It occurred to me today that when we human beings speak about feeling or being alone, what we mean is that our ego-minds are isolated within ourselves and they end up chattering to themselves. No one else hears the contents of our minds, except us, or the rare person who is willing to listen to us for a little while. Even in this latter case, the person only listens to our minds communicating via external language (talking) for a brief time. The rest of our waking hours, our minds are alone with their own content. If we think of ourselves as only an ego or language-generating mind, we are bound to feel alone, walled up within ourselves with this content.
What happens if we allow silence into this picture? Then the mind feels really, terrifyingly alone, since our individual consciousness is now deaf to the mind’s chatter.
For the spiritually awake, however, the experience of Awareness is that it has no end, either spatially or temporally. For those who don’t live in the ego-mind as the integration point of human life, there is no felt boundary in space or time. Awareness goes on forever and is everywhere and, in some way, is also everything. In this case All is Awareness or All is One, and so there is no “one” to be alone, there is just unending Awareness experiencing Itself in its many forms.
Sitting within the confines of the human ego-mind I am alone. Sitting within unbounded Awareness, I am part of the One. Yet, paradoxically, I am both ego-mind and Awareness together; a Mystery.
Once we discover that Awareness is our True Nature (not some identity composed of thoughts that we call the ‘ego’), it can be quite an upset to our way of life. While the discovery that Awareness is who we are may take considerable time and energy, it is not the end of the process that we call Enlightenment.
The discovery of Awareness creates a seismic shift in the sense of identity. Okay, we’re Infinite, Eternal Awareness (or Emptiness or any of the 100 other names) which has become these body-minds. Our actual identity is simultaneously the Infinite/Eternal and the here-and-now person (in this particular writer’s case, called “Jonathan Labman”). Both are true, paradoxically and at the same moment.
The implications of this discovery will take us a long time to embody, or ‘live out’ truthfully in the real world. All of our ideas of who we ‘are’ or in this case ‘were’ will actually be only partially true. The ‘ego’ doesn’t really exist? What does that mean? That’s what we begin to discover as we continue the journey of Enlightenment after discovering that we are Awareness.
This discovery that we are Awareness and so is everyone else, will also have a profound effect on how we interact with the so-called ‘others’ (all of whom could be seen to be aspects of the same Awareness). How can we know we are Awareness, and exploit, harm, abuse, ‘use,’ or steal from others?
However, some people stop too soon in their Enlightenment trajectory. This is why some people appear to be so injurious to others. (More to follow.)
The great joke about waking up is that there isn’t actually anyone to wake up and nothing for the mind or ego; and awakening or enlightenment is undefinable in verbal terms. Awareness awakens to Itself. Awareness is that which looks AND that which is seen.
Awareness looks out of these eyes at a sofa and pillows, registers mantras on the stereo and a clock ticking and traffic in the background. The traffic can be heard because the window is open as It registers unseasonably warm temperatures in the northern hemisphere in February: 70F or 21.1C. Objects are given names by the mind not by Awareness. Awareness knows itself.
Each person, dog, squirrel, animal, tree, rock is, in Itself, the same Awareness. Awareness exists in many forms and as the Formless. Awareness is registering Itself ‘out there’ by every sense that aids in perception. Awareness is in all form and beyond form: immanent and Transcendent. It’s everything and You are IT. Wake up beyond your mind if you can…and as simply as you’re able…it’s indescribably delicious.
Jonathan E. Labman, LPC
Simply Awake LLC
4000 Sawmill Road, Suite C2 (downstairs)
Doylestown, PA 18902-9645
Jonathan, I feel so fortunate to have you in my life–especially when I need a nudge along the way!