Ontology of Bliss: A Phenomenology

Автор: Rudolph Bauer

Журнал: Revista Científica Arbitrada de la Fundación MenteClara @fundacionmenteclara

Статья в выпуске: 2, Vol. 4, 2019 года.

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The article is about the ontology of bliss. Bliss is an ontological experience and not simply a feature of one’s personal psychology of mind. Bliss intrinsically reflects our experience of Being. The paper intertwines and integrates Heideggerian ontology within the experience of Bliss as documented in the Dudjom Tersar from the 19th century esoteric teachings of the Tibetan tantric master Dudjom Lingpa. The paper emphasizes the tantric declaration that «Bliss Overcomes Suffering» and this experience of Bliss arises naturally out of the existential praxis of living within the ongoing continuity of the experience of Being.

Tantra, existence, happiness, bliss Heidegger, Dudjom, Rigpa

Короткий адрес: https://readera.org/170163663

IDR: 170163663   |   DOI: 10.32351/rca.v4.2.87

Фрагмент статьи Ontology of Bliss: A Phenomenology


This paper is on the ontology of Bliss. Amazingly, Bliss is an ontological experience and not simply a function of our personal psychology of mind. Bliss is not simply having a good day, or dare I say, an exceptional day. Bliss is not simply a good feeling on a good day. Bliss reflects our experience of Being, just as we are. Bliss reflects our «sense» of Being in every situation, in every context, in every mood, and in every event. Bliss reflects our experience of our awareness becoming aware of Being in all the various circumstances of our unfolding life. Bliss is our sense of the ontological manifestation of Being. Bliss is the experience of our sense of the Ontological dimension of Being. Bliss is within Being itself. Bliss is not simply an emotional conjuring. Bliss is our direct sense of the nature of Being as Bliss. Our direct «sense» of our nature of our own Being is Bliss!

To use Heideggerian language Bliss is not simply an ontic experience. Our sense of Bliss is ontological. Bliss is a characteristic of the Ontological Dimension of Being.

Beyond Good and Evil

The Bliss of Being is in the realm of good and evil, and yet the Bliss of Being is beyond the realm of good and evil. The Bliss of Being is beyond right and wrong, beyond good and evil, beyond better and best, and the Bliss of Being is even beyond truth and falsity. When the Veda’s declare Sat Chit and Ananda[1], they are declaring the Ontology of Bliss. Being is Awareness and Being is Bliss. Existence is Consciousness, and Existence is Bliss. This is an ontological description of the nature of Being.

The Bliss we experience is actually the Bliss of Being. Bliss is within the nature of Being. Bliss is not simply our experience of Being, but within our experience of Bliss we directly ‘sense’ what is Being, and what is within Being. We sense the Bliss of Being within Being. The invisible becomes visible! We can experience Being within our own being and within the Being of beings.

This understanding of our direct non-conceptual pre-reflective knowingness as «Sense» is a wonderful contribution of Maurice Merleau Ponty’ s unfolding Ontology of Being. Merleau Ponty brings forth our sense of knowing, our sense of knowing the meaning of Being within phenomena, and the meaning within the Being of the phenomena. Merleau Ponty’ s phenomenology of «sense» opens us to the experience of the ontological dimension of the Being of meaning as well as of the meaning of Being. There is a meaning within Being itself. This meaning is not something we impose on Being. There is meaning within Being itself. Bliss is such a meaning within Being.

Our «Sense» of what is within Being

It really is true, there are two ways of knowing. Merleau Ponty knew this drama of our two ways of knowing. His understood the unfolding of phenomenology as a discovery of two ways of knowing. He understood that the union of the two ways of knowing brings forth our «Sense» of the Being of phenomena and our «Sense» of the phenomena of Being. His non-conceptual pre-reflective understanding of direct knowingness as a «sense» reflects the union of our two ways of knowing within the one knower.

Husserl’s Phenomenology of Intentionality of Mind

His unfolding of his understanding of the power of phenomenology began with his articulation of Husserl’s phenomenology of mind, and the corresponding intentional constitution of the knowing of our experience of phenomena. His later studies at the University of Leuven, opened up for Merleau Ponty the direct non-conceptual pre-reflective knowing of phenomena and within phenomena the direct knowing of field of Being.

Pre-Reflective Non-Conceptual Knowing of Awareness

There is a direct sense of knowing which is the knowing of awareness. Awareness knows Being. Mind knows phenomena. The direct knowing of the appearance of phenomena opened for Merleau Ponty, the direct knowing of the «sense» of the field of Being within phenomena. Through the phenomenology of appearance, the sense of the field of Being manifested. This union of knowing, was the union of the knowing of mind within the knowing of awareness. «Sense» reflects this union of the two modes of knowing within the one knower!

The first phenomenology was the knowing of mind, and the later phenomenology was the unfolding of the direct knowing of awareness. The direct knowing of awareness is the direct knowing of Being. Our «sense» of knowing, is our direct sense of knowing through the phenomena of appearance into the phenomena of Being. The Invisible becomes Visible! We can know Being through the appearance of beings. Being self-manifests as beings. The Beingness of Being is the Beingness of a being. The Beingness of a being is the Beingness of Being. Being is self- manifesting as the invisible of the visible. Being can be experienced though the visibility of beings. The Beingness of a being, is the Beingness of Being itself.

The Distinction Within Ancient Dzogchen

This same great distinction between knowing through mind and knowing through awareness is considered of the utmost importance in the ancient Dzogchen tradition of the Nyingma Tibetan Buddhism. This distinction was made in the 8th century AD. The union of mind and awareness was experienced as the Dzogchen medium of natural self-liberation in our life «just as it is».

The Same Distinction within Psychoanalysis

This same distinction between mind and awareness was made in the world of psychoanalytic understanding by Donald Winnicott. Winnicott made this distinction between the experience of mind and the experience of transitional space of awareness. This distinction was made in the 1960’s. Winnicott also understood that the nature of the self was the nature of Being. Through the experience of transitional awareness, the sense of self becomes manifest. Winnicott would often describe the ‘sense of self’, as the ongoing continuity of our sense of Being. This understanding becomes most important in the praxis of self-liberation that psychotherapy offers for so many.

Our Two Ways of Knowing and Their Union

There is knowing through our mind. Our mind knows through thoughts, through feelings, through sensations, through memory, and through imagination. Our mind knows forms, and knows things and beings. Our mind knows me and you, us and them, and this and that. Our mind knows the subtle actualities of phenomena and our mind knows vast cosmological actualities. Our mind is fantastic. Our mind is relational. Our mind knows duality. Our mind has vast emotional range, vast intelligence, vast imagination, and our mind can remember all kinds of experience. Our memory actually supports our sense of self as narrative. Our mind has the most exquisite capacity for pleasure and for pain. Our mind is dualistic. Our mind knows subject and otherness. Our mind knows difference. Our mind knows form. Our mind knows the form of beings. Our mind does not know Being itself. Our mind can think of Being and think about the Being of beings but our mind does not directly sense Being. Our awareness knows Being and experiences Being, and “senses” Being. Our awareness “senses” the Being of beings.

Our mind can be intimately influenced by the Bliss of Being because of our mind’s intimate connection with the field of awareness. Often however, our mind may unhappily dissociate from our innate field of innermost awareness. Our mind is deeply conscious and deeply unconscious with its connection to the field of Being. In its profound levels the mind is the experience of the duality of the instinctiveness of Eros and Thanatos. Eros and Thanatos are the ontological manifestations that become personified as the somatic-psyche instinctiveness of Eros and Thanatos.

Awareness of Awareness

We know Being through our awareness. We know through our awareness of awareness. Awareness directly knows Being. Awareness knows directly the Being of phenomena as well as the phenomena of Being. Awareness knows Being, and our awareness is our Being’s knowingness. Our Being knows Being within itself and our Being knows Being within phenomena. This knowingness is self-liberation.

We are one knower with these two ways of knowing. When our mind and awareness are integrated, we can directly and knowingly «sense» Being within the phenomena of appearance, and we can «sense» directly the phenomena of Being itself. We can directly «sense» Being within our self and we can directly «sense» the phenomena of Being within others and within the world itself. This sense of Being opens for us the bliss of Being within our self, and within others, and within the unfolding events of time. Being unfolds as time!

Personification of Being

Our self is our personification of Being, our personification of the Being that we are. Our self is not a thing, or a conceptualization or a cognitive schema as some would have you think. Our self is our personification of our Being. Our sense of self and our sense of Being converge. Our awareness is the knowing of our Being. Our mind in union within our awareness allows us to «sense» the Being of phenomena and the phenomena of Being simultaneously. Our union of mind and awareness brings forth our direct «sense» of phenomena and the «sense» of the Being of phenomena simultaneously.

Our awareness is our Being’s knowingness of Being. Awareness is our being’s knowingness. Awareness is the field of our Being knowing the field of Being of everything and anything. Our Being is a field of Being that is Being itself manifesting as ‘you and as I’. The field of Being is a phenomenal field. The phenomenal field is the field of Being knowing the phenomena of Being and the Being of phenomena.


Список литературы Ontology of Bliss: A Phenomenology

  • Merleau-Ponty, M. (1968). The visible and the invisible, ed. Claude LeFort. Trans. by Alphonso Lingis. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.
  • Morris, D. (2018). Merleau-Ponty’s Developmental Ontology. Northwestern University Press.
  • Muktananda, S. (1982). Play of consciousness. SYDA Foundation.
  • Wallace B.A. (2015). Dudjom Lingpa’s Visions of the Great Perfection, Vol 3. The Vajra Essence. Wisdom Publications.
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