Question: How can that which is empty know itself unless there is some intelligence behind it? Even the knowing of who we are cannot be understood unless we think of it? If one is in silence, awareness is there but I see that thought.
Who am I? Unknowingly, unthoughtlessly.
Reply: The Self is all knowing intelligence, awareness. It is not a dead empty void. It is not known via thought since thought is perceived. Thought is known and does not know.
While the Self is a non-event, thought on the other hand, is a mind event, a phenomenal event. Consciousness is not phenomenal and in not known via any medium.
It knows itself, by itself directly, by being itself. Being is not an activity. Activities are at the mind level.
It is via the direct light of consciousness that the mind indirectly appears, Like night dreams appear to the dreamer.
Question: So, when you are looking outward, is it consciousness that is looking? If you are hugging another, is it consciousness that is doing it? And if you are thinking, is it consciousness that is aware? Can consciousness, which is empty, know itself as itself, by itself? How so? When consciousness knows itself as a person, it is only an illusion. Correct? Why does this personal experience seem so real and seems to last longer than a mere dream?
Reply: Consciousness does not do anything. Consciousness does not look outward. That is thought speaking. First thought imagines an inside self and then it perceives an outside world. Thought impressions are like dream impressions. Consciousness is the unmoved screen. In the dream, A hugs B. In the dream A is thinking a thought. All such considerations are the mind. It is the mind that perceives doing. The illusion is the mind. Like images or cartoons on the screen. Consciousness is the formless unmoved screen.
Consciousness knows itself as itself once ignorance dissolves. Once the belief that consciousness is personal dissolves, once the separate self is seen through. Consciousness is aware of itself as the one and only reality. But in ignorance, the mind imagines it is conscious. The mind appropriates consciousness and gives it the personal impression.
Consciousness does not know itself as a person. The mind does that. The mind divides the wholeness of consciousness into personal consciousnesses. This experience of personhood seems real due to the reality of consciousness. It is the reality of consciousness that is overseen. The reality of consciousness is eternal. The mind perceives objects and imagines reality to lie in the images.
In the night dream, when in ignorance, there is the impression of me-in-time. Only when you have realized your true nature the night dreams (as well as the waking dream) reveal the eternity of consciousness.
Question: How is true nature realized?
Reply: Via unconditional love for truth and not via love for the mind nor the world of appearances. It is love for the source, for the reality and not for the impermanent phenomenal realm. When you are watchful of your tendencies to give reality to the mind, the mind weakens and reveals its dream-like quality, allowing the light of awareness to shine unimpeded.
It is your love for truth that invites consciousness to reveal itself. Consciousness will provide you the guidance that is needed. Consciousness recognizes your love for truth. Consciousness is truth, universal, eternal and infinite.
Question: This might have already taken place. But my quest for truth is never ending!
Reply: The quest ends but the contemplation does not. The celebration is endless.
Photo by Sandra Percy