SOMATOLOGY | The Unique Self Teaching Brought Down to Earth

Too often, people get entangled or confused by the whirl of words and abstractions of spiritual teachings not familiarly connected to personal experience. Zen Buddhist practitioners know this pitfall -- confusing the "finger pointing at the moon" with "the moon", itself.

The solution to this problem lies not in the mind, but in the body-sense, which includes feeling and movement, mind and intuition, and which is the living matrix of all expressions of consciousness available to humans.

This is not reductionism of everything to the body-sense; it's recognition that "mind" IS the interiority of "body".

This piece integrates the teachings of Unique Self and of Somatic Education, linking the languages of spirituality, science and philosophy to immediately accessible and recognizable personal functions. Spirituality brought down-to-Earth.
A great mystery that all of us share
that I have found to be a perennial source of wonder


How can this consciousness (or awareness) that seems to have a location (i.e., here, where I am) somehow be constant and unchanging throughout our lives, regardless of situation, location, state of mind or speed of travel?
How can Universal Consciousness,
unchanging consciousness, 
that which has not changed to any degree all my life,
seem to be here, where I, ever-changing,
verily am?

This would seem to be the central question of all considerations of Unique Self.
For I am nothing, if not "process-in-change", and nowhere, if not apparently here as "someone" or as "something". To deny that would be to deny our unique perspectives.

"I" am ever-changing . . . . . and even though I may seem to have particular characteristics, they are (I am) always fluctuating, to some degree, over longer or shorter periods of time.

However, the awareness that is present wherever I am present seems anything but characterized by fluctuation.  That nature doesn't change over time.

So, for all my changing and fluctuating, I am unchangingly "Here" to myself (at the One Location, the "placeless place", "the timeless time") and have not moved or changed (in my Hereness at This Location) to the slightest degree throughout my lifetime, regardless of where I have gone or been.  In a sense, I'm like the eye of a hurricane living in, as and through the movements of everything that is the body of the "weather system" of Life, of which I-as-Hereness am the eye. I (Hereness as the One) am personally and paradoxically present as the experience of hereness as The Many. Go figure.

Hereness isn't the result of anything I do, nor is intuition of hereness. Hereness IS -- prior to and perfectly reconciled with every movement in consciousness. Attempts to apprehend Hereness apprehend an unfathomable mystery (no-concept).  The effort to apprehend Hereness as "a something, someplace" imposes a form of self-contraction on Hereness. When that effort is recognized as contraction and falls away, Hereness is self-disclosed as self-radiant, foundational, unbounded. Hereness is where we already are.  A good way to recognize and disarm that effort (which may be very "spiritually seductive") is The Gold Key Release. 

The Gold Key Release
(fully descriptive instruction)

"The Foundation of Unique Self
Tenet 1: Perspective is Foundational
Integral philosophy maintains that the deep structure of reality is composed of perspectives.  Whether we take this commitment as "strong" (ontologically real) or "weak" (usefully descriptive), we can still easily understand that all sentient creatures have a perspective."
(Gafni, ibid, page 6)

"Perspective" is another word for a focal center of hereness in Hereness
Our famous cousin, Albert Einstein, did the thought experiments that led to his theories of General and Special Relativity by exploring perspectives. 
Ramana Maharshi left us a clue about Hereness and identity: In his last days, dying of cancer, observing the despair of his devotees, he said, "What a pity! They are despondent that Bhagavan is going to leave them and go away!  But where would I go?  I am here."

I appear to be localized awareness -- my location and nature apparently defined by my surroundings and relationships, and by persons I never have met but who affect the space of experience we all share. I am conditionally here, but also (universally) Here, independently of my surroundings and relationships -- only undefined, in that "Here" sense.  My "Hereness" is the central, universal location of everyone else (all sentient beings), only their conditional "here-ness" is different from my conditional "here-ness", even if our "Heres" are all the same.  We are all "Here", to ourselves, and everything and everyone else appears to be, "there".  A fine kettle of fish, that is.

Even though our own thoughts or feelings, when regarded by ourselves, seem to be "there", when regarded, the amazing fact is, we're not even sure of the extent to which these are our own thoughts, though we assume they are our own and that we have a separate mind of our own.

Nonetheless and regardless of "whose" thoughts they are, this sense of "Hereness" that is everyone's central locator appears never to change, regardless of external relations and the movements of time.  Present in all relations and in all movements of time, Here is the universal identifying location for all somatic presences (sentient beings -- beings who sense themselves and their environment, and who move themselves in their environment).

Here and There:  Harpo is "Here" to Harpo and that cute girl is "Here" to herself.  Harpo sees the girl "over there".  Eagerly, Harpo beckons to the girl, "come here". Two aspects of 'hereness' -- courtesy of eros and The Marx Brothers.

The eternality or "Hereness"
of timeless aware-beingness
coincides perfectly with temporality
-- everything temporary --
the timeliness of my changing existence.  
Hereness coincides with everything. 

And so it is that ...
"... this is the stage of evolution of human consciousness at which my felt ever-present unity of reality -- a state of ongoing flow presence," if you will -- and the unique characteristics of my own life and perspective -- the unique evolutionary features of my life -- intersect and find a cohesive and stabilized integration".
(Gafni, Journal of Integral Theory and Practice, 6(1), p.5)

So, how is this possible?  What am I, for that to be so?

First  -- did you understand it? O.K.
If not so much, go back and re-read it.  Go ahead; you'll like it even better.


In answer to the "What am I" question, the term, "conscious incarnation" comes to mind. Seem to fit?

As to the "how" and "what" of it, I've got some, what may be fascinating perspectives to show you, but my favorite, non-dual answer makes it all as plain as a hamburger (or veggie-burger).  What is to come, in this flight of words, as far out as it may seem, will actually seem to make sense -- glory hallelujah!  I will surprise you with it once I have laid some groundwork.

Enter Mr. Barnum:

"Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, and look this way.  See what few have seen."

In the main ring,
directly before you,
feast your attention upon matters of great import,
matters of mystery,
matters of existence,
matters related to the heart/essence of being alive,
matters that have confounded philosophers
since ancient times
and dumbfounded even the wise.

Feast your attention upon:
  • the simple mark of uniqueness
  • the nature of Unique Self (as I uniquely and commonly mean it)
  • the dynamics of the presumption of separateness and their status
  • the essence of somatic existence
  • a colorful look at some somatic functions
  • currently-identified Foundation Tenets of Unique Self
  • identifiable tenets of somatic existence
  • space-time
  • evolutionary emergence
  • local and non-local awareness
  • common quaint experiences of somatic existence
  • how to wash your own mind and still keep your curl
  • wise and pithy words from guest sages and humorists.
Take a breath. We start, momentarily. And away we go . . . . .

"Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention, please.  This is to confirm that you're on-board, "Somatology flight 731:  The Unique Self", destined for Here.  If Here is not your intended location, please notify one of us, now, and we'll help you arrive at your intended location.  We depart shortly.
This will be an approximately 49-minute flight of thought at a speed of about 1.133 pages per minute.  With favorable winds, we may arrive sooner, but our flight plan shows possible turbulence on route.
For your convenience, before our departure, we'd like to acquaint you with the features of this Full-Spectrum Somatics Omnibus entry.
In the event of a spiritual emergency, there are eight escape routes -- two in the front (just below the title and after the first paragraph), at the front of each of four sections, and two in the back, by the lavatory.  You may also escape by going to the end of a paragraph and leaping.
For customers who have not flown with us, before, we'll be traveling at a trans-vision-logic altitude for most of this flight and our flight will be permeated by a steadying attention-field for your flight comfort and pleasure.
At the end of this flight, there are complementary clickable underlined links for richer explorations of certain topics, should you be curious about some of our other flights and destinations.  Some of our customers wonder about these other riches.  We are pleased to show them to you and how they are created (sounds of heavy, labored breathing and power tools).
Thank you for flying {name of publication}."

Thank you, {name of publication} mouthpiece.

Overall, in this piece, I touch upon topics in pretty much summary form, but there's a lot and you should consider it an act of mercy that I'm not elaborating on every topic at depth and in detail, or we might have a work as thick as Sex, Ecology, Spiritualty.  Well, maybe not as thick.

The ideas may be fascinating, provocative -- edgy, even -- but it's what they may do to attention that may be even more interesting.  They are psycho-active. The effect may be that attention feels more gathered, steadier, more penetrating, clearer, quieter, more astute; not full of ideas that one is desperately trying to to remember and to understand or pretend to understand -- heaven help us -- but a clearer, deeper, quieter attentional-intentional space (poise), equipped with certain skillful means to develop still greater clarity "of" mind, and also, freedom "from" mind.

If you have trouble with freedom "of" mind, I'll send in Groucho.
If you have trouble with freedom "from" mind, I'll send in Harpo.

Don't tempt me.


Have you ever contemplated that The Universe (or Omni-verse, for all we "parallel Universe" enthusiasts) exists in and as a Mystery?

It's not just that the appearance of Universe is a mystery (Why, in the world, is there anything?).

It's not just that The Apparent Universe is finite (limited by the speed of light's expansion starting 13.7 billion years ago, with the Big Bang -- which I prefer to refer to as The Big Flash or The Big Eye Opening)

It's not that (according to the astrophysicists and astronomers) The Apparent Universe is apparently expanding at an ever-increasing rate into -- WHAT?

It's not that the appearance of the Naked Singularity (Hereness), the Ground of Being of the Universe from which the Big Flash flashed into existence, is ENTIRELY UNACCOUNTABLE.

It's that everything that exists seemingly emerges from NOTHING and that the same is true of us, an aspect of the emanation of, and present-moment expression of, The Big Flash/The Big Eye-Opening -- still Opening.

O.K. I need to close a loophole, here.

"Nothing" is not something from which everything emerged.  That's still something.  "Nothing" is incomprehensible, undefinable, non-conceptual, non-local, unchanging, and as much "here" as "nothing here".  Whatever you got from my last statement, that's not it, either.  It's not something that can be "looked at"; it's where we "come" from.  It's trans-conceptual, directly experiential, but devoid of particular attributes -- kind of like the "cosmic noise" found by radio telescopes, the same intensity in all directions (at 3 degrees, Kelvin, or minus 270.1 degrees, Celsius).

OK.  We can open the loophole, again.

As a matter of quick reflection (checking in), "nothing" is the same as the "Hereness" that we all share, that is at the heart of, that pervades and illuminates all of us, the universal of our somatic existence.  It is The One, "This," of all of us, that has never changed throughout our lifetime, and that is present now -- except for one thing:  It isn't an object of attention with boundaries and a center, but better-described, in my experience, as a field -- but again, without particulars, without turbulence or "signal" -- a field that is not "self or other" (because not particular), but not "not-self" because essential to ourselves. Attempts to "look at" Hereness or to intuit Hereness treat Hereness as an object among all other objects in our hereness; that very attempt must be recognized and released, for us to fall into our Ground of Being. (See "The Lightning Bolt" - or - "Thor's Hammer" TetraSeed Transformation Procedure.)

Whatever we are as "Unique Self" is, we incorporate or embody that.

HOWEVER, we seem to be in a bit of a pickle:  For us to apprehend (or to intuit) "That Actuality" (Hereness) seems to require a kind of maneuver in consciousness that sifts out that Intuition of the Eternal from all of the distracting particulars of our lives.  Our distraction by everything seems to absorb attention so that there is little left over for the intuition of awareness by awareness as awareness.  There seems to be a limit to the attention we can direct at any moment.

I say, "seems", because only in the beginning is that "sifting" necessary for that intuition, and in fact, that intuition is very easy to recognize without any gymnastics of attention.

Here it is: Riding in a car or jet, have you ever noticed that, no matter how fast or slowly you are traveling, "Hereness" isn't moving? It's always where you are. Ken Wilber wrote of the experience he had of a shift of perspective from outside to "Hereness," when he was jogging, one day -- in which, rather than he moving toward his destination, he perceived his destination was coming toward him, in his sense of Hereness. (The same thing happened to me, only it was a cute girl coming toward me, and my sense of Hereness wasn't moving.) Hereness, when (tacitly) recognized, is obvious.

This obviousness is . . .





However, as I have said, we commonly fail to notice The Supra-Kosmic Hamburger (or as I shall also refer to it: hereness in Hereness), so distracted may we be by all the garnishes (everything "here and there").  We reduce The Supra-Kosmic Hamburger to the garnishes.  It happens every time we're in a pickle that seems like it will last forever.  "Hereness" is the "bun" of The Supra-Kosmic Hamburger -- hereness is the meat.   "Hereness" is also the platter on which The Supra-Kosmic Hamburger is served, the one who serves Lunch, and hereness Hereness the One who eats the Lunch.

"The Foundation of Unique Self 
Tenet 2: Uniqueness is Obvious 
All Human beings and perhaps all sentient beings have a unique perspective.  This perspective will be unique on the one hand due to different location -- all perspectives have a unique angle of perception -- but also due to the different psychology, biology, culture, and history of each creature and its context."
(Gafni, ibid, p. 6)

For this discussion, I felt I have had to define, "Hereness", in its most intimate, transcendental sense -- you know, closer than breathing? -- a special sense of Hereness not defined by our location (in terms of first-, second- and third-person perspective of surrounding persons, events and objects), but defined (actually undefined) by and as our most intimate zeroth-person experience -- I-I, "Here", no matter where I am or how I am moving.  Point made.  I hope.

Hereness is the #1 attribute of Unique Self, of somatic existence.

However, it is also the #1 attribute of egoic (or "remembered and held" self) -- but generally unnoticed.  The Supra-Kosmic Hamburger (Hereness) gets missed for the sake of the garnishes (hereness).

The Supra-Kosmic Hamburger is #1 -- the "alpha" and the "omega".  "Meat! The final frontier!"

Generally, whatever we consider self to be is based upon memory.

Memory circumscribes/limits/defines the habitual movement of attention, not rigidly, like a sack, but like an attractive force-field, with some elasticity . . . a strange attractor.

So, we presume to be limited.  A "memory snapshot" of ourselves at any time (a summary conclusion about ourselves) gives the impression of being "separate", but for one reason, only -- 

  1. A snapshot is static, not dynamic, and though it gives the impression of being something distinct and permanent, one cannot reliably infer behavior from a snapshot, but in doing just that, we are attributing separate/differentiated existence to some identity.
  1. When attention is bound and looping in memory, we don't feel so good or feel so clearly, so overwhelmed are we by our own memories.  How able, then, are we to feel others so well, in the daily interactions that make up our interdependence? Submerged in our state, we feel alone.  Then, feeling alone, we may try to control our state by forcefully thinking, quickly converting every moment-to-moment experience into a memory-word representation, reasoning with ourselves.  We are left with a world (or whirl) of words, a conceptual "flatland".  

    OK, two reasons -- both numbered, "1"! -- but who's counting?

Our sense of possibility tends to be limited by the "gravitational attraction" of memory.  Memories are condensations of attention into persistent forms, and those persistent forms seem to tell us what's what, what's possible, and what isn't possible.  Memories are "strange attractors" that tend to confine us to possibilities close to what we remember.  Possibilities dissimilar from memory seem to be unlikely or improbable, even more dissimilar -- difficult or impossible to reach, and still more dissimilar -- inconceivable.

Memories, as strange attractors, give us our sense of "conditional hereness" -- subjective 1st person, 2nd and 3d-person hereness.  Like gravity, they have a constraining pull (actually, our own unconscious, habitual attachment to them).  And like gravity, to escape these strange attractors seems to require something equivalent either to "escape velocity" (power of intention, "aiming into the Void", intuiting Mystery, observing silence or Silence, recalling that our knowledge is partial and temporary, riding/surfing the edge of emergence, etc., etc.) or levitation (related to levity -- free attention) -- but actually only requires recognition of it as our own committed activity and desisting from it.

Memories obscure not just our zeroth-person Hereness,
not only uniquely color our intuition
and our expressions as Unique Self
but our sense of Now, right now.

Our sense of "now"
is the play of Totality
upon the uniquely tuned harp 
of our unique perspective.

Memory consists of patterns within the formless eternality of true "Now-ness".
True "Now-ness" is "zero"th-person Hereness ( <== reflect),
"Now" is without form;
if it has form, it ain't "now" -- it's "then" : memory.

(Notice how, when you say, "then", it feels like what we mean by, "now".)

Here's where I clarify an essential point:  Unique Self is only approximately known (as knowledge); it is (I am) "emergent".  If we feel we know what it is (I am), we are relying upon memory -- and memory is always of what has gone before. 

So even if we say something is unique or use the word, "unique", and we mean (and this is popular parlance) "really different" or "really distinctive", we act as if it is closely or distantly equivalent to something else.  But this is wrong. "Unique" means "one of a kind".  A singularity.  Something in contrast with everything else, but unknown as itself.

If it's unique . . .
we don't know 
what in the world it is
or more than approximately
how to handle it

and so must respond
without knowing,

from an unknown place

i.e., spontaneously.

(Sounds like an experience I had with a certain woman.  Go ahead, laugh. You know it's true.)

"To be unique means to be irreplaceably singular, a constitutive exception to the universal, an unobjectifiable secret that resists full articulation or appropriation in any system of meaning making."
(Gafni, ibid., p. 2)

Does sound like a characterization of Woman, does it not?

Now, not knowing "what it is", as it pertains to ourselves
(and as Unique Self-expressions, it does pertain to ourselves),
not knowing leaves us not knowing "who we are".
(If anything, we know just who or how we have been);
but just being who we are --
with only approximate knowledge of the present moment,
necessarily acting from who we are,
without fore-knowledge of what we're going to do, next,
without sure fore-knowledge of any outcome.

The thing is, it's only some emergent experience
making an imprint known in us (in me)
with what we hold in memory
and emergent imagination,
creating a new, unique, unfolding experience.

The event, when it, itself, occurs,
with us (with me) in the midst of it,
always happens differently than we anticipated,
even if reminiscently familiar.
We say what we say
the way we said it
out of the emergence of the present moment.

Foreknowledge is approximate.

And our memories . . . ?

The memories we form in the course of experience
are our sense of who we are --
The memories that form in us
form us
and tend to conform us
to what we already know.

But memories are only approximate
and ongoingly changing.

To continue:
I'll take it a step further.

Unique Self is a name we give to a process of emergence of new experience in Mysterious Hereness -- like the Big Flash/Big Eye Opening occurring in Great Mystery.  It's emergence of "hereness" from or in "Hereness" (think, "birth").

And that is always, presently, the case.  It's our ordinary, present life-presence.

Got that?  Good.  (Then maybe you can explain it to me.)

Now consider this:  In any instance, we don't know what our next thought is going to be.  Our thoughts emerge out of -- WHERE?  Ah HAH!!!


Thought is memory.  But as it's altered memory/imagination (every line of thought is always at least slightly different than what preceded it), it's also emergent.

Who was it that said that 99% of our thoughts are repetitions of past thoughts?  Deepak Chopra?  Mark Twain?  Mr. Natural?  I don't know.

Memory is one of the four basic functions of universal existence.  Memory, regarded as "persistence of pattern", is the continuity of everything. (The others are imagination: emergence; attention: location; and intention: tendency or motion.) The Universe(s) is/are gigantic memory maintained in existence by movement (or change); because of the existence of self-reflective somas (instances of conscious embodiment), "Universe" also has a memory of "memory", itself, and a sense of time that inanimate existence does not have.

By the very nature of Universe, memory is always changing -- some through "fade", some from wear-and-tear, and some from an abundance of imagination.

Whatever emergent impulses we have (and there are plenty, believe me) get shaped by memory because we, ourselves (as ego-selves), are memory.  (See "The Controlling Moment" at end.)

It's not just that we have memories; we are memories.  The memories we consider ourselves to be are shapes of memory shimmering in and out of attention, bridging with other memories -- changing, to be sure, dissolving, to be sure, but still, memories (persistent patterns of sensation and readiness to react).  Another name for the persistent memories of self is, "the self-contraction" -- which is really the persistence of attention and intention in identifiable forms (what Adi Da described as identification -- chronic limitation) (Jones, Franklin (Adi Da Samraj), The Knee of Listening, 1972).

"The Foundation of Unique Self
Tenet 6: We are Never Outside of a State, and Always within a Stage 
...Unique Self is always interpreted through the prism of stage development."
(Gafni, ibid., p.7) 

We confuse our conditional sense of things with our essential nature, our unconditional (formless Eternal) foundation.  It's easy to understand why we confuse ourselves; we're accustomed to knowing everything.  Knowing depends upon memory, and we attempt to apply that "knowing" strategy to the intuition of Hereness, which cannot be remembered because not a particular "something".

In addition, the sense of Eternal "lends itself to" and pervades current conditions, making them seem that they will last forever or making them seem really substantial.   (You know -- it's like that dream you had where you guessed you were dreaming while dreaming and so decided to test the dream to determine if you were awake or dreaming -- and you decided, by George, that this wasn't a dream, but that you were awake -- and then you woke up.)
So, we misconstrue Hereness as something remember-able. At least I have that tendency.  I don't know about you.  Maybe you don't.  Are you being controlled by extra-terrestrials?

I know these have been a lot of words, and you may feel winded reading them. I'm getting winded writing them.  So, let's rest.  I'll summarize.

  • Our perpetual nature is "Hereness" -- without identifiable form -- The One (caveat:  1={0}).
  • Our conditional nature is "here" -- defined by (changing) conditions -- The Many.
  • Egoic self (our conditional nature) is memory -- Persistence.
  • Unique Self is the emergence of newness
    (in somas, also imagination -- the new appearance of "unknowns" at the moment of emergence) from or in Mystery, shaped by and integrated into memory as new memories -- whose traces leave their mark the way a finger does when drawing along the water -- Change.

A caveat:  If you are attempting to follow me merely conceptually (linguistically) rather than by applying my meanings to your immediate experience, your mind may blow out, your brain may seize up, or your head may implode -- depending on what type you are.  Every so often, take the time to convert these words into an act of attention that inspects your existence.  Please.  There.  Thank you.

Now, I can say it:  Unique Self is the constant and perpetual emergence of unknown newness from unknown Eternality (Mystery) as the emergent growth of "self".  Because the quality of newness is unknown, it is, at once, sensed as form and unknown as to what it is -- a paradoxical, formed expression of emptiness. Form is emptiness and emptiness is form -- and seems that way until memory forms, makes everything seem substantial and recognizable, and makes any experience seem known, separate from Mystery (and separate from everything else).


This has all been kind of abstract (except for the Supra-Kosmic Hamburger part).  I have yet to account for the full-spectrum emergence of individuated consciousness (local self).  By, "full spectrum", I mean all of the behaviors, attitudes, capacities, perceptions, states and intuitions that characterize us as gloriously (or gorgeously) evolved Unique Selves -- tetra-arising, as the term goes, along all lines of development.

All I've done, so far, is to say how Hereness is a paradoxical attribute of Unique Self (unique and in-common), how Hereness is the Ground of Being (so to speak) of all of existence, how common "hereness" (as defined by circumstances) makes us seem localized and particular, and how Unique Self functions freely as the emergence of newness (unknown manifestations) in or from -- or in the super-context of -- the Ground of Being (Mystery), and becomes "known" and remembered.

The Fount of Knowledge.  Small potatoes.

Here's a banana peel I'd like to drop, right here:

We don't "have" a Unique Self (there ain't two of us, one of which "has" the other); we don't "contact" Unique Self (same reason); we live, perpetually emerge, and awaken as Unique Self -- a unique perspective arising in and from Hereness.

"Remembered self" and Unique Self are not two; they appear to be two only by our changing the perspective from which we view the matter -- (1) memory and (2) emergence -- which are a continuum -- and the descriptive language we use.

"It is precisely this singularity that merges and integrates one into the Single One, or the ultimate universal -- the whole in which every part participates."
(Gafni, ibid)

Put another way, the only thing that can possibly awaken to or as Unique Self is the ever-changing conditional self.  The Eternal Ground of Being (Brahman), "zero"th-person nowness, cannot and does not awaken because already awake; the Great All (unknown) awakens as somas, focal points of The Eye of Spirit.  A conditional self (atman embodied as soma -- which is unique and paradoxically shares common attributes with others, connected with everything) awakens, and because we awaken, as a change of conscious realization, to Mystery (unconditional awareness), we appear to awaken "in time", at a moment, locally. We don't seem to start out identified as "eternity, all-pervasively everywhere".  We seem to start out as a field of sensation, moving attention and an originating center of intention that congeals and consolidates memories, including memories of self, to produce a functional center (soma) capable of living.  What is "awakened to" is obviously "eternally always already", but the moment of awakening is "in time" and "the awakener" is both conditional and unconditional, something like a horse race -- unless it's fixed.

In that awakening, "Atman and Brahman are [intuited as] one" -- local and non-local aspects of the same one.

What happens in awakening is that the "gravitational attraction" of the strange attractor we call particular self/separate self loses enough of its pull -- or we loosen our grip on it enough, that attention comes free.  Memory no longer binds, so much.  (Remember -- there's a limit to how much attention we have to give at any moment.)  We can observe "self", not just be compelled to act as it.  New emergence becomes possible and that new emergence is what characterizes the prolific creativity, the genesis of genius, that we call, Unique Self.
"As identification with separate self disappears, our clarified individuality, our Unique Self, appears -- the dross of grasping separateness is burnt away so that the luminous character of our unique light can shine."
(Gafni, ibid., p.10)

As our attention comes free from the binding nature of memory,
we become more fluid
more protean
capable of finer responses
more subtlety
more perceptiveness
more judicious use of power
the tempered exercise of ample strength
the capacity to exercise creative intelligence.

It's much easier
when the works ain't gummed up.

A hint -- you can't lift the foot you're standing on; you have to have another standpoint, or, in this case, perspective.  If the "foot" you're standing on is the cognitive mind-of-understanding, where can you turn?  not to a "another teaching" that appeals to the cognitive mind.  In this case, the other standpoint or perspective is not some cognitive formulation, but something more fundamental.

I will cover how identification with defined-self dissolves and can be self-aided to dissolve, in some detail, in due course.  

For now, let me introduce another obvious feature of somatic existence.


Now, imagination is another word for, "emergence".  It's a more personal word, a friendlier word, a more Walt Disney word.

I mentioned one of the attributes of somas as being "self-moving".  There exists an evolutionary extension of being self-moving -- and that word is, "learning" -- or being self-teaching.  Learning is an act of imagination condensing as a memory. By another name, a fancier word, "adaptation", applies -- but "learning" will do.  It's not just being "self-moving"; it's being self-moving in a new way.  (corollary: Imagination refreshes memory.)

All somas learn.  We adapt.  From amoebas (or even viruses) to ourselves, all somas have memory; we form persistent patterns of behavior, and our lineages (genetic and otherwise), learn. The difference is that simpler life-forms learn from generation to generation, whereas we learn from moment to moment and may transfer short-term memory to long-term memory either by the sheer intensity of experience or by an act of intention.  We have a learning nervous system, but in the simplest lifeforms, the instrument of memory is DNA and the protein structures and chemistry remembered by DNA and it's kissin' cousin, RNA:  the jiggling repositories of persistent patterns, structures behaving (another "not-two").
Now, let me offer my somatic perspective on another saying:  "The world is unreal.  Only Brahman exists.  Brahman is the world."
  1. "The world is unreal," is being said to someone presumed to be there (somatically present), so "unreality" can't properly be interpreted as non-existence or non-functionality.  A better interpretation of "unreal" might be, ephemeral, having no ultimate or permanent conditional nature:  its sense of reality depends upon memory or imagination.
  2. "Only Brahman is real" -- again, not being spoken to Brahman, as there would be no necessity, but to soma.  A viable interpretation might be, "Only Hereness exists (for any one of us)"-- eternally and independently of memory or imagination.
  3. "Brahman is the world." The world emerges as conditional expressions of Mysterious Hereness given the sense of tangibility by memory, imagination, attention, and intention (desire and resistance).
"Hereness" and "hereness" (The Supra-Kosmic Hamburger and garnishes), as two perspectives, together, are the paradox where activity and absolute rest coincide, where all qualities and void-of-quality coincide, where knowledge and mystery coincide, where being and non-being coincide.  This paradox is a perfect coincidence.


Perception requires both short-term memory and long-term memory.  We need both short-term memory and long-term memory to recognize anything.  An amoeba has both; an amoeba's long-term memory exists in its DNA and expresses as a certain range of (very simple) behaviors through the somatic expression of that DNA.  Its short-term memory exists in its momentary encounters with stuff in its environment.  Responses depend upon a spontaneous, "close enough matching" of short-term memory with long-term memories.

That's true of us, also.

The big difference is in the scope of behaviors of which we are capable.

The process of developing the expanded scope of behaviors comes from first the formation of memory patterns and then their dissolution, followed by re-formation into new memory patterns (that include and are more than, i.e., transcend, the old).

Ordinarily, our memory patterns perpetuate themselves/we perpetuate ourselves. However, under the periodic onslaught of conditions (or potent "inner work"), our memory patterns may disintegrate or get overwhelmed, and then (may or may not) integrate at a new, higher level of integration capable of interacting with current conditions without being destroyed.

If our memory patterns get overwhelmed, if change happens faster than we can follow it with our attention and it's more intense than our memory of self, we experience shock; our familiar sense of self gets displaced.  We lose continuity of memory; a kind of amnesia sets in.  The residual memories of such events tend to persist as alterations of our faculties and self-sense as if the overwhelming event is still happening and we lose a measure of freedom.  (In somatic education, we call that "sensory-motor amnesia" -- a term coined by Thomas Hanna -- or "attentional-intentional amnesia" -- a term I coined).  It's a case of "shadow formation". The "shadow" is that of an event, unseen, because of a discontinuity of memory-formation, a discontinuity of identity.

"The separate self may have developed in order to overcome the shock and pain of separation so as to navigate reality, as it understands it."
(Gafni, ibid., p8)

In either case, "learning" has occurred, whether positively adaptive or maladaptive.

However, the matter of separation bears inspection.


Somas have the characteristic of opening and closing. 

We're open-minded
open hearted
open to experience


closed to experience

or somewhere in between.

We have variable osmotic porosity.
Our boundaries open and close.

or, another perspective

We vary our osmotic porosity.
We open and close our boundaries
our "membrane" of memory
that we experience as existing "between us and everything else."

That boundary is our self-organizing field,
the tension of which,
we experience as a boundary
between "us" and experience.

It is memory that separates experience
into subject and object
into self and other.

It is reduction of the flowing of experience
into imprints left and retained
as a defined and self-defining self.

The relationship of memory
to the flowing of experience
involves endless friction,
the space-time warp
we call self.

The apparent boundary has to do with
the sense of the flowing of time
as being different from
our memory of the flow of time.

Here's the boundary, the osmotically-variable membrane:
The degree that we hold onto memory
we dampen the ability of experience to make an impression on us.

We put on the brakes, or perhaps disengage the clutch,
so that experience doesn't affect us, so much.

We close ourselves.
We make our osmotic membrane less permeable,
more impervious.

Separation and inattentiveness,
the two symptoms
of "gluey memory".

Separation is "gluey memory" --
the "out-of-synchness"
of a conscious space-time warp
compressed tightly in strange pulls of memory,
slowed down in its rate of change,
drawn toward lesser limits of function,
so that the flow of life seems to zoom by us,
we, incomprehending,
but applying the inadequate approximations
of our memories of "how it is"
to the flight of life.

Separation is
restrictive boundary.

And there are times for that.

The problem is one of getting stuck
either open or closed.

There's a reason cells have pores on their outer membranes,
and that those pores are semi-permeable in a variable way.

It's the order of somas
to selectively take in
and to selectively hold out
selectively to assimilate
and selectively to eliminate.

We open and close.

There's a reason why we get stuck open or stuck closed.

It's related to memories,
which are our abiding behaviors,
and related to shadowy internal currents
that affect our behavior --
related to the wounds and shocks of life
the breakdowns of integrity in the face of the present moment
our unprepared and oblivious inadequacy
that leave us vulnerable to the wounds or sharp lessons of life
and leave us shocked or emotionally reactive
caught with our pants down
attempting to move
only to fall over.

We close.
Others may laugh,
but we close.

And sometimes, we open
and the continuity of memory
that makes for the memory of a life
flowers and flowers
as we open ever more.

The notion of "separate self" cannot even be taken seriously unless someone is stuck in a closed condition for a significant (whatever that means) period of time and does not evolve or grow.  Then, it starts to look as if there's something solid there, a "that's just the way I am."

With a healthy capacity to selectively open and close, new capacities emerge and build upon the old without knocking down the old equilibrium (except sometimes, when we do feel wrecked).  As an aspect of that flowering, more complex and finely tuned behaviors emerge (at increasing levels of integration).  We grow by openness into openness -- but always with the capacity to close.

Closure is separation.
Openness is awakening, differentiation, integration, and transcendence in new awakening.

Awakening is the emergence of newness.
Differentiation is the ability to distinguish differences.
Integration is the putting together, in new ways, of things we distinguish.

It's a matter of degree.

Other than that, the notion of "separate self" is a myth, in both the literal sense (the myth of Narcissus) and in the vernacular. The term is an imprecise use of language.


In all cases, learning (and evolution) occur by incremental improvements that approach the equipoise epitomized by and informed by, the movelessness of Hereness. Learning and evolution are movements of Eros in Hereness.

Attentional-Intentional Amnesia (AIA) has a cousin:  Attentional-Intentional Obliviousness (AIO).

AIO is incompetence borne of immaturity.

In AIO, rather than existing functions being distorted, unawakened functions leave the person incompetent, ungainly, and subject to mishap.

With learning/maturation, AIO becomes AIC -- Attentional-Intentional Competence.

People know not what they do, in AIO, and that sometimes leads to AIA.

Also, AIA can interfere with the learning/maturation that turns AIO into AIC; AIA can turn AIO into more AIA.  Shadow can turn innocent incompetence into more Shadow. 

Sounds like union trouble, doesn't it?  or adolescence?  or gang behavior?  or academic writing. 

As Ida Rolf said:  "It's not that people go wrong.  It's that they've never gone right."

Put another way, people are sinners.  To sin ("to miss the mark") is the starting point of even the innocent.  In fact, the whole Universe is kept going by sin!  If everything hit the mark, the Universe would disappear in perfect fulfillment!

Sinners can repent (turn a new direction), and that movement of eros keeps it all going.  Repentance involves a new turn of attention, new intention, new imagination, and new memories.

This matter of "sin" and "repentance" pertains even when we are simply wrecked by difficult conditions. Even when we are "wrecked", we may regenerate, and in that sense, repent.

What it takes is, first, to recognize our direct experience of the "wrecked" condition in terms of the four basic somatic functions that constitute personal experience. What it takes, next, is to dissolve all (or enough) aspects of its binding force to recover our attention from it.  We then fall back into the free (non-qualified) condition and, after a time, can move on.

Those four functions, the basic functions of all somas, of all conditional selves, of all Unique Selves, are:
  1. attention
  2. intention
  3. imagination
  4. memory 
guided and propelled by the evolutionary movement of eros into the Unknown, slowed, made tangible, and anchored -- and distorted -- by the density of memory.
  • Attention is the root of the senses.
  • Intention is the root of movement or action.
  • Imagination is the emergence of new experiences and new faculties.
  • Memory is the persistence of what has emerged.

Now, these are not separate functions.  Each has the others reflected in it, like the pearls of Indra's Net.  For example, it takes intention to keep attention on a memory -- or in imagination.

To recover from devastating experiences and also to evolve, recovery of control of all four functions is needed.

We place attention on the object of attention, feel the intention we have relative to it, notice the sense of "reality" we have of it (from memory -- or fixated attention) and feel how much of that is memory and how much is imagination (which includes expectations).  The combination of the four functions (made equally conscious) allows us to observe that with which we have identified, unlocks the grip of identification (and the adaptation that goes with it), and allows us to release it by a kind of intuitive relaxation.  Gone.  Space.  Room for new adaptation.

In more complex, more evolved sentient beings (somas), the process occurs faster than in simpler or more memory-bound beings.  The strange attraction of memory seems to decrease -- or memory patterns get better integrated and lose their friction (if we choose to maintain the pattern).  Take your pick.  Higher degrees of freedom -- i.e., new potentials for change -- emerge.  The fewer the internal conflicts, the better the integrity, the more coherent, the more immediate action is, feeling like no-effort, spontaneous right action, no-thing happening, flow, In The Zone, wu wei -- "combing through hair that has no kinks" -- which I know will be familiar to some of you and a distant memory, for others.

"You are free from the contractions of your personality, even as you experience yourself as personally engaged and incarnate in the great evolutionary unfolding of consciousness."
(Gafni, ibid.)

We are free to contract or release (true, in my opinion, to a degree, but not absolutely).  Due to our continuity with all experience, the fields of influence that surround and permeate us (in which we interact) call into play feelings and behaviors that lie within us as part of our potential, modified by our degree of bondage in (or to) memory.  The "more ready to be activated" potentials rise first, seemingly by themselves, but they may or may not be typical of us or, depending on our memories. (See "somatic contagion", below)

The key is to penetrate limitation -- in all four of its aspects -- with feeling attention, observe our act of reinforcing the sense of limitation (belief), and relax the sense of limitation.  We don't escape.  We don't go for The Ideal -- at least, not at first.  First, we release the fixation of attention (and sense of identification) we call, memory, and fall back into the sense of Hereness that is already Here. Then, Space.  Room for emergence.
"The Foundation of Unique Self
Tenet 7: Unique Self is Most Fully Realized as an "Indigo" Stage of Consciousness 
This, however, does not mean that the ego is annihilated.  Rather, the exclusive identification with the egoic separate self is overcome.  We are able to experience our fundamental identity -- not as an ego isolated from other, nature, community, and all that is -- as part of a larger whole."
(Gafni, ibid., p.7) 
a comment on the quote, above:

First thing:  My understanding of the Indigo stage of consciousness is that Hereness consciously, perpetually pervades hereness -- and the "consciously" part is what distinguishes that stage from egoically identified consciousness, which is buried in memory and imagination. The descriptive term: Free Attention

Second thing:  To overcome exclusive identification with the egoic separate self can be done only to the degree that Attentional-Intentional Amnesia (and Attentional-Intentional Obliviousness) have been penetrated and illuminated, the grip of The Big 4 (attention/communion, intention/agency, memory/agape, imagination or emergence/eros) obviated and loosened, and so, it seems to me, the reach of Indigo State Consciousness must always necessarily be partial.  We don't know about that of which we are amnesic or oblivious; that ought to keep us open in Mystery -- and humble.


This seems as good a place as any to pre-empt the critique that I have been performing the taboo act of "reductio ad somatum", which may be boiling up in someone (maybe you) like a case of existential heartburn.

The critique may go as follows: "You are attempting to reduce all domains of existence to somatic existence and processes. --  You are guilty of '1st-tier'-mind thinking, overreaching and overprivileging the scope of a single perspective, attempting to reduce AQAL experience to the body.  --  Guilty.  Guilty. Guilty!"

Well, guilty and not guilty. 
  • Yes, guilty -- in that (you may have noticed), all cultural teaching streams on Earth originate with human beings who are somatically embodied and that those teaching streams are directed predominantly (if not totally) to human somatic beings -- and so all this spiritual hoo-hah is an emanation of, and a reflection of, human somatic existence.  "[Hu]Man is the measure of all things." "We see the world, not as it is, but as we are." (Talmud)
  • No, not-guilty -- in that no reduction is involved or needed. "Soma" does not mean "flesh body" or "sensory-motor body" in some biomechanical sense; "soma" means a sentient, self-organizing, self-activating, self-directing being in communion with everything and acting as agency in all environments (personal-perspectives), along all the lines (AQAL) -- "particle" (flesh body) and "field" (living consciousness).

"Soma" is AQAL, alive.

Let's take, as an example, my "DNA as a seat of memory" proposition, which I suspect for some was especially potent for setting those "existential heartburn" fires a-burning.

Notice that I said, "seat of memory", not "cause of memory".

This matter points to one of them ol' "difficult questions."

How does the fine structure of the DNA molecule (genetic expression pattern) cause cellular differentiation and cell migration (shape formation) of the fetus?  See?  Difficult question.

Let me suggest a wild hypothesis of my own:  DNA is a particle/field structure/process.  The structure of DNA (and all particular objects) attunes it, like a radio tuner, to subtle "behavior" fields that exist in the "probability" (morphogenetic) field, the field of tendency and memory that pervades and exists beyond the individual and which pervades everything and everyone.
Here, I refer to the observation in physics that physical reality is a paradox that behaves both as particles and as fields.  In physics, it is said that the field determines the behavior of the particle within the field.  To that, I add, ". . . to the degree that the structure (nature) of the particle is attuned to the field" -- like a radio.

A study of the in-utero development of a fetus reveals a very mysterious process in which embryonic cells differentiate into specific tissue types and migrate to their physiologically correct locations with no little propellers in evidence.  This behavior implies the presence of a physically significant field to which cells are attuned and which causes them to move -- or that cells are performing telekinesis to move themselves.

Physiology is about particles; psychology is about "mind"-fields (of attention and intention, memory and imagination).

Now, we surgically remove the "and" from "particles and fields" and we have a "not-two", again,  conceptually described as two ways of observing the same thing.  Easier to talk about, that way.

Now, we may summarize.  Again. : 

"Body" refers to what is observed
from a 3d-person perspective.
"Soma" is all of that
experienced from inside
in a 1st person perspective.

Intersubjectivity (2nd-person) occurs
when two bodies' personal fields
resonate together in such a way
that attention is entrained
into mutual entrancement.
A carrier wave forms for the sharing 
of subtle information.
Then, all the technological, biological, and cultural means of communication available come into play.

The state of physiology is the attunement of soma to certain kinds of experience resident in the field; the somatic state of attention/intention organizes the physiology (and, of course, the relationship is circular: physiology embodies and reinforces attention/intention). The developmental stage of an individual determines the range of experiences to which an individual can attune.  Emergence occurs with the appearance of new field influences, new attunements, new particle structures (where we call anything particular, "particle").  New somatic organization, new experiences, and new behaviors emerge.  We might extravagantly say the "a new world emerges". Attention/intention is the attunement function.

This dynamic process accounts for the harmonic resonance phenomenon called, "spiritual transmission", just as it does for the resonant behavior of musical instruments and tuning forks in close proximity, and for somatic contagion (e.g., contagious yawning, laughter, and sexual arousal) -- only it goes further.

Anyone who has experienced blatant synchronicities and pre-cognitions can attest to the non-local nature of that kind of resonance, which entangles persons and events at a distance in space and time. (Note: Surgically remove the "and".)

"Horizontally", there exist physical fields limited by the speed of light; "vertically", there exist inter-penetrating subtle fields that permeate all of space-time, accessible instantaneously by intentional tuning of attention.

Just a thought.

And now, a little, bitty question:

What do you think might be the effect, upon the development of our other potentials, of deliberately awakening, finely-differentiating, and integrating our 
[inner/outer sensing](attentional) [moving](intentional)
(i.e., somatic education)


Just a little, bitty question.


It is true that all selves are unique -- and emergence of special attributes (that make someone seem, "unique") increase with well-integrated complexity.

With each increase of well-integrated complexity, two things happen (actually, one thing seen from two different perspectives):
  1. psychological change
  2. physiological change
Put concisely, with every psychological change comes a corresponding, simultaneous physiological change.

I hope you've found this essay clear reading (mostly) -- but even in the clearest of reading, when new material is involved, material that gets you to review your world-view, something may happen:


Mind-clash can be a bummer.  Think of politics.  Think of academia. Think of interactions with your parents.

As we bring forth our unique gifts, we may generate new thought-forms and new behaviors sufficiently different from the usual that they disturb or disorient average people (or people bound by the strange attractors of conventional thinking and behavior). Such disturbance or disorientation (incomprehension) may lead to breakdowns or crises (turning points) -- or just to rejection or being ignored.

Understand that breakdowns necessarily precede new integration -- but that breakdowns may be rough or smooth.  The newly emergent gifts people bring forth may harmonically reinforce the process of emergence in those who are ripe and so-disposed, or may rattle the cages of those who are committed to reinforcing what they remember, leading to gnashing of teeth.

This occurrence is so common (resistance and culture wars), need I say more?

What may not be so obvious is that the same incomprehension, conflict, or breakdown occurs within individuals in whom new emergents are arising, We call that a life crisis.  Some call it a mid-life crisis.  Some call it "a bad hair day".  Some call it a spiritual crisis -- or an integration crisis -- or the "fine line between genius and madness".

Crisis involves a crossroads and a passage.  Sometimes, it involves a toll booth -- a price.  It involves internal conflict, disintegration and disorientation that may show up physiologically as muscular tension (nervous tension), postural changes, loss of coordination (shakiness or awkwardness), the appearance of sudden pains and restrictions of mobility; and psychologically as emotional stress (with hormonal stress-chemistry), and/or as losing ones marbles and going bananas. Been there?

It's similar to what happens in weather when a mass of warm moist air meets a mass of cold heavy air: stormy weather results -- winds, electrical activity, and precipitation.

The physiological effects occur because mind"and"body are not-two, but two perspectives of the same thing, one experienced within, the other, seen from outside. 

Memory-based conditioning that has developed earlier in life and in one area of life (e.g., how to handle money) may come into conflict with conditioning in another area (e.g., how to handle intimate relationships).  In persons set in their ways, some conflict may be tolerable unless the disparity of two not-yet-mutually-integrated ways of operating becomes intolerable.  Turbulence. Breakdown. Crisis. Domestic disagreements. "Fiddler on the Roof". "West Side Story".  Madcap chaos. "Animal Crackers". "Duck Soup", "Monkey Business".

The same may happen within an individual. The person set in his/her ways experiences unconscious motivations formed in early life ripening under the stresses of life, and eventually, the faults of integrity inherited from family and society (or just present in the morphic field) surface. These unconscious forces shape the person's behavior and their habitual tension pattern; where there is internal inconsistency, a crisis is ordained. The conflict drains that person's vitality and all the unpleasant symptoms I named a few paragraphs back, follow.  Rough weather. An earthquake, maybe an eruption or two. Weeping and gnashing of teeth. Existential heartburn.

In the brain, neural networks (3d person) form as memories (1st person). These networks are the physiological manifestations of the remembered movements of our attention and of how we exercise our intention.  Intentions that are not well-integrated with, or are "inconsistent with", each other (as in faults/breakdowns of integrity) get into a control struggle (internal conflict) and -- oy!! -- we get turbulence, a breakdown, maybe a crisis.  Think, "break with tradition," "mid-life crisis" or "spiritual crisis", "break with reality"; it doesn't matter.  An equivalent turbulence occurs among our neural networks.

This kind of event may indeed occur with some frequency as we awaken from the drudge of unconscious memory running the show and come to function more Mercurially -- functioning economically, functioning more effectively as emergent Unique "Self" (in free, sane, and creative union with life-environment).  The freedom stands in contrast to the surfacing-into-awareness (into play) of some habitual or automatic adaptation or other that we don't even agree with, seemingly happening to us -- but we're doing it, out of control, runaway horse, on automatic.  Some of it may be really dysfunctional, and we see that it is dysfunctional even in the midst of being dysfunctional. "Oy vey!" Gives the saying, "shooting yourself in the foot" new meaning.  Doesn't it. (Say, "Amen, brother!")

Let's take a breather and summarize.
"... in the third-person perspective, Unique Self can be understood as an evolutionary emergent, a subtle, gentle, yet powerful and compelling whisper from the emerging future of humankind  -- this is who we can become."
(Gafni, ibid, p. 6)
(for students of Jean Houston:  sounds like the meaning of Jean Houston's use of the word, entelechy, doesn't it?  That suggests that entelechy is inherent in somatic existence -- a proposition that seems intuitively sound, if I do say so, myself -- the development of entelechy aided or hindered by binding memory and intention, and habits of attention and imagination.)

Recognizing and functioning as "Unique Self" (personal perspective/hereness [times x] True Self/Hereness) is both absolute and a matter of degree -- absolute in that we exist by being emergent, and the matter of the degree being the degree to which we are held spellbound by (or bind ourselves to) the strange attractors of memory. Eh?

So, even though every self (soma) is inevitably a unique self with a unique perspective of everything, we may not recognize ourselves as such because faded memories about ourselves and about the world overlay and color our actual experience: memories continue to run while the show goes on; we see the world-show through holographic lenses of memory, without noticing the holographic lenses of the memories, themselves. Identity. See?


Recognizing our uniqueness is a matter of direct experience in-the-moment, rather than a matter of mental or emotional affirmation.  Uniqueness is Hereness, and the formlessness of Hereness becomes more obvious as "the overlay" (memory/"egoic" self) gets recognized as occupied attention and as awakening from it occurs. (This awakening/disidentification occurs as all four aspects of consciousness -- attention, memory, intention, imagination/emergence -- become conscious in a balanced way, rather than remain subconscious.)

Both (when considered mentally) "Unique Self" and "egoic" self exist in "Hereness" -- "Eternal Nowness" -- and as "hereness" -- conditional circumstances.  Both "Unique Self" and "egoic self" are affected by the influences of experience; both learn, but "Unique Self" is characterized by clearer receptivity (communion) and more finely tuned responsiveness (agency) than "egoic self"; by easy recognition of Mystery; as a space of inclusion, expansion and rest; by more prolific emergence of "newness from the unknown unknown", by the use of memories in new ways. "Egoic self" is more characterized by the persistence of memory, identity ("I" as the remembered and imagined owner of memory), by habitual thought patterns and behaviors.  But Unique Self and "egoic self" ain't "two".  Unique Selves form a matrix of memories and leave behind a trail of behaviors that may look like as egoic patterns, even as their leading edge is emergent.  Think of scandals surrounding spiritual teachers; think of spiritual teachings. Somehow, spiritual teachers often get caught nude in the subway.


Here's something that may not have occurred to you:  The reason we feel like we're thinking in our head is because our vocal apparatus goes from our throat into our head.

Thinking involves micromuscular movements of the throat, tongue, jaws, head and lips.  The obvious proof?  People move their tongue and lips as they sound words out, when learning to read -- and some, after.

Although this behavior subsides as we become proficient in reading, it doesn't disappear; it just becomes more subtle.

In a lecture given in 1990, Thomas Hanna, putative father of the field of somatics (who gave it its name), spoke of a biofeedback study of schizophrenics. That study revealed that in schizophrenics who were hearing voices, their own vocal apparatus was in play.

We feel thoughts; that's how we know we are thinking.  The term is, "thought stress."  The meaning of thoughts rides on the intensity of feeling and gets its intensity (i.e., "charge") from thought-stress.  We feel thoughts in the locations with which we form words: what we are feeling is the subtle movements of word-formation. We feel emotional states underlying thought-stress as physiological changes triggered by what we have just thought.

Try a little experiment (of Thomas Hanna's invention):  Count to ten in your mind.  You'll find that you can count no faster than you can form the words.

Let's go a little deeper.

Thoughts are symbolic representations of the movements of attention and intention, remembered and imagined.  This is true without exception.  Even the words, "the" and "an", which have no object referent, put the person into a state of poise to direct attention toward some subject or object.

The movements of attention and intention find gross expression as movements toward, away, and around sensed objects. They involve movements that aim the sense organs for perception and that organize the muscular system for movement. The neuromuscular system is involved.

Thoughts are memory patterns that show their presence as variable tensions in play throughout the muscular system.  The first step of any action is enter a state of readiness; that state of readiness shows up as a heightening of muscular tension, as in the traditional, "Ready! Set! Go!"  Readiness is tension; unreadiness is rest. Thinking starts the movement from unreadiness into readiness.

Thought is the subtle set-up for action, the rise of tension that precedes movement.

Thoughts are somatic events.


All persistence of patterns and and emergence of "new unknowns" exist as somatic processes -- changes of both physiology and psychology (two perspectives of the same thing).
"The Foundation of Unique SelfTenet 5: Ego Need not be Transcended or Obliterated 
...ego expressions become more inclusive, subtle, refined, and expansive with each successive stage of development and envelopment ... We never evolve beyond ego; we evolve beyond exclusive identification with ego."

(Gafni, ibid, p.7)
(This tenet sounds like an echo of my piece, "We Cannot Stop the Mind -- Nor Need We")
The evolution of somas (life-forms) occurs as progressive integrations, periodic disintegrations, and new integrations, changing configurations of . . .
  • intention
  • attention
  • imagination
  • memory
which are the basic, "Big 4 Somatic Processes" present in all living beings (somas).

Now, I have promised you three things:
  1. tenets of somatic existence
  2. an explanation of how non-local awareness can appear to be local (and give rise to egoic selves)
  3. a description of the process by which the strange attraction of memory decreases (and gives rise to freer emergence as "Unique Self" with all our -- emerging -- unique faculties) 
"The Foundation of Unique Self
Tenet 4: Conventional Metaphysics is Unnecessary
... We need not make any necessary reference to any transcendental concepts or extra-evolutionary features to describe Unique Self."
(Gafni, ibid., p.6) 


"tenets": eternal, interaccomodative generalized principles with no exceptions
Thomas Hanna expressed some of these tenets, and I derived others.

Where "soma" is synonymous with "I, embodied":

Somatic Tenet 1: Soma emerges from the same process as generated/generates the Kosmos.
Soma emerges from The Big Flash or The Big Eye-opening, whose unique locations in Kosmos generate unique perspectives.

"Kosmos" includes subjectivity (1st person) as well as objectivity (3d person),
whereas "cosmos" includes only objectivity (3d person).

"Soma" is to "body"
   as "kosmos" is to "cosmos".

Somatic Tenet 2: Soma is characterized by "Hereness." 
Each soma is a focal centrum of The Eye of Spirit, Hereness without fixated or permanent definable attribute, eternal or perpetually present. "Hereness" is essential, and so, qualifies as, "essence."

Somatic Tenet 3: Soma is sensing, self-moving, and self-regulating. 
Sensation is to attention (communion)
as motion is to intention (agency)
as persistence-in-time is to memory (agape)
as emergence is to imagination/emergence (eros).

Soma maintains integrity by self-regulation based upon attention, intention, memory, imagination.

All always exist together as aspects of the same integrated and evolving process. 

Somatic Tenet 4: Soma senses only contrasts or change.
Soma perceives motion, difference, or change as a contrast between sensation and memory. "Time" is a somatic experience dependent upon memory.

The ability to sense (or make sense of things) depends upon contrast (another way of viewing the "pairs of opposites").  When change or motion (contrast) ceases, sensation fades. Think, "black cat in a coal bin at midnight".

Hereness", which does not move relative to or within somatic sensation, is the root somatic essence that contrasts with everything else: unknown origin. Because Hereness does not change, Hereness goes unnoticed or get confused/conflated with conditional hereness; because everything changes except Hereness, everything gets noticed (except for conditions that persist unchanged, e.g., ones own smell, unremitting environmental sounds, habits, things taken for granted, etc.).

A corollary of this tenet is that Kosmos perpetuates itself by perpetual change: basic paradox.

Somatic Tenet 5: Soma operates in 1st-person, 2nd-person and 3d-person perspectives, as all types, along all lines of development, and in all developmental stages.  

Those perspectives occur as, through, and within soma. Their experiential content, in total, constitutes each unique somatic perspective, showing up as language and interaction in every moment. Soma is AQAL.

Somatic Tenet 6: Soma alternates between arising into activity and returning to rest (ultimately, birth and death). 

Another way of saying this is, "Soma exists in all states" -- where the essential attributes of soma are not fleshly existence, but attention, memory, intention, imagination/emergence.

Somatic Tenet 7: Soma moves forward toward, away from, around experience.

Somatic Tenet 8: Soma handles experience by assimilating it (bringing it into itself) and being accommodating to experience (going out to it).

Somatic Tenet 9: Somas mature and evolve (develop new functions) as ongoing emergence of new functions. 

Emergence occurs as differentiation of structures and functions, integration within the AQAL matrix, and transcendence of those patterns of function (by "transcendence", I mean, "containing and being more than").

Somatic Tenet 10: Somatic functions exist as the moving physiological structures of conscious experience with both an interior experience and an exterior appearance.

Physiology and psychology are two perspectives of the same process. Structures embody and maintain conscious experience. "Function" is a momentary view of "structure"; "structure" is a long-term view of "function".

Somatic Tenet 11: The self-sense is the background, of which the objects of attention are the foreground. 

That background consists of basic, foundational movements and sensations that contrast with external sensory input.
  •     heartbeat
  •     breathing
  •     brainwaves
  •     circadian rhythm (sleep cycle)
  •     muscular tension patterns
  •     autonomic state
  •     anything held in memory
  •     subjectivity
  •     whatever is other than the object of attention

As background sensations, these activities provide a contrast for external sensations that gives one a sense of personal presence in the world.  When they cease, the sense of a somatic centrum is lost and lost, also, is the foothold for interacting in the world.

That's it on tenets, for now.


In truth (as usual) these are "not two".

This explanation addresses one of the "difficult questions", as Deepak Chopra, referred to them in his talk at the Integral Spiritual Experience at Asilomar, some years ago.

Ken Wilber wrote (in Sex, Ecology, Spirituality volume 1) of "the consciousness of atoms".  Now, we may understand that he was speculating or speaking from intuition, since the identity, "Ken Wilber", while incorporating existence at simpler levels of integration  (atoms, etc.), has no discrete experience of atoms, but rather of their integration into the life-form that characterizes himself.  He experiences himself as the emergent functions that exist for him, but not for atoms-as-atoms, and as memories identified as "his life", but not the memories of atoms.

I am inclined to agree with him:  atoms have a 1st-person perspective, a "hereness", as well as the "thereness" (a 3d-person presence) by which we recognize their existence.  Their perspective is extremely simple (confined, as it is, to the behaviors of the atomic elements of the periodic table) -- determined by rudimentary laws of polarity and attraction.  Atoms have no fashion sense.

However, as atoms integrate along the spectrum of complexity into more complex holons (integrated systems made of smaller systems that integrate into larger systems), new behaviors and first-person experiences emerge.  Eventually, a fashion-sense emerges.

My summary point:  As integration occurs into higher orders of complexity (and higher degrees of coherence -- or internal consistency and economy of energy cycling), attention and intention also become increasingly coherent and powerful, giving rise to apparent centers of high concentration -- local awareness -- many degrees or types of freedom, the sense of hereness (somatic existence) and perhaps the personal recognition of the integral nature of Hereness and hereness (The Supra-Kosmic Hamburger).

The same awareness is everywhere, true of all existing things, but for somas (higher-order holons) at egocentric stages of development, the here-signal is so much stronger (because of the evolutionary agenda to congeal "selves" through the developmental stages) that the formless field of Hereness, the ground of being, gets superceded or drowned out by memory. The continuity of awareness gets submerged in distraction until sufficient mastery of the binding force of memory, itself, gets achieved.

People drowned in memory also drown those around them in memory content.  Memory is a clump of strange attractors, the "hereness" of which attracts attention and absorbs or distracts attention from the intuition of Hereness-Eternal.  Such is the destiny of the individual who is highly memory-bound, and memory-reinforcing:  "egotistical", holding onto identifiable memories of self and other, and stuck in activated, but subconscious, arousal states.  Like my uncle.

Remembering that perception depends upon memory (for recognition to occur), egotisically-operating somas in the grip of the strange attractors of memory just don't have sufficient freedom (or free attention/mental capacity) to recognize that Hereness transcends (includes and is beyond) conditions, despite time; seeming limits are ingrained patterns of memory, fixations of attention to which they/we are habitually subject and to which we subject ourselves and the persons and world around us. We may seem confined by the memory-bound somatic (morphic) field -- but it's just the attractive force of the strange attractor of self.

Weirdly, with Unique Self functioning as manifested Hereness (True Self), and being more fluid (not so bound by memory), we are capable of modes of perception that go beyond memory; flights of imagination (creative emergences) become easier and may become more common.  The boundaries implied by memory are more malleable; sensitivity to subtler influences increases.  Intuition develops.  We may sense "probability waves of experience" approaching, with precognitive synchronicities occurring; the emergence of new unknowns happens more quickly, more easily and more frequently than in those more self-identified as egoic-self memories.  Our powers of observation become keener. We may recognize that "separate self" is a baseless conventional belief, a word-sign without a referent (object to which it refers), but given seeming substance by memory and habits of self-contraction. We may recognize that we are, as Jean Houston has put it, "more than an encapsulated bag of skin dragging around a dreary little ego".  We're a resonant, focal location of Hereness.

I may seem just to have explained the mystery of localized consciousness -- but actually, I haven't.  I've only explained some conditions that govern the clarity and stability of its apprehension.  Patterns of matter change, mental, physiological, and emotional states change, but Hereness doesn't.


I'd like to propose a little experiment:

Notice the field of the senses, as you experience it -- the totality of everything you sense.  Notice that you can see what you can see, but what is outside of what you see is Mystery, the unknown unknown.  Notice that you can hear what you hear, but beyond what you can hear is Silence, Mystery, the unknown unknown.  Notice that you can smell what you smell, taste what, in this moment, you can taste, but what is beyond what you can sense is Mystery, the unknown unknown.  Notice that you can feel what you feel, but if you include all you can feel and then feel beyond, what lies beyond is Mystery -- and not one for which there is an answer -- in case you were hoping, but the unknown unknown.

The Nature of Hereness (not hereness)
Let's put the two together.

To this point, I have referred to Hereness as the transcendent location universally shared among somas.  I have also pointed towards to what includes and is greater than the field of our senses in any moment -- Mystery, or the unknown unknown.  I have said that Hereness is Mystery, characterized by no attribute in particular, present as the location of all attributes.

If you did the little exercise (which requires sufficient freedom from the strange attractors of memory that hijack attention), you discovered that The Mystery that contains and includes us is the same Mystery that pervades us, that is neither "self or not-self", nor other than self (Unique or otherwise) -- closer than breathing.

Here's the turnabout:  "Hereness" is "Anything but hereness"; it is Everywhere-ness (like the astrophysical microwave signal) and "Nowhere in Particularness". That's why efforts to intuit Hereness (a local act) obscure it or distract us from it.

Hereness is not a product of somatic existence; it is the sum of All Totality, which to us is Unknown in particular, but which is intuited as centerless, boundless consciousness.  The non-local Field of Consciousness, as intuited at any local point, is the field of consciousness of Totality at such a fine equilibrium that we can scarcely discern its presence -- that we intuit as our own presence, closer than breathing -- the Black Hole at the center of the content of our senses -- and outside of our senses' reach.

We are not separate, but continuous in ways we can and cannot comprehend, with Totality (which, by the way, is finite, but which, because it is "fractally" emergent and expanding, is non-finite/infinite). We are continuous with the Field of All Consciousness, which reinforces our own hereness with Hereness in Kosmic Embrace. That field, like gravity, is very weak in small units of isolation, but like gravity, becomes "significant" at large scales of integrated systems, one with us and beyond us.  The "large scale of integration" is Totality.  Totality is Hereness.  We perceive totality through somatic contagion, the process by which we perceive what is outside us, within us.
What we look for beyond seeing
and call the unseen,
listen for beyond hearing
and call the unheard,
grasp for beyond reaching
and call the withheld,
merge beyond understanding
in a Oneness
that does not merely rise and give light
that does not merely set and leave darkness,
but forever sends for a succession of living things
as mysterious as the unbegotten existence to which they return.

That is why men have called them empty phenomena,
meaningless images,
in a mirage with no face to meet,
no back to follow.

Yet one who is anciently aware of existence
is master of every moment,
feels no break since time beyond time in the way life flows.
Lao Tzu, The Tao Teh Ching, Witter Bynner translation

Sound familiar?  Hereness.  Foundation perspective.

 "... my felt ever-present unity of reality -- a state of ongoing flow presence ...".

Somas truly do come out of The Big Flash/Big Eye Opening and exist in and as It.

The reason, I think, that it is said by some Realizers that "there is no death" is because awareness is all-pervasive, from the most complex holons (somas) to teeny, tiny quarks.  As Ken Wilber has put it, "It's turtles all the way down and turtles all the way up." (This is his reference to one traditional tribal explanation of the creation of the world, which is said to rest upon the back of a turtle, who in turn rests upon another turtle, and so on, all the way down -- go figure. Why on a turtle? Why not on a nice, hot corned beef on rye?  If we saw it as, "corned beef sandwiches all the way down and corned beef sandwiches all the way up", we'd end up with an infinitely high sandwich that would require an infinitely large mouth to eat it. And we'd call that mouth, Hereness.)

Soma In and As Here-ness

What makes the body seem, to some, to be an "Upper Right" (vs. AQAL) matter is that those with this view have not sufficiently awakened their proprioception (self-sensing) to feel sensation (awareness) pervading the whole body (Centauric consciousness) -- or perhaps they have just not recognized that "body" has inner and outer aspects.  Such people see and feel and think of body only sketchily and partially (with pain and pleasure being "high points" that the Kosmological Imperatives (eros and agape) put in place to provoke growth "on automatic").  In such a condition, the thinking mind (felt due to the development of the speech function) is identified as the seat of self (behind the eyes), rather than the whole field of feeling being self.

A Great Error of Spirituality, dissociation from individual self (which takes the form of spiritual efforts at dissociative transcendence and gnosis), is an effort to intuit what is Not-Self (non-local) by shutting off the "noise factor".  Efforts at living "beyond ego" have the same pitfall.  They're unworkable, an impediment to functional life, "one foot on the accelerator, one foot on the brake" or "feet on Earth, striving for Outer Space".  But they seem necessary in the absence of a way to render self and world transparent.  Hence, celibacy (bramacharya), renunciation, "I am not the body" and also "original sin."

What makes self and world dense (non-transparent), what makes consciousness seem local, is involuntary habituation in (domination by) memory -- a less mature/less evolved stage of somatic development than Centauric consciousness. Desire and resistance lend the sense of substantial reality to self and to appearances. Compulsive desire and compulsive resistance (all based in memory) fixate attention and intention upon memory and imaginings in a self-reinforcing feedback loop in orbit around one or more strange attractors of attention.

The paradoxical, but immediately accessible way, to dissolve the bondage of attention is to recreate the actions of bondage, and thus master them.  As I say it in my somatic education practice, "Whatever you're doing wrong, do it more -- and then less." This approach empowers our "recognizing it as our own committed activity and desisting from it". Master both directions -- in and out -- and retain the functional potential as well as the ability to desist from any expression of it.  The Middle Way, which is not a "middle" way, but the all-inclusive way.

Traditional ways to overcome compulsive desire and resistance are "yama-niyama" and austerities.  They are ways to accomplish mastery of attention, intention, memory and imagination -- but limited or flawed in their application if motivated or perpetuated by dissociative or fixedly restrictive intentions. They leave you stuck with the discipline.

It is to be the body -- not as a mental effort, not as a philosophical stand, not as a hypothetical truth, but by awakening proprioception (internal self-sensing).  Proprioception includes not only sensory-motor awareness, but also awareness of emotions, thought, and subtle intuition. Awakening proprioception is a preparatory step to using The Gold Key Release (a self-liberating contemplative practice described in an entry linked at the end of this writing), Big Mind process, or the 3-2-1 Process (as  examples).

"Comprehensive recognition of human structure includes not only the physical person, but also the psychological personality -- behavior, attitudes, capacities."
Ida P. Rolf,
Rolfing, The Integration of Human Structures, 1977

The high teaching of Rolfing speaks of "the open core condition" and "the peace of space", which correspond to Hereness; and "the free sleeve condition", which corresponds to hereness (the garnishes, healthy functioning). Together, they constitute The SupraKosmic Hamburger (Yes!!!).

The verse:  (from The Integration Process, unpublished manuscript)
Open Core, Free Sleeve
No bondage,
No bandage,
No binding condition.

No fixation
No fixing
No permanent fix.

Enter awakening as Unique Self.

It is my assertion that when Integral Spiritual Practice incorporates foundational somatic education (not just strengthening and stretching, but awakening of proprioception and integrated control-from-within) it more quickly unearths the limiting underpinnings of habituated attention, intention, imagination and memory that are submerged in sensory-motor/attentional-intentional amnesia or obliviousness -- that obscure the obvious.  Then, we may transform what has been unearthed (and recognized) through whatever skillful means appropriate to the domain of what has been unearthed.  Somatic education helps keep us honest (or realistic) about our condition.  Somatic education works against spiritual bypassing.  Somatic education is an accelerator, or catalyst.

As somatic awakening and integration of the four faculties of intelligence -- attention, memory, intention, imagination -- occur, attention comes free from subconscious, habituated functional (and dysfunctional) patterns, which subside (except as needed in the moment), function more cleanly and creatively, and can be witnessed as they emerge from, or congeal in, formless source.  The mind and nervous system quiet.  Soma tacitly intuits Hereness (experience of The Supra-Kosmic Hamburger) more easily, more naturally. Emergence has room to occur. Unique Self uses memory instead of being overrun by it. 


As somas, we are holons that consist of physiological systems -- hormonal, circulatory, nervous, etc., experienced as subjective experiences ranging from primitive sensation to emotion, mental and higher mental functioning, intentions, intuition: the spectrum of consciousness.

We receive, from the Great Unknown, an Inheritance, stored as memories via our physiology (DNA and neural networks that educators -- including somatic educators -- work with), and the adaptive myofascial web (that rolfers work with), all of which have interiors that are the domains of spiritual practices.

As lifeforms, we perpetuate ourselves "on automatic" via memories that are nothing but patterns that perpetuate themselves -- transmitted chemically (through DNA programming and hormonal homeostatis), through the agencies of culture -- family, education, mass communications media, and society -- and via "somatic contagion" -- the process that makes you want to yawn when you see someone yawn, or laugh when you hear someone laugh -- the Inheritance is an AQAL process.  This Inheritance is not to be confused with Hereness, which is without location or set attribute.  The Inheritance is a holarchy of Particulars.  It's the garnishes.
"The Foundation of Unique SelfTenet 3:  Perspectives Evolve  
Going further, we see that all sentient creatures have their being arise in four quadrants -- those of intentional, biological, and social dimensions -- and that each of these quadrants is holonic in nature.  Therefore, each aspect of reality evolves over time and thus perspectives will also evolve over time."
(Gafni, ibid, p.6)

The universal evolutionary trend is from lesser degrees of freedom, simpler behaviors, and mechanistic perpetuation of patterns (characterized by Newton's first law of motion:  "What is in motion tends to stay in motion unless influenced by an outside force.") subject to the law of Entropy (systems tend to evolve from uniform unity to increasingly various and complex patterns) toward a seemingly impossible direction: self-initiated movement toward higher and more finely articulated integration, and finally, toward self-teaching, self-origination, self-evolution, via self-transcendence.

The laws of inertia -- expressed in terms of velocity and momentum -- are increasingly superceded by the laws of emergence -- expressed in terms of self-originated acceleration in new directions and as decelerations (the ordinary intentional movements of living things/somas toward involvements). Inertia is memory; acceleration and deceleration (toward and away from experiences) are acts of attention and intention guided by eros (the secret name for entropy).

The Big Flash/Big Eye-Opening started with one perspective (The Naked Singularity), which saw nothing, and which occurred by awakening, differentiating, and integrating perspectives -- the intention to BE, explicitly.  (Don't ask me where the intention or tendency to do that came from.  Wherever it came from, it was the paradoxical recognition of the Naked Singularity, by itself, as a nothing -- another one of those "difficult questions".)

The next step was to have those perspectives evolve into somas.

The next step was to have somas evolve.

The next step was/is to have somas self-evolve. 

These are all 1st-tier steps of differentiation, integration and transcendence.

The next step is the integration of all those differentiated perspectives toward the "asymptotic" destiny (strange attractor) of increasingly integrated holons in Hereness -- singularity in multiplicity -- and the appearance of a new kind of somatic holon (2nd-tier somas) -- with the capacity to awaken as other perspectives, and so transcend (include and be more than) any single perspective.

And the next step is for each of those somatic holons to generate new perspectives from our own Hereness (the gifts of Unique Self) -- the origination of, not possibilities-within-Universe, but the possibilities available with communication throughout Omniverse (all potential "parallel" universes). This is not "a-perspectival" or "omni-perspectival" madness, but selective resourcefulness within space-time.

As Omniverse, The Big Bang becomes The Big Super-Sneeze.
"What needs to be 'trance-ended' is exclusive identification with the egoic separate self, for it is this sense of being but a skin-encapsulated ego that creates a sense of suffocation, fear and drabness that passes as our life."
(Gafni, ibid., p.11)

At the self-evolving stage, while it may be said that, in evolution, nothing is lost, I say that for evolution to occur, the grips of old patterns upon us -- and our compulsive gripping upon them -- must be lost, or be dissolved -- or they ultimately give rise to self-limiting internal conflicts and the sense of being "a skin-encapsulated ego".  We need to "clean house" to rid ourselves of outdated and counterproductive adaptive patterns that bind us (make us set in our ways).  House cleaning must ultimately address attachment to all virtues, which are actually more binding than common habits because we don't tend to re-evaluate them, and so we become inflexible and subject to mysterious-seeming internal conflicts and double-binds (know what I mean?).

Internal conflicts and double-binds come from "shadow material" -- memory patterns with which we have identified and from which we are dissociated and so cannot recognize, even as they reinforce egoity.  Shadow material persists as imbalanced awakening of the four faculties of intelligence -- attention, memory, intention, imagination/emergence.

It is as likely to be attached to identified with virtues as with vices. Virtues often escape the scrutiny of spiritual practice, even as we reinforce them. That makes doing shadow work on virtues as or more necessary than doing shadow work on vices. It is for that reason that "cleaning house" of attachment to our virtues is "helpful", and not because virtues may be "inconvenient".

A gigantic bulk of shadow material exists, like the body of an iceberg, below the surface, unrecognized but present as the tensions that set our posture, shape our movement; color our experience, behavior, and habitual moods; and constitute the controlling logic of self and behavior.  To develop proprioception (the capacity to sense our internal state/process) helps to surface and make shadow material visible to ourselves.

The great advance of Unique Selves is not just the inclusion of the personal self in "Enlightened Consciousness" -- but the awakening and progressive mastery of the Big 4 Somatic Functions of Intelligence, which include the capacity to inspect our own living processes from within (with help from outside, on occasion).  The dissolution of old adaptive patterns that put drag on creative emergence (one function of death) comes under the purview/dominion of our emergent ability to observe "self" and our ability to deliberately dissolve and reshape what we have previously identified as "self". The dissolution of binding virtues makes space for the emergence of "Crazy Wisdom" (if the dissolution of binding vices occurs, also -- otherwise, it's just "crazy").

Thomas Hanna, who was one of my seminal teachers, referred to and elaborated upon this process in his book, Bodies in Revolt, and to those who enact it as "proto-mutants" and "mutants" ("Unique Selves" is a nicer, less creepy term). He further elaborated upon the process, as it might appear throughout human societies, and described the immaturity of first-tier authoritarian obstructionism in American politics, in his electrifying book, The End of Tyranny (the front cover of which features the image of a lightning bolt). 

I say more about this topic in other writings of mine and I introduce simple processes that use awareness and control of the Big 4 Somatic Functions of Intelligence (attention, intention, imagination and memory) in a process that I call, "The Gold Key Release" (which does, in its way, something similar to the "3-2-1 Process" taught by Diane Musho Hamilton and the Big Mind Process taught by Genpo Roshi).

Now, this entire essay, and particularly the section, The Turnabout, are Strange Attractors with the capacity to entangle attention and intention, to induce trance.  While that may seem desirable in terms of insightful understanding, a more beneficial effect occurs when we disentangle from them ("trance-end").  This is a case of that paradoxical, "benefit from dissolving the binding force of virtues."

If you are feeling the binding attraction, the intrigue, the curiosity, the compelling urge to contemplate The SupraKosmic Hamburger, entranced, do so -- but then, I suggest you apply The Gold Key Release and its special super-high-power cousin, The Middle-Way Memory Matrix Ritual, to the attraction, the urge to contemplate and all the rest.  I have detailed ways you might apply them, below; apply them until you can no longer remember what you were working on -- or the pull or density is gone -- or you may apply the 3-2-1 Process or Big Mind Process.

Recommended targets of those processes:
  • hereness and Hereness
  • the desire to distinguish hereness and Hereness
  • attention | intention
  • memory | imagination/emergence
  • desire | resistance
  • consciousness | unconsciousness
  • life | death
  • discipline | freedom
  • knowledge | Divine Ignorance
Expected results:
  • clean up your life 
  • unleash creative abilities in diverse domains
  • get more done with the same or less effort
  • develop a sense of humor (joke)
  • clear the way for ongoing emergence
  • clear the way for formless intuition
  • steady attention
  • exercise intention more effectively
who knows what else?
One may move so well that a footprint never shows,
Speak so well that the tongue never slips,
Reckon so well that no counter is needed,
Seal an entrance so tight, though using no lock,
that it cannot be opened,
Bind a hold so firm, though using no cord,
that it cannot be untied.

All these are traits not only of a sound man
but of many a man thought to be unsound.
A sound man is good at salvage [saving useful things],
at seeing than nothing is lost.
Having what is called insight,
a good man, before he can help a bad man,
finds in himself the matter with the bad man.
And whichever teacher discounts the lesson
is as far off the road as the other,
whatever else he may know.
That is the heart of it.
Lao Tzu, The Tao Teh Ching, Witter Bynner translation

in conclusion:

"The goal of life in the teaching of Unique Self enlightenment [and of somatic education] is not only recaptured goodness but also growth to goodness.  The former engages in fixing -- this is the source of the translation of the original Hebrew word tikkun as repairing -- while the latter speaks of tikkun in its more profound sense of birthing or evolving something that did not exist, before."
(Gafni, ibid, p. 12)

Go ahead. Read it, again.
"You know you want to."