I had a conversation with a friend last night that is in midst of a stage change. I was able to share the difference between state and stage, provide examples of others she has known that have stage changed, revealed her anxiety triggers and reflected her beauty back to her. It was my perception that I left her in a better state than when I found her.
Then I came home and found Jason's post, State vs Stage. I really do have to get back to reading Jason more. Jason writes and teaches by conveying facts and experiences. I write and teach from a very personal point of view. So, I am going to take Jason's posts and relate it to things I have gone through.
Jason writes, "A non magical example that is sometimes given for this is a case of
playing music. A student may have a moment where they are able to play
piano like a virtuoso [State], but it is only by work that he can make it his
normal skill level.[Stage]"
In my case, I had a vision of Perfection [State] and moved up a [Stage] but not to the level of living in the state of perfection.
Note: When I use the word perfection, I am not using it like Jesus perfect. I am using it as meaing the perception of the perfect unfolding of the soul and the All. It is a perfect process in which we are in a state of perfectly being who we are at the moment.
Seeing the Perfection of the Unfolding was spectacular. Certainly, that was a life altering experience. You simple do not discard experiences like that. At the very least, one's perceptions are modified. Not long ago, I posted about compassion. I said, "Find the pain that motivated the hurtful action and feel compassion for the one that suffers such torment. This rips apart the notion of hate the sin and love the sinner." The 'sin' is non-existent as it is only an externalization of pain. Pay no attention to the illusion of sin, love the person, heal the pain.
My perception of wrong doing has been modified. From this perception, can calm down a lot of conflict between others as long as I am not involved in the situation. This is why I call it a perceptual change and not a state. While I can apply the principle above in my own situations, it is harder and doesn't last as long. In short, it is a great deal of work. Again, perceptual change, not a state change.
As far as Perfection, in my day to day life, I forget about that sometimes. I get hurt, angry, live in the past, mull over the meaning of things and get myself worked up. I posted something about going through PTSD issues again and then 'remembering' perfection and calming down immediately. In that case remembering is more appropriately called internalizing. I knew perfection so well that it altered my state of consciousness in a heartbeat. I moved from one state to another because deeply remembered Perfection. Again, this not a stage.
I suppose the stage of my state of perfection would be awesome. Would I walk around in a state of bliss in love with everything, laughing as someone amputated my right leg with a hack saw? Would I give away all my possessions? I do not know. I am not there yet, if ever.
My state change has been much more mundanely human than such spiritual fantasies. Unless you bump across my PTSD issues, you cannot piss me off anymore. You can annoy me, frustrate me and irrirtate me but you cannot get me mad. My on-line discussions are calm. I make my points and move on. This is a change from getting all bent out of shape and being a jerk. When I speak with you in person, I listen intently. I notice changes in body posture, subtle vibes and am deeply interested in you. I am not distracted by the past, present or five minutes from now. I connect with what you are trying to express and I feel a bond when I have an in person discussion now more than every before.
This is a permanent shift in who I am. This is a state change. It isn't nearly as exciting as Perfection, is it? No but it is firmly grounded in reality. This is manifesting the soul here on earth one bit at time.
I can also do my meditation and get in touch with what I think is my greater neschemah. I say think because perception changes, maybe it is less. I do know that when I go there and ask for advice or input the result always is right. There is no conflict that results when I put that gnosis to work in the mundane. There is no disturbance of anyone's peace. It is awesome. You'd think I'd remember to consult all the time wouldn't you? So would I but I don't. I forget or feel something is too trivial to meditate on. WRONG.
This is an ability that has never failed me when I remember to use it. Is this a state change? I think so but I am not technically sure it qualifies.
Jason further writes, "The problems arise when people who experience a state fool themselves
into believing that from that point forward they are at that stage. In
the higher states of awareness we get a sense of the innate perfection
of everything, how there is not a hair out of place in the whole of the
universe, and how in fact we have always been in this state of being –
we just have not realized it. The problem comes that as we slip into our
normal modes of awareness, and we have to leave our temples and deal
with the world, we start to enforce this view incorrectly."
He is spot on. The moment you 'enforce' your view you have abandoned
spiritual awareness and entered the realm of politics. This is an
ego-need to be correct, accepted by others, agreed with and the like.
Jason continues, "For instance if we cling to the idea of innate perfection just as
things are, we can interpret this as it being OK or even pre-destined
that people are poor or suffering, and neglect our duty to those around
us. In fact the perfection experienced in these higher states is not
reliant upon the relative level proceeding according to a grand plan,
but the fact that the ultimate level of everything is so inherently
perfect that its perfection cannot be stained by events on the relative."
Yes, this is why I took umbrage with the idea that since magicians are above duality we can do whatever we want. No. No. No. Such states entail greater responsibility not less. Since seeing perfection I have made more charitable contributions than I ever had before. The people that have not seen perfection are not my play things. I am aware of the pain dualistic realities impose upon those that adhere to them and seek not to create greater pain by believing I am above them. Instead, when asked, I share alternative viewpoints and reduce dualistic pain where I can. Even if that simply means shifting the dual view from the negative to the positive. On rare occassion, I can share a non-dualistic perception that resonates with who I am speaking but that is not the point, pain reduction and love are what matters.
Further, I did hesitate when it came to the sharing that particular vision because all things degrade. For instance, Christianity can degrade into the idea that one can do whatever one wants because one is forgiven anyway. The stage of true Christian spirituality cannot be corrupted by such things but exoteric belief can. The same is true with Perfection. The State or Stage cannot be corrupted but the exoteric (lack of) understanding can become just what Jason said it could.
Jason states, "Being surrounded by students who look at you as a living god doesn’t
help matters. This is one reason that are ready to call you out on your
shit are a VALUABLE tool."
Again, he is most correct. When I teach the MM locally my first statement is that I am not a guru, I have no one's answers. I offer technique and experience. How your soul interpretes your experience is between you and your soul. Under no circumstances is anyone allowed to argue with anyone's perception or conclusions about their life experience. We can ask questions like, "did you consider this?" or "can you clarify that?"
I am surrounded by friends that tell me when I am wrong, incorrect or being an ass. I LIKE THAT. Sure the ego flairs a bit when that happens but that is okay. The difference is that my friends tell me when I am wrong and do not get all ass bent out of shape, defensive and lie when I am correct. This is a change in my social state.
He continues with great advice, "The message of the post is just this: no matter where you are in your
path, keep some humility. Don’t get high on your own Bullshit. It is
better to appear to be at a lower stage than you really are and have
amazing peak experiences of higher states than it is to appear at a
higher stage than you really are and lose track of just how far you have
yet to go."
The problem here is that this is more than just about you. When you get to certain stages people look to be taught or look at you as an example or inspiration. That not only means that you don't get to mess with them by giving them intentionally wonky advice it means that when you slip they get disappointed and that disappointment can seriously derail their spiritual journey. I tell lots of people I am still learning and growing and that I still make a lot of errors. I do this in hopes that my mistakes do not derail them. Most would say that isn't my responsibility. They may be right but I am going to live like this anyway.
Lastly, Jason mentions people that claim they have crossed the abyss. Here is a little secret about the MM. It doesn't work that way. One does not rise to the Greater Neschemah, It descends. If you stop and think about that for a moment, you can see how that calms down the ego trip a bit.