1 Introduction to implicate technology
There is only one reality. Reality is one. All religions can be understood as models of the one reality, each relevant to particular cultures over particular time periods.
There is only one reality. Reality is one. All religions can be understood as models of the one reality, each relevant to particular cultures over particular time periods.
1.1 What does this book teach you?
This book starts from the basis that within the natural limitations of your personality, all you can experience is your individual measure of joy and sorrow, pain and pleasure. It teaches that you will never understand the true nature of reality if you deal with people and things only through your personality, neither will you understand why your life has happened to you the way it has. This book teaches you that if you truly want to understand what your life is about, you must learn how to live beyond your personality.
This book teaches you how to attain a state of mind, tranquil and clear, which enables you to understand reality and your life in a balanced and harmonious way. You are shown how to experience directly, for yourself, that both your life and all life are only apparently separate elements in reality. You are shown how to experience for yourself that all things, all life, are in reality integrated and unified aspects of a meaningful whole: this level of experience is known as enlightenment.
Enlightenment is only possible once you learn to live beyond your personality. A simple way to achieve this is through practice of the meditation technique taught in chapter 2. Follow the detailed instructions, work to the best of your ability in the way directed, and you will travel along the path towards enlightenment.
This book for beginners teaches you how to realise the first, or psychological, stage of enlightenment with one hundred days of committed meditation practice. Psychological enlightenment is a state of mind in which you can experience a genuine and lasting detachment from emotional unhappiness. This book, then, prepares you, through the resulting peace and clarity of mind, for the advanced teachings on meditation, which lead, through experience, to a full and direct understanding of the inherent unity of reality. That state is known as the final, transcendental, stage of enlightenment.
This book teaches you how to understand reality through experience. The fruits of your experience can be expressed in religious or secular terms, according to your choice. This book is a self-help guide to experiencing the unity that is reality.
This book is entirely practical. It contains no theory. Daily practice of the simple meditation exercise, within the context explained, leads to understanding reality through experience.
Begin the journey on this path now. All the material you need is to hand in your own life. This book teaches you how to live the meaning and purpose of your life.
The key is to integrate these teachings into your ordinary, everyday life. Committed daily practice of these teachings leads to a gradual, entirely natural and harmonious transformation of your experience of life. This teaching requires no overt changes in your life, no visible markers, no new allegiances or beliefs.
Simply practise the meditation and think about your life in the context given.
1.2 What is the function of the personality?
From the point of view of normal, day-to-day awareness, reality is experienced through the limitations of one’s personality. The personality acts as a filter through which one interprets and understands the experiences of one’s senses interacting with one’s emotional, intellectual and belief structures. Each personality has its own strengths and weaknesses, its own limitations: bounded by individual limitations, one tries to understand the experience of oneself interacting with the world.
The personality encompasses the whole complex of emotions, intellectual ideas, fears, values, hopes, needs and desires which are accessible to, and form the contents of, ordinary, everyday awareness. Our well-developed psychologies teach us that each individual’s behaviour is to a significant extent influenced by underlying psychological constraints. Normally, one is unconscious of one’s own constraints; awareness of these underlying constraints, which determine much of one’s understanding of reality, usually dawns gradually by means of the long and laborious process of maturing through time.
The key term ‘consciousness’ refers both to one’s level of awareness at any given time and place and to the context within which this awareness operates at that time. In other words, one’s level of consciousness at any time is what one is aware of, understood within the context of one’s conscious and unconscious limitations. Considered objectively, each personality defines a limiting structure to the experiencing of reality.
The personality is a constraint upon one’s level of consciousness. This should be reflected on carefully until it is clearly understood. Put simply, there is much more of reality which you can experience when your level of consciousness is not constrained by the personality.
1.3 What, then, is reality which is both experienced and understood within the limitations of the personality?
Reality is the total of what can be known and experienced. Reality encompasses things, oneself and other people, and the manifold layers of meaning within which experience can be understood. Reality is in a constant state of flux; each moment is different from any other.
To ordinary consciousness, reality is experienced only as a state of constant flux rather than as a meaningful process. This is to say that reality is a process which includes, and interacts with, the personality. Each personality is subject to the process of reality.
1.4.1 What are the characteristics of the interaction between one’s personality and the process that is reality?
Through the complex of one’s needs and desires, one attempts to live a fulfilling and satisfying life. This one achieves to a greater or lesser extent according to one’s own way of measuring such matters. We all experience certain things in common. We all have our measure of joy and sorrow, physical and emotional pain and pleasure. We each have our sufferings, frustrations, disappointments and failures; our own weaknesses and fears which we face or fail to face as we are put to the test.
A common pattern of our lives is the attempt of the individual personality to attain fulfilment through the control of aspects of reality. This usually manifests itself as the wish to impose one’s will on others or on oneself and the world. This is doomed to failure: we can only temporarily bend the world to our will. In the end, reality, apparently external to the needs and desires to the personality, is too powerful.
Again and again one pitches one’s personality against an apparently external and uncaring world. The twin forces of one’s personality and reality dance in constant opposition. In this way we waste our lives and our energies in an unwinnable struggle.
1.4.2 Can we develop a framework, a context, in which to understand the interaction between the personality and reality?
Such a framework can be established, but not by the traditional Western technique of presenting a structured argument which states Its premises, develops its reasoning based on these premises, then leads to Its logical conclusion. Any such intellectual approach is inadequate to the task of understanding reality. Understanding can only be based on experience; the function of the intellect is to assist in organising one’s understanding of experience, nothing more and nothing less.
Instead, the traditional Eastern technique of starting with a presentation of the central point will be used. A function of this book is to provide a teaching, the practice of which will lead to an understanding through experience of the central point or goal. When the practical instructions are followed and the framework within which the consequent experiences unfold is understood, then, at one’s own pace and in one’s own way, understanding will develop.
The central point, the goal of the teaching, is to achieve an understanding through experience that: reality is a process which devours the personality. The personality is a defence against the corrosive effects of reality on the ego, the limiting and relatively illusory sense of the individual ‘I’.
To understand the truth of this requires a perspective, located outside the constraints of the personality, on one’s life experiences, which are an integral part of reality. To attain this perspective, one’s focus of awareness must move, quite naturally and at one’s own pace, from the individual ego-based constraints of the personality to the freedom of the transpersonal self. When the focus of awareness settles in the self, the resulting serenity, clarity and quiet joyousness is the psychological state known as enlightenment.
Once the psychological stage of enlightenment has been reached, many aspects of the personality are understood in a different light. Gradually, one comes to realise that the experiences of one’s life have taken place within a meaningful context. All one’s experiences and sufferings are now understood to have a purpose; but it should be kept in mind that the understanding of meaning and purpose after the psychological enlightenment is different in nature from any such understanding held in the context of normal consciousness.
1.5 What does it mean to say, ‘reality is a process which devours the personality’?
To understand this, it is necessary to develop a point of view, a way of seeing the objective nature of the interaction between the personality and reality. Within the context of the personality, one’s experiences and insights are subjective; however powerful, intense or varied in joy and suffering they may be, they are, in the end, personal and subjective. Viewed objectively, from a transpersonal point of view, the function of the process which is reality is to bring each individual consciousness to an awareness of its true nature.
From a focus of awareness rooted in the context of the personality, i.e. within normal consciousness, one’s life is experienced in terms of the extent to which one achieves a balance between the satisfaction and lack of satisfaction of one’s needs and desires. To remain locked in such a low level of consciousness is to be subject, without release, to the endless play of opposites. One experiences constantly the conflicting tensions of emotions, desires and objective reality.
Just as time devours the physical body in the course of its passage from youth through physical maturity to the gradual physical decay leading to death, so too does reality, through the passage of time, lead the personality from the innocence of childhood, past the idealism of youth and the draining realisations of life’s harsh realities in maturity, to the emptiness and fear of an old age unprepared for death. A consciousness shaped by the constraints of the personality fears profoundly the transpersonal, which is, correctly, sensed as inimical to the ego, or sense of the individual self.
This, then, is what is meant by saying ‘reality devours the personality’:
One who remains rooted in the personality is fated to suffer the endless conflicting tensions of desire and non-fulfilment of desire. Driven by the ego-based desires of the personality, one fears that dissolution of the sense of ‘I’ which is the hallmark of the transpersonal. This is commonly found in the individual’s fear of death. One is devoured by constant conflict and fear; in the end, one dies unfulfilled, empty, unprepared and fearful of death.
1.6.1 Is this suffering necessary?
For one whose level of consciousness is confined within the constraints of the personality, such suffering is both inevitable and necessary. It is the product of inescapable natural laws which govern our lives as much as do the physical laws explored so thoroughly by our explicate Western technologies. Whether or not one believes in these implicate laws is irrelevant to their domination of the shape and structure of our lives. Just as the decay of the physical body is inevitable, so too is the suffering experienced within the constraints of the personality.
1.6.2 How can you escape from the endless cycle of psychological suffering and fear of death?
This is possible through following a path which leads to the movement of the focus of awareness from the personality-confined ego to the transpersonal self. Such a path is laid out in practical detail in this book. It is attainable by ordinary people regardless of their economic or social position in society or the circumstances of their lives.
In following the practical path detailed in this book, it will become increasingly clear that what matters is less the events of one’s life (which are the preoccupation of normal consciousness) than the way in which one reacts to these events. As one moves towards the psychological enlightenment, the obsession with the outward patterning of events gives way to a deeper concern with the content of one’s life experiences. With the attainment of the psychological stage of enlightenment, the understanding of one’s life circumstances and their meaning merges into a harmonious sense of wholeness.
This is a profound feeling of psychological wellbeing which transcends one’s material circumstances.
1.7 Is there a framework which provides us with the terms of reference adequate to the task of describing the direct experience of reality?
There is only one reality. We each experience fragments of the one reality within the constructs of our personalities. In our late-twentieth century Western culture, we have lost sight of our cultural model of the one reality, of which our day-to-day experiences form a small but vital part.
There are many models of reality available to us today: Indian, Chinese and Tibetan Buddhism, Indian Hinduism, Chinese Taoism, Christianity, Judaism and Islam, and the old Western Mystery models of the Druids and the pre-Christian Pagans. Each model is an attempt to describe the path leading to an understanding of reality in terms appropriate to a particular culture at a particular time and place.
No one model of reality gives exclusive access to the truth. Each model reflects particular historical and cultural requirements. In the West, over the past two thousand years, our culture has been shaped by the ethical framework of Christianity. Now, for great numbers of people, the old models of reality have lost their relevance.
Yet the need to understand the fulness of reality and one’s place in it remains strong. So some turn back to the old Western models and others lean hungrily towards the venerable Eastern models. Few seem to find satisfaction; the great majority just live their lives from day to day in quiet desperation with no great sense of meaning or purpose. In fact the predominant world view is the woefully inadequate mechanistic model given by our science.
The scientific model of reality denies our natural desire for wholeness. Only a committed minority find satisfaction and fulfilment in the available religious models. The simple fact is that we have no culturally relevant framework within which an ordinary intelligent person can find guidance and assistance on the path to wholeness.
This book is an attempt to provide this guidance in terms accessible to such a person. For one who follows the path taught in this book, it is possible to express the resultant experiences within the terms of any religious or spiritual model of reality. All are valid in different ways; any claims to sole access to the truth are a form of religious or spiritual egotism.
However, for the majority, the atheists, agnostics, cynics and the spiritually desperate and starving, there is at present no generally accessible and relevant model. This book points towards a beginning, no more and no less; it offers guidance on the path to wholeness and fulfilment, without requiring commitment to a particular belief structure or way of living. The starting-point is now, and all the material required is to hand in your own life.
The test of the validity of this teaching is whether you experience the growth of consciousness of reality through practice. Whether or not you believe in the teaching is irrelevant. This book offers you knowledge based on experience.
1.8 By what process was this book written?
This book is based on the direct experiencing of reality by members of The Implicate Technology Centre. It explains how a simple daily exercise, practised in the context of your ordinary, day-to-day life, and understood within a relevant framework, leads to a transformation in your level of awareness.
From the vantage point of this more developed consciousness, which is accessible to everyone regardless of individual life circumstances, the central validity of the old models of reality is apparent. That is to say, each describes reality in a valid and culturally different way. This book is simply a recasting of the ancient teachings in contemporary Western cultural terms.
This book is not a new translation of books of other cultures. It is a recasting of the experience those works teach about into the ordinary language and concepts we use in the West. For those who are interested in such things, chapters 2 and 5 are based on the Chinese Taoist book, The Secret of the Golden Flower. Chapters 3, 4, 6 and 7 are a recasting, through the filter of experience, of the discussion on the Sidpa Bardo in the Tibetan Buddhist book, The Tibetan Book of the Dead. Chapter 1 is a recasting of the key message of Gautama the Buddha and many other teachers: this life leads us only to suffering unless we find a way to rise above it. Chapter 8 discusses the difficulties of having such experiences in a culture ignorant of such processes.
As an illustration of this process of recasting, consider carefully the following example:
The Secret of the Golden Flower begins with the key to the process of attaining enlightenment: “The secret of the magic of life consists in using action in order to attain non-action.”(Wilhelm and Jung, The Secret of the Golden Flower; London, Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd. 1965, page 21).It elaborates this point: “The Master is further concerned that people should not miss the way that leads from conscious action to unconscious non-action. Therefore he says, the magic of the Elixir of Life makes use of conscious action in order that unconscious non-action may be attained”(Ibid, page 24). The text goes on to say that conscious action consists in the process and product of meditation.
The final chapter underlines the significance of this. “The most important things in the great Tao are the words: action through non-action. Non-action prevents a man from becoming entangled in form and image (materiality). Action in non-action prevents a man from sinking into numbing emptiness and dead nothingness”(Ibid, pages 53 – 54).
What does all this mean? Clearly, to the authors of the book, it is a matter of profound significance. Many in the West are drawn to understand the meaning of this; yet we do not have an understanding of the context within which Chinese culture produced such a discipline for living.
To establish this context, we must become aware of the differences in the technologies developed by East and West. Here in the West, we have well-developed explicate technologies; that is to say, we have developed technologies to deal with material reality; these are far beyond the explicate technologies developed in the East and the West’s products are eagerly sought in the East. Because of our advanced material technologies we consider ourselves the more developed culture, we acknowledge a responsibility to help the materially poorer cultures to raise their living standards.
Just as the West has turned its best minds to technologies which help us to understand and harness the power of material reality, so too has the East turned its best minds to the development of technologies which help in understanding and harnessing the power of non-material reality. Throughout the East there are many highly advanced technologies available. In contrast to the path we in the West took, these are implicate technologies; that is to say, technologies that deal with non-material reality. The products of these technologies are eagerly sought by many in the West: for years now, there has been growing interest in implicate technology products such as the martial arts, the various systems of Yoga and Zen and other Buddhist disciplines.
It is within this context that we can begin to understand what is meant by “action through non-action”. It is the product of Chinese Taoist implicate technology. Its function is to direct the consciousness of any person towards understanding how to deal with the experiences which comprise ordinary life so as to obtain the greatest fulfilment from that life.
All this can be understood by an ordinary intelligent person, but it does not yet explain what the words of the above-quoted phrase mean. We can only understand their meaning through practice in using a comparable product of Western implicate technology; such a product cannot be grasped or measured with the intellect alone. Only by incorporating such a product into one’s day-to-day life can its benefits be realised. This, then, is the key to gaining fulfilment in life, expressed in Western cultural terms.
Act according to your intuition.
Just let things happen.
A fuller discussion on how to apply this product of Western implicate technology will be found in chapter 3.
1.9 How do you use implicate technology products?
The function of all technologies is to make available specific products to assist us in dealing with reality. In the West we are well acquainted with the uses of the products of our explicate technologies which enable us to deal with material reality; we are all familiar to a greater or lesser extent with the uses of television, cars, computers and the myriad other products of our material technologies. We use them to enhance the material quality of our lives; we live within a consumerist ethos where the possession and use of explicate technology products is a prime concern. Yet our deepest intuitions tell us there is more to life than the consumption of material products.
The function of implicate technology products is to direct the focus of awareness inwards, to assist us in learning how to deal with the non-material aspects of reality. There are many such products available in the marketplace today; some train the body and the mind, some heal the body and mind. Many, especially those from the Eastern implicate technology systems, such as Hindu, Buddhist or Taoist yogas, take one along the path towards the psychological stage of enlightenment.
It is important to be cautious in choosing implicate technology products. In the final analysis, all products of non-material technologies lead one towards the psychological stage of enlightenment, that is to say they lead one out of the inevitable suffering of the personality into the freedom of the transpersonal. This is the birthright of each one of us – freedom cannot be bought, it can only be earned.
In our current marketplace, there are many Eastern and Western implicate technology products available. Many of the vendors of these products require a financial commitment involving sums of money not insignificant to an ordinary person. Question closely the motives and experience of individuals or organizations seeking to exchange implicate technology skills and products for money.
The Implicate Technology Centre releases inexpensive products, in the form of mass-produced books, which require no further financial commitment for their successful use. Everything that is taught in this book has been tested through the experiences of members of the Implicate Technology Centre. There is no theory in this book, only practice.
All Implicate Technology products are used by incorporating them into your daily life. Their primary function is to direct the focus of awareness inwards towards a true understanding of one’s own nature. It is only by attaining the psychological stage of enlightenment that you can begin the long journey we each must travel in seeking to set ourselves in a harmonious balance with the process that is reality.
This book is used by carrying out the simple practical instructions in chapter 2. The remaining chapters are read and re-read until one is familiar with the framework. Read the book at least once consecutively, then in any order you wish.
At different times, as your work develops, different chapters will take on significance, according to the needs of the moment. This is an indication of where, in the process of moving towards the psychological enlightenment, you are at any given time. This book functions as a self-help guide in the process of transformation of awareness.
The directions are simple to read, but very demanding to apply in practice. The fruits of this teaching, freedom from the endless cycle of suffering and the fear of death, are available to anyone willing to commit their whole being to the enterprise. The price of enlightenment is no less than this.