Chapter 4


The Solution

  Our theme is Gnosis, and this is direct primordial enlightenment, so now we speak directly to you, the reader, as Gnosis is an individual, personal experience.  You must make a passage from ignorance through learning to wisdom. There must be an opening away from the profane into the transcendental which is also the immanent, your immanency.  You are this immanency, free already from profane distortion; you are the most ordinary, functional innate consciousness, only needing to self-recognize yourself.   The divine life is at the very root of the profane, made profane only by distortions in the thinking and perception as described before.   The innate state of consciousness which you are is not only the source of your mind but also the source and nature of all the moving phenomena which come and go throughout all of cyclic existence. This great blissful consciousness is that generating all beings and things and environments — all already pure in essence.   As long as you do not understand your own nature, your own real reality, you will remain a common sentient being; but when understanding, all becomes clear.  You will know what you really are. The difference between conflict and freedom depends on whether or not you are obscured about your real reality.   It will do no good to keep thinking about it and trying to figure it out.  You must know that when conceptualizing stops, non-conceptual awareness is present.   You are exactly that in your primal state.

   You can simply observe thoughts; this is called mind.  If you vigilantly watch for thoughts to arise, remaining receptive to their potential arisings, they don’t then arise.   What is watching vigilantly for them to arise is the source from which they come, your pure essence.   The distinction between mind and pure consciousness has to be made.  When thoughts do arise, without following along entangled in them, they can simply be observed, and upon directly looking at them, or for them, they dissolve by themselves back into their source. You are just a knowing mirror, wisdom beyond mind. The relationship between your inherent wisdom-consciousness and the thought-filled dichotomizing mind is like the reflective capacity of a mirror and the reflections that continually arise upon it.   You have to learn to work with this movement and get deeply experienced with it.  In pure presence there is no difference between the calm state of mind and the movements of thoughts.  If thoughts come up, be present in awareness of that; if no thoughts happen to appear, whatever happens, be presently aware of that. Whatever happens, there is a spontaneous presence beyond either movement or non-movement.

       After you prepare yourself to recognize yourself as fundamental primordial awareness in contradistinction with the automaton mind, holistic unity then can become obvious.  Stability comes about through recognizing again and again your primordial base and learning to relax into that presence.  A higher kind of knowledge is therein, transcending the distortions of mind.   Contemplation is the relaxation of that mind completely until a relaxed presence continues steadily.  Everything is known as a distinct manifestation of the energies of your basic state and therefore all is known as fundamentally pure.  There is no need to try to purify anything.  Then you can relax, and this relaxation requires no intention. You are already where you might have been previously motivated to get to, so this state is obviously already pure.  You only need to learn to remain relaxed in presence no matter what the events and circumstances appear to be as outcomes of the infinite arisings of energy.   You learn to integrate your conduct with this state of wisdom and presence. Everything that happens becomes an opportune occasion to practice removing obscurations by letting them self-dissolve away. Contemplation like this does not require a modification of anything, and presence is integrated with all events which continually come and go; there is an absence of tension or any effort of trying to relax. Thought movement subsides and mental agitation wanes.   All are seen and known as aspects of totalistic existence; this is equanimity, vigilant relaxed presence with wisdom, undistracted.

    No matter what happens, you don’t have to let it distract you.   No matter what occurs either externally or internally, coarsely or subtly, it has no power over you.  You need not continue to be caught within the causal nexus. Just one instant’s recognition of primordial source consciousness eradicates negative habitual propensities and mental hindrances accumulated over all past time. Primordial essence cannot be tainted by multitudinous delusions. This stainless consciousness is the Gnosis.  Gnosis here and now is the summum bonum of all meditative and contemplative exercise, the end of all ratiocinative growth, and erupts in spontaneous pure and right conduct.  When the mind is free of hope and fear, you are sovereign and free. Whatever comes to be, just let it be so, without any interference, without criticism, evaluation, preference, or prejudice.  Presume nothing at all. This is pure perspective beyond all striving based upon egoistic motivations. The base propensity, ego, is no longer your base; your base is primal awareness. As phenomena arise, just let them be, leave them as they are and don’t get attached; defilements of mind are naturally free to dissolve because of absence of attachment to them.

   This contemplation is the innate experience of being free and with intense and prolonged practice all motivational illnesses will vanish. The constant emergence of vivid events and appearances is a continuous wonder when you can just be this way. Stay poised, free and easeful, in a state of perception where there is no residue of mind and proclivities and become stable in unfixated relaxed presence. If mental residue arises, just let it go its own way, staying aware in detached equanimity.   Stay awake in acute presence and lucidity, not in some kind of absorbed trance, but in brilliant presence of right here and right now.  You don’t have to try to alter your thoughts in any way; just leave them alone to do whatever they do without clinging to them or rejecting them.  After all, they are perfect results of the holistic matrix, and as such are naturally pure in their own way. Your wisdom will extract the pervasive energies of aberrant thought and change it into divine energy.

   When this source state of lucid awareness is recognized, it is that very awareness which is recognizing itself. But this experience is very different from all other perceptual experience because here the perceiver is not perceiving an object.  The perceiver perceives itself and recognizes objectless perception. One recognizes oneself as already self-perfected and as such, all barriers are spontaneously overcome.  Tensions are relaxed until they dissolve away, and proper conduct in pure presence according to wisdom is then also spontaneous.  Seeing the perfection of cause and effect sequentiality everything is then known to be already perfectly accomplished. Obligation and personal efforts arise from egoistic agitation and tension created by the deluded automaton mind; these things are like an illness.   All the activities of daily life can be integrated within the state of formless contemplation, this state of pure awareness. It may be necessary to calm the mind a bit first if it is absorbed in habit energies, and then just stably abide in the recognition of holistic lucidity. The contemplative practice is to remain relaxed and cognizant of how mental conditions and factors come and go, along with their feelings, emotions, and all distractive external objects and events, while simultaneously recognizing them all within the context of the flux of the totality of the matrix.  This is holistic wisdom.  The more this is done, the more realization crystallizes that all thoughts and superimpositions arise from source consciousness and reenter into it.  Thoughts themselves are of the essence of pure primordial awareness and are a projection of consciousness power and activity.  By cultivating this recognition again and again, understanding arises and mental phenomena begin to subside of their own accord.   Stability in perpetual recognition gives radical freedom.

   You must learn to sustain recognition.  Liberation and freedom is the experience of nondual realization. When at rest, there is no motion of mind and there can be an unadorned perception unclouded with residues of delusion and dichotomies.  When you look directly at your own awareness there is nothing to be seen.  This is objectless introversion; there is nothing specific to be perceived. Nonetheless, this recognition is not an absence, but the perfect secret fullness.  After this recognition you must also recognize mental movements and projections before they become the chains of attachment and aversion. You have to learn to detach from wildly running concepts and dualistic cognitive processes before they turn into those chains of confinement.  This is what mind can do to the unvigilant.   The mind is like a drunken artist and all beings under the influence of such a mind are subject to entanglement in its seductions and the pictures it draws in the passive thought processes.

  Pure Gnosis is the ground of all being.  Without getting habituated in formal meditative sessions and structured practices, stay in constant wholetime contemplation.  Sustain your recognition all the time. Spontaneous reflexive recognition of the flow of mental factors as they appear and disappear, without any preference or prejudice, makes them all weaken and vanish.  Then there is again the recognition of the absence of the thought processes of mind, which puts you back in your primordial essence.  By virtue of a new habit, habitual reflexive recognition of mental motions and projections as contractions of the energies of pure consciousness, you can relax in a knowing equanimity.  Thoughts are like waves on an ocean, but no matter how large or long the tumbling wave, it remains in and as the ocean.   Quiescent mind is in the state of Gnosis, so stay relaxed.  If mind is active, just let it be so, and whatever wave comes tumbling by is recognized as the natural expression of Gnosis itself.  So in this you can stay relaxed. Recognize like this again and again, and yet again relax.

   Become established in the nature of your original existential condition. Cut through the knots of attachment and aversion and all dichotomized opinion.  When the mind is free of all ego-motivated ambition and all belief supports, that is correct vision and the proper way to abide.  Judgmental thought may come but it is an old web of habit to avoid getting entangled in, so stay present in holistic lucidity, responsive and not reactive, flexible in unobstructed freedom. You cannot perceive non-conceptual truth with a structured intellect, so remain in contemplative relaxation, real Gnosis free of dualistic projections and subtle compulsive delusions.

   This is a direct experience of primordial consciousness.  This induces a quiescent state of mind that breaks the vicious circle of moral and mental cause and effect.  Formless contemplation deconditions consciousness. Formless contemplation does not use concentration on any objective form, but is intent on discovering that primordial consciousness that is able to perceive all forms, all sense impressions, and all thoughts. Formless contemplation consists of just letting the original existential condition prevail spontaneously, moment by moment; this existential condition is actually conditionless, the state of precausal primal awareness.

    This is the correct and most profound approach, and while learning to do this formless contemplation, a question arises as to how to sustain such pure perception, the fundamental awareness of holistic unity unclouded by thought, emotion, or external distractions.  This primal awareness is the starting point and also the goal.  The practice of maintaining constant vigilance in this lucidity is the essential discipline. Sustaining constant primal unmodified awareness inherent in each moment of perception until gnostic vision arises is the way to transcend all vicious circles of cyclic conflict.  This Gnosis becomes the irrevocable norm.  So the answer to the question of how to sustain such pure perception will be found by you when you practice again and again and again relax.

    You must practice detachment from all conceptual activity.  The path to perfect non-attachment is the path to that perfect holistic integral balance wherein your human potential for power and knowledge and will through perfect awareness is maximized. Thoughts do not have to be and should not be suppressed; just let them be and don’t follow along with them or pay them much regard. This is a formless contemplation, no object on which to concentrate, no constructed visualization on which to focus, no particular idea to stick to, and no absolute distinction made between subject cognizer and sensory object. All is known as just one functioning. This contemplation is the active expression of gnostic awareness, outside the realm of cause and effect, yet the inherent essence of all subject-object relation.  Whatever comes about appears spontaneously without anything separately specific coming to be or ceasing to be, and the awareness from which all is inseparable is likewise the true condition of all conditions. Thoughts and emotions do not need to be purified because they are a function of the continuum of the reality matrix.  All thought and emotion are consequences of previous mind function, so if those are negatively oriented and disharmonious they must be altered at their source, which is the mind in its ignorance and wrong views. There is really nothing else to be done; it is enough to leave the mind as it is, with a relaxed presence, not entangled within its displays.  Thoughts will dissolve of themselves when the desire in them is not supported. Relax the body and mind and look directly at the mind’s functioning and stay free from all tension.  Turn your attention to who it is who is the watcher of mental functioning, what it is that recognizes the thought movements.  Do this again and again in short sessions throughout each day.  This is the most direct of all yogic, meditative, or contemplative pathways to lucid awareness, and the essence of the mystic perennial wisdom.

   The entire universe has just one foundation which is unconditioned — an unutterable, self-originating, limitless expanse of potentiality.  All beings who remain ignorant of it will continue to wander in the clutch of bewilderment and conflict.  Knowledge of the fundamental source is the only way to release yourself from progressive conditioning sustained by the ignorance that accompanies each moment of perception. A ceaseless, unmindful, distorted cognition, and the powers of distraction sustain the error of dualistic discrimination, the basis of all delusion.  What is needed is the spontaneous and continual gnostic lucidity that heals the disease (dis-ease) of dualistic perception. Unifying right knowledge and right view, through ratiocination, into pellucid clarity, bring your awareness to such a clarity that the mind submits and enters silence.   But silence is no result of any technique of concentration or contemplation.  Could silence, the silence of one grounded in the reality of totality, be a result of that understanding?  Silence can never be a practice, or effect, that results from understanding anything; silence is equivalent with wisdom and only silence can come close to the expression of what is inconceivable. Since the inconceivable cannot be objectively expressed, silence is so equated with it. Silence is neither a cause nor is it a result of any ideal or any practice or method.

     Automaton reactivity can be subjugated and dissolved away, little by little, through the conscientious alteration of speech. Instead of immediately speaking forth as the effect of a previous or ongoing thought-stream, take a deep breath.   This extra space between a thought and the spoken words interrupts the mechanical reactivity of the mental processes.   You then and there become more intelligently responsive instead of mechanistically reactive. This meditative practice is potent and serves to eliminate coarse reactivity by introducing more vigilance in skillful mindfulness. This is an intelligent use of silence, which is the background of all thought and speech, in order to create a gap of stillness in which things can be re-cognized as-they-really-are, before automatically speaking out a thought.  In most cases a thought will be expressed differently after a short meditative gap of silent non-reactivity has been purposefully created.  This is a proper tactical use of active attention.

    When you are not absorbed in the remembrance of the past or in the imaginations for the future you are outside the illusions of conceptual time and in the unimpeded state of present lucidity.  So relax in the way of looking at the thoughts the mind is presently producing.   Whatever you notice at this time are only the displays of mental functions reflected in consciousness. But, keep recognizing that consciousness itself does not change according to the changing external scenes and internal thoughts, just as space does not change and is not affected by the objects moving in it.   Consciousness itself has no form but is able to manifest all forms.  The real nature of all is the one foundational essence — consciousness — beyond all phenomena and mental constructs yet immanent in them.   Confusion comes from not realizing this.  Many times during each day reflect on this truth and remember your own essence, stay disengaged and detached but vigilantly receptive and open.   In the gap between the intermittent flow of your thoughts is the clear wakefulness of thought-free lucidity, so stay relaxed and easy in the absence of mental fixations. Don’t fixate on anything, even non–fixatedness.  Your lucid awareness is not confined in any way.   Just remain in a witnessing awareness. Knowing the truth, undistracted, in vigilant attentiveness, the mind will do nothing because your attention is acutely active.  If thoughts arise, don’t try to modify the mind by trying to suppress it or improve it; don’t try to confine your attention to any kind of object or activity. Just relax in attentive vigilance and know yourself as lucid awareness.

    This contemplation is not an escape from or an obliviousness toward anything; it is a radiant and vibrant quality of cognition, a clear and intelligent state of awareness where everything is recognized and known spontaneously as an aspect of functional totality; you don’t have to think about it. Consciousness is like a clear mirror, a deep reflective ocean with a perfectly calm and lucid surface that can reflect everything everywhere all simultaneously and perfectly.  The reflections here do not influence or change the mirror, so the mirror knows it has no inherent preference or prejudice toward the reflections.  This is the training in steady sharpness and stability.  Your attention should not stray; don’t let your attention get caught or bound up on anything particular.  Distractions are just a flow of causal functionality and should not bind up your awareness, just like objects cannot bind up open space.  Your awareness is like space in that it has no objective reference point of its own.  Look for the beginnings of the contractions of attention which create mind and be alert to this potentiality.  Non-alertness will allow this potential to strengthen and manifest the passivity that then allows attraction to or repulsion from distractive events.  So just relax attention and be on guard for it to drift, and recognize it as starting to drift when it does so. Maintain stable recognition of yourself as lucid awareness and your mind will stop running toward distractions. Such recognitions are lucid Gnosis.

    When everything is experienced as pure already there is no need to continue to react based on egoistic motivations.   The reality is that everything is as it should be, according to the laws of relativity. Mind contractions are generally automated fabrications, so don’t get absorbed in the delusions of them; just stay in the unfabricated state. If the occasion arises where it would be skillful and beneficial to use the mind, the developed power of ratiocination ensures efficient and powerful capacities for thinking.  The spontaneous continuity of presence, the un-binding of the activities of binding, can be known in your own being.  Freedom from the influence of mental constructs is the freeing of attention, the de-programming of constrictive habits.  This is the entry into the heart of existence, the ever-free, ever-awakened self-knowing Gnosis. Lack of this understanding is the only real defilement to be overcome.   Pure knowing experience comes about by letting everything be in its reality as-it-really-is  — not as it might be presumed to be.   There is no need to add or substantially alter anything.  Even so-called defilements do not need to be purified, for they are already perfect defilements. Just recognize them for what they really are and they disappear as presumptions created by mind, resolved by themselves back into their source.  This is seeing with the eye of purity.

   Be open, aware, and receptive, beyond entanglement in concepts, devoid of fabrications, daydream, and other mental constructs. Your primordial, unconditioned essential being is radiant and allows everything to appear like reflections on a mirror while also retaining the capacity to recognize the absence of duality.   Habitual tendencies are then relinquished, ignorance and wrong views vanish away, and wisdom abides without the need for thought structures and conceptualization.  The root of all conflict is cut by just recognizing and becoming stable in your essential base consciousness.  The mind of such a contemplative is unbound and all becomes a possibility.  There is not a point where anyone can remember being unconfined by rules, regulations, laws, assumptions, bewilderments, or effects generated by previous actions and thinking, so at first the prospect of such unbound freedom may be somewhat disquieting or seemingly incredible. One who is stable in this kind of lucidity, however, has no doubts whatsoever and has transcended such limitations.   Utter freedom in an expanse like space is the real liberation and is possible because your mind — and everything else — is finally recognized as pure function, perfectly pure already.  There is a great oneness and such a discovery permits spontaneity in action and intelligent responsiveness. This wisdom is present even within thoughts and the thinking process and is therefore radiant.

   The emergence of individuated holistic intelligence occurs in this manner: one must deliberately and attentively leave the mind in an undisturbed and relaxed condition stabilized in transcendent poise. Re-established many, many times over a long period of time and repetitiously restabilizing the mind and attention in this manner, a quality of open receptivity becomes more and more steady, beyond all distractions and fixations.    One then abides naturally in free consciousness as a mere onlooker, a knowing witness of objects and events, coarse and subtle, without any presumption, supposition, superimposition, preference, prejudice, acceptance, or rejection.  This perfect contemplative stance is a simple and pure introspective introversion of attention.   Doing so diverts the creative energies of consciousness away from its fragmentations and differentiations which are the effects of the mental-sets created through the passivity of attention.

    Active subjective introversion of attention is pure contemplative exercise which eventually can become constant holistic awareness. It is the skillful application of active attention in free watchfulness toward the potential to enter into distraction, or to relapse again into passive attention.  This is direct contemplative attentiveness focused on the processes of conditioned passive reactivity, mechanistic automatism, and becoming once again free from it.   In this way, attention should be actively and deliberately directed toward the potential movements of attention itself.  Attention becomes attentive to its own movements, and thus intelligence arises.   Intelligence is the pure quality of lucid awareness and in this condition the individual can become fully integrated with the whole of existence, a great knower of truth, a manifest representative of perfect holistic intelligence.   This is the sign of Gnosis.

     The presence of lucidity is Gnosis.   Gnosis is immediate knowing, not dependent on psychosomatic senses, sensorial impressions, perceptions, or accumulated mundane knowledge, an understanding not attained through or dependent upon conceptualization processes.  Gnosis is wisdom that can make intelligent use of conceptual knowledge but is not confined by it or bound to any supposition generated by it.  The presence of lucidity is the next stage of progress for the consciously evolving individual.    It culminates in Gnosis.








The End


From the Book Gnosis by S. R. Allen

Also by this author:
Heart Blossoms
A Commentary and Analysis of the
Exalted Mahayana Sutra on the
Profound Perfection of Wisdom
Called the Heart Sutra


gnosiscontemplative science



Enlightenment Philosophy Books Advaita Consciousness Psychology Wisdom Contemplative Science