The Five Stages of Enlightenment… by Bill Harris (May 19th, 2008), continued
So when Genpo Roshi takes you through the Five Ranks, even though he’s able to give you an experience of each stage (in the Big Mind process, you become each stage, at least during the process), these experiences are almost always state experiences. This is because there are some deep and fundamental shifts in perspective that need to take place if you’re to fully inhabit these stages, and you might not be ready to make those shifts.
Very few people on the planet actually live in these stages (though we seem to be in a period of history where a much larger number of people than before are growing into them). And, it appears that through the Big Mind process a person can move through these stages more quickly. Still, fully embodying each stage does require a fundamental, internal change of perspective, and these changes don’t happen easily for most people.
Still, these state experiences are extremely valuable. They can eventually lead to stage changes, and they also give you a preview of where you’re heading–or at least a preview of where you could be heading. These experiences give you an understanding of what road you’re on, and what the journey ahead might be like. And, these experiences can have a very positive effect, even if you’re “just visiting.”
Finally, there’s so much more to say (and even more important, experience) about the Five Ranks than I could possibly cover in a blog post, so this will of necessity be incomplete, an overview, a taste.