There are ten distinct benchmarks that indicate our progress or lack of progress in our practice. These benchmarks also indicate our fate in the other world.
The first point of reference is to know for sure that this invented personality of ours will not survive death. We understand this when we can see the personality for what it is, an invention based only on thought and memory, a purely material entity that cannot survive physical death.
The second is to recognize the futility of relying on religious rituals, beliefs or dogmas to extricate ourselves from our situation here on earth, instead of the hard work of self-inquiry.
The third point of reference is when we no longer have any doubts that meditation and self-inquiry can free us, not only from physical existence, but from existence itself.
When these three very important parameters are achieved, and we cannot achieve them thinking that we have achieved them, but rather after a definite shift in consciousness occurs in which we become in many ways a different person and see things in a completely different light, then it is. we will be reborn return to physical existence a maximum of only seven times.
The fourth and fifth benchmarks are a bit unusual in that simply weakening pushes us towards a different fate than conquering them completely. If we weaken them, we just have to be reborn in physical existence and all its complications once again. When we completely conquer these two benchmarks, we will no longer be reborn at all in physical existence.
The fourth and fifth points of reference are anger and sensory desires, which must first be weakened. This is where we still retain a certain sense of irritation and annoyance, and even mild desires for the pleasant things to appear in existence. Then, after they have weakened considerably, and with a thorough research on themselves, they are abandoned completely. Now we have no underlying fear which is the root of anger, and no desire for sensual pleasures, we simply eat when it is time to eat, we sleep when it is time to sleep and we work when we need to work.
By conquering these first five benchmarks, we become wise in the eyes of the world, however, to become what no man or woman can understand and go where no man or woman can imagine – beyond existence both in the world of form and the world. of the non-form, we must conquer the five remaining points of reference.
These five that remain are the residual desires left over after we believe we have conquered all our material desires and they are quite insidious. The final five benchmarks are; want to be reborn in the world of form, wanting to be reborn in the formless realm, spiritual restlessness (still seeking), pride or hypocrisy (I know) and finally an enduring belief in an eternal self.
These last five are more difficult to conquer because the one who strives to reach them must disappear completely and yet somehow remain and function in the world: this is the only way they can be overcome.
And for that to happen, you need to be fully enlightened.