Self-Realization

One's Own Journey from Self to Self Liberation in the World of Today

About (Biography)

Born in the American Mid-West in 1936, James D. Wray realized at the age of seven that the underlying truth seeking expression in all religions was necessarily a truth common to all of them, and therefore could not be anything that differentiated any one of them from another.  What this common essential nature of Being was would take him nearly half a lifetime to discover after contemplating teachings of some of the world’s great religions, and nearly another half of a lifetime to realize that what makes up our own immediate moment to moment waking conscious awareness experience is the actual essential nature of Being that the heart of these teachings was in fact addressing, albeit indirectly in most cases, yet very directly in at least one.

 

 During the intervening periods he became first a student of outer space, receiving his BS in Mathematics and Astronomy from the University of New Mexico, where he met and later married his soul-mate Elizabeth.  With her help and inspiration he then went on to earn his MS in Dynamical Astronomy from the University of Cincinnati, and his PhD in Stellar Astronomy and Galactic Structure from Northwestern University, where he later joined the faculty and became engaged in his mentor’s program in Ultraviolet Space Astronomy, a program that took him and his family on to the University of Texas at Austin to work more closely with NASA on their Ultraviolet Stellar Astronomy experiment which flew on all the Skylab missions, returning information not obtainable from the Earth’s surface on hundreds of the hottest most luminous stars in our galaxy.  During this time Elizabeth, following her own spiritual quest had introduced him to Swami Rama of the Himalayas, founder of the Himalayan Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy, whom she had met during one of his first visits to Chicago.  Thereafter James and Elizabeth received many teachings from this Master on Raja Yoga and the nature of the subtle vehicles and the mind as taught him by his Tibetan Master who raised him from early childhood.  Swami Rama always presented his knowledge and practice of pranayama and deep meditation as something not bound by any particular religion, but as the “sunam-bonum of life and immortality” itself, something then difficult to fathom even as possibility.  

 

Following his spiritual mentor’s teachings while always searching for more avenues to understanding, the author’s major realization came on the Interstate highway while driving from Illinois to Texas in 1972, when he directly realized that the information perceived apparently on the highway signs was actually being derived from his own mentally projected image of the sign text, a mental projection created after having unconsciously taken this image into mind through the visual imaging process, but before having “understood” the text which he had himself projected.  He realized this projection, and its subsequent assessment for meaning, had to be occurring not in the physical space of the sign itself, but rather in a consciousness space containing an image of the sign complete with the text all of which his eyes were detecting and passing on to mind which then produced the “model” (a term used in science for theoretical and/or computer generated representations of the corresponding physical condition) of the scene in “Consciousness” where it could be directly ascertained by “Awareness”.  This sign had revealed that the entire experience of it, and not only of it but of every thing of which he had awareness of, was necessarily merely of the nature of a high-fidelity representation arising in consciousness. 

 

 

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From that point on he devoted his spare moments to understanding the nature of this process and its relation with the body-brain.  Who or what here was the actual person if there was such a thing?  Swami Rama had presented a vital clue when he had told one of his audiences with James and Elizabeth in attendance, “I ride my horse.  You let your horse ride you.”  The horse then had to be the body-brain-subtle mind system which was sensing the world and modeling it for presentation to Awareness in Consciousness, and the I then had to be the Awareness of that which was arising in Consciousness.  Not finding anything quite like this particular view in the traditional religious teachings, but assuming there was reference to something like it somewhere, James resolved not to personally associate exclusively with any particular religion, but then found Evans-Wentz’s “The Tibetan Book of the Dead” and “The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation”.  He realized that the Tibetan Buddhist underlying view was essentially scientific, that is it is based on understanding gained through direct experience rather than primarily on the mechanics of faith requiring belief in something not accessible to personal experience.  His was direct experience, and he needed to understand it in a context he could relate to in someone else’s experience and understanding.   After reading all the Tibetan Buddhist literature he could get his hands on, in 1995, 23 years after having realized how we are actually engaging with the world, he called a Buddhist center in Northern California, where he was by then building telescopes for research institutions, including one for NASA, and expressed his view on experiences being of projections in consciousness and mind as the model-maker, whereupon the person at the other end of the phone said, “I think you should come.  This sounds a lot like Dzogchen to me.”  And all the rest follows from there, leading to his 2004 introduction to Khenchen Tsewang Gyatso Rinpoche who was teaching on direct realization at Orgyn Dorje Den, and thence to meeting, taking refuge with, and receiving further Dzogchen empowerments from the venerable Gyatrul Rinpoche, under whom he received the Dharma name Dorje Rigzin (Adamantine Awareness Holder), and in whose writings, as included in “A Spacious Path to Freedom – The Union of Mahamudra and Ati Yoga” and “Naked Awareness – Practical Instructions on the Union of Mahamudra and Dzogchen”,  as well by now as in the writings of many others on the subject of Dzogchen or “Perfect and Complete in itself” the author has found the link between his own simple basic direct realization and the rich tradition passed on in Tibet from incarnation to incarnation by fully Realized beings extending back ultimately into trackless millennia, and the priceless teachings they continue to bring us this very day, for him through his precious "Khenpoji" Khenchen Tsewang Gyatso Rinpoche.  And yet he has from his view as a Western scientist provided further insights that only one exposed to the modern scientific view of  the DNA molecular composition  of  the body-brain and the necessary effects of genetic heritage with respect to instinctive behavior as it applies directly to the horse we should be riding, but which instead we let ride us, could bring to this composition such a synthesis of Self Realization of Being in embodiment, here presented in behalf of far greater self realization than his by each and everyone of us whatever our own religious and spiritual background and views may be, such that we all may come together in mutual journey through what he refers to as this present “Age of Awareness” into, as he puts it “ the Dawn Clear Light of the Age of Being.”    

 

 

 

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