The World & Awareness Change Places – Rupert Spira
Our experience is always only one seamless, intimate totality. Only a subsequent thought appears to split it up into different categories of experience, such as mind, body and world, each made out of a different substance.
In fact, all experience is made out of the same stuff – it could be called ‘experience,’ ‘awareness,’ our self or ‘I.’
No part of experience is any closer to or further away from experience, awareness or our self than any other part. It is not even that the experience of the mind, body and world is close to experience, awareness or our self. It is closer than close. How close is an image to the screen?
There are not ‘two things’ in experience. In the final analysis, which is, in fact, just the analysis based on our true experience, it is not even correct to say that all experience of the mind, body and world are permeated or saturated with awareness or presence.
The statement that the mind, body and world are permeated or saturated with awareness or presence, implies that there is an independent mind, body and world present in the first place, which could be permeated by something that is other than or separate from itself, in the way that a sponge is permeated with water. But this is to start with the belief in the independent reality of the mind, body and world that are, in fact, never found as such.
However, such a statement is valid if we believe in the independent reality of the mind, body and world. It draws attention to the fact that every experience of the mind, body and world is utterly one with awareness or presence. It is a ‘half-way’ stage.
As it becomes more and more obvious that all experience is permeated with awareness or presence, the awareness or presence aspect of experience becomes more predominant and the apparently objective aspect of mind, body and world, that is, the changing names and forms, begin to lose their apparent solidity and independence.
Initially awareness seems to be the hidden, insubstantial, intermittent aspect of experience and the mind, body and world by contrast seem evident, substantial, stable and real. As such, we see only the objects mind, body and world. Then our attention is drawn to the fact that awareness permeates every apparently objective experience of the mind, body and world.
However, the more we contemplate our experience the more obvious it becomes, gradually in most cases, that awareness is, in fact, the stable, ever-present and substantial aspect of experience. As this becomes more and more our lived experience, so the corresponding reality of the mind, body, and world, as independent objects in their own right, begins to diminish.
This contemplation may begin at the level of the mind but in time it descends into the depths of our being and takes us over completely. It pervades our feelings and perceptions as well as our thoughts.
The world and awareness change places.
At a certain point there is a shift. The reality we once attributed to the mind, body and world is understood and experienced to reside with our self, awareness.
The experience of the mind, body and world in the waking state becomes more and more like the experience of them in the dream state. It loses its apparently independent, solid and separate reality, and is understood and experienced instead to be a dreamlike superimposition upon awareness.
Although we continue to see the appearances of the image on the screen, our actual experience is always only the screen itself.
It is not that normal experience becomes unreal or insubstantial. Rather, it is that the reality and substance of experience is known and felt to be made only of the intimacy of our own being, awareness.
The mind, body and world are experienced to be unreal as objects but real as awareness, just as the fields in a film are unreal as fields but real as screen.
However, they were only ever real as fields from the imaginary point of view of a separate self. From the real and only point of view of our self, awareness, experience is always only ever real, as awareness.
So the ‘object-ness’ of objects slowly fades and is replaced by the ‘present-ness’ of awareness, just as darkness is slowly replaced by light in the early hours of the morning.
We can never say how, when, why or where this dissolution happens precisely because the how, when, why and where dissolve along with the darkness. Those questions no longer remain to be answered.
This shift is natural. To begin with it may seem that we have to make efforts to understand this but after a while the truth of our experience, the obviousness of it, begins to impress itself upon us effortlessly.
It is like reaching the top of a hill and starting to walk down the other side. Suddenly the hill, which initially seemed to oppose our efforts, now begins to cooperate with them.
Or, we could say it is like doing a jigsaw puzzle. To begin with the pieces seem abstract, incoherent and unrelated. However, as we proceed the picture begins to fill out and it becomes easier and more obvious. There are less and less possibilities. This places us on a straight and narrow track where everything falls into place quickly.
It is the same here. All the mind’s objections are met with understanding until a time comes when there are no more objections left. The mind, which constructed the apparent duality in the first place, has deconstructed its own edifice.
Those residual bodily sensations that seemed to support the now discredited belief in a separate inside self and its correspondingly separate outside objects, others or world, are left to tell their empty story and are slowly consumed in the light of understanding.
This leaves us on the brink, in openness and unknowing.
From here awareness shines more and more brightly dissolving within itself any last vestiges of separation and otherness that linger out of habit, revealing awareness shining in and as itself. It doesn’t matter if it is long or slow, for there is nothing to wait for any more, nothing to long for, nothing that is lacking and no-one to wait.
Even our desire for truth or reality somehow loses its fierceness and can no longer really be called desire, for there is no room for desire here, however noble. Our desire is transformed into love. In fact, it was always love, disguised as desire by a thin veil of otherness.
It was always only that for which it was seeking.
The Transparency of Things
June 5 – 10, 2011, Rhinebeck Campus
Omega Institute for Holistic Studies