Francis of Assisi
Our True Nature
Slicing up Awareness/Consciousness
Awareness is Universal, Eternal and not personal. There are no separate individual 'Awarenesses' and there are no subdivisions or grades of Awareness. Awareness / Consciousness is Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Omniscient - how can it have grades or subdivisions?
The concept of separate spiritual beings and also 'global Awareness' is a mind generated concept.
The human mind is the world of duality - it is based on the pairs of opposites - good/bad, hot/cold, pure/impure. perfect/imperfect, worthy/unworthy etc. Being in duality the human mind divides and divides - separates and separates.
Is there Awake Awareness and Unawake Awareness?
Awareness is aware by its very nature and is not personal. There is no 'my' Awareness to wake up or be asleep. It is always aware. Its essence is Awareness - and the concepts of 'awake' and 'unawake' do not arise. They are dualistic mind constructs only.
Implicit in the belief that one's Awareness 'wakes up' is that life prior to 'awakening' has been run by the ego. Furthermore self inquiry itself is performed by the ego - which leads, apparently, to 'Awareness waking up'. Like starting up an out-of-tune outboard motor - finally we crank it up. All of this is appearance only.
There is implicit referral to an apparent 'conscious ego' which has been 'running our life until now' and has been the instrument that has 'woken up' awareness. The ego is thought only with no independent awareness - so there is no conscious ego that has run our life or 'woken up' awareness, althought the ego would attribute these things to itself.
The concept of 'our Awareness waking up' regards Awareness as something separate from us - it is ours, belongs to us and now it has woken up. Appearance only - the ego being the owner, the valuable and powerful entity that has woken up awareness.
We are alive. We cannot deny our own existence. We are aware. Even though we might not like some of the things that we are aware of, it does not change the fact that we are aware of them. Awareness does not filter - it is aware of all, without resistance. We are that Awareness and it is living our lives right now.
We are aware of our suffering. Awareness does not 'go to sleep' while we suffer - it is there, fully functional during the suffering. Just because we are suffering does not mean that we are not aware - it means that we ARE aware. How else could we know about the suffering?
The good news and the understanding, is that Awareness is there 100%, fully functional and has always been so. We are 'Lived'.
Another part of the understanding is to see that Awareness is not private or personal or 'mine'.
Turiya and other states of Consciousness
Wikipedia describes turiya thus
In Hindu philosophy, 'turiya' is a state of pure consciousness, or the experience of ultimate reality and truth. It is a fourth state of consciousness that underlies and at the same time transcends three common states of consciousness: (i) the state of waking consciousness, (ii) the state of dreaming, (iii) and dreamless sleep.
Ramana Maharshi was asked many times about these so called states of consciousness, and always maintained that Consciousness / Awareness (or 'The Self' as he called it) did not have any states - and that Awareness was present fully at all times. How else could it be?
Once again the words 'state' and 'experience' are used - Awareness is that which is Aware of states or experiences.
States and experiences are objects in Awareness, not the all-perceiving Awareness.
This is another way of saying
"You are what observes, not what you observe." (The Buddha)
Ever-deepening States of Awareness
The idea of a step-wise progression up the 'enlightenment path' involves step- wise increases in Awareness or Consciousness. The path is referred to as 'my path'.
It could (erroneously) be said that -
"Each person has to find their own path and this is my path." or
"J. Krishnamurti said that Truth is a Pathless Land - so we all have to find our own path."
These statements are erroneous because there is no path for there to be a 'my path' - and there is no 'me' even to have a 'my', or an 'our own'.
There is no path because we are already what we seek. We cannot be anything other than what we already are.
Francis of Assisi said
"What we are looking for is what is looking.”
There cannot be a path and any so-called path can only be an apparency. It can appear that there is a path, but in fact there is none.
The Awareness or Presence experience is referred to personally as 'my Presence' or 'my Awareness'. It is still about the individual - and there isn't one.
This is still inside the dream of 'me', the story of 'me'. It is hoped that the story will reach a wonderful conclusion (for 'me').
Nisargadatta has said
Liberation is from the 'me' - not of the me.
Recognition that Awareness is Universal, Eternal and non-personal changes it all.
There is no person there. No separate human being. Life itself has been 'living our lives' all along - and we thought that it was 'me' doing it all.
Awareness is global, universal - so how can there be steps, gradations and achievement for a separate individual? How can there be a 'me' there doing it all?
The 'me' is just a mind construct - a thought collection built around an initial thought about 'me'.
Before that we just lived. Since then we have just been lived too - but this time with a mind and a 'me', the story, the 'tragic' along for the ride. The pillion passenger with no substance at all.
Through all that we are still 'Lived by Life' - that part of it has not changed.
Life Lives Us. There is no other separate life.
We are Awareness itself and do not have to achieve Awareness or cultivate it.
The story of who we are and what we are - the story in the head - is the one who thinks it can achieve Awareness, achieve Presence, reach another stage on the path - when all along our essential nature is completely there.
It is all in the recognition of who we are and who we are not.
Jiddu Krishnamurti said "Truth is a Pathless Land" in his famous resignation speech in 1929 and meant just that. There is no path at all - because you already are what you seek. The starting point and the destination are the same, so there cannot possibly be a path, or any personal achievements along the way.
Written by Mike Graham 28 Feb 2008, last edited 10 Mar 2008