Religions and the wisdom traditions have various means to help us stay present to our God-Selves when we get there, but they tend to be external. Moral codes, commandments, restrictions, vows of obedience and service, all are meant to facilitate staying present. The disciplines enforced in monastic settings, the rituals of prayer or meditation, the vows of poverty, silence, celibacy and seclusion, etc., have the same purpose, keeping the monks free of entanglements. If one is prohibited from entering the secular world, one can stay free of its entanglements (at least in theory).
Monasticism suits some, but most of us are not attracted to a monastic lifestyle. What’s more, if we are dependent on restrictions to stay present, we only enjoy conditional enlightenment (that is, enlightenment dependent on maintaining ideal external conditions). This is true whether monasticism takes the form of an actual monastery or just the adoption of a monastic lifestyle. (There is another problem with the monastic solution and a greater one; it takes awakened people out of the larger society where they are needed.)
What we all need is some way of staying present in everyday life, some way of enduring the difficulties of growing up, making a living, getting together and breaking up, and dealing with parents, children, friends and lovers without being plunged into the amnesia of Self-forgetfulness. In this age when even driving to work can try the composure of a Buddha, something more than sheer determination is needed to stay present.
Even more to the point, we need some way of dealing with our inner demons. We have to release the traumatic memories, belief systems and attachments that keep us asleep. We have to dissolve our temptation to deny, distort and suppress the reality of who we are, or rather who we are afraid we are. We have to let go of all those things that take us out of the experience of true identity. Because we can’t get there from here, or more accurately, here from there.
PsychoNoetic clearing is about the attainment of Original Perception or God being, a new way of resolving the difficulties of both staying awake and staying in the world. It’s about integrating and uniting our levels of consciousness, so that we effortlessly ‘give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and give unto God what is God’s.’
Original Perception is a new definition of enlightenment, perhaps even a new form of enlightenment. Buddhism, in general, holds that right posture, right breathing and right mindfulness are a means to enlightenment, but Soto Zen holds that these means are enlightenment, at least when they are being manifested. In this same way Original Perception is a means to enlightenment, and also an advanced state of enlightenment.
What is Original Perception? In one way it is simple and in another way it is a vast, almost impenetrable subject. As human beings, we are not only conscious; we are embodied consciousness; we are consciousness perceiving. When we construct beliefs, identities, attachments, etc., we create structures between ourselves as pure consciousness and our perceptions. Our perceptions become colored by the filters of our egoic structures, and we are no longer pure consciousness perceiving. We return to Original Perception when we clear our mental structures, and perceive directly from God Consciousness, Christ Consciousness, Buddha Consciousness, Universal Consciousness, higher consciousness, just consciousness or even just God; it’s all the same. The differences are just semantic. And when we are in Original Perception, we are Holosentient (see following Essay #59, ‘The experience of Holosentience’).