Writings in Progress:
Excerpts from selected meditations on
Fourth Way Version 4.1 methods
Copyright J.D. Chielli - Director of Summa Foundation - Philadelphia, PA
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In the pause that follows the sudden cessation of chanting, students have an opportunity to experience attention free from identification and move toward the Self. Understanding the technology of this phenomenon can inform one's work in a profound way.
During the chanting, attention becomes directed to, and identified with, the sounds and sensations of the chant. This breaks the identification with thoughts and other personality "Is". One's usual identifications are replaced by a new identification with the chant.
At the point where the chanting suddenly stops, the "rug" or object of identification is suddenly pulled out from under attention. In that moment attention is free. If a special effort is made simultaneously to expand attention to the full dimensionality of the present moment, one boldly approaches Self-Realization.
The Self is constantly present in the only real time there ever is, the present moment. The Self takes the changing form of the All and Everything. It takes the constantly changing form of All that comes through the senses and Everything that you think and feel.
Every stimulus and response event that occurs with your machine must be modeled by the Self. For anything to exist for you, your Self must take its form. Reality = Self = Reality. Attention is typically like a tiny flashlight beam of consciousness that illuminates only a small portion of the Self as the Self continuously takes the shape of all that exists in you, through you, and around you.
As the Self continues to morph reality, as though dancing to the symphonic changefullness of the All and Everything, attention typically brings to awareness only the smallest fragments of Self = Reality = Self that are meaningful to your programming and operationally useful for the satisfaction of your immediate needs. Because attention is narrowly focused we cannot see the Self, missing the forest for the trees, missing the reality for the "Is", missing the Truth for the lies.
The aim of the Fourth Way models is to build understanding and will so that attention's typical identification with one's narrow, personal, and mechanical programs can be broken. Once freed from the moorings of one's personal mechanicality, attention can expand dramatically.
As attention expands, one begins to come into presence. The experience of presence, of connecting with the present moment, is the experience of attention broadening its beam of light and spreading its awareness to the distant borders of that vast territory of sentience we call The Self.
William Blake's image of God measuring the world with a compass recreates this
sense of attention "measuring up" to the divine proportions of the Self.
As attention approaches the proportions of the Self the miraculous phenomenon of the Self comes into view, one begins to glow with presence and the realization of Self. As attention reaches its limit it begins to merge with Self, becoming one with Self. Ecstasy, lightness, profound well being, complete loss of identity, sense of great beauty, compassion and love are possible.
In religious belief systems this experience was and still is considered a revelation of some external, all powerful, unseen entity called "God". This elaboration on the experience led to all kinds of mischief and imagination that ultimately obscures the experience and makes it more difficult to rediscover.
In the Fourth Way Version 4.1 this experience is simply called "The Realization of Self", which means realization of what you, as a sentient being, most deeply and essentially are. This experience is closely related to that old philosophical concept "Truth", discarded by humanity in the late twentieth century due to an overwhelming flood of relativistic information.
In the Fourth Way Version 4.1 there is a logic to the methodology of Self Realization. This is what makes Version 4.1 unique.
The methodology of Self Realization involves stretching attention to an exponential degree, where the curve of its awareness approaches the asymptotes of The Self. This is where the highest probability of attention merging and becoming one with Self occurs in the name of higher consciousness. This is the dawn of the miraculous where the calculus of enlightenment is plotted with the compass of attention far beyond all the variables of your being.
How beautifully the different aspects of The Work resemble many rivers flowing toward the sea of the Self! All the techniques and the concepts are carefully engineered to produce Realization of Self.
When one has a realization about the true nature of Self, then Self-Remembering takes on a new and special meaning. When one makes the effort to Remember the Self after realizing the nature of Self, one is above the foothills and making the hard vertical ascent up the mountain of awakening.
Successful work with attention means that attention, in general, becomes less deeply and less often identified with the mechanical features of the machine. Attention, in order to reveal the Self by coming into congruence with the Self, must be non-identified with the personality and other aspects of one's mechanicality.
The Work's emphasis on mechanicality, false personality, chief features, and buffers is designed to promote a new understanding of what you are. This new understanding will shift what you value about your own personal existence from the familiar patterns of stimulus response to the consciousness that is aware of them.
This is a preparation for those moments when attention frees itself from identification with the patterns that constitute our personal identity "our familiar little selves". These mechanistic patterns of our psychology create a sense of identity that is extremely confining and illusory, yet comfortable and difficult to let go of even for a moment.
To experience the Self you must let go of the personal identity, and there is a long period of preparation and study before one is able to do so without feeling insane. One must gradually come to an understanding of the relativity and unimportance of one's own personality and personal identity. As this understanding grows you can more easily drop this limiting sense of what you are and begin to expand and explore the vast dimensions of the Self.
During meditation the mind is like a crystal set that one is trying to tune so that the songs of reality performed by the senses and written by the All And Everything can be clearly perceived. The many "Is", that familiar buzz of mechanical thoughts, is the static that interferes with the reception. In meditation one tries to tune out the static. How does one do that? The tuner is Attention. One turns the dial with Will.
To learn more, you can contact Summa Foundation for the full text of this writing or to participate in the work going on there.