The nature of awareness

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rachMiel
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Re: The nature of awareness

Post by rachMiel » Sat Nov 18, 2017 4:16 pm

In my studies with Awareness (a great teacher btw: cheap, always available, no God complex) I found that it was quite easy to see-feel everything around me, all the objects/phenomena that arose in mind, as awareness. But it was a different story with "me." I still remember when I first ran into the teaching that, in addition to all the phenomena arising, the (apparent) subject to whom these arose — I — was also awareness. That really freaked me out. (Still does sometimes.) If taken to heart, it is a real game changer.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

Enlightened2B
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Re: The nature of awareness

Post by Enlightened2B » Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:59 pm

What I find interesting is that these types of discussions (which there have been a large variety of over the years on this forum, including this very same query), are fun no doubt to debate, discuss, share views on, and play with, and chew on, but they are theoretical, conceptual, and oriented towards providing our scared mind with objective positioning. Nothing wrong with this at all again and they can be fun for connecting with others, but just as an observation, where is the initial inquiry coming from? Love or Fear? That's the question I would ask myself.

What I am finding more and more in my own life, is that I've done enough of my own mental inquiries in my spiritual search, and while they served me immensely when I began on this path, now, they serve only that scared part of my mind that thrives for certainty and understanding, that part of me that is petrified, insecure, and fearing the dangerous world outside of myself. That part of me that still feels I am not enough and yearns for the loving validation that it is all going to be ok, that part of me that wants so badly to know what lies beyond this physical structure we call life. That part of me was yearning for my own love essentially for years, decades and I looked for the answers outside of myself, in spiritual teachers, self help, and many other areas. And while many pointed towards what I needed, my mind was too scared to leave the comfort of that space between my ears and truly surrender into the not knowing, and when I do that, many insights come my way. Not another persons's theory, not another poster's answer, but the answers that serve my own unique expression, the greater part of ME. They served me until they no longer didn't and it was time to release the control of the steering wheel.

The answers are within ourselves, our hearts. Self love is the pathway home. When I am willing to embrace and fully love, honor and hold my own darkness, my own fear, is where the light at the end of the tunnel, with all the many answers to my own queries are.

Nothing wrong with these types of discussions, but if you search the archives, there are already countless answers from others to this exact same question. Do the answers ever serve you? Or perhaps you are just asking for the fun to theorize. Either way, it's all good, but merely an observation from this one

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Webwanderer
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Re: The nature of awareness

Post by Webwanderer » Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:22 pm

I think such discussions can serve us in the personal consideration of them. It's not that we will sway someone else in the telling, but that it inspires us to dig deep into our own understanding and potentially break new ground in the process. Should someone else gain some insight, all the better. But it's the potential for personal expansion that matters most. I know I've attempted to describe my understanding of this several times and no one seems to care. Oh well. That said I've gained a bit more clarity with each review, which is why I continue to do it.

It's also interesting that I get renewed insight into all manor life related elements. It seems related to the general expansion of consciousness that allows these insights to flow more freely.

WW

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Re: The nature of awareness

Post by rachMiel » Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:43 pm

Gotcha E2B. Part of my reason for starting similar threads every few months or year or so is the fear of moving on, of actually *using* what I already know to do some good in the world. It's the joy of living in beautiful theory rather than messy reality. And part is because I'm just plain fascinated with awareness and really enjoy going through it all from the ground up (heheheh) again and again and again. I've been teaching more or less the same university course for the past decade or so: user interface design. For some reason, I never seem to lose interest ... if anything, the more I know, the bigger a sense of the big picture I have, the more I enjoy teaching (and studying) it. Now that's not true with all the courses I teach ... some I never liked, or liked for a year or two then didn't, and so on. Thing about awareness is ... I can never quite GET it. Every time I think I have, something new (and often surprising) is revealed. And for a person who loves challenges and exploration as much as I do, that just never does seem to get old.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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Re: The nature of awareness

Post by Enlightened2B » Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:14 am

Thanks for the responses gents. I guess anyone can also say, E2B, if you don't like it, no one asked you to respond, and I'd say that's a fair enough assertion as well!

I understand your reply, Rachmiel. I too am very analytical. Many of us, are just very analytical people and that's just kind of the nature of our own uniqueness. That's a positive quality to embrace I say, but it can also (in my experience) keep me boxed in my mind as well at times, and prevent me from (as you eloquently put it) vulnerably submitting myself into the messiness out of a fear that "I need to figure it all out first.....before I can actually let go of that control (need to know everything via the mind)".

I guess I was just making an observation from my time here on this forum, and the wide array of topics I have read, even going back to the early days of this forum well before my time here, these types of topics and questions just seemingly have been asked, addressed and discussed so many different times, by different people, dressed up in slightly different semantics, but all essentially asking the same question(s) and the answers are generally always within the same realm. Those topics have provided invaluable insights for me personally and I think they have for most of us, but when I find myself now asking these types of questions, the first thing I do is ask myself,.....are my asking out of a sheer curiosity to explore this topic in a fun, curious way without really needing to know anything? or more so, from a compulsive place of again.....trying to find that same answer that has eluded me from the start, once again, dressed up in different wording so that I can feel more comfortable, before I truly surrender into my own messy vulnerability? And honestly, it's been the latter for myself more often than not. And yet, surrendering into that vulnerability to me, is much more intriguing these days than pondering the nature of reality.

Spirituality, in a practical sense I have found requires an enormous amount of trust (in myself), that jumping off the cliff with my eyes closed is actually safe. I think so many of us still don't feel safe, because that survival part of us (amygdala) is still in protection mode and the only way to ensure our safety is to protect us from uncertainty. It's a form of death to that survival part of us that believes so strongly in its separation, to truly jump off that cliff with our eyes closed. This leads to compulsive thinking.

Of course, I still find these topics fun to read about and explore, no doubt. I watch YouTube videos still. I read a lot. I wasn't suggesting we shouldn't, not that anyone should even listen to me 8) But, I do most certainly understand fully, the curiosity around this topic and it's one that I feel like I am constantly gaining new insights on myself, while at the same time, I also realize that I will never fully grasp it in this life. Because my mind is simply too limited, but none the less fun to ponder. :D

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Re: The nature of awareness

Post by rachMiel » Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:08 pm

Again, gotcha. You're making good sense. And you're getting me to think about what exactly is going on with me, why I bring up old topics over and over. So great thanks for that! :-)

Here's my (current) self-psychoanalysis (if you'll please permit me to share a look in the mirror):

I have an overwhelming (it's really the right word) urge/drive to create stuff. I just can't help it, I'm as powerless as a drug addict. For many years (decades!) it was music. Now it's the stuff I post to this and other forums and to dharma friends. I realize it ain't poetry ... but it serves the same purpose for me: creation and expression. And, perhaps even more importantly, it enables me to connect to others of similar psycho-spiritual ilk.

What's in it for others? After all, I'm not posting msgs to the void ... (some) people spend the time and energy to read and possibly think about them. Well what I hope (every time I post anything) is that something I say will make a difference in someone's life. A teensy difference is fine ... mustard seeds and all that! So I guess, in my own awkward way, posting msgs here is my attempt to "give back" to a world that's, over the years, given me a ton.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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Re: The nature of awareness

Post by runstrails » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:12 pm

rM wrote: Back to the drawing board ... ;-)
How about the analogy of electricity? Electricity allows different things to function (express themselves) in different ways (e.g., fans, lights, computers etc). But electricity is not visible to the eye--- only its expressions are.
Without electricity none of those items can function. And electricity itself does not need the items through which it expresses it self.

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Re: The nature of awareness

Post by runstrails » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:27 pm

Nice posts, E2B. I enjoyed reading them.
E2B wrote: Spirituality, in a practical sense I have found requires an enormous amount of trust (in myself), that jumping off the cliff with my eyes closed is actually safe.
This is so true. Trust is essential. Once we understand the nature of reality (that everything has been given to us (from our bodies and its involuntary functions, to the earth and the environment we live in etc), we realize that trust in the natural order of things is essential.

Once we realize that everything in the universe (big or small) happens through a natural order (you can call it God if you want) then we can relax because we know that we are part of that natural order.

Even the parts of us that we don't like (our shadow selves) are part of that natural order so we can accept them. This is very important, because as you say, self acceptance and trust are critical steps and qualifications in the spiritual search.

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Re: The nature of awareness

Post by runstrails » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:32 pm

rM wrote: I found that it was quite easy to see-feel everything around me, all the objects/phenomena that arose in mind, as awareness. But it was a different story with "me." I still remember when I first ran into the teaching that, in addition to all the phenomena arising, the (apparent) subject to whom these arose — I — was also awareness. That really freaked me out. (Still does sometimes.) If taken to heart, it is a real game changer.
LOL! But so true.
Because of the deeply conditioned (and logical) attachment to the mind-body it is very hard to shift to the perspective that one is awareness. It is a really game changer. The only way to re-wire the neural circuits is to constantly rest in awareness, as awareness. Again and again and again--till it becomes the default perspective. But easier said than done, of course :D.

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Re: The nature of awareness

Post by rachMiel » Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:42 pm

runstrails wrote:
rM wrote: Back to the drawing board ... ;-)
How about the analogy of electricity? Electricity allows different things to function (express themselves) in different ways (e.g., fans, lights, computers etc). But electricity is not visible to the eye--- only its expressions are.
Without electricity none of those items can function. And electricity itself does not need the items through which it expresses it self.
Nice. Sounds a bit like The Force. (As in: "Use it, Luke.")
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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Re: The nature of awareness

Post by Enlightened2B » Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:43 pm

Thanks for sharing openly Rachmiel and you don't need to explain yourself to me or anyone, as to why you post. Again, it was just an observation and didn't mean to de-rail the thread, but then again, as Smiley Jenn used to say, to paraphrase, these threads tend to branch off into a variety of different directions, like a web. And thanks RT, and yes, I agree with you. But, back to the regularly scheduled programming :)

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Re: The nature of awareness

Post by rachMiel » Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:02 pm

Enlightened2B wrote:Thanks for sharing openly Rachmiel and you don't need to explain yourself to me or anyone, as to why you post.
Aha ... TMI? Mea culpa. I get (way too much of) a kick explaining myself. If I stopped I might actually shaddup and smell the roses ... ;-)
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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