Robert Forman is a former professor of religion, and the author of some excellent articles in the Journal of Consciousness Studies. I think of him as a kind of mystical action figure. He transitioned into nondual consciousness a few years ago, neural tubes “unzipping” along the back of his neck with a long tearing sound, in his memorable description. It’s fascinating to think about how the various mystical states all relate to one another. Forman sees it as a progression outward. I tried to capture this sense in my comic panel. PCE = Pure Conscious Experience. DMS = Dual Mystical State. UMS = Unitary Mystical state.
If you really want to understand how all this deep mystical phenomenology goes down, check out Shinzen Young’s Science of Enlightenment talks. Shinzen is basically The Man. He is a genius synthesizer of perennial Buddhist truths, with a blow-by-blow description of the elements of experience that will challenge everything you think you know about mind, development and reality. He gets it from his master, Sasaki Roshi, who roosts up on Mt Baldy, expanding and contracting, the grand cosmic eagle of impermanence.