Understanding the Functionality of a “Pointing Out” Instruction – By Jackson Peterson
First, let’s see how we got where we are. Our “natural state” is our Primordial Aware Beingness, like an infinitely vast and empty cognitive space, that existed before the Big Bang. It has remained the same as it was before the Big Bang. It’s the empty aware space which is host to the universe of appearances itself, without ever changing. It is the current, cognitive true nature.
Its cognitive “Big Bang” was the arising of a Primordial Mind, a localized secondary consciousness, like a crystal and transparent, individual sphere of pure awareness. As that secondary consciousness became energetically denser, its cognitive capacity manifested as thoughts.
A primary thought arose to which all the following thoughts were predicated upon. That primary thought, was the concept “I am” or “me”.
The energetic radiance of the sphere collapsed and contracted around the gravitational pull of that “me” thought, tight like a knot.
The “me” thought and its collapsed and contracted energy field, became what’s called the “intellect”, the egoic mind that thinks and conceives. The seeker or practitioner is that intellect or egoic mind.
When the “pointing out” instruction is given, it’s being directed toward and through this egoic mind or intellect in such a a way that it collapses itself back into the original Aware Beingness, and dissolves.
The “me”, the intellect and the conceptualizing mind, dissolve into their most fundamental nature, like a block of opaque ice melting into the pristine and vast, crystal clear ocean.
This brings about energetic transformations in the subtle body, the brain, the central nervous system and the musculature of the physical body. The body and pranic energies completely relax and expand. One’s mood is colored by both the release of massive amounts of endorphins and our natural quality of essential joy and bliss.
Neither our thinking mind nor egoic self identity exist at this time, just like in deep, dreamless sleep. All karma which was only appended to the illusory egoic self, also vanishes.
A profound sense of boundless compassion and unconditional love arises in one’s heart center.
All this occurs when the “pointing out” had been skillfully executed and correctly received by the recipient.
However, it is possible that only a slight or lesser flash of these insights and inner dissolutions occur, yet enough for the original pure state of Aware Beingness to be recognized as one’s true Identity and of having ever been, only That.
That’s the purpose of the “pointing out” instructions* in Dzogchen, Mahamudra, Zen, Samkhya and Advaita Vedanta.
*The pointing-out instruction is the direct introduction to the nature of mind in the Tibetan Buddhist lineages of Mahāmudrā and Dzogchen. In these traditions, a “root guru” gives the “pointing-out instruction” in such a way that the disciple successfully recognizes the nature of mind.