Advertisement

Novices’ Transition from Separation into Non-Dual Being: A Transpersonal, Existential, Phenomenological Analysis

  • Gary TzuEmail author
  • Brittany Bannerman
  • Karim McCallum
Article

Abstract

Cultivating non-dual awareness involves transcendent movement through specific stages of psyche development. This transition allows for freedom from the constraints of the ego self or the illusory self and the mind, and a new focus on the collapse of dualism into oneness and acceptance of life as it presents itself. Such non-dual awareness was thought to be a rare occurrence, but new research is pointing to its increasing availability and accessibility. This transcendence, however, is not without its plights, crises, fluctuations, and breakthroughs. Using a transpersonal, existential, and phenomenological approach the authors investigated consciousness as it manifested in the journeys of nine novice’s awakening and transitioning from duality and separation into non-dual being. This article focuses on the themes that manifested in the initial transition from duality to non-duality. Existential issues, as well as resistances to them, played an important role in serving as openings into such non-dual states of being. Themes in duality included: Seeking to the fill the void, frustration, and despair; reinforcement of the ego through the other and assumed roles; a lack of sense of belonging resulting in alienation and loneliness; patterns of childhood trauma and resultant wounding; and experiences of betrayal, fear, and adopted coping mechanisms. Themes during the transition into non-duality included: Disillusionment with seeking, failurehood, and the seeker’s hell; ego deconstruction and questioning of reality; experiences of intuitive knowing and gnosis; direct experiences of non-duality; recollection of childhood experiences of no-self and oneness; reassertion of the mind and ego, as well as fluctuations in and out of non-duality; avoidance of spiritual bypass by working through wounds and personal issues; and fueling of the non-dual journey by reconnecting to one’s authentic energy. These themes are explored in the context of transcendence through the stages of psyche development and the implications of the first part of the novice’s journeys of awakening into non-duality are discussed.

Keywords

Non-dual Awakening Transpersonal psychology Existentialism Ego Self Consciousness Spiritual bypass Ego deconstruction Self awareness Spiritual emergency 

References

  1. Adyashanti. (2004). Emptiness dancing. Boulder: Sounds True.Google Scholar
  2. Adyashanti. (2008). The end of your world. Boulder: Sounds True.Google Scholar
  3. Almaas, A. H. (2001). The point of existence: Transformation of narcissism in self-realization. Boston: Shambhala Publications.Google Scholar
  4. Almaas, A. H. (2004). The inner journey home: The soul’s realization of the unity of reality. Boston: Shambhala Publications.Google Scholar
  5. Almaas, A. H. (2008). The unfolding now. Realizing your true nature through the practice of presence. Boston: Shambhala.Google Scholar
  6. Assagioli, R. (1971). Psychosynthesis. New York: Hobbs, Dorman.Google Scholar
  7. Blackstone, J. (2006). Intersubjectivity and nonduality in the psychotherapeutic relationship. Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 38, 25–39.Google Scholar
  8. Chessick, R. D. (1990). Hermeneutics for psychotherapists. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 44, 256–273.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Cochrane, L. (1985). Position and the nature of personhood. Westport: Greenwood Press.Google Scholar
  10. Cochrane, L. (1986). Portrait and story. Westport: Greenwood Press.Google Scholar
  11. Corey, G. (2005). Theory and practice of counselling and psychotherapy. Belmont: Brooks/Cole.Google Scholar
  12. Epstein, M. (1986). Meditative transformations of narcissism. Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 18, 143–158.Google Scholar
  13. Foster, J. (2007). Beyond awakening. Salisbury: Non-Duality Press.Google Scholar
  14. Frankl, V. (1963). Man’s search for meaning. Boston: Beacon.Google Scholar
  15. Friedman, W.J. (2010). Surrender all to consciousness to reveal the self. Paradoxica: Journal of Nondual Psychology, 2. Retrieved July 8, 2015 from http://paradoxica.ca/surrender-all-to-consciousness-to-reveal-the-self.
  16. Grof, S. (1985). Beyond the brain: Birth, death, and transcendence in psychotherapy. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  17. Grof, S. (1988). The adventure of self-discovery. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  18. Grof, S., & Grof, C. (1986). Spiritual emergency: the understanding and treatment of transpersonal crises. ReVision, 8, 7–20.Google Scholar
  19. Heidegger, M. (1962). Being and time. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  20. Hixon, L. (1978). Coming home. New York: Anchor.Google Scholar
  21. Katie, B. (2002). Loving what is. New York: Harmony Books.Google Scholar
  22. Kierkegaard, S. (1954). The sickness unto death. New York: Doubleday.Google Scholar
  23. Kohlberg, L. (1981). Essays on moral development (Vol. 1). San Francisco: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  24. Loevinger, T. (1976). Ego development. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  25. Maslow, A. (1968). Toward a psychology of being. New York: Van Nostrund Reinhold.Google Scholar
  26. May, R. (1953). Man’s search for himself. New York: Dell.Google Scholar
  27. May, R. (1981). Freedom and destiny. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  28. McKenna, J. (2002). Spiritual enlightenment: The damndest thing. New York: Wisefool Press.Google Scholar
  29. Nietzsche, F. (1954). Thus spake Zarathustra. In W. Kaufman (Ed.), The portable Nietzsche. New York: Viking.Google Scholar
  30. Nixon, G. (2005). Beyond dry drunkenness: facilitating second stage recovery using Wilber’s spectrum of consciousness developmental model. Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions, 5, 55–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Nixon, G. (2010). Nondual counselling and psychotherapy: the transformation of anxiety into nondual being. Counselling and Spirituality, 29, 47–66.Google Scholar
  32. Nixon, G., & Sharpe, N. (2009). Nondual psychotherapy: letting go of the separate self contraction and embracing non-dual being. Paradoxica: Journal of Nondual Psychology, 1. Retrieved July 7, 2015 from http://paradoxica.ca/category/volume1.
  33. Nixon, G., & Solowoniuk, J. (2008). A transpersonal development approach to gambling treatment. In M. Zangeneth, A. Blaszczynski, & N. Turner (Eds.), In the pursuit of winning: Problem gambling theory, research and treatment (pp. 211–227). New York: Springer Publications.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Nixon, G., Hagen, B., & Peters, T. (2010). Psychosis and transformation: a phenomenological inquiry. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 8, 527–544.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. O’Keeffe, J. (2014). Prior to phenomenal perception. Paradoxica: Journal of Nondual Psychology, 6. Retrieved July 7, 2015 from http://paradoxica.ca/category/volume6/.
  36. Osborne, J. (1990). Some basic existential phenomenological research methodology for counselors. Canadian Journal of Counselling, 24, 79–91.Google Scholar
  37. Palmer, R. E. (1969). Hermeneutics: Interpretation theory in Schleiermacher, Dilthey, Heidegger, and Gadamer. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.Google Scholar
  38. Parsons, T. (2004). Invitation to awaken: Embracing our natural state of presence. Carlsbad: Inner Directions.Google Scholar
  39. Piaget, J. (1977). The essential Piaget. New York: Basic.Google Scholar
  40. Prendergast, J. (2003). Introduction. In J. Prendergast, P. Fenner, & S. Krystal (Eds.), The sacred mirror: Nondual wisdom and psychotherapy (pp. 1–22). St. Paul: Paragon House.Google Scholar
  41. Prendergast, J., & Bradford, G. K. (2007). Towards an embodied nonduality: Introductory remarks. In J. Prendergast & G. K. Bradford (Eds.), Listening from the heart of silence: Nondual Wisdom and Psychotherapy (Vol. 2, pp. 1–34). St. Paul: Paragon House.Google Scholar
  42. Sartre, J. P. (1971). Being and nothingness. New York: Bantam Books.Google Scholar
  43. Schaef, C. D. (1992). Many roads, one recovery: Moving beyond the 12 steps. New York: Harper.Google Scholar
  44. Solowoniuk, J., & Nixon, G. (2009). Introducing transpersonal phenomenology: the direct experience of a sudden awakening. Paradoxica: Journal of Nondual Psychology, 1. Retrieved July 7, 2015 from http://paradoxica.ca/category/volume1.
  45. Theriault, B. (2005). The non-dual experience: A phenomenological hermeneutic investigation of the seeker’s journey towards wholeness. University of Lethbridge: Unpublished Masters thesis.Google Scholar
  46. Tolle, E. (1997). The power of now: A guide to spiritual enlightenment. Vancouver: Namaste Publishing.Google Scholar
  47. Tolle, E. (2005). A new earth: Awakening to your life’s purpose. New York: Dutton.Google Scholar
  48. Trungpa, C. (1973). Cutting through spiritual materialism. Berkeley: Shambhala.Google Scholar
  49. Tzu, G. (2014a). Beyond addiction to awakening. Seattle: Create Space.Google Scholar
  50. Tzu, G. (2014b). Awakening in the paradox of darkness. Victoria: Friesen Press.Google Scholar
  51. Tzu, G., Bannerman, B., & Griffith, S. (2015). Losing my self in non-dual awakening: a transpesonal phenomenological investigation. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. doi: 10.1007/s11469-015-9564-z.Google Scholar
  52. Valle, R. (1998). Phenomenological inquiry in psychology: Existential and transpersonal dimensions. New York: Plenum.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Van Hesteren, F. (1986). Counselling research in a different key: the promise of the human science perspective. Canadian Journal of Counselling, 20, 200–234.Google Scholar
  54. Van Manen, M. (1990). Researching lived experience: Human sciences for an action sensitive pedagogy. London: The Althouse Press.Google Scholar
  55. Von Eckartsberg, R. (1998). Introducing existential-phenomenological psychology. In R. S. Valle (Ed.), Phenomenological inquiry in psychology: Transpersonal dimensions (pp. 3–61). New York: Plenum Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Walsh, R., & Vaughan, F. (Eds.). (1980). Beyond ego. Los Angeles: Jeremy Tarcher.Google Scholar
  57. Walsh, R., & Vaughan, F. (Eds.). (1993). Paths beyond ego: The transpersonal vision. New York: Tarcher/Putnam.Google Scholar
  58. Washburn, M. (1988). The ego and the dynamic ground. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  59. Washburn, M. (1994). Transpersonal psychology in psychoanalytic perspective. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  60. Welwood, J. (2002). Toward a psychology of awakening: Buddhism, psychotherapy, and the path of personal and spiritual transformation. Boston: Shambhala.Google Scholar
  61. Wilber, K. (1977). The spectrum of consciousness. Wheaton: Quest.Google Scholar
  62. Wilber, K. (1982). A sociable god. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  63. Wilber, K. (1986a). The spectrum of development. In K. Wilber, J. Engler, & D. Brown (Eds.), Transformations of consciousness (pp. 65–105). Boston: Shambhala.Google Scholar
  64. Wilber, K. (1986b). The spectrum of psychopathology. In K. Wilber, J. Engler, & D. Brown (Eds.), Transformations of consciousness (pp. 107–126). Boston: Shambhala.Google Scholar
  65. Wilber, K. (1986c). Treatment modalities. In K. Wilber, J. Engler, & D. Brown (Eds.), Transformations of consciousness (pp. 127–159). Boston: Shambhala.Google Scholar
  66. Wilber, K. (1990). Eye to eye: The quest for the new paradigm. Boston: Shambhala.Google Scholar
  67. Wilber, K. (1995). Sex, ecology, and spirituality: The spirit of evolution. Boston: Shambhala.Google Scholar
  68. Wilber, K. (1997). The eye of spirit: An integral version for a world gone slightly mad. Boston: Shambhala.Google Scholar
  69. Wilber, K. (2000). Integral psychology. Boston: Shambhala.Google Scholar
  70. Wilber, K. (2006). Integral spirituality. Boston: Shambhala.Google Scholar
  71. Wilber, K., Engler, J., Brown, D. P., & Chirban, J. (1986). Transformations of consciousness: Conventional and contemplative perspectives on development. Boston: New Science Library.Google Scholar
  72. Willis, P. (2004). From “the things themselves” to a “feeling of understanding”: finding different voices in phenomenological research. The Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology, 4, 1–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Yalom, I. (1980). Existential psychotherapy. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of LethbridgeLethbridgeCanada

Personalised recommendations