What does it mean to be aware? Aware of what? Aware of the furniture in the room, aware of cars on the road, aware of trees, clouds and plants, aware of your thoughts, what you are thinking, what frame of mind you are in? How you feel?
To be so aware there has to be this real feeling of discontent. Not the discontent that is born of anger and leads to frustration, envy and hatred, but the discontent that is born of love. It is this feeling that human beings must kindle must grow in them. This discontent which can become a flame that will burn away all sorrow and confusion and free us from all things unessential. This flame is the flame of awareness and every human being can feel there way into it.
How are we to discover this flame? That flame that must be ignited for the mind and heart to become fully alive, not this constant searching for contentment, peace and satisfaction, because that just leads to purposelessness, meaninglessness, hopelessness, a lack of vibrancy, vitality and life.
So something else, something on the horizon perhaps something brighter, more marvelous than all of that, something that transforms everything else and leads to this feeling of wanting to be really happy and wanting that happiness for all. Not pleasure, not satisfaction, not peace or contentment, but unadulterated happiness for all.
Human beings are chasing the wrong thing because we lack self-knowledge, we like pursuing toys, fleeting pleasures, the ownership of things. Each life is wasted, so many spiritual teachers will tell you how to bring order to the mind these days, they will tell you how to be calm, how to be free of fear, stress, how to just “be”. They sit there just “being” and as marvelous as that may appear as they sit in their calm abiding, to me it is a trick, and potentially a very dangerous one. Most lack this flame. Life is life not just “being”, this is one part of us but not the whole. The whole only comes together when we can feel our way into this flame of discontent that arises due to our resistance to that which is non beneficial for ourselves or the world.
We are human “beings”, so there is a part of us that just “is”, however we are here to gather experience and in the gathering of experience we suffer. When we have suffered enough, when the heart is full of treasures, if we have not yielded, then we stretch out towards our Maker, and in that agony, in that holding of all that you are you may ignite this flame of discontent that does not yield to evil, that is longing for more than just peace and contentment and satisfaction.
It is with this flame, which is the culmination of all experience that we are able to hold a type of awareness that is very intense. This intensity of observation is necessary to understand one’s own thinking and thoughts in real time. Great energy is necessary to go beyond the material and when the heart is full of the experiences of life, without having yielded, then this intensity of awareness can come about.
So be aware that there are many so called spiritual teachers who will put you to sleep instead of awakening this holy flame of discontent in another. The very processes of living, of life, naturally creates this discontent if we learn from our experiences and do not yield to them. It is this quality and this quality alone, which creates absolute order and sets us free with integrity, not contentment and sleepiness, which leads to purposelessness.
This immense pure energetic discontent is necessary so that we can be intensely aware. Also the body has to be in fine fickle, I find that yoga and walking is good for this and also breathing properly, making sure we get plenty of oxygen. Eating correctly, consistently high quality foods, lots of pure water. Body and mind have to be quick and light.
Awareness is not concentration; awareness involves being able to focus, but focus again is not concentration, it is a resting of ones observation upon an object without force, force being concentration.
Now is a good time to perhaps look at meditation, for without an understanding of what meditation is, awareness cannot exist. To find out what meditation is we must not say it is this or it is that. We must not know, but also we must be seeking to find out the real truth of things, not the accepted truth or this persons truth or that organization’s truth, or the accepted authority of organized religion, but instead be inquiring so that we can put ourselves in absolute order.
To accept another persons truth is a form of laziness, to accept the authority of another means that you do not have to enquire yourself. That would be to difficult, or so we think.
What is the accepted general meaning of the word meditation? The quieting of the mind, which is constantly full of thought, and chattering away. Perhaps we have noticed that there may not be order in the mind and therefore in our relationships and in the world at large. So people who are relatively experienced ask the question, how to bring order to the mind.
There are lots of different types of mediation all over the world, mantras through repetition of words, which stops the mind thinking about anything else. Focusing on an object, like the Buddha and seeing it in the minds eye and forcing the mind to hold that picture whilst denying all other thought. More recent types of meditation include using a device to change the frequency of the mind to put into a more alert, passive, or sleepy state.
So the question here is, do any of these types of meditation put thought in order (by thought I mean ourselves) or are they forcing the mind into a particular state. For example, by repeating a mantra we force the mind through concentration to only think on those words and nothing else and if we do this for long enough what happens to the mind? Have we put ourselves in order (ourselves being thought, memory) or have we just forced the mind not to think, so it’s a bit like jamming the cogs of a machine, you may break it!
It is the same for internalizing an image in the mind and thinking of nothing else, again it forces the mind not to think, and of course to use a machine to change the frequency of the mind is like taking drugs to change your behavior. In both of those cases you have not understood the root of the problem but are applying an outside agency to change the state of mind. Is that beneficial for a human being?
If you apply a high voltage to the brain you can probably stop it from thinking as well!
Is there another way where perhaps by understanding the mechanism of our mind thought can become quiet on its own without force? Therefore thought being the response of memory the response of the past can see its place and only think when necessary and not be thinking neurotically all the time.
By understanding what we are, not by what another thinks and accepting there authority on the matter but on what we understand to be true through seeing the truth of it, not as an idea, but as an actual fact. By doing this and investigating in such a manner we are creating the right foundation to be able to learn and discover the truth of all things as they are and not by another’s view of what they are. So to be free from authority is very important. It’s not easy.
With this right foundation we can look at what we are. Thought being the response of memory to a challenge. Memory is the storehouse of knowledge and experience. Knowledge and experience and memory implies the past and therefore so does thought. So at this point its important to understand psychological time. The projection through the imagination from memory into the future.
So thought is the response of the past to the present. Why do we constantly think? Why when an event or experience has finished do we carry on thinking about it, constantly going over it in our minds, imagining it? Does it give us a sense of being someone, does it give us pleasure to think over the event. Surely if some things give us pleasure by remembering them other things will give us fear by remembering them and projecting them into the future.
So is the constant repetition of thought the result of unresolved experiences. Implying that we are not fully aware of what we are thinking and doing and therefore thought leaves a residue. Therefore thought has not understood itself its action so it leaves an emotional residue in memory.
So to be constantly aware implies that the human being must have the intensity of energy necessary to constantly be watching thought. You have to learn how to watch without dividing yourself as something separate form thought. Thought is thought, thought cannot resolve thought.
Thinking unceasingly, neurotically is the problem. There is a time for thought when technical things need to be done or conversation takes place, because words are memories is thought. But when you are not talking are you listening which implies that the mind is not thinking at all and all of ones attention is on the person who is talking. To be so aware is difficult but essential so that we can make the next step in the evolution of our species, to fully understand the mechanism of what we are. To be excellent human beings, not according to someone else, but through our own hard work and self-understanding.
So awareness implies being aware of not only our own thoughts and our internal structure but also our external environment. To be so aware we have to learn how to observe and listen and I have written a previous post about this.
Without this ability of real observation and listening then you will discover that thought has divided itself and thought is listening to thought. So this type of observation must be diligently learnt. You cannot say that you know how to do it, because to apply this understanding is the end of the known and moving into the realm of the unknowable. That is the whole point that there is a type of observation where one does not know, know meaning knowledge meaning the known, which is the past. The totality of the past makes up the ego or self. The self says it knows, this gives a sense of security for the mind, which it desperately craves because we feel incomplete and insufficient.
However there may come a point where you are not happy with this situation you are not content and you may sense that you lack beauty, you lack order, and integrity and that there may be something more something beyond all of this confusion and meaninglessness of life.
We begin to sense there is something else when the heart is full of experience, we begin to feel it, we cannot “know” it. Knowledge can not capture that which is beyond thought and time. Knowledge is the known is the past.
If you do and you’re ready, then listen up, awareness implies sensitivity not force. It implies your senses being fully awake not deadened. Feeling your body, feeling the air touching your face, your toes and your bum as you sit on the seat.
Awareness implies being aware of every thought, every strange neurotic movement of the body, your walk, gesticulations and responses in conversation.
Awareness implies being able to watch another persons face without thinking, just watching, but also watching to see if the mind is commenting, which it constantly does. Not that it should or should not or that it is bad or good, but just to watch all of it.
This of course implies learning if there is a state of pure observation without thought and all that is part of awareness.
Jiddhu Krishnamurti is a man who was called the world teacher. He is dead now, he died I think in 1986, but he left a body of knowledge behind that is unparallelled. He has given us self understanding and knowledge that is essential for our next step. I highly recommend his work, its a bit tough going but if you are really keen to understand yourself and put yourself in order, not because you want to be better than someone else, but because your heart is full of love and light and you long to go beyond then I heartily recommend his work. I promise you their is nothing else like it.
The next bit of self knowledge that is necessary to putting oneself in complete order, is the correct understanding of what meditation is and tomorrow is a good day for that 🙂 ciao