Richard Rose's Psychology of the Observer

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Wet Paint, modified 12 Years ago.

Richard Rose's Psychology of the Observer

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: aha123
Forum: Dharma Overground Discussion Forum

I don't know if anyone here is familiar with Richard Rose' s teaching. I am interested in knowing the connection between his teaching and Vipassana world. He coined two terms: Umpire and Process Observer. I wonder if Process Observer is equivalent to "watcher" sensations in Vipassana. Umpire is being identified as a type of sensation in Vipassana or something else. I am still studying his system and it is not easy to digest. It seems to me Umpire is equivalent to the rational mind according to his book, but I am not quite sure.
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Wet Paint, modified 12 Years ago.

RE: Richard Rose's Psychology of the Observer

Posts: 211 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
If you're reffering to his spiritual map, "Jacob's Ladder," I'd just offer that the resolution of the each triangle refers to a milestone in spiritual practice. The last one, is quite clearly, what is referred to here as 4th path. His process observer, i believe lines up quite nicely with 3rd path, because it is at 3rd path that one begins to flux between being aware of the body-mind process and the individual experience of consciousness itself. And it's the resolution of these two poles which is what 4th path is said to represent.

Then the top of the first triangle, what he calls "somatic awareness," is to me what opens up after 1st path. That said, it could represent something else in his system. it's not entirely clear to me, but there are some strong parallels between how he describes it w/ stream-entry.

Anyway, Rose was the first person I ran into on the spiritual path, but since finding other maps, techniques, & models in the Buddhist path I've found them to be a lot more useful than his model. That said, there are clearly some strong parallels between these different systems.

Here's a link to the "Jacob's Ladder" map for anyone who is interested: http://www.searchwithin.org/jacobs_ladder.htm
Wet Paint, modified 12 Years ago.

RE: Richard Rose's Psychology of the Observer

Posts: 74 Join Date: 5/13/09 Recent Posts
Agreed. His system sounded very promising, but Shinzen Young and Daniel Ingram deliver the goods so much more directly and concisely. [Edit: along with lots of people here on DO]
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Wet Paint, modified 12 Years ago.

RE: Richard Rose's Psychology of the Observer

Posts: 211 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Hi Joriki,

Yep, totally. And to be fair to Rose he was blazing his trail well before Shinzen had started teaching and probably before Daniel was even born. So, in his time and context his map was pretty fantastic, and that it used a psycho-spiritual language (one that tried to unify psychology with spiritual development) was a feat in itself, however unsuccessful it may have been. In any case, I'm glad that the maps keep getting updated. emoticon

-Vince
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Wet Paint, modified 12 Years ago.

RE: Richard Rose's Psychology of the Observer

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: aha123

"however unsuccessful it may have been."

Could you elaborate on this?

" I'm glad that the maps keep getting updated"

Sound like nobody ever gets the correct map. Why enlightened people produce different maps if all of them see the same Absolute? Any clue on this?
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Wet Paint, modified 12 Years ago.

RE: Richard Rose's Psychology of the Observer

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: msj123

Different things work for different people. The maps are different because people are different, starting at different places, with different needs and obstacles. There is only one Paris, but depending on where you start, how much money you have, and your language skills, you may take different routes. But this doesn't mean one way is right and another is wrong.
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Wet Paint, modified 12 Years ago.

RE: Richard Rose's Psychology of the Observer

Posts: 211 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Well, during the time I was studying Rose's stuff, and spending a lot of time with his community the TAT Foundation, I just got the sense that they really didn't have a great idea as to what got them where they were. Some definitely seemed enlightened, but their models for how it happened and their criticisms of other traditions just seemed awfully bad. A couple examples to illustrate my point:

1) One dude named Michael (can't think of his last name) gave a presentation during a TAT meeting on "effortless meditation." He said that he meditated for 20 years very rigorously, but then he "got" effortless meditation and woke up (I assume he meant 4th path here) in just a few months. He claimed that the 20 years prior to him "getting" effortless meditation had nothing to do with it, and had he got it on day one he would have been enlightened 20 years before that. I couldn't help but cringe at that statement.

2) There was a common understanding in that community, perhaps coming down from Rose himself (I don't know), that vipassana wasn't a good technique because no one claims to be enlightened that does vipassana. Another steamy pile of horseshit, and one that was indicative of some very large blind spots, both in their community and in Rose's views.

That is what I mean by saying that he clearly didn't integrate or make sense of all the data out there. That seems so obvious now, especially after being exposed to authors like Ken Wilber, Daniel, and others. They've done such a better job at making sense of things, debunking crappy models, and offering something of more value. :-D
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Wet Paint, modified 12 Years ago.

RE: Richard Rose's Psychology of the Observer

Posts: 211 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
I think it has to do with the fact that human minds and brains are different. Also, the time in which we find ourselves is different, the technologies (both meditative and of the more garden-variety) are different. Basically, everything is different, changing, and it seems that often things build upon other things.

One person (or persons) designs a better map, because they become aware of the limitations of the previous one and want to address those deficiencies. Then we get new information, and realize problems with the new map. It's really a dialectic across time, with human minds and hearts trying to continually close the gap between experience and their mental models of experience. I don't think that gap can be closed, given the nature of human experience, but that's more a philosophical question than anything. I'm just glad that I've inherited the beautiful and helpful models and practices that I have. emoticon

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