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Friday, July 15, 2011

Pure Awareness cont'd

Pure Awareaness is wider and deeper than any of the other experiences (absorption, attention and awareness) and is a knowing without thinking. It is a sense of everything without mental content. It is when object and subject merge into universal awareness, excluding nothing, so that there is no separation between anything. To put it succinctly it could be said that pure awarenessis a state of non-duality. What is non-duality you might ask. Well, before venturing off into non-duality, let's take a look at duality first.

To the human eye everything exists as individual objects. There are you and me - two people, each one an object, something that can be seen, felt, heard, even smelled and tasted. We detect objects with our senses and that is how we perceive the world. "Seeing is believing" is an oft-heard saying that people rely on for describing the truth. Eye witnesses are considered very reliable in the courtroom and are often called upon to testify. Sometimes hearing witnesses are called upon to testify as well, for example, how many gun shots were fired? Most of the time, it's the eye witness who is the trusted collaborator for truth and justice. In reality, eye witnesses are usually very unreliable and good lawyers show that to be the case every day. Five people can see the same thing, but when they describe what they saw, each one tells a different story. Is it because they are lying? No, it's because they didn't see or hear the same thing they thought they saw or heard.

There is a popular story in the U.S. Navy about a ship that was torpedoed by a German submarine during World War II. As the ship was going down the sailores aboard were jumping overboard in water that was ablaze with oil on top of the water. In order to get away from the sinking ship they had to swim down and under the fire to the other side. At the court of inquiry some of the sailors said they heard two explosions as the ship was going down while other sailors testified they had heard only one explosion. How could this be? Upon further investigation it was discovered that both groups of sailores were telling the truth. The sailors who heard one explosion had already surfaced when the explosion occurred while the other sailors were still under water, swiming for their lives. When the second group surfaced, they heard another explosion, hence two explosions. A physics professor explained to the court that sound travels faster in water than it does in air. Therefore, while the second group of sailors was under water the explosion occurred and they heard it before the first group on the surface did. When the second group surfaced they heard the same single, explosion a second time. In actuality there was only one explosion.

You cannot depend on your brain's interpretation of the world to be accurate. Even though most often the brain's accuracy is questionable, in most cases that's all you have to work with to function in the three-dimensional world. There are objects and there is space between the objects - about 95% more space. Most people interpret the world as a world of dualities - good and evil, up and down, male and female, Republicvans and Democrats, here and there, you and me, them and us, love and hate.

Thinking in terms of duality keeps the body and mind irreducibly distinct. This means that neither mind nor matter can be reduced to each other in any way. Mental and physical properties are categorically distinct and cannot be reduced into one antoher. This allows matter to be labeled, classified and categorized into units and subunits. It frees up the mind, so to speak, allowing you to think objectively; as though everything is separate and distinct from the self.

Duality is an illusion because everything is made out of the same stuff - infinitely small particles and space. Particles and space are known as matter and matter is not as it seems. Reality, or the natural world, as we know it, is merely made up of different concentrations and configurations of quantum energy. How we view reality will always be an illusion because of the inability of our human senses to detect the energy patterns, waves and particles which make up matter. Perceiving and forming mental images is not reality.


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