-good for all involved in the Buddhaic enterprise of eradicating dukkha from the terrain of Self-Transcendence.

After all is said and done, however, the only episode that could possibly verify or nullify the fears and objections to a totally selfless realization, would be the event itself—the eradication of all selfhood. Yea, beyond self, what is left—some form of cosmic soup—an Absolute Energy Particle, a brilliant light? Too often in the unitive state the great silence encountered is often indistinguishable from the Unborn. Yet there is the temptation to mistake this experiential frame of silence as the Unborn Itself. The truth that must eventually be discerned is that the Absolute is not an energy or power, and that none of our experiences of energy or power bespeaks the Unborn. Hence, it is imperative to stay with the true divine center which is a “still-point” and not an “energy-point,” and to dismiss these arising energies or powers if we think they belong to the Unborn. In light of this it is imperative to note that prior to his final enlightenment the Buddha resisted all such powers and energies by remaining in the energy-less, seemingly powerless still-point. This marvelous still-point is actually more powerful than [forms] of power and energy, a simple still-point that does not move at all, but an Unmoving Principle that wins out over every movement, force or power that we are conscious of. Our task, then, is to stay well-clear of any images or archetypes and adhere to the unknown instead. We have to clearly see that all experiential energies, feelings or archetypes are admixed with the ego-self, and that the Unborn can never be an image, energy, concept, feeling or other such dharmata.

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