The Nature of Non-Dual Awareness

Our life is mostly an action-reaction loop, and we remain stuck despite knowing its futility. Awareness brings the wisdom of insight – a profound knowledge of a different kind that disentangles the knots created by the compulsive thinking mind.

Awareness is pure knowing. It is noumenon, non-dual, and devoid of the subject-object relationship. It is not an object of perception but the one that makes perception possible.

It is self-luminous and all-pervasive. It is here and now. It is not something we have. It is what we truly are beyond the limitations of mind and body. Spiritual awakening is waking to this awareness or what the spiritual masters call “our real home.”

It is neither here nor there. It is neither this nor that. It simply IS. It cannot be known objectively. Why? Because to know something, a relative reference point is necessary. Something can only be known in relation to something else.

For example, hot is known in relation to cold, love is known in relation to hate, good is known in relation to bad, small exists in relationship with big, joy is known in relation to suffering, and so on. None of the above have any independent reality of their own.

Pure awareness is beyond the duality of interconnected opposites. It is the substratum of all happening or phenomenality. Even calling it “one” or “oneness” does not help because we know “one” only in relation to many. The ego-intellect-mind cannot make sense of it because it’s not an object.

Therefore, to know something, we have to reduce it to an object. And it is impossible to reduce awareness into an object of perception because it does not stand relative to anything else. Yet, it is right here, right now. It is in our present experience. It is the one enabling all perceptions along with a notion of an illusory individual perceiver.

The truth or this imminent reality eludes us probably because it is so simple and obvious. Our conditioned minds are not used to simple things. We want to apply effort to arrive at an outcome because it makes the mind feel worthy of achievement. The ego-intellect-mind is not interested in seeking truth. It is only interested in perpetuation itself by reinforcing the sense of separate identification.

Therefore, trying to use thought as an instrument to go beyond the conceptual thought “me” is impossible. Using “me” to uproot undesirable emotions like anger, hatred, greed, resentment, jealousy, and malice, will not help because the “me” is all those things.

This contracted energy (“me”) creating an illusion of centered consciousness is by nature jittery and restless. It cannot “do” anything about its restless nature other than allowing itself to dissolve in pure awareness.

After dissolution, what remains is the organism that is peaceful by nature and one with it. Not only is it peaceful, but it is also intuitively intelligent and sensitive. There is no owner of that organism to differentiate it from the rest of the world, and things are simply witnessed without the immediacy to change or control anything. It is complete unification devoid of the subject-object split.

Since the awareness is pristine and pure knowledge, it cannot see itself as a separate object. There exists no separation for the awareness or pure subject. The illusion of separation arises in the mind as the pseudo-subject that sees itself as an object living in separation from the rest of the world.

The pseudo-subject or “me” then begins spiritual seeking in search of eternal truth, not knowing that IT IS already what it seeks. The very act of seeking the truth obscures the obvious reality that is here in this moment. All concepts of personal liberation, freedom (moksha), or enlightenment are fantasies of the ego mind. True liberation is that there is no one to be liberated.

The reality which is beyond time cannot be found in time through personal effort. But if the personal effort drops, there is the possibility that this simple truth be seen – not by the individual, but by his absence. In the absence of a pseudo-subject, there is no separation.

Time is just an inference born out of the changing frames animated by consciousness. It exists only in relation to the pseudo-subject. In deep sleep, the “me” is absent, and therefore, there’s no experience of time.

In Christianity, the doctrine of the fall talks about the concept of “original sin” found in the writings of St. Augustine. The idea is that Adam and Eve, who otherwise lived blissfully, defied God by falling for the temptation of eating the forbidden fruit. And henceforth, they created separation from God, giving rise to evils of the world like hatred, anger, jealousy, greed, lust, and so on.

In my interpretation, the above mythical story signifies the event known as “the fall,” which is the rise of the conceptual thought “me” or the sense of personal identification that creates separation from wholeness. The separation brings about the fear of death, which puts the “me” on an eternal chase for achieving permanency, not knowing that it itself is the very wholeness it seeks.

Ramesh Balsekar explains original sin as the pseudo-subject (“me”) trying to usurp the subjectivity of the pure subject or awareness. It gives rise to “I know better than you” thinking which creates relationship problems and other conflicts.

However, the Bible verse below, if understood in totality, puts an end to all conflict. Of course, it’s my personal interpretation of the subject.

“I and the Father are one.”

John 10:30

The Greatest Hypocrisy of the Ego-Mind

The mind that seeks liberation is the one that fears it the most. The world fears liberated minds. The minds that have come to a deep understanding that there is nothing to be sought or achieved in the name of spirituality or materialism; where any kind of seeking has stopped; where the dualistic notions of right and wrong, good and evil, moral and immoral have dissolved permanently.

The world fears such minds because they cannot be manipulated and controlled. And the identified self-conscious mind, living in fear of uncertainty, uses control as a mechanism to perpetuate separation. Giving up control is death for it, which is its ultimate fear. While it claims to desire wholeness, that is what it is most afraid of because it means its death.

All that the ego-mind wants to do is to create and sustain a story. It lives through “me and my story.” Therefore, it looks for ashrams and enlightened Gurus who can liberate it from pain and suffering. Jiddu Krishnamurti says, “Only when the mind is not fragmented, what you see in totality is the truth.”

The non-fragmented mind is one where the notion of “me” and the “other” has entirely dissolved. It recognizes that the difference lies only in appearances; the consciousness animating all appearances in duality is the same. Such a mind “sees” its hypocritical nature and suspends doership by realizing its illusory existence.

It is an impersonal realization that does not come about through thinking. It does not happen by accepting a particular viewpoint and rejecting others; it does not happen by pretending to be neutral or indifferent to thoughts and things in phenomenality; it does not happen through knowledge, contemplation, or meditation of any kind.

It happens when the non-dual awareness ceases the individual destroying their sense of personal identification, and there’s no rhyme and reason as to how, why, and when it chooses to do that. All those are just the stories of the thinking mind that identifies itself as “me.”

Non-dual awareness pervades everything (and nothing), including “you,” “me,” and the rest. It can’t be known through the senses or mind because it is subtler than them. It is the eternal constant that makes perception possible. Yet, it is neither the perceiver nor the perceived.

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Jagjot Singh
Jagjot Singh

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