In a moment of calm, you sense a space that lies between your thoughts, perceptions, and intimations of the external world. It is within you and has been for your entire life. Inhabiting this unchanging place, your very deepest awareness is the observing witness to all that has occurred.
Over the years you have learned to identify this place within yourself and you have practiced various means of accessing it. Perhaps as a result of these practices, you have become much more able to bring your attention to a point of focus and to transport yourself there. In fact, because it is ultimately just a step away from your ordinary waking consciousness, being aware of it it is similar to simply looking past a lens to see the unfiltered reality that lies behind the glass.
When you observe from this vantage, you sense layers of consciousness, which are involved in processes that can be described as loops of thought, feeling, reflection. These seem to be most concerned with identifying and naming the various states of being and imagining, which constitute your daily reality.
So again, there is a calm center within your field of awareness. And there are also many layers of thinking, feeling, identifying, and naming occurring at the same time. You can shift between them at will.
But sometimes we get lost. We forget that we are simply observing a mental process and instead, we identify with whatever content is being experienced and named at that level of awareness.
We get lost because in order to fully experience an event, we automatically identify with it. We identify with each layer of awareness as it happens. This is the nature of subjective experience. It is why illusions have such great power over us – illusions of every kind have great power because we cannot clearly distinguish between what is happening in an objective way and our subjective experience. The lines are blurred. And they are blurred because we cannot clearly distinguish between subjective awareness and the external aspects of experience.
We are easily fooled by appearances. And appearances are easily manipulated.
The knowledge of the calm and focused place of being where you can observe all the other layers of your awareness coming and going, streaming forward in future focus, or backwards in memory…where you can detach yourself – your clinging fearful sense of identity – from the inescapably frightening feelings of being caught up in the whirlwinds of living in the world…this knowledge serves you well.
Knowing you can move from a hurricane of mental confusion to the calm and secure place of pure awareness, relaxes you, and gives you strength. It is a quietly gathering sensation of powerful, yet peaceful, contemplation. This is the place to be…
Image: “Intelligent World” by Tullio DeSantis, ink drawing, 2011
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