Question about awareness and identity

Talk about anything Tolle-related here.

Question about awareness and identity

Postby rachMiel » Fri Mar 11, 2016 6:32 pm

Tolle and other neo-Advaitin teachers say that we are not our thoughts, rather that which is aware of our thoughts.

The first part makes sense to me. But not the second.

Why identify with that which is aware of I? Thoughts come and go. Awareness comes and goes. Thoughts just happen. Awareness just happens.

Why make the leap to saying my ultimate nature is awareness?
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...
User avatar
rachMiel
 
Posts: 2420
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:46 pm
Location: Pittsford

Re: Question about awareness and identity

Postby rachMiel » Fri Mar 11, 2016 10:56 pm

I contemplated my OP a bunch since I wrote it and a few new things dawned on me.

Seeing yourself not as the content of your mind, but the awareness of this content is a step in the "right" direction. But just a step ...

Moving from smallest to biggest I:

I am the content of my mind.
I am the awareness of the content of my mind.
I am existence, being.
I am (the mystery).
I am.
Am.

Or something like this. It's a work in progress. ;-)
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...
User avatar
rachMiel
 
Posts: 2420
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:46 pm
Location: Pittsford

Re: Question about awareness and identity

Postby Webwanderer » Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:47 pm

rachMiel wrote:Or something like this. It's a work in progress.

Aren't we all... And when will it ever end? Can it ever end? If potential is infinite, what of this work in progress?

WW
User avatar
Webwanderer
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 6279
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 12:03 am

Re: Question about awareness and identity

Postby rachMiel » Sat Mar 12, 2016 3:08 am

Energy-matter cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed.

Maybe in a similar way things can never begin or end, only transform.

At what point does a human life begin? At fertilization? At birth? At the birth of the parents? The grandparents? The birth of the planet, the solar system, the universe?
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...
User avatar
rachMiel
 
Posts: 2420
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:46 pm
Location: Pittsford

Re: Question about awareness and identity

Postby Webwanderer » Sat Mar 12, 2016 4:39 pm

Good questions. For me, a more revealing question is 'when does life begin?' And what is a human being in the greater perspective? Is 'human being' a noun or verb - or some of each? I truly enjoy how consideration of such questions tend to expand one's perspective.

WW
User avatar
Webwanderer
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 6279
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 12:03 am

Re: Question about awareness and identity

Postby rachMiel » Sat Mar 12, 2016 5:47 pm

All good questions to contemplate and grow with. :-)

Do you understand the issue I have (which I attempted to explain above) with the notion that awareness is our true identity?
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...
User avatar
rachMiel
 
Posts: 2420
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:46 pm
Location: Pittsford

Re: Question about awareness and identity

Postby Webwanderer » Sun Mar 13, 2016 12:15 am

rachMiel wrote:Do you understand the issue I have (which I attempted to explain above) with the notion that awareness is our true identity?

Well I did get that, but there's such an issue with definitions when we are stuck with words to communicate. My sense is that awareness is a component of being or life itself. For example, 'I am alive' is a little strange if 'I am life itself'. But it could be in the context of living a human experience saying I am alive or 'I am alive (as a human expression)'. There are just so many ways or contexts in which to consider the words we use. In any case it tends to expand one's perspective to genuinely consider the possibilities and the contexts of those possibilities.

WW
User avatar
Webwanderer
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 6279
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 12:03 am

Re: Question about awareness and identity

Postby rachMiel » Sun Mar 13, 2016 4:06 pm

Yes, it's easy for me to fall into tech-writer mode and get lost in semantics ... i.e. to forget that "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

My beef with using the term "awareness" in an expanded spiritual context is that it has such a well-understood and finite meaning in common discourse.

"Consciousness" works much better for me, because its meaning is so varied and even the "consciousness experts" disagree wildly about it.

Casting my OP in this light feels right-er to me:

We are not our thoughts, rather that which is conscious of our thoughts.

Or, better:

We are not our thoughts, rather the consciousness of our thoughts.

Now that's something I can work with, contemplate, meditate on:

I am consciousness.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...
User avatar
rachMiel
 
Posts: 2420
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:46 pm
Location: Pittsford

Re: Question about awareness and identity

Postby dijmart » Wed Mar 16, 2016 4:33 am

Why identify with that which is aware of I? Thoughts come and go. Awareness comes and goes. Thoughts just happen. Awareness just happens


Awareness doesn't come and go...have you ever not been aware in the waking state? In the dream state? Even after the deep sleep state you are "aware" you slept good or not.

Awareness just happens? How? Under what circumstances does your awareness come and go, within the above states? You are either aware or not...even a coma is relative to the deep sleep state...when you awaken you either remember something or you dont, but you know one or the other (I know, I was in a 5 day coma once).

You may be referring to not being "present", but that's not the same as not being aware. If you were completely engrossed in thought and someone comes along and says "are you aware? do you exist?" Of course you would say yes, but perhaps you weren't being present at that moment.

My opinion is that you, I and everyone else are awareness. We are aware of objects, subtle and gross. We (a portion of awareness, for lack of a better word) are associated with a particular person (jiva). We become identified with that jiva so much so we mistake our identity as that person, when really we are the awareness that is aware of that person. Awareness is the substratum of all that is.

I like using awareness, as I see issues with using consciousness, but to each their own, as long as it means the same thing.
Take what you like and leave the rest.
User avatar
dijmart
 
Posts: 2078
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:35 pm

Re: Question about awareness and identity

Postby rachMiel » Thu Mar 17, 2016 12:33 am

Dijmart,

I'm going on the assumption that one cannot be aware without being aware *of* (something).

We spend most of our waking life aware of this or that. But there are times when we are not aware of anything: deep sleep, unconsciousness, anesthesia, etc. This is what I mean by awareness coming and going. It rises in the presence of an awared object, and falls in the absence of any awared object. It doesn't have a life of its own independent of the objects which it awares.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...
User avatar
rachMiel
 
Posts: 2420
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:46 pm
Location: Pittsford

Re: Question about awareness and identity

Postby dijmart » Thu Mar 17, 2016 2:08 am

What comes and goes in deep sleep, ect is the mind, not awareness. Awareness is self aware, always present and knows when the mind isn't there...and when it's back. As in, I slept well.

As far as objects...they depend upon awareness for there apparent existance, as they are created from awareness. However, awareness itself depends upon nothing. This is how everything is non dual. It's either awareness or created out of awareness.

I can agree to disagree, as I'm not into debates these days. Vedanta has taught me a lot and answered many questions. Things make more sense then they ever did before.

If interested, shiningworld.Com and nevernotpresent are great websites on vedanta. James swartz videos are also available on youtube.
Take what you like and leave the rest.
User avatar
dijmart
 
Posts: 2078
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:35 pm

Re: Question about awareness and identity

Postby rachMiel » Thu Mar 17, 2016 4:41 am

Thanks for the links. I studied Advaita Vedanta earnestly for a while, found a lot there that felt right to me, but it lost me at Brahman, which is afaiu pretty much what you mean by awareness, right? So, yes, let's agree to disagree. :-)
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...
User avatar
rachMiel
 
Posts: 2420
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:46 pm
Location: Pittsford

Re: Question about awareness and identity

Postby dijmart » Thu Mar 17, 2016 4:34 pm

Not a problem..and yes, Brahman. :)
Take what you like and leave the rest.
User avatar
dijmart
 
Posts: 2078
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:35 pm

Re: Question about awareness and identity

Postby Fore » Sat Mar 19, 2016 12:52 am

rachMiel wrote:
Do you understand the issue I have (which I attempted to explain above) with the notion that awareness is our true identity?

It's not simply a matter of awareness but perhaps awareness becomes aware of awareness. Or conscious awareness if this is suitable. This is self realization.
User avatar
Fore
 
Posts: 664
Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2013 4:20 pm

Re: Question about awareness and identity

Postby rachMiel » Sat Mar 19, 2016 2:43 pm

fore, howdy. :-)

Awareness of awareness is self realization ... please explain.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...
User avatar
rachMiel
 
Posts: 2420
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:46 pm
Location: Pittsford

Next

Return to General Eckhart Tolle Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest