Yesterday I submitted a video to youtube, where the approach to “enlightenment” was described in about 8 seconds. Given its brevity, it might have been thought of as satire. It was not.
It was said that the only difference between the unawakened life and the life that is awakened was that in the former the ego self establishes thought as the starting point in life, while in the awakened life, awareness comes first.
When thought comes first there must be separation. There is the me having the thought and then there is the rest of the universe which thought considers. Thought is the vehicle of separation when it is psychologically based. The individual thought itself is a product of the ego’s personal culture, socialization, and psychology. I “possess” the thought. It is mine. The thought self looks out into the world and sees an array of separate things. Each thing is referenced in terms of this “I” thought. There is little connection in this world. Objects, people, and situations hold the interest of the “I” thought to the respect that they further the “I” thought’s needs, goals, desires and, to the extent, they protect the “I” thought from its fears.
The “I” thought will be drawn to anything that allays it fears and worries and furthers it desires. This “I” thought is the light of inadequacy scanning its universe and this is the life of most people. This is a process of nearly continuous seeking. The seeking process is briefly satisfied when goals are achieved or when we are asleep. But for the most part, it is a survival game where the ego plays the role of both protector and surveyor of a world with limited opportunity.
In contrast, when we start with awareness, an entirely different universe is created. This universe is just this luminous now. Awareness connects the source of itself with the whole of the universe. The possessive “I” thought is absent or is relegated to being an object of awareness. Things are as one luminous process and it is all me and it is all good. Even pain is an intrinsic element of self-aware field. It’s all a happening and because it is all us, love fills every element of it. When I hear my dog’s paws walking across the wood floor, I hear myself within the field of awareness.
Awareness of the body in its physical and mental dimension is a happening no different from any other happening. There is nothing that could take possession of it, thus there is never a problem.
Life continues to have challenges to it, but that is just the quality of life. It is textured and multi-dimensional. Thank goodness for that. Since preferences play a relatively low energy role within awareness, and preferences are natural parts of the physical body, the emotive responses to unpossessive awareness are much less than when thought is the dominant and central life force.
When we are dominated by the thought self, things have the quality of permanence. Bad situations are bad and they are likely to stay bad. Viewed from the perspective of language, thought elevates nouns. We appear to exist and separate and continuous entities in a universe populated with other, less important, entitites.
In contrast, viewed from the perspective of awareness, things lack permanency. Viewed from the perspective of language, life is a verb, a process. Everything changes and everything is part of one vast flow. Life is alive and this is the difference from living life from the “me” thought and living life from awareness. When awareness comes first, we are free of the weight of me and its world of ceaseless seeking.
Thus the starting point of awakening is, it turns out, the way of awakening. It is the flow life within the field of awareness. The starting point of the fear-based life is the anchor of thought. This is the key and decisive