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Awareness and Reflected Awareness
Martin: Further thoughts: I’m trying to convey what happens in meditation, where I, awareness, shine and at the same time Martin’s subtle body knows this and puts words to it.
It’s a bit like consciously putting words to a dream and remembering it while the dream is happening. Sometimes there’s just the dream and sometimes there’s the dream and the recording of it.
Tan: I am not quite sure I understand what you want to convey here. Regardless of the dream or the recording of it, there is only you – awareness. Without you neither dream nor recording of the dream would exist. You remain constant regardless of dream or the recording of it.
Martin: Is it that thoughts about myself, awareness, are taking place in Martin’s subtle body?
Tan: Yes that’s it.
Martin: As if I, the self, were “using” that apparatus to think about myself, to know about myself, to speak about myself.
I am felt in the subtle body as “bliss.” The subtle body becomes fascinated by this process. But at the same time the subtle body is an object to me, awareness. The subtle body tries to give words to this unknowable subject that I am, awareness, so it’s as if the subtle body speaks as awareness.
Martin: As if the moon became aware of the light of the sun shining on it and tried to talk about the sun (which it can’t see) while enjoying its light and warmth.
Tan: Yes, the only limit to this metaphor is that the moon does not actually become aware. Or the “seemingly becoming aware” part of the moon is actually the sunlight itself bouncing off the moon. So the sunlight (awareness) becomes aware of itself. But through ignorance there is the belief that the limitless sunlight (awareness) is the limited moonlight (reflected awareness).
Martin: But then the focus shifts and the sun simply shines on the moon while the moon may or may not continue finding words for how it senses this immense, radiating energy. So the subtle body is aware of itself as an object bathed in the light of that unknowable subject, while at the same time I, awareness, the subject, simply shine. I am subject and object simultaneously.
Tan: Yes, but it only seems as if the subtle body is aware. It is always the sunlight (awareness) that is shining. Just by bouncing off the moon it seems as if there is moonlight. The subtle body is borrowing its “apparent awareness” from awareness – from you. The moon is borrowing its light from the sunlight.
You are the subject, awareness. The object is you but you are free of the object. In the metaphor that would be: the moonlight (reflected awareness) is sunlight (awareness). It cannot exist without the sunlight. But sunlight (awareness) is free from the moonlight.
Martin: It’s as if I, wordless, unknowing awareness, am given words and known by the subtle body. The sun shines and the solar flare knows itself to be the sun. I am the sun and the solar flare.