In Buddhism unlike many other paths philosophy has gone hand in hand with meditation, with some emphasizing one and others emphasizing the other in their practice. This is fairly unusual it seems. For instance in the West there is no practice and mundane consciousness in the world is the focus. On the other side Buddhist philosophical statements that build on other Buddhist philosophies can be extremely abstruse and it will be hard to tell how that relates to everyday life.
Next point is that by arriving at the Fourth Turning which in some ways seems Pathless we have already traveled quite far in the development of our understanding. In truth any level of Buddhist enlightenment would be enough. It is illusion that is layered not Existence seen as empty, or Void, or Manifest.
But there is clearly no method once one gets this far, method is meta-hodos means the way after. Once you get there then you try to produce a method by which others can follow you, and that is what Buddhism is for the most part, practice and theory about higher states of consciousness in light of the nondual. But I like what StoneHouse says at one point is that eventually you just have to go off on your own and figure out what enlightenement means for you, and then go for it. Enlightenment and endarkenment are as unique as we are. So I am not sure there is any Principle lying behind the finding of the deeper nonduality. In effect if something is not there, like ourselves, then it is also doubtful that there is a principle, because who would preceive it.
Rather it seems to me that what we need to do is try to be as clear as possible what the stages are as far as we can ascertain them, and then keep trying to find ways of realizing them in ourselves.
One might say that there is Principle in the sense of a patterning principle Li that unfolds with Chi into actualized patterns. This is because each level has its own nature as discovered by Continental Philosophy or Plato.
But in terms of having a Principle that will allow you to discover these states your self, I don’t think this is so. I myself am a big believer in transmission. And the fact that these fourth Turning paths seem to transcend any one path does not mean you can get to them without following some path. I would say that the path is even more essential the more rarefied the realm of tracelessness.
In no way am I hoping to be taken as saying that the Fourth and Fifth Turning are achievable without traveling though the other layers one way or another. If it was not you then perhaps someone else who is transmitting to you to make your path seemingly shorter. Also I am not making any claims about getting there or being there myself. Claims themselves can be delusional just by the fact of uttering them what ever you thought you had can be lost.
Rather I am saying that Buddhists need to take their philosophy into the Western worldview, rather than allowing the Orientalists to classify and categorize us. Rather in fact we need to be Occidentalists and understand the philosophy of the mundane that is Western Philosophy in such a way that it does not taint our understanding of Nonduality from our tradition. In a sense there is the same thing happening to the West as happened to the Romans by the Greeks, Romans enslaved the Greeks but the Greeks making all Western Civilization Greek at its roots overcoming the Romans and ultimately won the struggle of civilizations snatching victory from defeat.
Something similar is happening with Buddhism and Western civilization. Because the Western Worldview has a nondual core deeply suppressed it will find Buddhism irresistible ultimately. In my view all the various nondual paths need to cooperate in this adventure of the homecoming of Buddhism, and the Islamic heresy in the form of Sufism. Buddhism is the Heresy of Hinduism, and Islamic Sufism is the heresy of the Western Worldview and these two together are returning to their origins within the Indo–European tradition. This return to the Deeper Indo-European tradition needs to be a combined effort. In it philosophers and mediators, and other practitioners need to cooperate together, and this seems far more possible if we understand the intrinsic pathlessness of the fourth turning that goes beyond what ever path we are considering as our nondual basis. What needs to be universally understood is the fact that the West is not purely dualistic, but rather is fragmented with a nondual kernel beyond the nihilism production at the core. Dualism is a surface phenomena of the Western worldview. Just knowing that there is a homeward path is a tremendous advantage because it means that one is appealing directly to the nondual kernel when we are approaching those who have not realized the wonder of the nondual as yet. But of course there will be many false claims in this realm of endeavor and the road is not clear at this time how various nondual paths could cooperate, but at least they should be talking to each other. In all this philosophy is essential in order to make clear what is at stake and how we can relate to the Western worldview’s structure.