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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Consciousness and Pure Awareness

Consciousness is when you are aware that you are awake and alive with thoughts, feelings, and emotions. It can be either strong or weak, but attachment to the body and the mind are present. In consciousness there is always an ego and to get rid of it is virtually impossible. As long as there is consciousness there is an experience of "I Am."

Pure awareness is still within consciousness but it is far beyond the other states of consciousness. If you are very acute to your states of consciousness you can easily understand and experience the various levels that your mind and thoughts reside in any moment during your waking state.

Although you may be conscious you may not necessarily know what your body is doing. This may sound strange but this is the state of consciousness in which most people reside most of the time. In this particular state of consciousness thoughts are not in harmony with the body. This narrow state of consciousness is called waking sleep. The diagram on the right illustrates the various states of consciousness with the Absolute being non-consciousness. The Absolute ends at the edge of the diagram, of course, but in actuality goes on indefinitely.

Absorption and attention are two other states of consciousness in which you can find yourself. If you have ever been so caught up in something like a movie or a sporting event to the point you feel as though you are actually in the action, you have experienced absorption. Attention is when you are intently listening and/or watching something or someone but not caught up in it to the point of being absorbed. However, the act of paying attention can drag you into absorption and even waking sleep without you being aware of it.

When your mind and body are in harmony with one another and your thoughts are in the moment and you have a sense of what's going on around you, you are in a state of consciousness known as awareness. When you are in awareness your thoughts are connected to what you are doing. You may be talking to someone while noticing the other person's expressions and mannerisms, and you are aware of other people and vehicles passing by, the various sounds in the area, and other external conditions. You are totally in the moment.

Last put not least is pure awareness. Pure awareness is awareness with one additional component. That one additional component is the awareness that there is something present which is greater than you. That something may be a feeling of vastness or power in the universe. It may be a knowing that everything in the world and the cosmos is connected. It may be God or it may be a sense that there is a giant eye watching you and everyone and everything. Whatever it is, it is infinite and everlasting. Pure awareness is the ultimate state of consciousness. There is no other level of consciousness that will give you more clarity in the awakened state.

If you were to go beyond pure awareness you would no longer be conscious. You would not be thinking or sensing. There would be no body or mind. You would have no desires, worries, attachments, experiences or even awareness of anything. It would be non-consciousness, much like dreamless sleep. Non-consciousness is the Absolute and existed prior to your birth and will exist after your life. The Absolute exists, even now, in your life during sleep and awake. In non-consciousness (the Absolute) there is no sense of presence because the "you," the "me," the "I Am" no longer exist.

Pure awareness and the Absolute may overlap and merge together but ever-so slightly. When you are on the edge of pure awareness you may be at the point of going into non-consciousness. By abiding in pure awareness you will soon come to the realization that you are not this, but you are the Absolute and always have been. When on the edge of pure awareness everything is very quiet and there is spaciousness and no thoughts but there is still a sense of presence. Presence is the experience of "I Amness" and a sense of self. Although thoughts are absent there is still the sense of being because the body is still present.

Although the Absolute is always present, the sense of it is lost due to the thinking mind. Your mind creates concepts about yourself and about others forming what is known as the ego. The ego keeps you identified with your mind and body. When you see yourself as someone or something, you have identified yourself with concepts and therefore have lost touch with the Absolute. When you are in pure awareness the sense of mind and body are minimal and the deeper you go into pure awareness the more you will lose touch with them. It is possible to go so deep that the body and mind disappear. This is about as close as you will ever get to the Absolute and still remain in touch with presence. The only thing that exists at that point is the sense of presence.

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