Contemplative practices of the many traditions of the West and of the East have different characteristics. For example, the absorption of mystics (in Christian or Sufi traditions) has a different character than does Buddhist contemplation. Whereas the mystic enters into the subtle domain of mind in the experience of a higher power (in the face of which his sense of separate self is drawn into surrender), the Buddhist faces the root dimension, in the depths of which the sense of “I” versus “other” originates. The structure of egoity (in its identification with the material, “subtle,” and “causal” or “root” dimension) offers a framework for understanding different traditions and their relation to each other.

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