So, there you are, enlightened… by Bill Harris (June 10th, 2008), continued
So what does it take to get out of the Fourth Rank? And what is the Fifth Rank all about? The Fifth Rank is the integration of the relative and the transcendent. I’ve referred to it in other things I’ve written as knowing who you really are (ultimately, that you are the transcendent, the entire going on of it all, Big Mind, beyond all beginnings, beyond all endings, and without boundaries or limits) but also knowing that you are expressing That from the perspective of a limited human being, living in time, subject to the laws of cause and effect, subject to karma.
Genpo Roshi sometimes calls someone in the Fifth Rank the one who chooses to be a human being. Knowing what you know, being unable to delude yourself anymore about who you really are, and what is really real, you choose to be here, you choose to be human.
(This is, in fact, the only stage at which you actually could choose to be a human being, where you really have the ability to make a conscious choice. Before this stage, you wouldn’t make this choice. At previous stages you either don’t know enough to choose –you don’t really see things the way they are, and, if you did know enough, you wouldn’t make this particular choice. You wouldn’t be strong enough, aware enough, wise enough, or compassionate enough.)
In a sense the Fifth Rank involves another, and even deeper, surrender than that which you went through in the Second Rank, because now you really feel the reality of the relative and KNOW that there is no escape (at least as long as you’re a living human being). In the Fifth Rank you surrender to what is in a whole new way, because for the first time you really know what is.