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 13. Space, Time, Matter and Consciousness (Cntd)

 
 

Awareness when it is in contact with an object becomes witnessing. When, at the same time, there is self-identification with the object, the absolute Awareness becomes a person, the pseudo-entity associated with the ego. But, in reality there is only the one all-prevailing state of Awareness. When, with the appearance of consciousness, the absolute Awareness is tinted with self-awareness it becomes the witnessing; when it is further corrupted with the psycho-physical self-identification it becomes a person; but, when it remains in its pristine purity, untainted and untinted, it is the Supreme. In this one all-prevailing state is the whole truth... dual in presence, non-dual in absence, separate in concept, united when unconceived.

Since the time when we were small children to the present moment, the body-personality-image with which we have been identifying ourselves has been undergoing countless changes. But, the sense of existence, of being consciously present, of being aware of oneself as the 'I am'... the subjective feeling from which the per­sonal pronoun 'I' has arisen by which we refer to ourselves... all this has never changed throughout our life. That sense of 'I am' is our constant im­age. It is unaffected by space and time; it is outside of space and time. The idea of a separate personality and separate objects is due to the illusion of space and time. The concepts of space and time are the media by which manifestation becomes cognizable; without these mental concepts, no manifestation could possibly arise in consciousness. What happens when we see an object, which is really just an appearance in consciousness, is that the senses react to a stimulus coming from this source outside the body apparatus and the mind objectifies it as an event extended in space and time.

Objects are considered objects only because they are perceived that way. It is a false projection arising from the manner in which the mind carries on its conceptualization and objectification. When we analyze this further, we find that all phenomenal existence is nothing but a continuous process of mental objectification. When objectification ceases, as in deep sleep, the objective universe disappears. Because of this mental process of objectifying all sensory stimuli, we exist as each other's objects in the consciousness that cognizes us. To ourselves we are the unchanging 'I am', the subjective sense of conscious presence; to others we appear as objects in a mentally conceived spatial framework. Therein lies the mistake... cognizing the subjective as objective, and thereby seeing only sepa­ration and difference.

This mistake of perception arises because the seeing is partial, because the seeing is only with the outer senses and a divided mind; it is not whole seeing from the source of seeing. That sense of exis­tence, that sense of presence, that 'I am­ness', the unchanging subjective experience of self, cannot be seen by the senses, and, therefore, does not enter into the conceptions projected by the mind, which unceasingly carries on its objectification of everything. But, when the subjective is apprehended intuitively, then the concept of separate objects becomes untenable. Can the consciousness in you and the consciousness in me be different? Are they not separate only as concepts projected by the mind, and are they not in perfect unity when unconceived, when free of mind? And is not that knowing of the underlying unity, the very basis of love? And if all is subjective, if there is only unity, can there be any room for the objective? So called objects are just illusory appearances in consciousness, appearances in the universal 'I amness', which by its name and its very nature is wholly subjective and permits no room for another, other than self.

At any one time, only one feeling or perception can be reflected in consciousness, but thoughts, feelings and perceptions move on in succession giving the illusion of duration. In that way, a personality comes into being simply because of memory - because we identify an objectified appearance in the present with similar objectified appearances remembered from the past, and also, with similar appearances projected into the future. These memories and anticipations are the cause of misery. The pure Awareness of here and now is a feeling of being awake and present, being light, being alert and alive to every new moment, feeling a sense of immediacy without the intervention of thoughts, like a child at play, each moment a new surprise. It is seeing things intuitively, perceiving directly, without thinking, without conceptualizing. It is being alive without the need to think or concep­tualize that you are alive. But when memories enter of past impressions or when anticipation enters about the future, then the feeling is one of mental functioning beladen with thoughts, weighted down by attachments to the past and uncertainties in the future.

If you give up this memory and anticipation, and think of yourself as momentary, without a past or future, being the 'I am', the one who is, then there is no room for personality and you are free of this error of misidentification and limitation of space and time. When you realize that what you have falsely thought yourself to be was based on memory and anticipation, then you can stand aloof from the objectifying nature of the mind and remain unaffected by its concepts of space and time. When you are in full awareness of the present and your own unchanging sense of isness, and freed of the shackles of memory and anticipation, then your search is over. In this state there is neither subject nor object, there is no division of the mind into one that sees and one that is seen; there is only the seeing. It is pure perception without any interpretations based on memory - it is merely the wit­nessing of the functioning of consciousness, the seeing without any objectifying quality.

Whatever is experienced, whatever is known has its roots in consciousness. Ever since you knew you were conscious, from the time you were a few years old, the entire gamut of opposites, such as pain and pleasure, heat and cold, day and night, knowledge and ignorance, waking and sleeping... all the various interdependent polarities which cannot exist without each other... were all there in this knowledge 'I am', this consciousness which came in with this psychosomatic apparatus. What was the position before that? The answer is that you do not know. These interrelated opposites must have existed but only in unity, in wholeness. This unity must then be what you truly are. But then, this unity, this wholeness could not know itself, because, until consciousness and the sense of 'I am' arose within it spontaneously, there existed in it no subject separate from an object, no medium or instrument through which knowing or seeing could take place. The eye cannot see itself, taste cannot taste itself, sound cannot hear itself, mind cannot be used to transcend itself. Noumenon cannot be aware of itself without phenomenon. So it objectifies itself, appearing to be outside of itself, in order to know itself.

For noumenon to manifest itself objectively as the phenomenal universe, the concept of space-time must come into the picture, because objects cannot be cognized unless they are extended in space and stretched out in duration. But, note that the phenomenon is merely the mirrorization of the noumenon? there is no real duality between them. The difference is purely notional; phenomenon is just noumenon conceptualized or objectivized, in which the original unity is projected into the duality of subject and object. The inseparableness of noumenon and phenomenon is the key to realizing your true nature. For, when you realize that the noumenon is all that you really are, and the phenomenon is only what you appear to be in the relative world of separate objects, then there can be no individual entity except as an illusory appearance; and the idea of a shadow-entity seeking liberation, yearning to understand the substance of which it is but a shadow, is seen to be preposterous.

 
     
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