Pure Awareness is the base of consciousness. We'll define
consciousness for our purposes as a functioning, thinking
elaboration of Awareness.
Ego consciousness is a natural formation of the energies of
Awareness that arise as thought. This naturally arising mental body
is the form of ego. It's the "subject" as conceived by itself. Take
for example when you dream at night. In the dream you exist with a
body and a mind. The consciousness you have in the dream also
manifests an ego self in the dream. That's your sense of "me" in
the dream. That "me" arises from potentials that already exist in
the mind, traces from our experience, thoughts, feelings. When we
wake up from our dream, ALL the problems of our "dream self"
vanishes spontaneously without the least effort. Likewise when we
have a deep awakening in ordinary waking consciousness, the problems
of "me" vanishes instantly, as that "self" was a projection from our
traces that arise from our memories, fixations, feelings,thoughts
and conditioning. Well, when that ego self vanishes suddenly, what
are we left with? Who are we? What are we?
Remaining is a naked, luminous knowingness or sphere of Awareness.
This sphere of Awareness has a 360 degree perceptual field that has
no boundaries. Some traditions refer to this Awareness as a crystal
sphere that radiates light. It is this sphere that is our own
beingness beyond mind or body. While we are alive that sphere of
Awareness is centrally positioned in the skull and uses the eyes,
ears, nose and mouth in experiencing the external world. Literally,
we are looking out of our eyes from the center of our skull.
Awareness has the ability to look out of the eyes through a much
more subtle channel of light that is separate from the optic nerves,
as well as having connections to our other sensory organs. There
are practices that allow our ability to see without our eyes and
hear without our ears, but to perceive "directly". Our Awareness
has this potential, to perceive without the physical body. Some
people call this an out-of-body perceptual experience. In that
situation, the sphere of Awareness (you) moves out of the skull and
floats about in the external environment. You can see clearly and
perceive everything directly and without the filters of the body's
perceptual systems. Your perception is global without front, back,
top or bottom. When you have this experience you have absolute
certainty that you are not your body and are not the least bit
dependent upon it. This sphere of luminous knowing clear-light
Awareness is known as Rigpa in Tibetan, or the Son-Light. We will
call that simply Awareness. That sphere of Awareness is
indestructible and unchanging. That Awareness in its basic or naked
state, does not rely on mind, nor does it need to "think". It has a
higher mode of knowing directly, more like intuition. When its
Awareness is directed within, it would experience itself as an
infinite presence without boundaries or materiality. It has no
sense of defined "self" as an ego or self image. It is simply Being.
It's a Presence that is always present in every experience. This
Sphere of Awareness IS who we are and who we have always been!
Notice and reflect upon your Presence of Awareness looking out your
eyes reading these words right at this exact moment! That's
Next we'll discuss how the mind, ego and thinking consciousness
arises from this pure and perfect sphere of Awareness.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
What is Awareness
Posted by Grant Bishop at 8:25 PM