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Dr. Hubert Benoit on the state preceding Satori

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  • medit8ionsociety
    ... it is interesting to study the state which, according to the Zen masters, precedes satori (enlightenment). At this moment the curb on the imagination has
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 27, 2012
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      "... it is interesting to study the state which,
      according to the Zen masters, precedes satori
      (enlightenment). At this moment the curb on the
      imagination has become so strong that it holds
      in check all the affective reactions to the stimuli
      of the external world. All the illusory significances
      which the subject used to attribute to things
      (significances which depended on his affective
      reactions) now disappear, and the subject is
      permanently divided into actor and spectator –
      but the actor has become unapparent. 'It is like
      two flawless mirrors reflecting one another.'
      No longer is there any distress (angoisse), and
      the subject experiences a kind of pure and total
      alleviation – which is not, however, the state of
      positive blessedness. There is now a condition of
      unstable equilibrium between the forces that delude
      and stupefy and the forces that tend to awake us to
      reality. The subject no longer has the old, false
      consciousness; but he does not yet possess the new
      consciousness. (In Zen, this state is called tai-i,
      literally 'great doubt.') Hence the subject who is
      in this state says of himself that he is 'like an idiot.'
      The screen separating him from objective reality has
      worn thin and lost its opacity. Finally, in response
      to some sensory stimulus, satori breaks through. In the
      past, stimuli from the outside world reached the subject
      through this screen and had the effect of stupefying him;
      now that they reach him directly they awaken and enlighten.
      The screen is imagination, is associative and discursive
      thinking. And it is this screen that separated the subject
      from objective reality and prevented him from realizing
      the absolute identity of the 'I' and the Not-I. ('The eye
      with which I see God is the same,' says [Meister] Eckhart,
      'as the eye with which God sees me.')"
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