By ‘Awareness Work’ I do not mean sensory awareness of the bodies internal structures; or awareness associated with movement (spatial awareness for instance) and coordination. These are located within the ‘Physical Work’ leg of the tripod within Physical Alchemy. We do want to train these things too.
Awareness Work is the work upon that same ‘Pure Awareness’ that all authentic spiritual traditions and soteriologies cultivate-unveil-embody-express-removeobstructionsinfrontof-etc.
Nowadays many people are talking talking talking about meditation, contemplation and ‘Awareness’, just like t’where 1969. Linking it to beneficial health aspects that now have scientific evidence – decreased stress, increased neurogenesis, mental health, performance, etc.
Within Physical Alchemy the hierarchy of intention within this pillar is:
1) to attain ones True Nature and Liberation.
2) to cultivate the degree of Awareness to see the disenchantment imprint and catalyse the transmutation
3) the health benefits associated with meditation practice
As such, most of the work within this pillar comes from established traditions that have been producing the transmutations associated with it for thousands of years. And if you aim for Awakening in your practice and use traditions that have produced it, there’s always an off-chance that you bypass this ‘reenchantment’ Dave seems so obsessed with altogether and shoot, meteorically, into True Nature*.
As mentioned in the ‘3 pillars’ post, within Physical Alchemy the traditions chosen for one’s personal practice are largely left up to the individual – with the proviso the it must actually 𝑤𝑜𝑟𝑘. And many traditions have working methods.
There are also ‘3 aspects’ suggested as being undertaken concurrently:
1) an ‘anchoring practice’: a formal practice done every day to move the ‘[‘ ‘]’ of the spectrum/’voltage’ of Awareness accessible by the organism to higher degrees. It can be done sitting, laying, standing or moving but it actually needs to produce change in Awareness.
2) ‘Awareness in the chaos of life’: is the work on returning the Awareness whence it dissipates-fixates-identifies with the sense objects and experiences within the chaos of everyday life. For myself this involved the – quite literally 1000s of times a day – bringing the awareness out of the mental centre and thought.
There is no ‘I tried it for a few weeks/months, it didn’t work’ in this aspect. Many of the benefits occurred 𝑦𝑒𝑎𝑟𝑠 after I had been doing this every moment I caught myself ‘napping’ in thought – and in tandem with the anchoring each day.
3) Practice with a Guide or Teacher. This one involves not only the direct practical and personalized teaching of techniques of Awareness Work; and of 𝑚𝑎𝑝𝑠 – but most importantly of getting to see how they bring their refined Awareness to bare on the chaos of life.
Everybody thinks that their practice is working, but how to tell? […] Physical Work has a much nicer tangibility quotient to it for this.
One potential way of doing this is by brain studies on advanced practitioners from traditions of contemplation. Craig Mallett posted a cool video the other day of a team of researchers working with such practitioners who found a much higher incidence of gamma wave production; ability to produce this rare brain state at will; or even that the state was more of less permanent, abiding.
Studies like this are cool though the ‘hidden information’ in them is even cooler: if the monks selected have these amazing permanent brain changes then it also by proxy proves that the monks themselves can identify which practitioners have attained these states – without any neuroscience.
To my knowledge, nobody has produced Awakening (or even any other the other major landmarks in Awareness Work leading up to it) via science. The day may come when we can titrate out neuropepitdes and twiddle brain waves exogenously and produce these permanent changes – but it is not this day. And you may die tomorrow, so why not get off the armchair you sit in waiting for technology to advance so you can ‘hack yourself’ to enlightenment [?]
“𝑊ℎ𝑒𝑛 𝑠𝑒𝑡𝑡𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑜𝑢𝑡 𝑜𝑛 𝑎 𝑗𝑜𝑢𝑟𝑛𝑒𝑦, 𝑑𝑜 𝑛𝑜𝑡 𝑠𝑒𝑒𝑘 𝑎𝑑𝑣𝑖𝑐𝑒 𝑓𝑟𝑜𝑚 𝑡ℎ𝑜𝑠𝑒 𝑤ℎ𝑜 ℎ𝑎𝑣𝑒 𝑛𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟 𝑙𝑒𝑓𝑡 ℎ𝑜𝑚𝑒.” – Rumi
And as such, science takes a tertiary seat within this pillar within Physical Alchemy. Primary is the living work learned from a Teacher who has actual transmutations. Secondary is the associated techniques, heuristics, lore and 𝑚𝑎𝑝𝑠 associated with traditions that have actually produced Awake beings throughout the ages.
“𝑆𝑝𝑒𝑎𝑘 𝑜𝑢𝑡 𝑖𝑛 𝑎𝑐𝑡𝑠; 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑡𝑖𝑚𝑒 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑤𝑜𝑟𝑑𝑠 ℎ𝑎𝑠 𝑝𝑎𝑠𝑠𝑒𝑑, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑜𝑛𝑙𝑦 𝑑𝑒𝑒𝑑𝑠 𝑤𝑖𝑙𝑙 𝑠𝑢𝑓𝑓𝑖𝑐𝑒” – Alfred North Whitehead.
People who talk about ‘happiness’ all the time, ain’t.
People who talk about ‘Awareness’, ‘mindfulness’, ‘the Buddha once said..’x” all the time, well..
So, in committing this grand mistake of opening my mouth on the topic of Awareness Work, I do it because my ‘act’ is the creation of a heuristic that – as it so happens – by proxy of how it works also allows for the testing of the tangibility of ones Awareness Work. And in a way that has not been presented to the world (as far as I know).
The disenchantment-imprints are – within this model – huge storehouses of Awareness, bound and nullified within the cageless-cage of perceptual warping and habituation.
As I talk about in the book I have seen some truly remarkable ‘jumps’ in Awareness from working on the Reenchantment Work and Physical Work with comparably low work in the Awareness Work pillar – greater Awareness than in some people who have done decades in contemplation work and in a fraction of the time.
Now, just like the brain science studies by proxy prove the monks can identify the individuals who have dramatically changed their brains without neurological apparatus, so too am I going to say <waits for lightning> that I can to some degree assess the workingness of Awareness Work of students by tracking how someone is effected-affected by their strain of disenchantment.
Many of the individuals outside of Physical Alchemy I have met and assessed to possess the transmutation ‘reenchantment’ (having escaped the gravity of the disenchantment imprint) have – by whatever their means and methods – also have escaped from the behaviours, perceptions and actions associated with it.
Why? Because the disenchantment is a mechanical and habitual behavior patterning based upon a warped centre [perceptual apparatus]. If you gain this insight via upgraded Awareness capacity (however you got it) you can perceive very easily that these behaviours are ‘not you’ .. just habituation. Otherwise you will identify them as core aspects of your personality, or simply be oblivious to your doing them.
And so, seeing as though humans crave to be a more spontaneous and alive, you simply repattern said habits (sometimes they instantly stop, sometimes you can see them but need to work on them..but at least you CAN work on them, now), but, you have to be able to see habit as habit. This takes greater Awareness than one comes with default. Far greater. The deeper the layering of habituation and perceptual warping, the greater the Awareness necessary to see it and burn out its mechanism.
The ‘voltage’ of Awareness necessary to see the disenchantment imprint, which exists relatively deep within the system, remains unseen by garden variety mindfulness and sporadic and ill-conceived Awareness practices.
It takes a tri-pronged proding to make it visible.
And so, I leave the bulk of the speaking on this topic to the saints and sages from ages passed and Teachers still alive with us within this crazy 21st century.
My ‘act’, as I mention above, is the teaching of a (as far as I have found) a unique heuristic and ways to accomplish the human transmutation it points at. This came out of a triangulation of my practice and research within modern and ancient Physical Work; practice of Awareness Work from ancient traditions and the nouveau research of the Reenchantment Work.
Reenchantment work is a living anatomy of the language habits, physical correlates, social media interactions, metaphysical postures and mechanical behaviour of the three strains of disenchantment-imprinting as they manifest throughout the three centres of the organism.
The book I am writing is on this heuristic 𝑚𝑎𝑝.
* in which case please come back and tell me how ya did it.
[*] en’ta’tain’nble idea
I would suggest for the entertaining in thought that, whilst brain studies help to convince the suspicious to try contemplation work, the 𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐦𝐚𝐫𝐲 issue is not that we need to study more brains to learn more about how it works but that it is a distribution and qualitative issue.
What we need is less 5 week yoga instructors, movement teachers or people with neuroscience degrees dispensing the information about Awareness Work and more people learning from the rare human beings that have actually, though their long and difficult practices, reached these transmutations and have successfully passed them on to other humans.
Or, as Bucky put it:
“𝑄𝑢𝑖𝑡𝑒 𝑐𝑙𝑒𝑎𝑟𝑙𝑦, 𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑡𝑎𝑠𝑘 𝑖𝑠 𝑝𝑟𝑒𝑑𝑜𝑚𝑖𝑛𝑎𝑛𝑡𝑙𝑦 𝑚𝑒𝑡𝑎𝑝ℎ𝑦𝑠𝑖𝑐𝑎𝑙, 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑖𝑡 𝑖𝑠 ℎ𝑜𝑤 𝑡𝑜 𝑔𝑒𝑡 𝑎𝑙𝑙 𝑜𝑓 ℎ𝑢𝑚𝑎𝑛𝑖𝑡𝑦 𝑡𝑜 𝑒𝑑𝑢𝑐𝑎𝑡𝑒 𝑖𝑡𝑠𝑒𝑙𝑓 𝑠𝑤𝑖𝑓𝑡𝑙𝑦 𝑒𝑛𝑜𝑢𝑔ℎ 𝑡𝑜 𝑔𝑒𝑛𝑒𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑒 𝑠𝑝𝑜𝑛𝑡𝑎𝑛𝑒𝑜𝑢𝑠 𝑠𝑜𝑐𝑖𝑎𝑙 𝑏𝑒ℎ𝑎𝑣𝑖𝑜𝑟𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑤𝑖𝑙𝑙 𝑎𝑣𝑜𝑖𝑑 𝑒𝑥𝑡𝑖𝑛𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛.” -Buckminster Fuller