“self-awareness” is only a launchpad

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“self-awareness” is only a launchpad

Post by Sighclone » Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:31 am

Psychoanalysis, at its best, helps us understand the dynamics of this persona we carry with us. And maybe we can change many things about “who we think we are.” People get “better,” they understand the source of a neurosis, they learn to escape the prison of a thought disorder, they begin to recognize and discard unnecessary obsessions and compulsions.

Adyashanti and others have commented that a “stable sense of self,” the comfort we feel in our own skin, the belief that we are “OK” can become the foundation for transcending all of it. This was not Eckhart’s path. His was one of profound suffering and a sudden release, followed by years of integration. But Adya had a supportive family of origin and a gentle teacher. Of course, even then, his route was circular and futile for years.

In their fine book on Transactional Analysis titled “Born To Win,” James and Jongeward recall Fritz Perls: “Everything is grounded in Awareness.” (Perls studied Zen later in his life.) We can learn why we confront our spouse irrationally, why we procrastinate, why we fuss over trivial items, why we distrust certain kinds of people, and we can change those habits. Much of what Byron Katie writes about has to do with changing our response to stimuli. And, if successful, conventional therapies leave us more confident, rested, and, to a certain degree, much more aware.

But pure awareness is not about understanding why we behave in certain ways. Self-inquiry (cf. Ramana, Papaji, Mooji, et al) is a perspective on the “self” we have restructured. What is that entity? Is it still just a collection of habits and preferences that got started very early in our lives which has a basic inertia, and a label…the ego? Is there an awareness which is prior to the busy and unique little-me self, now so fully understood? Meditation allows the mind to be still. It allows the fragile presence of pure awareness to be felt.

It is from pure awareness, in which there is no “sense of self” at all beyond the dim sense of being a “point of awareness,” that we feel less encumbered by our identity. Pure awareness is nonmental and transpersonal. It is the experience of a stillness which is both deeply personal, and at the same time, everywhere. It seems to contain everyone, with room for millions more, because it actually contains no one. It is at once separate from that structured, autobiographical self we recognize, the witness of it, and yet it contains it also. There is no time in pure awareness, there is only an abiding steady, permanently unfolding present moment.

And you can even do the laundry.

A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

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Re: “self-awareness” is only a launchpad

Post by runstrails » Wed Apr 06, 2011 3:12 pm

Beautiful post, Andy! I totally resonate with it.
Sighclone said:
It is at once separate from that structured self we recognize, the witness of it, and yet it contains it also.
So well put. When identification with 'little me' happens, that 'sense of self' feels very different compared to when there is realization of pure awareness (Self). In the latter case, there is this underlying sense of peace, wholeness, goodness and in the former case, its very egoic/desirous and more about pleasure than peace. But because the sense of Self (pure awareness) is now the default mode, there is a sense of goodness or peace underlying it all (even the unconscious, egoic bits). As the great ones say, it's all good. Now we know why! :wink:

Thank you for taking the time to write.

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Re: “self-awareness” is only a launchpad

Post by Ralph » Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:52 pm

Well said, Andy ... I,too, resonate with that post.

This reminds me of a quote I once read:

“The longest journey a man must take is the eighteen inches from his head to his heart”

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Re: “self-awareness” is only a launchpad

Post by snowheight » Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:03 am

This body went with a noisy mind to Barnes&Noble and bought a copy of TPON two years back in response to the suffering of insomnia. The mind absorbed the fact that "I was not my mind", and ET tricked little-me into a meditative practice with his challenge of finding the off-switch by watching the mousehole.

From reading what others write here and elsewhere about this experience, and from reflecting on my own, I do know that 'trails and Andy are right. We bring back a sense of that awareness into the day-to-day, and as a result things are more gentle where they must be gentle and harder and edgier where the elbows fly. The body that drove to and fro' B&N that day now sleeps. This is as it is: there is no good or bad at that point of dis-individuated knowing.

Any good or bad away from that point is a matter of belief or of some other conditioning. Perhaps some of these matters (for example, not abandoning a loved one in a time of crisis, or running away from or turning to fight someone wielding a knife) are so polar as to be effective absolutes for the purpose of our dualistic existence.


(ps -- Ralph ... the man with the quotes ... duuuude!)
Stop talking. Hear every sound as background. Look straight ahead and focus. Take one deep breath. This is you. This is Now.

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