One last barrier remains: the point of no return
On my youthful journey to see what Siddhartha saw and gain the necessary intuition of Zen masters I came to a place that you could call the point of no return in which reversal is not possible. I came to realize that I was in Zen too far to give it up but I had also failed to uncover Zen’s secret having exhausted my all-too-human means for discovering Zen’s secret.
I had inadvertently put myself between a rock and a hard place. I was stuck in a real-life and death koan that I couldn’t see the way out of. Even an answer was not forthcoming of what a person should do in a situation like this.
Looking back to that time I can see that this is the path of intuition that inevitably leads to a kind of cul-de-sac. Human consciousness (vijñāna) can go no further. Still, one last barrier remains which bars the way home. But nothing can be done.
Finally, this barrier unexpectedly disappears. In that moment of disappearance, consciousness is not there anymore—still something is there, though not of an empirical nature which consciousness demands. You have just merged with something that your six senses cannot perceive much less your consciousness frame.
Few practitioners get this far. Instead, they substitute the experiences found in their imagination for enlightenment. This is a process of reification where the imaginary becomes seemingly real. It seems to work for a while but then fades away. One has still not escaped avidya, that is, non-knowledge.
As strange as it sounds what we can measure or observe with the senses including the last sense which is the intellect/imagination is all an illusion—the seemingly real. It is like turning a piece of lit incense in the dark so fast it appears to be a circle. Yes, we humans are very good at creating virtual realities and deceiving ourselves. But our consciousness demands subject and object, observer and observed, experiencer and experience. But take away this consciousness one lonely night—there is much more that is beyond the grasp of human consciousness.