Excerpt About Dimensions of Experience

Conceptualizing Levels and Dimensions of Being is Inherently Problematic

Conceptualizing levels and dimensions of Being is inherently problematic, and there is a great deal of disagreement and debate between the various spiritual traditions regarding it. Some traditions, like that of Buddhism, deny the existence of such levels, conceptualizing the view that we are either aware of the true (Buddha) nature or not, and that levels can only be in the fullness, or limitation, of our experience of this true nature. Other traditional teachings, like those of the Kabala, or Sufism, conceptualize the view that Being manifests in various and delineated levels—reminiscent of the dimensions of Being in neoplatonic philosophy—each real and objective on its own level. Our view, which reflects our experience, is that Being is inherently a unity, a nondual presence that contains no levels, but that it can manifest itself in levels and dimensions experienced as true and objective in their own sphere of experience. In other words, experience indicates that Being manifests itself in various degrees of subtlety and completeness, and these manifestations appear as levels and dimensions of Being, objective and valid on their own levels. More accurately, experience indicates that Being can and does manifest in different levels and dimensions, but that upon analysis of these experiences, we can see they are merely different degrees of subtlety of the experience of the same nature. We do not take the position of accepting either experience or analysis as the final arbiter of ultimate truth, and hence, find no incentive to engage in this ancient debate. We find that each view has its own merits in terms of the work of self-realization, and thus we use them appropriately depending on the degree of maturity of the student.

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