Awareness is one of the many mysteries of existence.
It seems that awareness unfolds through several manifestations.
First, it emerges as local and identified with the processes of the body of an organism. We see this in most non-human species.
Then, it emerges as local and identified with the processes of the body and the emotions. This is expressed in many non-human species and probably most mammals.
In most human beings today, it is local and identified with the processes of the body, emotions and the mental level. It is not, or rarely, aware of itself as different from these processes. It tends to be blindly caught up in the processes of the inner world, fueling the habitual patterns, and acting on these with little awareness or choice.
At some point, there is a shift. Awareness becomes aware of itself as a separate phenomenon. This typically happens in glimpses at first. There is a recognition that “I” am not only the body and personality, but also awareness. Maybe there is a curiosity so that we explore this further through meditation, yoga, tai chi, chi gong, breema, living the questions, etc.
As we engage in this exploration process, awareness becomes aware of itself in a gradually more continuous way. Awareness becomes more spacious and clear, and that in which the phenomena of the inner world unfolds. There is a sense of perspective and overview, and from that, more choice in how we relate to the inner and outer world.
As it clarifies further, it becomes that in which the phenomena of the inner and outer world unfolds. The inner and outer worlds are experienced as a seamless and fluid whole, and spacious awareness and phenomena are experienced as a seamless and fluid whole.
It seems to be a clarifying process, where awareness becomes aware of itself, fuels itself, and gradually becomes more and more inclusive. It moves from small mind to big mind. From blind duality to transduality.
It is as if layers of less awake, more constricted and more narrow awareness are burned through or pealed away, only to reveal the next layer – a little clearer, a little more inclusive, one step further in the direction of transdual experience.
Eventually, awareness becomes more fully awake and transdual. Spacious and luminous awareness within which all phenomena of the inner/outer world unfolds. And they are a fluid and seamless whole.
While this awareness operates through a body and personality, there is a sense of a center. Not all layers have been peeled away.
In this situation, there is an unique opportunity to gradually deepen the transdual view and the way this is lived and expressed through the body and personality, in the society, on this planet, in this universe.
There will also be glimpses of a transdual awareness without a center, and this can unfold fully when there no longer is a particular body the awareness operates through.
One useful practice in this process of peeling away new layers of awareness, is to stay with the question who/what is experiencing? Awareness turns its eye towards itself, and the layers burn away – moving in the direction of a fully awake spacious and luminous awareness. First with a center, then without, and then with again as long as it operates through a particular body and personality.
I should mention that this is based mostly on my own experiences, from my opening in my teens and early twenties and from mediation experiences, so it is probably relatively obscured. Others have a much clearer view and explanation of this.
The experience of spacious, luminous, transdual awareness without a center, occured during meditation, and was quite a surprise. There was clear mind, but not center at all. It was that in which all existence unfolded. The non-local awareness spread out throughout the universe as a shockwave, rapidly becoming more inclusive.
Something in me stopped the experience before it unfolded fully – because there was a fear in there that awareness would not be able to come back to this body. It is probably not accurate, but just the habitual patterns of personality and mind holding back – not yet being aligned with this new way of experiencing.