The Four Grades of Vision:

       The Blessed Buddha said:

In this some recluse or priest by means of alert & energetic effort 
enthusiasm, proper rational attention & concentrated focus reaches
absorption on this sole thought: In this foul body of disgusting things 
enclosed by skin, there are head & body hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh,
sinews, bones, marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs, 
mesentery, intestines, stomach, excrement, bile, lymph, pus, blood,
sweat, fat, tears, tallow, spittle, snot, urine & joint-fluid.
This is the first attainment of Vision...

Having done this and gone beyond it, he regards & perceives any body,
own & others, as only a set of bones covered with flesh, vessels & skin.  
This is the second attainment of Vision...

Having done this and gone further, he comes to understand & directly 
experience this continuous sequence of discrete conscious moments
established & manifesting both in this world and the other worlds.
This is the third attainment of Vision...

Finally, having done this & gone even further than beyond that, he comes to 
understand & directly experience this unbroken stream of consciousness
neither established nor manifesting in this world nor in any other world.
This is the fourth attainment of Vision...

Source: The Exhaustive Speeches by the Buddha. Digha Nikaya III 105-5


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Saved: 03 September 2005