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An Enquiry into the Witnessing Faculty

Last post 11-30-2007, 11:44 PM by jondavi. 10 replies.
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  •  11-28-2007, 10:58 PM 32657

    An Enquiry into the Witnessing Faculty

    Witnessing one's ever-present condition and the state-stage relationship.

    If one is witnessing one's self at any given stage of develpment, and one cannot know that there is another stage above the one which is the limit of one's growth at any given time, where can we say that the witness is located if not in the transrational region?

    How can one be witnessing one's mind-state and at the same time be abolutely certain that the particular state that is being witnessed is absolutely true? In the sense that there is a belief that no other "absolute" truth could possibly exist other than the one being witnessed at any given moment, where does the "witness" fit into the structural model of states and stages? 

    How can we be witnessing our experience while at the same time we're identified with it?  Are we not either identified with the experience at that moment which prevents us from witnessing it, or are we capable of both witnessing and identifying simultaneously with the experience we're having in that moment? 

    If we are able to both witness and identify with the experience then it would seem that the witnessing faculty exists outside of the experience which, in effect, would mean that we are never "stuck" in any one given state or another so long as we are able to witness it. 

    Unless this witnessing faculty is also limited by the structural stage of development from which we are experiencing that state of being which most closely corresponds to the structural stage, wouldn't the "witness" be more closely akin to the transrational faculty? 

    If it is more aligned with the transrational, then can we be in any given first tier state-stage and simultaneously in a transrational state as it relates to the witnessing faculty?  Whether or not we can be in both places at the same time would perhaps depend on whether or not the witnessing faculty is part of the transrational. 

    Any feed-back on this apparent dichotomy and any reconciliation of this seeming duality?


    John Christopher Davis

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  •  11-29-2007, 5:20 AM 32665 in reply to 32657

    Re: An Enquiry into the Witnessing Faculty

    The identity of a transrational deploys an all-seeing mind, but how does the witness fit into the dichotomy leaves us unapparent. Mention the phase of quazars, and you get the unquizable. The air apparent is nearly grounded, so where is the foray? In a versional experience all instruments of zoning are desirable.
    "Ω =∞x∞^∞" - Wayne Teasdale
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  •  11-29-2007, 9:02 AM 32677 in reply to 32665

    Re: An Enquiry into the Witnessing Faculty

    "The identity of a transrational deploys an all-seeing mind, but how does the witness fit into the dichotomy leaves us unapparent."

    If  what you mean by "unapparent" is the same as transparent then we are in full agreement.  This is essentially the general intent of the enquiry.  More to the point is just how can we not be in the transrational region of being when witnessing an interior upper-left (quadrant) experience? If the witnessing faculty is a qualitative aspect of the transrational and we are able to witness our interior experiences in first tier, then regardless what structural stage we might be in at any given time we would be situated on the transrational platform so long as we are witnessing the experience.  One question might be whether or not the ability to witness our interiors can itself become a permanent stage. 

     

     

     

     

     


    John Christopher Davis

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  •  11-29-2007, 5:28 PM 32706 in reply to 32657

    Re: An Enquiry into the Witnessing Faculty

    Jondavi, I surely don't know, but I like the question. I get the feeling that it is a question with big implications. But that's as far as I can get at the moment. Maybe someone else will have something to add. I just wanted to nod to the good question. ambo

    Ambo Suno
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  •  11-29-2007, 7:59 PM 32717 in reply to 32706

    Re: An Enquiry into the Witnessing Faculty

    One big implication here is if the witnessing faculty is a

    transrational trait, and the witness-observer is active at any given

    stage of consciousness unfolding, then one will be functioning on the

    transrational platform so long as the witness-observer is active.

    Does this open the door to understanding how we can indeed be in two

    places at one time; i.e., in union with and simultaneously observing

    whatever qualitative state we might be experiencing at the moment?

    I AM THAT...(and this) and the OTHER!

    All in the same time-space continuum.

    If the witnessing faculty is indeed itself a holon in the sense that

    each and every stage of consciousness "contains" its own "witness,"

    then what does that make the observing witness but a micro-chip of Big

    Mind.  And if it is this micro-chip of the MIND-AT-LARGE, as Huxley

    called it, then that still does not negate its

    transrational quality.  It would seem consistent with the

    notion of "turtles all the way up, turtles all the way down," that,

    again, so long as the witness-observer is active it doesn't matter

    what turtle it happens to be observing at that moment.  Because the

    prerequisite for witnessing qualitative states of being is detached

    observation of the state itself from a higher perspective, does it not

    follow that such a perspective would be transrational?

    Are not the seeds of enlightenment to be found
    in the very fires of hell itself?

    Are not desires themselves the very seeds of enlightenment? 

    If so, then...?

    Since there are different gradations of transrationality; e.g.,

    turqoise...teal...ultra-violet, one other question begs an answer:

     just what is the qualitative state of the witness?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


    John Christopher Davis

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  •  11-30-2007, 7:46 AM 32748 in reply to 32717

    Re: An Enquiry into the Witnessing Faculty

    Great topic, and great questions.  In my own explorations of consciousness and of my own bodymind and the use of the witness to KNOW thy SELF it all comes down to a matter of choice. Coming from only bodymind with no observer present I was never going to be good enough, I was never going to" make it " what ever that means. But with coming to know that there is a witness-observer present observering bodymind I now have a choice and a say in the matter of whats next to do with my life. I am free of the constraints of the past , but ,not with only living from bodymind. So for me each moment is a choice, to come from the witness and have my language follow a knowing that is already whole and complete or I can choose to come from my bodymind and its language where I find myself speaking a world tailchasing and never is it or myself good enough. So again I use witness to make those existential choices of what kind of world I want to experience and consciously create. Thanks for the topic. 
    Bill Kilburg,
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  •  11-30-2007, 8:07 AM 32750 in reply to 32717

    Re: An Enquiry into the Witnessing Faculty

    Since there are different gradations of transrationality; e.g.,

    turqoise...teal...ultra-violet, one other question begs an answer:

     just what is the qualitative state of the witness?

    I too have been curiously probing/giving attention to my witness lately and wondering about its  ongoing state. I have a definite sense of it being  responsive to the pressure of attention over time. By which I mean I sense it deepening and changing in nature the longer and more consistently I spend time resting in it. Its tempting to see it as evolution into true novelty, although from the perspective of the stages and the span of an individual its a predictable set of always already mapped stages. Or both, maybe: novelty within the schema....

    In any case, I might be misunderstanding your question, but it seems evident: the  'qualitative state' of the witness evolves/develops with our own developing consciousness. How could it be otherwise?

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  •  11-30-2007, 9:20 AM 32756 in reply to 32657

    Re: An Enquiry into the Witnessing Faculty

    jondavi:


    How can we be witnessing our experience while at the same time we're identified with it?  Are we not either identified with the experience at that moment which prevents us from witnessing it, or are we capable of both witnessing and identifying simultaneously with the experience we're having in that moment?

    If we are able to both witness and identify with the experience then it would seem that the witnessing faculty exists outside of the experience which, in effect, would mean that we are never "stuck" in any one given state or another so long as we are able to witness it.

    Unless this witnessing faculty is also limited by the structural stage of development from which we are experiencing that state of being which most closely corresponds to the structural stage, wouldn't the "witness" be more closely akin to the transrational faculty?

    If it is more aligned with the transrational, then can we be in any given first tier state-stage and simultaneously in a transrational state as it relates to the witnessing faculty?  Whether or not we can be in both places at the same time would perhaps depend on whether or not the witnessing faculty is part of the transrational.

    Any feed-back on this apparent dichotomy and any reconciliation of this seeming duality?


    Ok, a couple more comments here. (Sorry, I went back and read the op and got further interested)

    Surely, the answer to this is a question of states and the development of stages over time:  The reconciliation of the apparent duality you speak of comes with greater and greater capacity to rest in the witness along with the movement from transitory state experience to stable stage entry. Which is to say continue to rest in your witness and development occurs. And the apparent dichotomy between identification with the 'actuality' to hand and witnessing that actuality resolves itself.

    Its a horribly linear conception, though, for if its all spirit from the get go, then in some sense, the essence of the transrational- as you term it- is always already present.  Its the presence of spirit  in the very movement/process of development and learning. Its transcendence itself and its not something we attain, its something that is there in the movement of every moment. In the tantra of every moment. Wherever there is an opening taken - at whatever stage...

    Or course in those early stages the nature of the 'Witness' might be closer to simple attention and response to the challenge to hand. While at later stages attention begins to separate out and observe more consciously, and then later still there is a return to a union. Only now the union includes the seamless integration of the act of observation itself. Perhaps only at this point can we really talk of Witnessing as transrational. Prior to that it is the movement of spirit at an earlier stage of transcendence.

    The salient point to all of this is that its developmental. Which is rather cool to come to, because it means that as far as we might see now - as individuals - or Ken might see - as pandit- there's always more development. Always more deepening and elaboration and enrichment. Always more creation. That seems logically inescapable.

    What I wonder is trans the transrational?

    To return to your question with a little more focus: perhaps its best to recognize the Witness as an advanced development of spirit  in evolution. An evolution that is not so much about the transrational - that being merely one of the stages along the way - but a dynamic of transcendence tout court. And, as I wonder just above, who knows where that evolution will evolve to.

    Lately I've been enjoying feeling how my consciousness holds/encircles my physical reality in its embrace while at the same time is 'nested within'/'emerges out of' that reality. Its quite palpable. I'd love this sense, which comes and goes with the quality and consistency of my attention through the day, to both stabilize and resolve its duality in some way. I want the third term which is, of course, just another way of saying developed structure :)

     I hope this thinking aloud is of relavence to your wondering. I've really enjoyed it.
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  •  11-30-2007, 12:46 PM 32768 in reply to 32717

    Re: An Enquiry into the Witnessing Faculty

    As we continue to advance along the lines of the original intent of this topic - to identify the relationship between the Witnessing faculty and Second Tier qualities of experience,  it has led us in a direction that opens up to the notion that perhaps there is more to the Witness-Observer than one might at first suspect. 

    If the Witness-Observer is indeed part and parcel of any and every state-stage experience that one can possibly have, then maybe it is perhaps of some qualitative character that transcends even the transrational itself.  Now we begin to get into some heady territory,
    within an area that is perhaps better managed through the science of semantics. And when taken within the context of what we're talking about here, for the sake of clarity and purpose, the issue-at-hand is one that is an enquiry into whether or not the Witnessing faculty is a qualitative aspect of Second or even Third Tier, and if so, then for our intent here, lets agree that the terms are interchangeable.  We will agree that within the context of this topic both of the terms, "transcendence" and "transrational" can be used and will be understood to mean the same thing. 

    This is an interesting distinction and one that offers much in the way of understanding the qualitative character of the Witness ITSELF. When pondering such a distinction one can come to see how this Witnessing faculty almost takes on the qualities of that which transcends the very evolutionary character of Self Realization itself; i.e., that it stands outside of and yet remains within each of the various states and stages of self realization.  So from that perpective, the Witness - in its most mature form and substance - is the very essence of what it means to "transcend and include."

    What is the difference between what Ken has identified as "turiya" and "turyatita" is the same difference between the Witness and Pure Union, I believe.  And since the state-stage of "turyatita" transcends the Witness, and since each stage to which one advances includes the previous stage, does this mean that the Witness-Observer is also included in the state-stage of Pure Union? 

    Here we open up to yet another issue, and it is one that relates to the interpenetration of each state-stage with every other state-stage. And the question of how we can experience Union in any given state because of the holonic character of this model, takes us into an area of human potential that is an enquiry into the possibility for the condition of "turyatita" (Union) when experienced by someone whose C-O-G (center of gravity) is in the first tier and whether this is really any different from someone whose C-O-G is in the second tier.

    If we can agree that the terms of "transcendence" and "transrational" will herein be interchangeable, let's explore this fascinating terrain together.

     


    John Christopher Davis

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  •  11-30-2007, 8:47 PM 32800 in reply to 32768

    Re: An Enquiry into the Witnessing Faculty


    Some thoughts:


    The 'Witness' is an emergent quality/aspect of spirit in its ongoing growth. Just as the Witness itself emerged from and transcended all previous stage states so too will it be transcended by further development. 'Turytita', then would be no more, or less, than a further stage in spirit's ongoing movement. And beyond that another stage, and beyond that....

    Which is to say the Witness itself is transrational/transcendent in so far as it is spirit. It is spirit that always already is, and will be, 'transrational'.  Spirit is a self reflexive intelligence machine that yokes body and mind together in a dynamic of growth. Amongst other things :)

    The Witness as spirit, then, is not 'transrational',  or other than rational,  its trans/other to all, yet at the same time, emergent from,  and in mutual relationship with,  all - including itself. This last of central import to our discussion. I think my problem with the term 'transrational' is that it contains the word 'rational', which is no more than a stage among others.  Again, you'd have to emphasize that the Witness  is spirit becoming conscious of itself and at higher levels can only begin to feed upon and transform its very own nature. Nothing is immutable under the gaze of spirit.  And like like capitalism nothing escapes the Witness's hungry embrace. (Couldn't resist that last, sorry - though worthy of further thought).

    I love this paragraph:

    Here we open up to yet another issue, and it is one that relates to the interpenetration of each state-stage with every other state-stage. And the question of how we can experience Union in any given state because of the holonic character of this model, takes us into an area of human potential that is an enquiry into the possibility for the condition of "turyatita" (Union) when experienced by someone whose C-O-G (center of gravity) is in the first tier and whether this is really any different from someone whose C-O-G is in the second tier.


    The interpenetration of states speaks of the 'always already to me' It tells us that we are already exactly where we are going, yet paradoxically, there is so much more distance to travel. It speaks to me of my own desire to articulate/realize/grasp better the sense I have that we are both rushing towards an omega point, and always already at that omega point. That I am both incredibly imperfect, and totally perfect in that imperfection. That Ken's thinking is both parlous as all hell and right there, and so on and so on.  Ha. Sorry,  I'm lapsing into the inane, droll language of spirit-speak, which is so intriguing in the actual experience it refers to, and so much what everyone else says, when said.

    There is a further point in all of this, and a caveat to myself as regards speculation. If we simplify for a moment to body and mind operating in a dynamic of yoking, then we have, as I noted in an earlier post, both consciousness emerging out of the body-world, and consciousness embracing/ enfolding that body-world. My own experience of that yoking is that the body-world (physical reality) tangibly seems to feed my consciousness.

    Given that the relationship of nesting/enfolding this totally makes sense. To attend to the 'body' is to emphasize/accentuate the relationship of mutual nourishment that exists between the 'mind' and body. I say 'nourishment' because it really does feel as though consciousness clarifies/tones the 'body' which in turn sharpens and deepens consciousness as the physical matrix which holds it is that much more 'toned'.  (And, of course, to intelligently move the body....)

    My language fails me here a little here, but at the very least it can be said that the line between the two is impossible to draw given the mutual interdependence of the relationship. And it is a relationship that more and more I can feel in the moment. One beautiful experience I've been having a little of recently is of intending love to the body-world via a mantra and finding that at a certain point the mantra drops away and the body-world is there speaking love  back to me.  The pleasure in this is not only in the love itself, but that  reality becomes a presence intending love back to me. I'm not sure where to place that: I/thou? animism? The Great Mother?  No matter,  its wonderfull body-world aliveness.

    Back to the discussion to hand, however, to note that we should keep this relationship between body and mind clear here, too, and make sure that our speculation is both nested within and holds/feeds back onto  our actual experience. If our only experience of Turyia or Turytita is second-hand  via Ken's writing ( that too, speculation devoid of actual experience at times?) then there is no yoking of 'the body that is experience', with the 'consciousness that is speculation'. There is not the proper relationship of mutual interdependence, and  hence there is not the nourishment. 

    I say 'caveat to myself' as in the past I have wandered up paths of speculation/fantasy with unhappy results and I can easily feel ungrounded reading too much Wilber. I don't know if you listened, but on these lines,  I enjoyed Dan Millman's grounded presence greatly in his dialogue with Ken. I'm curious as to how do you feel this speculation we are engaged in here interacts with your actual experience? Where do you locate the yoking, the mutual nourishment? Or is it perhaps productive in other more tangential ways?





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  •  11-30-2007, 11:44 PM 32815 in reply to 32800

    Re: An Enquiry into the Witnessing Faculty

    "...continue to rest in your witness and development occurs."

    This is very insightful in that it suggests something most Westerners are either in fear of or about which we are ignorant.  Yes, the notion of 'resting in your witness...' creates the space for something new to enter into consciousness, which in effect allows us to stretch and unfold into aspects of ourselves that become ever more inclusive and, by extension, ever more whole in our development. The apparent paradox is how such passivity, in a manner of speaking, becomes the space into which the very potential for growth can occur.

    "And like like capitalism, nothing escapes the Witness's hungry embrace."

    LOL ~ yes, and the only thing that is exploited by the Witness is one's capacity to observe.

    "The interpenetration of states speaks of the 'always already to me' It tells us that we are already exactly where we are going, yet paradoxically, there is so much more distance to travel. It speaks to me of my own desire to articulate/realize/grasp better the sense I have that we are both rushing towards an omega point, and always already at that omega point. That I am both incredibly imperfect, and totally perfect in that imperfection. That Ken's thinking is both parlous as all hell and right there, and so on and so on. 

    What happens when we just let go of any attempt to interpret the experience?  Here's a koan for us to ponder: 

    if there is no interpretation of experience, does that mean there is no one there to experience it? ;)

    "Given that the relationship of nesting/enfolding this totally makes sense. To attend to the 'body' is to emphasize/accentuate the relationship of mutual nourishment that exists between the 'mind' and body. I say 'nourishment' because it really does feel as though consciousness clarifies/tones the 'body' which in turn sharpens and deepens consciousness as the physical matrix which holds it is that much more 'toned'.  (And, of course, to intelligently move the body....)"

    Consciousness precedes Matter? Or, are you saying that the physical matrix precedes consciousness, and that consciousness is an effect of this physical matrix?  (Then again, from a non-dualistic viewpoint, there really isn't any difference; however, the question of precedence does have its place in such a discussion)

    "If our only experience of Turyia or Turytita is second-hand  via Ken's writing ( that too, speculation devoid of actual experience at times?) then there is no yoking of 'the body that is experience', with the 'consciousness that is speculation'. There is not the proper relationship of mutual interdependence, and  hence there is not the nourishment."

    Yes, absolutely spot-on!  If all that we are doing here is conducting an exercise in mental masturbation then I'd rather be reading "The Glass Bead Game" by H. Hesse.  Consciousness is far more than mere speculation, although 'the speculation of consciousness' is surely an aspect of the same.  Mutual interdependence and interdependent origination both suggest that the belief that we are alone and independent of the subtle nature  of the matrix of life or "Indra's Net", if you prefer, is the grand illusion that is also perhaps the great catastrophe of our age, if not of all the ages.

      

     


     


    John Christopher Davis

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