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Am I a Speck of Awareness or Am I Awareness?
Donnie: Hi, James. In a direct “experience” of the unmanifest, or infinite void, where only awareness (light) exists, before any form, I [as an intellect operating?] engaged and observed the following: in opening the eyes, all existed as nameless form before interpretation, including the body of Donnie.
James: The self as intellect.
Donnie: I chose to ask: “What is happening in that body now?” And in a manner of pushing awareness down, as a balloon into water, entered into a highly-energized experiencing body. Noticing and releasing, the “balloon” awareness popped back into the “void.”
James: If by “awareness” you mean the mind, I am with you because you cannot push awareness anywhere. It is unpushable.
Donnie: I repeated this again. Upon the beginning of applying a name to “this void,” the forming of the beginning of such a word (as bliss…) opened a “portal” which I observed, and I understood I would be dropped through the portal, leaving the infinite behind. I dropped the word and the portal closed. Again I repeated this and observed the same relationship.
(There was more in the experience – including a “message” from Ramana? – but I want to focus on the question I’m leading to.)
In another “experience” I was walking on a beach, and Donnie and the body disappeared. I “felt” as a speck of awareness, which was apparently moving through this world within. The evidence of movement, being the different consecutive viewpoints (perspectives) of the world in my field of sight, my field of awareness, my field of illumination?
James: So if Donnie and the body are gone then, who are you? You can only be awareness, but you make a statement at the end that is interesting. When you say “my field,” are you speaking as awareness? Awareness is both you and the field. Is the “me” different from the field? Then you said you felt “as a speck of awareness,” so that makes me understand that you are talking about the subtle body, the intellect, because it is a “speck” of awareness.
Donnie: The question then. Given these experiences and one of the aspects of the drawing you use in your teachings (as an example): the symbol of awareness before maya and a smaller repeating of this awareness symbol within maya. What is the relationship between these two identifications of awareness? What is happening?
James: Good question. It is the same awareness, but the small om indicates awareness associated with the subtle body which makes it seem like a speck. When you subtract the subtle body there is only one limitless awareness – you. When you felt as if you were a speck of awareness, how did you feel that? Who felt it? Hint: the speck is an object and ______ (you fill in the blank) is the subject, the knower.
Donnie: My sense is that something is created, manifested, by leaving the void of awareness. This begins with a thought? What can leave the void of awareness but awareness itself? There is nothing else there to leave… Is this awareness “active” in the field of maya, creating it? My identity is a mere thought, an exploration of creation in awareness?
James: Good thinking. Yes, although awareness never actually becomes active. It seems to become active when the mind is operating. It cannot leave, because it is non-dual.
Donnie: Experiencing both the “speck” and the “unmanifest,” are they the same?
James: If by “speck” you mean the subtle body, a reflector of awareness, no. The speck is created when awareness shines on the unmanifest. In other words, ignorance makes limitless awareness seem to be a speck.
Donnie: I must be one awareness.
James: Yes, indeed.
Donnie: I am a fragment, a reflection of awareness, in awareness?
James: Donnie is the fragment, the reflection, and you are awareness.
Donnie: If I am truly awareness, why is my experience not “constantly” of the infinite void?
James: Awareness is beyond experience. It does not experience anything as an object. Without the aid of a body and mind, it experiences itself as limitless, non-dual being. You believe that the speck should have the experience of the void but the speck is in the void, not the other way around. You will see in the answer to your “locus” question how it is.
Donnie: I guess it’s this aspect that continues to raise a desire to understand how this can be…
James: Ignorance causes it. It is not actual.
Donnie: Awareness is everywhere?
James: Yes, you are everywhere, not that there is a “where.”
Donnie: And apparently experiencing a division from source awareness? From source Light?
James: Got it! “Apparently” is the operative word.
Donnie: As you said, if it is, its “locus” is awareness because all bodies are just awareness shaped by ignorance into material forms.”
Please excuse my ignorance. What does “locus” mean here?
James: It means “location.” Everything, gross and subtle, is located in awareness, but awareness is not located in anything. This is why you are free. All your experience and thought and feelings are located in you, but you are not located in any of them. They appear in you and the dissolve into you. You remain.
Donnie: Thank you again for your offerings and time. I hope all is well with you.
~ Cheers, Donnie
James: You are welcome. You are thinking quite well. If you read my book very carefully, you will get a non-Donnie language to put your knowledge/experience into. You have all the experience necessary for moksa, but your knowledge needs a bit of work. If you have an impersonal language to fit your personal experience into, your doubts will end.