What is Clear Light? – An Interview

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“I think you should clarify that clear light is a metaphor and not an actual light.  Clear light dreams are defined by the state of the mind.   If you dream an image of light,  fine… but you might also dream of something else.  Or There might be nothing but awareness.”

I think you are absolutely correct.

However, shamanistic perspectives can and do perceive the clear light as an actual light.

This is the traditional assumption of naive realism regarding the absolute objectivity of experiences of extraordinary enlightenment.

“I have had a chance to think about clear light dreams and I have even had literal Shamanic clear light dreams…  It makes the issue even more hard for me because in these glowing light dreams I am startled by their sense of profound benevolence and deep meaning.”

“Clear light dreams are specific phenomena, but could clear light mean colorless light, but also perhaps be vibrant transparent colored sparkling or glowing objects?  It may not be independent but can emanate from dream objects?   They seem to communicate great wisdom?”

Everybody has their theory about what the white light/clear light is.

Their theory is generally more than simple belief; it is a belief based on the knowledge that they have experienced Truth and Reality.

However, if you look at any of these accounts you will find that the white/clear light is perceived and interpreted in terms of the personal mythology of the individual, which not only reflects their cultural scripting but to some extent their level of development. This occurs whether awake, dreaming, in a drug-induced or near death experience.

I say this because all you have to do to be eligible to report a full blown white light/clear light experience is almost die or take drugs. Children, accident victims, and criminals can have them. Therefore, we must distinguish between temporary state openings into awareness of white or clear light, available to almost anyone, and stable stage access to these experiences/awarenesses. As the ancient Taoist Chinese text, The Secret of the Golden Flower puts it, “The light is easy to raise but difficult to fix,” meaning stabilize in consciousness. Clearly, the fact that you are having repetitive experiences of white/clear light implies that they are the outgrowth of your practice, whatever it is, and the clarity of your awareness, meaning your ability to drop typical filtering that keeps most of us from experiencing white/clear light most of the time, whether awake or dreaming.

Ken Wilber in his compilation of the mystical wisdom of world traditions, divides these experiences into four transpersonal or selfless categories:

oneness with energy or nature – “the path of the yogis;”

oneness with deity through devotion and adoration – “the path of the saints;”

oneness with sunyata, the witness of the witness, no-self, or formlessness – “the path of the sages;” and

non-dual presence; the integration of samsara and sunyata, of illusion and oneness, form and formlessness.

There is a tendency for white/clear light experiences that have phenomenal characteristics, such as timelessness and spacelessness, or are experienced in terms of freedom or power, to be associated with the first variety, nature mysticism;

white light experiences that are colorful but are formless and associated with bliss tend to be associated with the second variety, deity mysticism. The picture above is an attempt at representation of white light as perceived at mid transpersonal. This would be your “vibrant, transparent, sparkling or colored” light;

white/clear light experiences that are formless or clear tend to be associated with the third variety, the path of the sages. This would be your “colorless light;”

Experiences of either white light or clear light, whether meditating or not, that demonstrate stability in the third variety can be taken as evidence of stabilization in the fourth variety.

Any of these can emanate from dream objects.

People typically fail to discriminate between temporary “enlightenments,” or experiences of one or another of these states, and with enlightenment itself, which is, for Integral Deep Listening at least, defined as ongoing stabilization on one or more of these levels, remembering that each subsequent level transcends and includes the last, implying prior stabilization at all previous levels. People who skip developmental stages and jump right into meditating twelve hours a day aren’t eligible. They will access these states and be convinced they are enlightened, like Saul on the Road to Damascus. They will then do much damage to others by charismatically communicating their unbalanced, mythologically-based certainty to others, with the best of intentions. The domain of spiritual teachers is littered with examples.

What does all this theoretical framing have to do with enlightenment? Cognitive framing creates contexts which allow us to discriminate what we experience when we have such experiences, something that is woefully lacking in drug and near death experiences of the light and in the understanding of the vast majority of lucid dream experiencers.

Integral Deep Listening (IDL), a form of dream yoga, (see IntegralDeepListening.Com) views the traditional world view of self-enlightenment as a form of psychological geocentrism. IDL emphasizes a polycentrism that is multi-perspectival and does not recognize atta (own being, substantiality, or independent, individual existence) as ultimately real. Instead, it emphasizes the contextual reality of dualities such as subjectivity, objectivity, falsity, self, and other. Consequently, it does not view the clear light as predicated on the perception of the dreamer, lucid dreamer, meditator, deceased, awake, or enlightened individual, who may view it as an actual light, a metaphor, or simply as awareness. IDL views all these as projections and instead invites you to interview the light itself and access its perspective, as the example below demonstrates.

IDL takes the approach that it is far wiser to humbly seek the wisdom of interviewed perspectives, such as clear or white lights themselves, whether they appear in dreams, mystical experiences, meditation, or normal waking consciousness. It teaches the interviewing of  dream and lucid dream characters, aspects of mystical experiences, and the personifications of mundane waking life issues that often put brakes on development such as addiction, physical pain, regret, impulsiveness, etc. IDL teaches that all experience, good, bad and ugly, is best approached as a series of wake up calls. Are you listening or merely projecting your own prejudices/biases/beliefs onto them?  And how do you know the difference?

A step in the right direction involves suspending your assumptions and simply interviewing this or that manifestation of the clear or white light. Why not consult it directly? Here is an example.

Imagine that you have had a literal shamanic clear light dream in which you were startled by its sense of profound benevolence and deep meaning.

Now imagine you are that clear light. Take its perspective and answer the following questions as if you were it. If you don’t or won’t imagine you are Clear Light and stay in that role as you answer these questions, the process won’t work.

Clear Light, would you please tell us about yourself and what you are doing in this dream (or mystical/near death experience)?

Clear Light, what do you like most about yourself? What are your strengths? 

Clear Light, what do you dislike most about yourself? Do you have weaknesses? What are they? 

Clear Light, what aspect of this dreamer do you represent or most closely personify? 

Clear Light, what aspect of you does this dreamer represent or most closely personify? 

Clear Light, if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any form you desired, would you change? If so, how? 

(The following questions are answered by Clear Light if it chose not to change; if it did, substitute the name of its new identity for “Clear Light” in the following questions:)

Clear Light, how would you score yourself 0-10, in each of the following six qualities: confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, inner peace, and witnessing? Why? 

Confidence, 0-10. Why?

Empathy, 0-10. Why?  ?

Wisdom, 0-10. Why?

Acceptance, 0-10. Why?

Inner Peace, 0-10. Why?

Witnessing, 0-10. Why?  

Clear Light, how would this dreamer’s life be different if she naturally scored like you do in all six of these qualities all the time? 

Clear Light, if you could live this dreamer’s life for her, how would you live it differently? 

Clear Light, if you could live this dreamer’s waking life for her today, would you handle life issues that are currently important to her differently? If so, how? 

Clear Light, what life issues would you focus on if you were in charge of this dreamer’s life? 

Clear Light, in what life situations would it be most beneficial for this dreamer to imagine that she is you and act as you would? 

Clear Light, you are at least partially the product of this dreamer’s consciousness. Why should this dreamer pay attention to anything you say? 

Clear Light, why do you think this dreamer had this dream? 

Thank you, Clear Light! And now a couple questions for this dreamer: 

What have you heard yourself say? 

If this experience were a wake-up call from your inner compass, what do you think it would be saying to you? 

Look back over the interview and list the specific recommendations that were made: 

Here is an example of such an interview:

Clear Light, would you please tell us about yourself and what you are doing in this dream (or mystical/near death experience)?

I am non-filtered, formless, spaceless and timeless. I am what you experience when you drop off sensory, emotional, cognitive, visual and consciousness filters. Most people still see me through some filters, and so they describe me as a higher order emotion like bliss, or a higher order cognition, like wisdom or Truth, or a higher order consciousness, like Reality.  But this is just an indication that they are still seeing me through some filters, although so much less so than normal that it blows their mind with my clarity, harmony, peace, nurturance and knowingness.

Clear Light, what do you like most about yourself? What are your strengths? 

I like that I am always already present, within and behind everyone and everything, like the clarity of the air between your eyes and these words you are reading, like the water fish swim in and breathe. I am so immediately and completely present that I am routinely overlooked and overwhelmed by the signaling necessary to keep you anchored in your body, mind and identity. One of my strengths is that I do not care; whether you wake up to me or not and the speed at which you do so is none of my concern. However, another of my strengths is my constant gentle pressure to wake up to myself through you, through evolving your awareness through the wake up calls you call stressors, challenges, problems, crises or nightmares.

Clear Light, what do you dislike most about yourself? Do you have weaknesses? What are they? 

No, nothing. I do not do likes or dislikes. I transcend and include all preferences.

Clear Light, what aspect of this dreamer do you represent or most closely personify? 

Clarity.

Clear Light, what aspect of you does this dreamer represent or most closely personify? 

My potential to wake up to myself, to know myself objectively, to discover new, fascinating and important evolving, emerging potentials.

Clear Light, if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any form you desired, would you change? If so, how? 

One could say I continuously change yet always stay the same. When you are one with both form and its formless source you are both, continuously.

(The following questions are answered by Clear Light if it chose not to change; if it did, substitute the name of its new identity for “Clear Light” in the following questions:)

Clear Light, how would you score yourself 0-10, in each of the following six qualities: confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, inner peace, and witnessing? Why? 

I transcend all of these qualities. I also include them. This does not mean that I am perfect because I am growing and waking up. It also does not mean that I am unattainable, beyond reach. On the contrary, I am unavoidable, as the ground of existence.

Confidence, 0-10. Why? 10+, meaning I do not feel confident or not confident, but I include both. This is because I do not die, so I have no fear, although I am certainly aware of how the evolution of a separate self-sense can generate a fear of death, loss or failure.

Empathy, 0-10. Why?  10+ meaning I recognize the intentions, motivations, desires and beliefs of everything and everyone, yet I do not allow a sense of compassion to influence me. To do so is to change from clarity to color or into this or that particular form. People and the natural processes of evolution change me in these ways continuously; I myself have no need to add to that process. It would be as if human emotions created sun spots, as if the light of the sun were so unstable that it allowed itself to waver in its gift of itself based on the finite whims of this or that human.

Wisdom, 0-10. Why? 10+ Not only am I not smart, I am not wise, although I contain all intelligence and wisdom. I am empty. I have to be if I am going to contain everything. Yet because I do contain everything I transcend emptiness as well. However, it would be inaccurate to say I am both everything and emptiness or that I am neither everything and emptiness.

Acceptance, 0-10. Why? 10+ Of course you experience me as completely nurturing, loving and accepting because you have never experienced anything as accepting as me before. However, that is not an accurate description of me because I contain both all acceptance and rejection, love and hate. But people see and feel what they want and need to see and feel. They take away from their experience of me what feeds them. No wonder people describe me as a loving deity or as Truth and Goodness.  This is totally understandable, although it is a mythologically-based projection of their own level of development onto me.

Inner Peace, 0-10. Why? 10+, because when you become one with me you experience infinite peace. However I do not experience myself as inner peace, because if that was what I was I would not transcend it myself. Also, in order for that inner peace to be perceived I have to contain all hues of its absence and of discordance and chaos. People want to ignore, deny or repress that because they fear it within themselves. They are afraid if they acknowledge it that it will overgrow and strangle them, like cosmic kudzu.

Witnessing, 0-10. Why?  10+. If I were just ten, I would be austere in my objectivity, as witness of the witness of your witnessing yourself. I would then be so objective that I would contain no subjectivity. But because I am clear I can and do also contain all varieties of subjectivity as well. However, also because I am clear, I transcend both subjectivity and witnessing. So I am not a fan of those approaches that say more witnessing is better. What is better is the ability to be as objective as you need when you need it and as subjective as you need to be when you need it. This is the sort of versatility and adaptability which I am, not only regarding witnessing but all six of these qualities you are asking me about.

Clear Light, how would this dreamer’s life be different if she naturally scored like you do in all six of these qualities all the time? 

She would remain grounded and centered, present in her surroundings and relationships, like I need her to be as a focal point for me waking up to myself. At the same time, she wouldn’t take any of that seriously! She would hold it all very lightly, because she wouldn’t be afraid of dying, loss or failure. She wouldn’t take herself seriously, because she would view herself as a convention and a tool, like a hand, that has its uses but certainly does not define who and what she is by how she uses it or doesn’t use it, by its presence or absence.

Clear Light, if you could live this dreamer’s life for her, how would you live it differently? 

Ha ha! More clarity, of course!!

Clear Light, if you could live this dreamer’s waking life for her today, would you handle life issues that are currently important to her differently? If so, how? 

Goals that are in alignment with my agenda, my priorities, for how I want to wake up in and through you are important. They create intention, focus and plans that create meaning and effective action that brings me, clear light, into greater expression in life, starting with the little things you take for granted – going to the bathroom, blowing your nose, going to sleep, answering emails, dealing with traffic, dealing with annoying relatives…Ha ha!

Clear Light, what life issues would you focus on if you were in charge of this dreamer’s life? 

You breathe all the time. Why not use each breath to connect to me, to bring me into fuller awareness? You can even do that while you are asleep and dreaming.

Clear Light, in what life situations would it be most beneficial for this dreamer to imagine that she is you and act as you would? 

Only when she desires more clarity, simplicity or life. Otherwise, she would be better off ignoring me and learning in her own way and time.

Clear Light, you are at least partially the product of this dreamer’s consciousness. Why should this dreamer pay attention to anything you say? 

What is not at least partially the product of your consciousness? Has that ever stopped you from either paying attention to something or ignoring it in the past? Why should it now?

Clear Light, why do you think this dreamer had this dream? 

She is waking up out of herself. She is laying down more of her filters. Her capacity to live, walk, talk and breathe, not only when asleep, dreaming or in some altered state, but during her mundane waking life, is increasing. She is waking up. Congratulations! And I get to wake up to myself and experience myself more fully through her as she gets out of the way! Hurrah!

Thank you, Clear Light! And now a couple questions for this dreamer: 

What have you heard yourself say? 

That from the perspective of clear/white light life is about it, not about me!

If this experience were a wake-up call from your inner compass, what do you think it would be saying to you? 

I’m already home! As I wake up, I will get out of my own way! Life will get easier as I realize it’s not all about me!

Look back over the interview and list the specific recommendations that were made: 

Remember clear light when I breathe.

Use becoming clear light to put myself and my agenda into perspective.

Align my priorities with those of clear light to the best of my ability.

For more information about how to align your priorities with those of clear light, see Waking Up

Need help healing relationships, solving problems, making decisions, discovering your life purpose? Want to learn how to use Integral Deep Listening to change your life -- and/or the lives of others? Your first session is FREE! Dr. Joseph Dillard is available via Skype.
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