Presence

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Re: Presence

Postby dijmart » Wed May 31, 2017 9:52 pm

Hi RT,

Nice post!

I heard back from Ted... the excerpt of his was mis-read in the sense the it didn't mean, exactly what it "seemed" to mean. The answer gets technical, but "pure awareness" is NOT your "ordinary" awareness. Except to say that every-thing is essentially awareness.

Ordinary awareness is a function of the mind when it (the mind) is illumined by the "light" of pure awareness, allowing for perceiving, knowing, ect. Therefore, ordinary awareness is a product of "reflected" awareness. Anything in the phenomenal sense, is "reflected" awareness, although pure awareness also "pervades" the phenomenal world.

Sorry if this gave anyone a headache!
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Re: Presence

Postby runstrails » Wed May 31, 2017 11:57 pm

Thanks, Dij. Makes sense to me. I'd love to read Ted's answer. Would you mind posting or sending it to me by PM. Thanks so much! rt
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Re: Presence

Postby dijmart » Thu Jun 01, 2017 12:22 am

Hi RT,

He didn't respond directly about his Satsang that I questioned, but did so indirectly.... I tried to sum up my understanding of his reply when I responded here.

Here it is-

Your confusion concerning the difference between “pure” awareness (or what we might refer to as awareness-as-such) and reflected awareness, which in this case refers to the capacity of the mind to perceive objects and conceive ideas, can be resolved by a careful consideration of the emboldened sentence in the quoted passage.
 
Of vital importance to properly understanding the nature of awareness is to note that the sentence states that awareness is that in which all objects (i.e., thoughts, feelings, and sensations) appear rather than being that by which all objects are known. In other words, awareness is the “field” of limitless conscious existence in which all objects appear, but it cannot be defined as any particular mind—or, for that matter, even the collective mind—by means of whose functions objects are known.
 
From the “highest” non-dual perspective, of course, everything is awareness. But for the purposes of discriminating between the real (i.e., eternal—that is, altogether beyond the limitations of time and space—and unchanging) and the apparent (i.e., ephemeral—that is, of limited duration—and mutable) we make the distinction between what we call pure awareness, which is limitless conscious existence-as-such, and reflected awareness, which is anything and everything that is delineable in terms of time and space.
 
Within this paradigm the mind is considered reflected awareness because as the organ by means of which all objects are known it is itself a knowable object (i.e., something perceivable and/or conceivable). The mind is granted its ability to know objects and to process information and thereby gain knowledge due to the presence of awareness, which is simply the inherent nature of existence. In other words, because it is illumined by the “light” of awareness, the mind has the capacity to perform the functions intrinsic to its design—namely, perceiving, questioning, deliberating, remembering, imagining, deciding, directing, and emoting—that we refer to as thinking and knowing.
 
Here it is important to note that it is not awareness-as-such that knows objects, but rather the mind imbued with awareness that performs the functions that result in knowing objects. Just as light does not see the objects in a room but is the means by which the eyes are able to see them, so awareness-as-such does not know objects but rather is the “illumining” factor by means of which the mind is capable of knowing objective phenomena, both subtle and gross. Thus, the mind is what you refer to as the “experiencing witness” or reflected awareness, while awareness-as-such is what is often termed “witnessing awareness.”
 
The reference to awareness as the “witness” should be understood figuratively. Due to its all-pervasiveness and perfect wholeness, awareness is fundamentally devoid of any personal perspective or ability to act. Thus, awareness does not know things in the same way the mind knows objects. Awareness is referred to as shakshi chaitanya (i.e., witnessing awareness) because it is the unmanifest substrate in which abides the “knowledge” that informs all objective phenomena and out of which the entire manifestation springs (or in which the entire manifestation appears). Because of the limitations of words, which by their very nature denote only objective phenomena, we cannot adequately express the impersonal and inactive nature of all-pervasive awareness and, thus, “witness” is the best we can do in terms of suggesting its passive presence.
 
All the best,
 
Ted
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Re: Presence

Postby dijmart » Thu Jun 01, 2017 1:31 am

RM,
Sorry if I hijacked your thread, so sorry, I didn't mean to!
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Re: Presence

Postby runstrails » Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:58 am

Thanks, Dij. As you say, he does not address the original question but good to read nevertheless.
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Re: Presence

Postby dijmart » Thu Jun 01, 2017 5:03 am

runstrails wrote:Thanks, Dij. As you say, he does not address the original question but good to read nevertheless.


This is the only spot where he's specifically referring to the excerpt I sent him-

"Of vital importance to properly understanding the nature of awareness is to note that the sentence states that awareness is that in which all objects (i.e., thoughts, feelings, and sensations) appear, rather than being that by which all objects are known"

I believe he's saying, that thoughts, feelings and sensations (all objects) are "in" awareness, but it's not pure awareness that allows them to be known ("by" the mind), that would be reflected awareness. At least that's how I take this part.
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Re: Presence

Postby Rob X » Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:29 pm

runstrails wrote:Great posts everyone!

Here is my take--

Our ordinary awareness is typically with reference to objects (thoughts, feelings, sensations, perceptions, silence, etc..). In deep sleep there is awareness but there are no objects for it to reflect off. Any 'experience' of awareness (i.e., the thought I am awareness/presence, I feel aware, becoming present) is an objectification of awareness and as such is a product of the mind.

Pure awareness is more like gravity. it's there all the time, without it you could not be here, but it cannot be experienced as an object. In the same way, you 'know' you are aware (simply because you know you exist) and therefore you 'know' that you cannot be separate from pure awareness. You cannot ever experience this pure awareness as an object, but you know its there otherwise you would not exist.

When the body/mind dies, then its personal awareness of objects will die with it, but that death will take place in pure awareness.

We are always non-dual. That is, we are always pure awareness first and body/mind second. (However, the error is that we place the "I" sense on the reflected awareness (i.e., mind) and not on the pure awareness). This of course applies for any other object in the universe. It's always pure awareness + object. It's a non-dual reality and this is what Advaita Vedanta suggests.

Rob said: n other words, what THIS (right now) is, is Source/Reality (or pure awareness) presenting as the play of sentient limitation. And with that we are back to the second category.

Nicely said. I would just add that even when any visible manifestation is absent, pure awareness (you) are always there.


Nice post RT.

This pretty much fits with my sense of it - although (no surprise) every time you write pure awareness I would substitute that with a placeholder like Reality, Life or Source or ______. There’s something in my conditioning that finds the word awareness dualistic. But I fully accept that that’s how most people refer to it.

We know that IT is - IT is undeniable. But what IT is (in my deepest intuition) is so beyond the conceptions of our contingent mammalian grasping that I find it impossible to be comfortable with any attempt to pin it down. But the good news is that we don’t need to.

————

Dijmart, thanks for clarifying.
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Re: Presence

Postby dijmart » Sat Jun 03, 2017 4:51 am

Hi Rob,

I know you are talking to RT, but.....

- although (no surprise) every time you write pure awareness I would substitute that with a placeholder like Reality, Life or Source or ______. There’s something in my conditioning that finds the word awareness dualistic. But I fully accept that that’s how most people refer to it.


To me, the words "reality or life" could be mistaken for the phenomenal world. "Source" could be mistaken as God (or Isvara), especially since many NDE'r use the word "source". Awareness points to your direct experience.. Are you aware? Yep, do to the fact you ARE awareness. Some people like consciousness. Im good with that to, except Nisargadatta uses consciousness with the phenomenal and awareness or absolute for his true nature. So, basically, as long as someone knows what they mean when using a word and stays relatively consistent, to avoid confusion, then I'm good with it. Language is all we have when communicating, so if one doesn't stay somewhat consistent then imo they are just causing confusion.
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Re: Presence

Postby Rob X » Sat Jun 03, 2017 3:52 pm

dijmart wrote:Hi Rob,

I know you are talking to RT, but.....

- although (no surprise) every time you write pure awareness I would substitute that with a placeholder like Reality, Life or Source or ______. There’s something in my conditioning that finds the word awareness dualistic. But I fully accept that that’s how most people refer to it.


To me, the words "reality or life" could be mistaken for the phenomenal world. "Source" could be mistaken as God (or Isvara), especially since many NDE'r use the word "source". Awareness points to your direct experience.. Are you aware? Yep, do to the fact you ARE awareness. Some people like consciousness. Im good with that to, except Nisargadatta uses consciousness with the phenomenal and awareness or absolute for his true nature. So, basically, as long as someone knows what they mean when using a word and stays relatively consistent, to avoid confusion, then I'm good with it. Language is all we have when communicating, so if one doesn't stay somewhat consistent then imo they are just causing confusion.


Hi Dij

Yes, obviously when talking about ordinary awareness (this common experience of self-reflective, attentive knowing/perceiving) the word awareness or consciousness is appropriate. But when we extend that to point to THAT which is the mysterious creative source of consciousness and experience and all else, then we must acknowledge that however we formulate it is speculative and subject to limitation (when we define something or think that we've got a handle on it, we limit it to some extent.)

Reality being ALL means that it is (obviously) also awareness - and since our ordinary 'experience' of Reality is dependent on awareness, for all intents and purposes the two are inseparable. But are they synonymous? I don't know. I can’t commit to that - and the fact is, we don’t need to in order for the awakening to no separation/oneness to be the case.
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Re: Presence

Postby dijmart » Sat Jun 03, 2017 4:17 pm

Hi Rob,

Yes, I see your point! I also notice now that using awareness can cause confusion, since there is "ordinary" (everyday) awareness/consciousness, "reflected" awareness (which includes everyday ordinary and all objects) and "pure" awareness (our true nature)... lol! :lol:
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Re: Presence

Postby runstrails » Sat Jun 03, 2017 8:53 pm

Good stuff Dij and Rob.

Rob wrote: But when we extend that to point to THAT which is the mysterious creative source of consciousness

Hi Rob,
My take would be that whatever the mysterious source is(and I agree we can never know what it is), it cannot be separate from the impersonal consciousness/awareness 'within' which it takes place. That is, if something (i.e., mysterious source) exists then there has to be an impersonal awareness of it otherwise it could not exist. So impersonal consciousness/awareness/existence is the absolute bedrock. Nothing can be beyond it.

I know Buddhists talk of the emptiness to which everything resolves. That suggests (to me) it is that emptiness which allows existence. So emptiness and awareness are ultimately the same (and the bedrock to which everything resolves).
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Re: Presence

Postby Rob X » Sun Jun 04, 2017 12:34 pm

runstrails wrote:Good stuff Dij and Rob.

Rob wrote: But when we extend that to point to THAT which is the mysterious creative source of consciousness

Hi Rob,
My take would be that whatever the mysterious source is(and I agree we can never know what it is), it cannot be separate from the impersonal consciousness/awareness 'within' which it takes place. That is, if something (i.e., mysterious source) exists then there has to be an impersonal awareness of it otherwise it could not exist. So impersonal consciousness/awareness/existence is the absolute bedrock. Nothing can be beyond it.

I know Buddhists talk of the emptiness to which everything resolves. That suggests (to me) it is that emptiness which allows existence. So emptiness and awareness are ultimately the same (and the bedrock to which everything resolves).


Hi RT

The debate about whether something can exist without it being known (subjective idealism) is an ancient one. It’s a major (possibly the biggest) topic in philosophy of mind and has given birth to hundreds of books and thousands of articles - both sides present cogent arguments. For that reason I'm not sure that it would be wise to further debate that subject here - but it has to be said that the matter is far from resolved.

But it doesn’t need to be resolved. The question dissolves in the awakening to no separation/oneness.

Let me explain by the way of posing a couple of rhetorical questions. Hopefully what I’m getting at might become a bit clearer.

Do you conceive of this pure awareness as something different from matter/energy/stuff? In other words, is your experience made up of pure awareness AND objects/stuff that it observes?

Or

Is there no difference between pure awareness and the patterns/forms/manifestations it presents? Is it of One Taste?

Okay, so if the answer to the first question is yes, then this awareness can’t be the ALL or the nondual reality.

If the answer is no and that experience is of One Taste (as Buddhists call it) then where is the basis for calling it awareness (as opposed to what??)

Can you see what I’m getting at here. If all is of One taste - if it’s just SO - with no division between subject/object, then to call it EITHER awareness OR energy (or whatever else) is arbitrary - it just is.

The philosophy comes after the fact - and there’s no requirement for it. It’s just more work for the busy mind.

————

According to Buddhism emptiness is the nature of all phenomena (and anything else.) Every conceivable thing is empty of inherent existence - no thing has an enduring self nature. In this way there are no separate enduring things - only this - as it is.
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Re: Presence

Postby runstrails » Sun Jun 04, 2017 2:48 pm

HI Rob,
Thanks for the input on philosophy. Being in the science track all my life, I've never read philosophy, so I found it interesting. But I have to admit, I did not quite get the arguments. To me, it just seems obvious that there cannot be existence without awareness. Even if there was nothing manifested there would have to be a fundamental existence/awareness. Sat-chit. And this existence/consciousness is not opposed to anything and its not energy either. Since any energy would have to be in pure awareness. Pure awareness is simply the bedrock.

But I totally realize that I am sounding like a broken record and so I am happy to leave it here. Thanks again, and I enjoyed hearing the philosophy angle.

Cheers!
rt
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Re: Presence

Postby rachMiel » Sun Jun 04, 2017 3:18 pm

runstrails wrote:So emptiness and awareness are ultimately the same (and the bedrock to which everything resolves).

... emptiness ... awareness ... the ground ... brahman ... god ... truth ... self ... the totality ... the mystery ... this ...

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...
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Re: Presence

Postby Rob X » Sun Jun 04, 2017 4:03 pm

runstrails wrote:HI Rob,
Thanks for the input on philosophy. Being in the science track all my life, I've never read philosophy, so I found it interesting. But I have to admit, I did not quite get the arguments. To me, it just seems obvious that there cannot be existence without awareness. Even if there was nothing manifested there would have to be a fundamental existence/awareness. Sat-chit. And this existence/consciousness is not opposed to anything and its not energy either. Since any energy would have to be in pure awareness. Pure awareness is simply the bedrock.

But I totally realize that I am sounding like a broken record and so I am happy to leave it here. Thanks again, and I enjoyed hearing the philosophy angle.

Cheers!
rt


Okay thanks RT

What I was saying about One Taste is very subtle.

Here’s a kind of koan that might help (or not) :D

Imagine that everything in the cosmos is yellow. Every object, form, process and event is yellow. Every thought, memory, idea and story is yellow. EVERYTHING is yellow with no exceptions…

There would be NO yellow.
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