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Awareness with and without Qualities
Marius: Hello, Jim. If the self/Heart is beauty and love, is this why we tend to try to look for harmony in the world and then find it lacking?
Jim: I don’t know exactly what you mean by “the world,” Marius, or from which perspective you are looking at world from. If you are Marius and you don’t know that you are love you will look for it in the world, i.e. people, and not find it. If you look at it from awareness’s point of view, the world is you. That is to say, you are love and you will not look for it in the world.
Marius: If the self is awareness, how does it have qualities like love and beauty when it is really the “space” that everything appears in?
Jim: It is true that awareness has no qualities. Love and beauty are not qualities of awareness. They are the nature of awareness.
How is love awareness? Love is just what you willingly pay attention to. Attention is awareness flowing through your mind/heart to objects. “I love my cat” means that I pay attention to my cat. I think the cat-thought and pet my cat. The cat-thought makes me feel love because it is a symbol of my self and thinking it puts me in the causal body where I experience the awareness as love. Petting my cat makes me and the cat happy because the action invokes awareness in both of us and love happens.
Beauty is just the light of awareness as it reflects on a sattvic mind, which in turn lights up objects in the world. The beauty that anyone sees/feels is just awareness filling the intellect/heart.
Marius: Fish live in the sea, but the sea does not rely on the fish. It seems awareness/self has the definite quality of acceptance/love.
Jim: Awareness is the knower of acceptance and all qualities, the “space” (to use your word) in which qualities appear. The knower is always free of what is known. Acceptance is based on love. Love is awareness because love is understanding, seeing non-difference. Understanding is awareness because it is the basis of your knowing, the essence of knowing.
In a way you are right if we look at awareness taking the apparent reality into account. There is awareness without qualities and awareness with qualities. Without qualities it is called nirguna brahman, and with qualities it is called saguna brahman. It seems there are two awarenesses, but it is just one non-dual awareness seeming to have qualities.
If you say that beauty and love are qualities of awareness then you have to account for ugliness and hate. They would have to be qualities of awareness too because reality is non-dual. They are, but they belong to saguna brahman, not to nirguna brahman. Saguna brahman is just pure awareness, nirguna brahman, associated with the three gunas, sattva, rajas and tamas. Sattva is beautiful, intelligent ignorance. It is free of rajas and tamas. When you look at awareness through rajas and tamas – you get impure qualities. With rajas you get desire, anger, violence, etc. With tamas you get inadvertence, sloth and stupidy. They are the self too – there is nothing that is not the self – but they are the self seen through a filter.
~ Love, Jim