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Lions Roar : March 2006
materialize unless there is a slight tinge of being haunted by your own ego. The hauntedness and the sense of insight work togeth- er. That is what creates experience. Experience cannot happen unless there is both black and white, sweet and sour working together. Otherwise, you are just absorbed into the sweet, or you are absorbed into the sour, and there is no experience. You have no way of working with yourself at alL I want to reiterate that, on the whole, we should regard our prac- tice and our journey as experiential, rather than being based on programmed stages of development. You may be taking a particular program of practice and study now; next you will advance to another kind of program. On July 4th, you have decided to change your pro- gram to something different. On September 2nd, you will go on to something else. You've made it to the first bhumi, and now you will work on the second bhumi. You are doing shamatha training now, but on July 10th you are going to join the vipashyana training. We do all kinds of things like that. However, in reality things don't work that way. A lot of teachers have tried to institute such techniques, and they have failed. A lot of students have tried to poll themselves, so that they know where they are at, so to speak, and they have also failed. We have no way of knowing where we are on the path or how we are doing, as far as some standard computerized demand is concerned. However, we do know that we are on a journey. The journey is taking place, and that journey takes time and demands experience. ç 9 è 9 . I)J , '4.qþ We should also be careful when we use the term "experience" to talk about what we are experiencing or we will experience. Conventionally speaking, when we refer to a future experience, we have an idea and an expectation, some pre-warning of what we think the experience might be. Somebody tells you about it; you know roughly what it is and you prepare for it. You wait for that experience. It will come to you. You do as much as you can to prepare. You exert yourself. Then, you have the experience. In that scenario, everything is absolutely predictable. But here, when we are talking about this experience, the ex- perience of the fourth moment, we are not talking about a pro- grammed predictable experience as such. We are talking purely about an experience that comes from the unconscious mind. In terms of the underlying consciousness or the unconscious, we are referring to an abstract state of mind, a state of literal think- ing that doesn't have logic formulated yet. You just have a sense of ape instinct or radar instinct. In fact, we don't know where the experience comes from. It just comes. There is no point in trying to trace it back. It might come from God or from Adam and Eve. Of course, from the Buddhist point of view, we don't have a God; we don't have Adam and Eve. You are just you. So it doesn't come from any- where. It simply exists. You feel as if you were having a cold shower, and suddenly hot, Society SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2006 93