Saturday, May 06, 2006

Awareness comes last, or first?

I've heard a scientist on tv say that we humans are very complex and advanced creatures on this planet. I have to agree with that. But he also said that we are so advanced that we have developed awareness. Now that part I can't agree with. My dog is aware of me and especially so at feeding time. When I first came to western Australia I saw what is known as a meat ant. They are about an inch long and will give quite a bite. As I saw it I bent down for a closer look and immediately it backed up and reared it's front legs up in a defensive posture. It was quite obvious that this ant was aware of my presence.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The human experience.

As we seek and search for meaning the mind conjures up ideas, it forms theories about what it is that it's trying to understand. It is the mind's job to seek solutions to problems and find order in chaos. What often happens is that with contact with new age philosophies we are exposed to a vast variety of ideas about what is needed to gain enlightenment, what is needed to purify the body and ideas about what enlightenment actually is. Most of these ideas are erroneous and they actually become an impediment. The idea that you can do something about enlightenment reinforces the idea that there is someone here who can do anything.

Classical concepts like omnipresent awareness creates the idea that once you are enlightened you will view the world from many angles simultaneously, other than your particular human experience. But that's not so simply because your particular experience is formed by the central nervous system processing and forming a unique perception that is then witnessed and from one particular vantage point in space/time. Pursuing the question 'who am I' will bring you to the point of seeing that whatever the mind wants to cling to as an identification is witnessed by awareness - is an object in awareness. Nothing appears without awareness witnessing it and in that way awareness is omnipresent. Enlightenment doesn't happen to an individual it happens through an individual. The human experience continues as before, from it's particular vantage point.

The mind, being just another object that appears in awareness, can never know awareness - subjectivity. But it continues to work as hard as it can to understand. In the end what is seen is that all there is is awareness and that all the appearances in awareness are awareness also. Waves on the ocean - the waves are still the ocean and at no time are they other than the ocean. Appearances in awareness are patterns of energy, ripples, in awareness and made of awareness.

One of the ideas that the mind will throw up is that after self realization the whole experiece will be different. Well! It is different and it is the same, meaning that the difference is that there is a more holistic understanding (and without the 'me' and all the suffering that goes with it). The human experience continues exactly as it did before as just another appearance in awareness, but now we don't understand exclusively via the human experience. We understand more holistically that we are the awareness the human experience appears in. Another way of looking at it is to imagine you are looking through a keyhole in a door into another room. As we grow up we look through these eyes but gradually forget that we are the one looking and become identified with the events in the other room. Self realization is the remembering that we are the one looking and are not the events in the other room, even though they continue and we continue to look.

The sensitive seeker.

For most people life is exactly as it should be. In fact it's true for all of us. But for some of us who come to call ourselves seekers we have this intuitive feeling that something is wrong - or at least not quite right. It's an itch that we have difficulty scratching and it just doesn't go away. It's common for this feeling to exist for twenty odd years.

For me the final stages only came with the introduction of Advaita - or non-duality. Advaita is a wonderful system of pointers that led me to discover my true nature, a nature that was always true, but in the process of growing up I simply overlooked it and became identified as a person and used my mind to find the solution to problems. After all, the mind is designed exactly for that purpose - it makes sence out of chaos, and does it's best to solve problems. However the mind, being an object, can never understand the subjective space it occupies - the cognizing emptiness as 'Sailor' Bob calls it. The problem is that as people we use the mind exclusively. The solution is to once more become aware of, or to understand that there is a space that the mind occupies. The mind continues, it does it's job, but once it is known that we are not people with minds and evolved enough to become aware, but in fact that awareness is primary and everything else appears in it. Without awareness nothing is known. Thoughts are not detectable without awareness. So awareness is primary and everything else is secondry, objects appearing in awareness.

Once it dawns on us intuitively that in fact we are awareness then it is clearly seen that all thoughts and feelings appear and disappear on a regular basis but there is no-one to do anything about it. There is no-one in existence. The only thing that does not appear in awareness is a 'me'.
Prior to the realization we have been identified as a human. The 'me', that idea of a me came about as the result of the nature of the mind to identify patterns of energy and create order out of chaos. So what has always happened is that primarily there is awareness and thoughts, feelings, beliefs, this body, the world and the mind appear in random order. The mind observes this random order and makes sence of it.

If, as a child, the mind observes other people speaking directly to it and repeating a name it doesn't take long to say ah ha!, here I am and this is my name. This gets added to the original concept of seperation and the belief in an individual builds up. Without that mind life would be quite chaotic, so the mind continues to work - cutting wood and carrying water, but with realization we no longer live exclusively as the false identity. We know absolutely that what we are is the awareness that wittnesses everything.

With the new realization the seeking and the anquish of the seeker ends because we have once more found what we truely are, what we were looking for, what was never lost. Now it can be said that there is nothing wrong anymore.