Daniel on The Types of Stream Enterers
The Types of Stream Enterers, by Daniel Ingram
There are numerous types of stream enterers.
A fully-accomplished stream enterer who has mastered that path should be able to cycle through the insight stages in daily life and attain to repeated Fruitions in daily life, get multiple Fruitions, meaning get one and in its afterglow loop back to another Fruition, as well as be able to call up the various insight stages just by inclining to them. They will know they are a stream enterer. Some will also have sudden increases in their samatha jhana abilities, perhaps including sudden access to the Formless Realms, though not all will get this sudden bonus.
However, there are those who come upon stream entry in daily life, or outside of a tradition, or in another tradition, or in some other setting, and, if not told what is going and what they are potentially capable of, they may have no idea what to look for, may not master Fruitions, may not know they could call up the strata of mind referred to by the stages of insight.
In addition, there are those who did come up on stream entry in a tradition that knows what it is, recognized it as being stream entry, but for whatever reason are unable to get repeat Fruitions.
This can make things very confusing, as one of the most helpful criteria for determining what happened is repeating the thing again and again, as that builds a lot of clarity and certainty, as well as teaching the lessons about the nature of subject and object, impermanence, and the emptiness of phenomena, as well as what is meant at the deepest levels by the word "suffering" that repeating Fruitions teach.
I know of stream enterers who couldn't get repeat Fruitions until they had landed second path.
This is important to know, as I generally think of steam enters being able to do numerous things that non-stream enterers can't, but when some of those are missing, either through lack of mastery or though the unexplained lack of ability, this can make things very confusing from a diagnostic point of view.
That said, regardless of those abilities, if one is a stream enterer, one is a stream enterer, and it has done what that does to the brain and one's baseline way of perceiving reality has been enhanced regardless of what follows it.