Who is it that is Aware?

Who is Aware? by timwarnock

We often claim to be self aware. But who is the self that is aware? And what exactly is this self aware of?

Think of all that we do not see, the entirety of the electromagnetic spectrum, the microscopic life, the contouring space-time from gravity. Beyond the boundaries of the universe, beyond space and time, we have no awareness at all, but only mystified speculation — just imagine the infinitude of existence invisible to our perceptions. Our mind can know only what our mind can know; a near infinite potential in a potentially infinite cosmos.

Awareness is merely the function of the mind. It is as useful as color vision, and equally arbitrary in its mental mapping. Awareness is the razors edge of the perceiving mind, it cuts and abstracts memory and sensory input, creating concepts, creating "things" — "things" separate and divisible from other "things". Obviously this is a necessary function of a mind; imagine seeing an apple in a tree, perceiving it as a separate "thing" is quite helpful (especially if you’re hungry). But is it so separate? To a creature that eats only leaves, think how beautiful the individual leaves must appear, leaves that are the healthiest to eat might appear in brilliant tasty hues; to such a creature, the apple may appear no more interesting than the bark appears to us.

If you believe you are aware of the outside world, then consider that your perceptions exists only as a function of your mind, perception is just as much of a thought as the thought of "I", or the thought of duality that separates the "I" thought from the thought of "awareness".

All thoughts are movements of a mind that is fundamentally connected and inseparable from the universe that the mind attempts to perceive.

For this reason it is often said that self, or "I", is an illusion. But what does that mean? It is one thing to understand this in theory, and quite another to experience it directly in the totality of action. It means that this sentence, as you read and even hear a narrating voice, is in your head, reactions to sensory input combining with memories and learned skills; it is a beautiful flow state. All thoughts and emotions follow this same pattern, continuous reactions concocting sensory input with memories, temperament, and beliefs. The mind is an amazingly flexible mechanism to filter and concoct sensory input and memories, forming abstractions that serve as a custom representation of reality (which changes in each moment) — what a wondrous movement of energy!

What does it mean for a mind to be aware of the illusion of ego, of "I", the illusion of awareness itself? Can you be aware that “you” and “awareness” are illusionary? It is perhaps like a dream where you know you are dreaming, a lucid dream in an otherwise wakened state; with this understanding consciousness cannot be the same, how could it? How easy it becomes to let thoughts come and go, to think naturally and breath naturally.

The only thing you need to do, the only thing you can do, is to be aware that everything that is, is now; and that "you", and even your awareness, are illusions– and the truth, that which is beyond mere thoughts and speculation, is experienced. Truth is not a divisible thought– how could a thought capture what is beyond thought– instead truth is realized in the totality of actions of the non-dualistic mind. Ego thoughts may come and go, inversely as the bliss of being comes and goes. There is wisdom in realizing– deeply and profoundly, and not just intellectually– the nature of these illusions; and to think freely, a lightness and bliss in every breath.

Most of us feel the pressing need to learn the truth of our existence, yet we often ignore what is already known and knowable, sometimes preferring the cognitive dissonance of dogmatic ideologies to the rapturous awe and uncertainty of the universe — the very universe that we are part of and one with; including the illusionary "I am aware" thought.