Self ‘knowing’ the Self (Q. 317)

Q: Nisargadatta Maharaj (especially in his later books) emphasises that the “I am” or Consciousness is not the final Reality which he calls Parabrahman or Awareness. He goes on to state that Awareness is “unaware of itself”. However, others such as Francis Lucille and Rupert Spira seem to disagree. Francis Lucille, for example, specifically states that Awareness (in the sense Nisargadatta means) is aware of itself as itself.

 I am not exactly clear what Nisargadatta was meaning. It could be interpreted as the Final Reality being essentially almost a nihilistic eternal stupor rather than the more appealing (at least to this body/mind) satchitananda. I rather suspect not, and that he was merely indicating the essential non duality of reality perhaps along the lines of Ramana Maharshi’s comment : “Although (the Self) is consciousness, since there is nothing for it to know or to make itself known to, it is said to be different from the sentient and the insentient.”

 Nevertheless, it perplexes me that if Awareness is not aware of itself as itself as Francis Lucille suggests then do we not have the situation whereby an enlightened sage such as Ramana Maharshi is before his “death” not only aware as the Self but conscious thereof and in a better position, so to speak, than Final Reality which is not so aware?

A (Ramesam): You ask: “do we not have the situation whereby an enlightened sage such as Ramana ……. in a better position, so to speak, than Final Reality which is not so aware?

Well, the short quick answer is “No.”

A more elaborate in depth answer is as follows:

The apparent confusion arises for you because you are combining the teachings of the teachers coming from three different streams. Though all of them may be grouped under what sometimes referred to as “Direct Path (As the Crow Flies) Teaching” of Non-duality, they differ in the terminology, semantics and expression. But what they taught finally points to the same inexpressible, ineffable, eternal, attributeless, changeless, and nameless “That” which is the True “I” which does not speak or do anything.

Francis Lucille and Rupert Spira (Francis’s friend and student) essentially follow the terminology of Jean Klein who was a student of Atmananda Krishna Menon. Nisargadatta Maharaj was a disciple of Siddharameshwar Maharaj of Nav Nath tradition and knew no English. Whatever he spoke in his native tongue was translated and published first in the book “I Am That” by Maurice Frydman and subsequent translators also adopted the terminology of Freydman.  Ramana Maharshi was not a follower of any specific teacher, though the terminology he adopted comes from that of Upanishads and Yogavaasishta. I may not have exact statistics to back me up, but I have a feeling that what Ramana by himself wrote was much less than what many of his followers wrote to be his teaching.

Nisargadatta asks in his initial teaching to be aware of the subject or “I am”, thus shifting your misidentification of yourself to be the object of your perception. For example, you may see your body. But you are not your body. You may call yourself an engineer, a medico, a driver. But you are none of those. He points out that you are that unchanging “Beingness” Itself. The later teachings call attention to the subtle ‘duality’ involved in being “Witness Consciousness” because it conveys the flavor of being an unchanging Witnessor of a changing something which is being witnessed. So you are asked to drop even being the Witnessor, dissolve into what Is completely, seamlessly, homogenously without being an entity in any form. You are not then conscious of even witnessing. You — as an unaffected witnessing you — is not there anymore! There is no knower to know anything. It is ‘unknowingness.’  What is, Is. (Sort of awkward to put into English, but this is the best I could). What then remains is sat-chit-ananda.

In the terminology of Frydman and other translators: “consciousness” = mind; Awareness = Brahman.

Francis and Rupert lead you first from being I am “something” to I am “no – thing” (= I am not any objectifiable entity with finite dimensions and descriptors) to I am “everything” (= there is nothing that is not Consciousness). When Consciousness is everything, there is nothing else for It to know. But just like Beingness, Knowingness is also Its quality. So It knows Itself.  Awareness being not different from Knowingness, we may rephrase the sentence to say that Consciousness knows Itself or is aware of Itself. The knowledge that knowing is not different from being is happiness. Therefore, Consciousness is Knowingness-Beingness-Happiness or sat-chit-ananda.

In the terminology of Francis and Rupert: Consciousness = Awareness = Brahman; I = Consciousness-Beingness-Happiness = sat-chit-ananda. World = mind.

Ramana’s teaching prods us to begin our Self-inquiry with the age old question, “Who am I?”  His advice is to pursue the inquiry negating all objective answers till we are left with only the questioner and then question the questioner.  What remains then will be the irreducible Consciousness, the substratum for everything.

The quote of Ramana mentioned by you refers to Consciousness (= Brahman) alone being present without a second and therefore having neither anyone to communicate to nor anything to be communicated. It is exactly the same as what the Maharaj said.

Further, the quality of being judgmental or divisive about things – for example classifying things as sentient or insentient – belongs to the mind. What remains transcending the mind is the undivided Oneness, the indescribable attributeless Consciousness.

In Ramana’s terminology: Consciousness = Self = Brahman = sat-chit-ananda. All other things = mind.

Thus you can see all the three teachings point to the same Brahman.

Brahman being Alone, there is no other to communicate to. In fact even “communication” cannot exist because ‘communication’ (the act of communicating) will be the “other”, a second thing. So any communication / teaching can happen in duality only. At the time of teaching, there are necessarily more than one.

The question would then arise how does a realized individual teach?

When Nisargadatta was asked how he answered a question, he said that the question just happened, an answer came out and he also listened to it along with the questioner. Everything happening effortlessly like the ‘breathing’ and all other things at that moment.

JK said that there was no ‘thinking’ done on his part when an answer would follow the questioner’s query. (Thinking or thought implies time and as Brahman there is no spacetime).

When asked about how he handled the questions, UG compared himself to a tape recorder just playing by itself on pushing a button – the question is the pushing of the button and the reply is the programmed sound.

Rama asked Sage Vasishta how could he teach as the Sage was a Jivanmukta.  The Sage replied that it was Rama (the student) who imagined the Sage with a form sitting out there and teaching (because Rama still had ignorance and hence a mind that would imagine things); for the Sage himself nothing happened.

So when a full-blown Jivanmukta speaks, speech just happens without any effort on the part of the body-mind through which the sounds are coming. There will be no ownership claims to what is spoken (no copy rights!!) nor any claim of doership for the agency of action.

I may, at this point, also mention that having blemishless and doubtless knowledge of Brahman by itself does not mean a fully liberated individual. Following Sage Vasishta, say, you have a scale of 1 to 7. (See for more info here (http://beyond-advaita.blogspot.in/2010/12/yoga-based-and-knowledge-based.html).

 Having a thorough Knowledge of Brahman without any doubt is the stage of “Brahmavit” and will happen by stage 4.  The fully mature Jivanmukta will be at the stage 6 onwards. At this stage, the seeker is described as “Excellent Knower of Brahman” and he will be totally unknowing of any ‘thing’ as an object separately existing out there (padaartha abhavana). The difference in the stages from 4 – 6 lies essentially in the unbrokenness (akhanda) of abiding as (not ‘in’ – please note) Brahman. This scale of 1 – 7 is not meant for judging others but useful for one’s own self-appraisal and guidance (if a man is still left with a ‘self’ needing an appraisal of his stage, the answer is already apparent !!!).

A (Dennis): Nisargadatta, for some reason I have never understood, uses the words ‘awareness’ and ‘consciousness’ in the opposite sense to most other teachers – and causes much confusion as a result! But the question of Brahman not ‘being aware of itself’ is often raised and discussed. The point is that any awareness ‘of’, or knowledge ‘of’ in the usual sense of these words would be dualistic and therefore contradict the teaching of non-duality.

 Consciousness, when it manifests in the human mind, is said to do so in the nature of a reflection, using the metaphor of Consciousness as the sun, and the mind as a mirror. So now we have come down from the absolute reality to the relative, where duality is fine.

 The question itself is inevitably posed from a dualistic standpoint and, of course, any answer has to be given in duality and can only point towards the absolute. It is not really meaningful to speak of Consciousness being aware of itself (or not) in reality, because in reality there is only Consciousness. Knowledge, existence – without limit – are the nature of non-dual Consciousness. But it is Consciousness that enables you to know that you exist, and you would still know this in a sensory deprivation tank. That you exist is what you would say is ‘self-evident’. So, yes, you have to say that the Self is evident to the Self or ‘knows itself’. But you also have to keep in mind that you are trying to understand the ineffable. And it is beyond the mind! As Sri Poonja said: “The Self will always be a mystery because there can never be anything apart from it to comprehend it, analyse it or understand it.”

 Sureshvara’s naiShkarmya siddhi has this to say (3.47 – 49): “Because the Self is of the form of constant awareness, it requires no second means of knowledge to reveal it; because it is without sound or other attributes it is beyond the sphere of doubt. The Self cannot be known through the empirical means of knowledge such as perception, etc, which are but phlegm coughed up by the thirst for life. Indeed, it is not a possible object of empirical cognition, since it is the innermost Self and since it exists for its own sake. One cannot see with sight that which is self-revealed. The visible is limited, external and has form, but the self-revealed is infinite, internal and formless.” (Realization of the Absolute, translation by A. J. Alston, Shanti Sadan, 1959. ISBN 0-85424-021-7.)

 There is also a discussion of this topic in upadesha sAhasrI – the one prakaraNa grantha agreed by all authorities as having been written by Shankara. This is in the prose section of the book around 2.90 up to the end of section 2. He says that knowing the knower would lead to infinite regress and also the knower cannot be separate from himself; the knower’s knowledge relates to knowable objects only.

 And of course the jIva cannot ever know the Self in any objective manner, nor be ‘all-knowing’ etc, as is Ishvara. The jIva IS the Self, functioning through a body-mind but remains effectively limited by that body-mind in life, even if its name is Ramana Maharshi.

21 thoughts on “Self ‘knowing’ the Self (Q. 317)

  1. He goes on to state that Awareness is “unaware of itself”.

    This sounds like “the perceiver cannot be perceived” (a topic in all of Hinduism
    that is uppermost in my mind)…..

    Awareness cannot be aware of itself. If that were true, then wouldn’t there be another awareness behind awareness #1 that is aware of awareness #1???? So awareness #2 arises, aware of awareness #1 but then is dissatisfied with that so awareness #3 arises to be aware of awareness #2???

    This causal series of “awarenesses” seems to be something of a misunderstanding, depending upon ones definition of awareness. Awareness OF awareness would be to be aware of a void, I think….there’s nothing in awareness to be aware OF….seems to me, anyway.

    All above is my opinion, standard disclaimer…

    Steve S.

    • Not sure what you are saying here, Steve. Who goes on to state that Awareness is “unaware of itself”? Nisargadatta? If, by ‘aware of’, you understand ‘know’, then I have already pointed out that Shankara states that knowing the knower would lead to infinite regress. You seem to be claiming the opposite.

      Dennis

  2. I highlighted and copied the wrong quote….it should have been this:

    ‘Francis Lucille, for example, specifically states that Awareness (in the sense Nisargadatta means) is aware of itself as itself.’

    This is what my post was referring to. Basically saying that awareness can’t be aware of itself because it’s the means of knowlegde OF something…I’m agreeing that “awareness is unaware of itself”. There is no reason to call in an awarenesss beyond awareness. If there is a need to do that, then there is confusion about the definition of awareness(…..so it seems to me.) I can’t imagine a sentence which would include “the knower of awareness” or “the
    awareness of awareness”…..

    Steve

    • Here is a quotation from Nisargadatta (‘Prior to Consciousness: Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj’, Edited by Jean Dunn, The Acorn Press, 1985. ISBN 0-89386-024-7):
      “As Absolute, I am timeless, infinite, and I am awareness, without being aware of awareness… Unless there is space and duration I cannot be conscious of myself.”

      If you can provide a documented reference and precise quotation for where Francis has said the opposite, I will ask him what he meant.

      Dennis

  3. Dennis, the person who posed the question to you raised the issue re what Francis said. I was quoting from the question you posted. I’m not familiar with Francis at all…(sorry for the confusion!)

    Steve

  4. It was my question and I found the quote from Francis on the web at http://www.francislucille.com/advaita_channel_item.php?id=105Is
    Here it is:-
    Consciousness conscious of itself prior to the birth of the body and after its death? – Francis Answers – 53

    “Question: Hello, Mr. Lucille: My question refers to the self- conscious or unconscious nature of the Unmanifest, our True Nature, and if this Awareness needs “form” (for example a human body) to be aware of itself: While Ramana and others (I think Jean Klein too) considered that Self -Consciousness is one of the charachteristics of the Absolute, with or without relying on manifest material form, Nisargadatta, on the other hand, says Awareness and Consciousness are not the same concept. He teaches Awareness is That which is aware of Consciousness, and Consciousness is That which allows Awareness to be self-conscious. In this equation, Consciousness would be like a light which illuminates Awareness, but that Consciousness needs a form to exist (a human body would be the most perfect example) , that is, Awareness needs a form to be aware of That which allows Awareness itself to be Self -Conscious .In the words of a spanish master, the feeling of being is like the bitter taste that reveals the existence of a sense of taste. That bitter taste is not the sense of taste, and this sense is not touched by the bitter taste, but it needs that bitter taste(which depends on form) to know Its existence. But, would it not lead us to the conclusion that the Eternal Formless Awareness =eternal stupor and Pure Being= Pure Oblivion?. So, resuming: 1/ Is Consciousness conscious of itself prior to the birth of the body and after its death? 2/ Does Awareness need a form in order to be conscious of itself? Thank you very much in advance

    Dear Rogelio,

    Before answering your two questions, I would like to make sure that you understand clearly my use of the words consciousness and awareness: what I mean by consciousness is that, whatever that is, which is really conscious of these words right now, and awareness is that which is really aware of these words right now. It should be pretty obvious that in that case these two words are synonyms. Whatever use other teachers or their translators, other sages or ignorants, have made of these words is not our problem here. And whatever I say in my answer doesn’t refer to what other teachers, including mine, other friends of mine or even myself may have said in the past about those matters, but solely to my experience. Let’s now consider your two questions:

    1/ Is consciousness conscious of itself prior to the birth of the body and after its death?
    There is only consciousness, so whatever consciouness is conscious of can only be itself. However consciousness can be aware of itself in two modes: 1. as itself and 2. as other than itself. Mode 1 is knowledge (jnana), mode 2 is ignorance (avidya or ajnana). Mode 2 requires the projection of some object that can impersonate an “other than itself”, therefore mode 2 requires at least a mind, or a body-mind, since the body experiences are a subset of the mind experiences (this follows from the fact that every experience of the body is made of perceptions (mind), but not every experience of the mind is made of bodily perceptions -for instance thoughts).

    Therefore, if the meaning of your question is: Is consciousness conscious of itself prior to the birth of the body and after its death? The answer is yes, consciousness is always conscious of itself. But if the meaning of your question is: Is Consciousness conscious of itself as itself prior to the birth of the body and after its death? the answer is: the presence of the body makes ignorance possible, but not necessary, and the absence of the body (before and after death) leaves ignorance possible, but not necessary. The total absence of perceptions, including the perception of the absence of perceptions, makes ignorance impossible, and is therefore the experience of awareness aware of itself as itself in the absence of objects (nirvikalpa samadhi). There is still one possibility left, which is awareness aware of itself as itself both in the presence and in the absence of objects (sahaja samadhi).

    2/ Does awareness need a form in order to be conscious of itself?
    The answer to this question is pretty straightforward following the previous remarks.
    If the question is: does awareness need a form in order to be conscious of itself?, the answer is: no, because consciousness is always aware of itself (there is nothing that is not awareness, whatever it is we are aware of is therefore always awareness).
    If the question is: does awareness need a form to be conscious of itsel as itself?, the answer is no, because awareness always knows itself as itself in the absence of forms.

    Final remarks:
    1/ The experience of awareness being aware of itself as itself is the experience we refer to as happiness, stillness, peace, love, beauty, intelligence, God, eternity, and the experience of awareness being aware of itself as other than itself is the one we refer to as misery, fear, desire, sense of lack, of incompleteness, psychological suffering.
    2/ The core of my experience, consistent with the accounts of awareness by some of the teachers you are referring to and others (Jean Klein, Ramana Maharshi, Atmananda Krishna Menon, Robert Adams, Ma Ananda Mai, Gaudapada, Shankara, Buddha, Rumi, Meister Eckhart, Parmenides, Huang Po, Lao Tse, etc), is precisely that the (seemingly) ordinary Presence which is aware of these words right now is universal, immortal and divine. And we are not talking here about oblivion or eternal stupor, but truly about eternal awareness. It seems that accounts of awareness by some are not consistent with this experience, which would indicate that they are not sharing it, and visualize the absence of perceptions as a “nothingness”. This core of my experience is precisely the “good news”, the centrality of the teaching. If there is no such a good news to be shared, the teaching becomes much ado about “nothing”.

    Love,

    Francis”

    Personally, I have come to the conclusion that what Nisargadatta and others are saying is that Awareness, being all that is, does not “know” itself for that reason just as if you were the only human being in the world you would not know what being human was. But it is still awareness or consciousness. So it may well be the only difference between what Nisargadatta and Francis Lucille is semantics.

    Alex

  5. ….thanks, Alex.

    Awareness = consciousness, per Francis, with some qualifications. But if the
    two are the same, why did we feel the need to have two different words for the
    same thing? And can it really be so complex?…I’m not convinced the two are the same. But language does get in the way. At the same time without language, and it’s admitted limitations, we can’t communicate.

    Open to debate, but it does seem to me that that in
    me which is conscious and can perceive something–anything–is exactly the
    same quality (probably not the best word) that is “in” Alex, Dennis, Sitara,
    Putin, Elvis, Gautama, Ramana, Mr. Bean and all other sentient beings. IT has zero
    qualities, IT has no shape, form, color, taste etc. IT is impersonal. But IT
    is exactly the same “in” all of us, and what allows all to be perceived.

    That I say is consciousness. No qualities except the ability to be aware
    of qualities. If the eye has any colors in it, it can’t perceive colors. If it is
    blue (internally, now, don’t mean the actual eye color) it can’t see blue. It
    has to be without the qualities that it perceives or it can’t perceive them….

    Awareness is where “we” wildly differ. Awareness, via consciousness,
    presents many different things to us as individuals. I’m “aware” that it’s morning,
    someone else is aware that it’s night on the other side of the world…I’m aware
    that striving for wealth as a means to happiness and contentment is an illusion
    and my friend is aware that there is nothing else worthy of devoting his life to….

    ….but consciousness is exactly the same for all of us. I mean that if the
    quality of consciousness could be taken from me and switched with someone
    else, there would be no difference. Maybe like switching a lense between two
    cameras. No difference. But the cameras could be used to take photos of
    different objects….don’t know, I’m just plodding along here, but this is how
    it seems to me.

    This all breaks down in some cases. What about a person who’s brain damaged? What about people in comas? Or drunken stupors? I don’t know….

    Also, this could all be turned around and I could say that since consciousness
    has zero qualities, ALL the qualities it “perceives” are illusion–and that it’s actually only always perceiving only Itself and there is no separation between
    consciousness and what it perceives……that separation is an illusion, non-existent…maybe. Or not. Depending upon ones “awareness”….

    ….okay, hopping off my soap box now…..

    Steve…ps….ultimately, I don’t know….the above seems reasonable at this
    point. But I am certain that the perceiver cannot be perceived. And if consciousness = awareness and either of those be equated with the perceiver,
    then, no…. awareness/consciousness cannot be aware/conscious of itself.

  6. Steve
    I don’t think we should get hung up on words like Awareness or Consciousness to describe what can’t possibly be described. I think 2 words are used by Nisargadatta to distinguish between consciousness at rest and consciousness in movement i.e between consciousness unmanifest and manifest. But, of course that difference is itself only conceptual.

    You say you are “aware” of it being morning but you could equally say you are “conscious” it is morning so I don’t think you can really make the distinction you are trying to make.

    Indeed the perceiver cannot perceive but my understanding is that the Absolute is not any kind of entity which could perceive anything and certainly from my reading it is clear “it” does not “see” any separation as “we” do as humans. It simply enjoys its own beingness. It is. One quote I like is that like the sun it shines because that is its nature. As humans we could say the sun causes life on earth but as far as the sun is concerned it is simply shining.

    Sorry for my poor attempt to explain what I mean and like you at the end of the day I don’t really know and my “understanding” may be well off the mark.

    Alex

  7. Alex, ha, no reason to be sorry, it was not a poor attempt! On the other hand,
    all our verbal attempts are probably poor and can’t really begin to describe “it”….
    I don’t really know, either. My post was purely at the “mind” level and may say nothing that ultimately matters, not stuck
    with any conclusions forever, nothing big to defend…

    Steve S

  8. Thanks Steve

    Having been the person who posed this question initially it has rather become a non-issue for me now. A couple of days after posing it I woke up in the morning in that sort of groggy not fully awake state where no thoughts were arising but there was an awareness. I wasn’t aware of a “me” or any “I Amness” or even aware of (having any) awareness. But there was not a nothingness (although there was a no-thingness).
    Later I realised that that may be (at least analogous to) what Nisargadatta was meaning by awareness being unaware of itself.
    At the same time it could be described linguistically by some as awareness being aware “of itself” and “as itself” since awareness was undoubtedly “there” and not an absolute nothingness.
    Hence the conclusion I came to that we were dealing in semantics.

    Alex

  9. Alex,
    I’m “linguistically sensitive”. If words like “conciousness” and “awareness” are used and someone says they’re referring to the same thing, I look into why there should be two words for that thing….or are they referring to two different states?

    Sometimes in conversations with people I’ll stop and ask “What exactly do you mean by___?” Especially words like “love”, “American values”, “being a good parent”,….well, many words and phrases are used but mean vastly different things to different people. So sometimes I don’t know if I and another are talking about the same thing or not! Ha. I’m sure I’ve annoyed people in doing this. On the other hand, what’s the point of continuing to talk when both or all are not talking about the same thing–but all think that they are!

    Steve

  10. Steve

    There’s nothing wrong with linguistic precision where possible and it’s very useful in the everyday world. But where what you are trying to describe or define is indescribable or indefinable then we just have to accept it might not be possible.
    I’m guessing from your reply you are from America where you use the term “sidewalk” whereas here in Britain we say “pavement”. Two words meaning exactly the same thing.
    I would urge you not to get too caught up in language but try and get a sense of what the words are trying to evoke. Otherwise you are likely to tie yourself up in knots.
    There is a quote I always remember but regretfully I cannot remember who made it for which my apologies to you and to him/her. Any attempt to define the Absolute in relative terms is always going to be nothing but a nice try.

    Alex

  11. Hi Alex,
    Yes, I’m in the US. Texas. 103 degrees right now….

    But your example is what I’m talking about. I didn’t know Brits called sidewalks
    pavement. If I were where you are and you mentioned the pavement, I’d have thought you were referring to the street. Words, names are important in some contexts, maybe, and not in others. Certainly, the transcendent, absolute can’t be described or talked about….yet this whole site is about talking about it. Paradox rules.

    Cheers! (as y’all say!), adios! (as we say!)

    Steve

  12. Like yourself, Steve, I also think Nisargadatta is talking about something different than what is being put forth here, but I am not going to make an argument for why I think that it’s correct or not. If you’ve been following the Dream Problem, being currently serialized by Dennis, Vasishtha points out the the dreamer that he is never going to convince his dream creatures that they are dreaming. In the same approach to the waking state, we are not going to convince others that they are dreaming. In other words, everyone is dreaming and we create our dreams out of our interpretations of experience. We smell a flower and that experience becomes the basis for future interpretations of smelling flowers. In the same vein, we read the Teachings of various schools of thoughts and these also become the basis for our evaluations of what we agree with and disagree with. In other words, the total input from our experiences, is dictating how we relate to life presently. Once you see the impossibility of trying to sort it all out using any part of your brain, all philosophies and points of view begin to crumble. That crumbling can become the most important event in your life, freeing up the body-mind from its heavy burden of knowledge, which is information that gets regurgitated over and over again. There is no freedom without that crumbling. And without that freedom, we are bound to and by the words of others no matter how great those people were.

  13. Unk, your post is really clear and to the point!

    What you say seems right, I’ve “thought” along the same lines.

    That crumbling you wrote about has to occur when it occurs and can’t be rushed or willed–so it seems to me. We may reach a “tipping point” in gaining knowledge, experience, and I don’t know what all else (!) before we can see that
    it’s futile to continue what we’ve been doing. But until we see that, it’s maybe absolutely necssary to accumulate, follow, think, regurgitate, etc. Maybe paradox. I’m doing, doing, doing, reading, practicing, thinking, searching in order to reach the “point” where I see, beyond doubt, that was futile–so I then drop it, and it happens so easily, without struggle.

    If I believe in anything, it’s paradox. I can be writing this right now, relatively, dualistically, yet that “within” which sees all this duality must itself be beyond duality. Otherwise, it wouldn’t see the duality.

    Steve

  14. Consider the possibility that whatever is seeing the duality is duality itself. Mind is a reflective activity. It only reflects on itself. It creates the sense of seer and seen. They cannot be separated and the sense of being aware of this is also part of this movement. There is no possible change to this activity. The whole idea of trying to quiet the mind or any other possible view of it, all takes place within it. There is a deeper activity going on which puts this movement into perspective. It is through your feeling perception that you begin to see the uselessness of putting the mind in order. That feeling perception must be activated and allows the mind to relax and the body to open itself to what is going on within and without. Here is where the sense of Oneness comes about in the harmony that is felt permeating everything. That you are connected to everything becomes palpable throughout your body-mind. Duality and non-duality are meaningless words and fall quickly away from this view. The questioner is a background noise seemingly far away from what is. Here is where you begin to function without the struggle of the mind interpreting everything. This is not the end of all of it but more like a real beginning in a sense. I try to stay away from the conventional descriptions and stick to my own way of putting it. But anyway of putting this is abandoned in the next moment. This is what I mean by surrender.

  15. Unk, why are you bringing “feeling” into this? Was that necessary? What will you bring in next? Intuition? Sensation?

    Carl Jung divided it into thinking, feeling, intuition, sensation….that’s how he basically divided what we call the “mind” and he called them “functions”. Yet if you talk about “feeling”, who or what is going to KNOW and ANALYZE and even think about or perceive “feeling”????

    ….none other than the mind/awareness….it takes the “mind” to even perceive a “feeling”. Or can you say “Well, I feel______ but I don’t know it”.

    Unk, you had to “think” in order to put all those words together in your post. You had to analyze, sort, and a myriad other activities in order to put all that together.
    What did feeling have to do with it?

    Steve

  16. I’ve never read Carl Jung. 🙂

    I can’t tell if you are being ironic or serious about the feeling word. I didn’t say feelings, which might be misconstrued as emotions. Your most basic sense of your self is the ‘feeling’ that you exist. This is much more basic and powerful than any thought.

    Thinking never stops. You need it for any activity and survival. It’s an automatic activity. Thinking and feeling are one activity, not separate. You cannot have one without the other and still be human. But one of the aspects I see missing in many discussions is what does it feel like to be connected to everything. I believe it is an important point in all of this.

  17. Unk,
    I was serious with the word “feeling”….
    Our posts are starting to look like a dog chasing its tail…I don’t see a way out of this except for the dog to lie down and take a nap….

    Steve….zzzzzzz

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