Today's topic is Living Awareness. As an author of the book Awaken the Living Awareness Within - Discover the Keys to Happiness, Inner Peace & Harmony, I’ve been asked to give a relatively short and concise answer without going too much into the details; without going too much into the nuts and bolts of it. Much more in-depth material is available on the website, named Infinite Quantum Zen. Anyways, as regards to Living Awareness itself, here is something I put together from my notes when I tried my best to explain this to a friend. As a result, I decided to share it here. So without a further due, let us delve right into it.
In short, Living Awareness is the creative ground of intention and intuition, and at the same time, it is the source of the sparkle, joy and vitality that we enjoy when we are in touch with our own being; it is our bridge to the creative ground, in which all things abide and from which they spring. More in-depth: to answer this question properly, we need to introduce another closely related term, that of Living Consciousness, as they go in tandem - Living Awareness and Living Consciousness, that is.
The terms Living Consciousness and Living Awareness arise from personal experience that best describe the aliveness of the experience of being alive, of being fully awake and aware whilst exploring the physical reality, the world around us, and the possibilities of human life by occupying the vehicle better known as the human body. Living Awareness is all about experiencing our core essence, experiencing life directly, experiencing reality directly, experiencing humanness in the most direct way possible; and Living Consciousness is all those experiences put together – from cosmic to galactic, to human, animal, plant, and so on.
In terms of consciousness, at the deepest level, there is but Oneself – One undivided Self; hence Oneself. There is but One all pervading Spirit; there is but one First Cause that has its Being of itself, and on which all other beings depend; there is but one Infinite Being, so there is but One Awareness. This is where Living Awareness comes in, for you see, both the individuation – the experience of being an individuated human being – a person, as well as Oneness of Life, Oneness of Reality, are experienced through Omnipresent Awareness. In this respect, Living Awareness knows itself by itself, in itself, as itself, through itself. It is this very recognition and acknowledgment through many different facets of the same that can be called Living Consciousness.
And because both Living Consciousness and Living Awareness are closely related to Self-Realization and its natural progression, Self-Actualization, let us add a little more perspective and context. Advaita Vedanta (Ancient Non-Duality Tradition) defines Self-Realization as the knowledge of the True Self – beyond both delusion and identification with material phenomena, defining the manifest material world to be temporal – an eternal play of shakti or energy; the immutable principle or the Ultimate Reality is beyond space, time, and form – therefore, it cannot be described, quantified, reasoned, or explained – all that exists on a differentiated basis can only be directly experienced as itself. Hence, the “outside” world that we perceive with our senses as being solid, and believe to be made out of a dense material – is actually existing in consciousness, which goes on to say that everything is happening within consciousness where the mind appears.
In other words, the mind is a localization of consciousness – believed to be located in the brain and situated in the head, which in turn is a part of the human body. The body itself is an image in the mind, and everything in the mind is happening inside consciousness. Therefore, the individuated, solid, dense, located entity called “I” – is the manifestation of an idea – created by the mind as a form of an image; this, in turn, takes place inside the mind – residing in consciousness, inside which a flame of Living Awareness infinitely flickers, you see? And if one pursues to find the ultimate nature of the mind, they would end up realizing that the ultimate nature of mind is that aspect of the mind which remains constantly present in its experience – this is the Eternal Essence that cannot be removed or excluded in any circumstances; in other words, it is pure presence – Infinite Living Awareness.
Living Awareness is too close to itself to know itself as Infinite Living Awareness, and therefore the only way to know itself is through individuation and the creation of the finite mind. The finite mind isn’t an entity as such, but rather an activity through which the Infinite is able to know the world. Therefore, the finite mind is the activity of Infinite Living Awareness, which has the ability to vibrate within itself – creating the form of the finite mind. This activity then makes it possible for the Infinite to know the objective experience – enabling the Infinite to know itself through the finite mind. This knowing is Living Consciousness, you see?
Living Awareness is the creative ground of intention and intuition, and at the same time, it is the source of the sparkle, joy and vitality that we enjoy when we are in touch with our own being; it is our bridge to the creative ground, in which all things abide and from which they spring. Living Awareness is shared with every particle within All Life, and thus Living Awareness is the Heart of Living Life – this eternal, Infinite Awareness observes every part of the Creation by utilizing Living Consciousness as the means; consciousness arises when awareness observes the Creation or any part of its many emanations – so in this sense, Living Awareness is also aware of itself as the other (mirror). In order for the Infinite to know itself as something that is finite, it has to pretend to be separate from itself – this is the way in which the Living Awareness creates consciousness through which we perceive the world around us.
If one were to ask how does Living Awareness differ from awareness, they would get an answer along the lines of: not by much, other than that of emphasis being placed on the experiential aspect of it – to differentiate between mere idea and something truly alive. Living Awareness is all about experiencing our core essence, experiencing life directly, experiencing reality directly. This type of experiencing is beyond all indirect methods we commonly depend on for knowing about our experience – such as thinking, sensing, reasoning, feeling, and believing. Just in the same way as intuition doesn’t need reasoning for it to work, so in the same way is the case with direct experiencing, you see?
Hence, it goes without saying that indirect experiencing is limiting in more ways than one. You see, our senses only give us indirect information, which means that we filter in the things that we are familiar with, and filter out the things that we have no prior knowledge or comprehension. And so it goes that the mind and the senses filter out the reality of pure presence – that of Living Awareness. And this is where the difficulty comes in: there is more to experiencing direct connection to all Life than any language could ever describe – language can only convey an idea of what direct experiencing is like, and because language cannot ever describe the true essence of our existence and our experience of it, we are forced to use sounds, signs and symbols in an effort to re-connect with the Life-force that runs through everything.
2021-02-01, Best wishes, Sambodhi Padmasamadhi