Discovering the ObviousPosted: May 11, 2012
This entry is going to be short and simple. A few hints, that’s all.
As we are going through our lives we often refer to “our” body, “our” minds, “our” thoughts, “our” emotions, “our” memories, “our” sensations, “our” ego’s etc. As opposed to other people talking about non-duality or spirituality I love possessive pronouns like “my” or “mine”. I think they are a great doorway to liberation, little teachers in disguise so to speak, since they actually point right to the core of the most fascinating question of all: who is this “I” the pronouns “my” or “mine” are referring to?
Whenever we say “my”, we unconsciously objectify and separate some-thing from its immediate environment. An object that can be attributed to an “I” cannot be the “I” itself because it stands somehow apart from it. Or in other words, it is “had” by the “I”, but not itself a genuine feature of the “I”. Hence, when we say “my” body, we essentially disqualify the body from being our essential nature. Same with thought, mind, emotions, experiences etc. Unfortunately, instead of reflecting about the ultimate logic of our claiming of objects, we (unconsciously) identify with them. Once we gain enough awareness of them, though, e.g. through contemplative practices, we acquire a discriminating faculty to negate and disidentify from them.
By starting the process of knowing what we are not, we prepare ourselves for a showdown with our true Self. If we are not our bodies, minds, egos, thoughts, emotions, memories and experiences, what are we? We are that which can never be negated, that which is the eternal subject to all phenomenal objects: the bare sense of “I am” aka (pure) consciousness. All we always know for certain is that we are. And that’s essentially all we are. Simple.
All objects ultimately depend on the subject, the power of consciousness. The phenomenal world appears in and through consciousness. No consciousness, no world! Since it is forever the subject, consciousness, our essential nature, can not be objectified and known, it can only be intuitively realized as the foundation and source of reality. Just as an eye, the source of seeing, cannot see itself, whatever can be known is never consciousness but merely the content of it. All is content of consciousness.
In our dreams at night it is consciousness within and through which our dreams appear. The same applies for the waking state. Therefore, there is no way of knowing whether our waking state is just another dream or not. Neuroscience and physics do suggest that the world as we know it is in fact a virtual reality. Colors, for example, are but the perception of different wavelengths of light. In that sense the world is unreal, an illusion. Thus, in Hindu mythology we are said to be dream characters simultaneously dreaming the universal dream spun by the one dreaming faculty, which is consciousness, the creative principle of our world. All, including our selves, is One big dream of consciousness.
Since, however, this dream-world is of “divine” origin and the only world we can possibly inhabit, there is no reason to reject it. It is just the way it was “designed” to be. Absolutely flawless. All is but a perfect manifestations of the creative play of consciousness.
To stretch the metaphor a bit further, “awakening” does not point to waking up from the dream but within it. Just as within our dreams at night we can “wake up”, become aware of being in a dream and change the course of action (what is called lucid dreaming), we can “wake up”, become aware of the waking dream and live more freely (lucid living).
Living (lucidly) that way not only means to have realized that all is fine but that the self is a dream-character which can’t die because it had never actually been born. This liberating insight is the start for a whole new venture into the adventure that is life.
Enjoy the ride!
“Not what the eye sees, but that which makes the eye see, that is the Spirit.”