The Grandfather stage is where things begin to come together. Your insights become life changing. You now have the opportunity to live the command “Love others as yourself”. This is a very practical approach. As you are not “needy” your ego is not so much “in play”.
For myself with incurable cancer, I am finding this next step to be accepting the challenge of “Death is on the table”. Past that is the actual experience of dying.
Staring into the face of death is indeed transformative, and this has been somewhat studied and documented. Near death experiences and drugs that give analogous experiences increase the psychological trait of openness to new experiences.
And vice versa. Taking shrooms or ketamine or ibogaine can reduce the fear of death. I expect hospice caretakers to start to use psychedelics as routine quality of life enhancement.
For better or worse, I’ve stared down death more than a few times. And even now seem to stare it down every day as I’m of the opinion that I have early onset Alzheimer’s. Hoping new meds don’t get stuck in development and get FDA approved before it’s too late.
If I do get too demented in an irreversible way, some portion of me may be able to survive by restarting the neuroplastic phase of the brain*, but that would be like starting out as a stroke recovery victim, yet with much of the potential for learning of a newborn.
About grandpa love, and “being at your own funeral”, and how it’s an uneasy and slightly dissatisfying type of love, while at the same time very fulfilling and natural and the way it should be Shambala Awakened Society type of love:
When someone says hi to you on the street, that’s a serotonin boost of social visibility and importance. If you are famous more people will give you spontaneous attention and accolades, and up goes the serotonin.
But when you are swimming in a shared love space, that accolade doesn’t belong to you anymore.
It’s simply mutual celebration.
Does that make embodied sense to people? Is that your experience sometimes also?
For instance yesterday I was out in public again, doing two types of post-meditation.
1) Spatial awareness meditation. You know how sometimes when you are driving down a country rode, you let your mind relax and the scenery becomes vivid, and the periphery of the visual field becomes vivid as it passes by? You are totally IN the scenery. You aren’t daydreaming, you are visually embodied, in panoramic detail. So while walking in nature yesterday I kept trying to remind myself to let go of the daydreaming so that my limited attention could broaden into the visual field.
2) Loving kindness meditation. Love is an umbrella term that if you put a finger on melts away into a different meaning. But if we have an organ of perception for love, it’s in the heart chakra area. Sometimes that space feels quivery and quavery, a bit melancholic bitter sweet sad. Sometimes horrendously mournful. Sometimes it feels longing. Sometimes loving care. Sometimes shared warmth as communion. Sometimes shared happy sexual warmth. Even some ecstasy fits into the heart (though ecstacy is too energetic to remain bound in any one place). But that perceptual organ need not only be felt in the heart – you can feel it in your palm chakra, and if you like, between your palms in an energetic ball. Or even in your feet-palm chakras, and between those. And you can also imagine feeling it outside of your body, in the bodies of others. So you can feel/imagine (kinesthetically visualize – such that you genuinely FEEL as in feel as in really feel) that you have love between your palms and are touching love in the hearts of others as they pass by.
After doing this, some random guy who was not seeking monetary gain helped me out of my parking space by pulling the back of my motorcycle.
Coincidence? Sort of. My body language certainly must have been very socially open. If I were cranky and pissed off, doubtless he’d not have been so inspired to help.
But the social effect on me wasn’t of raising my rank. He reached out to help me, not because I was more of a King than him, but because I saw the King inside of him, and he therefore shared that knowledge with a wink and a helpful hand.
Awakened Shambala society.
It’s bitter sweet. Not really about building a legacy. Not really about seducing anyone to be under my spell. There is no social advantage in it. Not exactly.
There is the phrase “Zen mind, beginners mind”. It means that education is a lifestyle, not a life stage. It means that when you play the piano, you notice that there are dozens of different brain systems that work in concert, and you can focus the attention on any one of them. There is spacial awareness of seeing the hands and keys. There is muscle memory of learning static and moving patterns. There is the kinesthetic sense of being able to jump around the keyboard with your eyes closed. There is a weird and magical type of musical listening that is constantly wonders and is amazed that notes create meaning – and is forever interested in discovering new phrases and languages out of the notes and rhythms.
That last part of the mind is very close to the attitude of “Zen Mind, Beginners Mind”. It’s a two year old, sitting down for the first time at the piano. Until he’s 75 he’s still that two year old – still having no clue why any of it is there at all or why it means something, still marveling at discovering new languages and phrases.
I’m trying to get back to that again. I was a full time professional Buddhist in my early twenties. Lately I’ve been working to again make the post-meditation experience into meditation.
That’s what led to flipping the switch those few times. It wasn’t just time on the cushion. It was time as a tree planter. I did the “relax into the moving scenery” trick, while tree planting, and eventually the scenery became so vivid that it occluded the silly idea that I was looking at it. It was looking at me. Awareness became self aware. The silly idea of a bottleneck to directed attention called the ego was obviously no longer an accurate description. Things were far too vivid for that. And sometimes awareness would expand greatly – especially in twilight sleep, during times when the ego relaxed more.
Some people get similar experiences for brief peak experiences from psychedelics. But such peak experiences happen for many other spontaneous reasons too.
Formative year experiences get myelin coated, that’s why we always prefer the music we heard as teenagers. Lucky for me at that time I was very consciously working on the heart chakra. So that helps me to become an expert in love, as I’ve tried very hard to have a sensitive love perceiving organ.
And then in my early twenties, at the very edge of my developmental window, I was sometimes in full time “scenery” mode.
So sometimes I can snap back into scenery mode.
And now I think, for many reasons, I’m in a better position to grow into grandpa love mode.
Again, I’m not terribly happy about it. It feels like admitting that I’m no longer in the fight. That I’m on the sidelines.
But it also feels as if it’s a world that’s been waiting for me all along, wondering what took me so long.
* Perhaps a bit more complicated a feat to accomplish without causing insanity than learning how to enable the body to regrow limbs – but in theory it’s possible. Artificial Intelligence and quantum computing most likely will make it possible, through massively parallel multi-variable modelling. And if we can restart brain development, in theory there is no reason why we can’t add an acrylic dome to our scalp for room to grow, and for some new fangled off the shelf biological brainware modules.