This, as so many of these entries, will seem pretty odd to a mainstream mindset.
Absolute & Relative
Existence (God, Spirit, Buddha Mind) has two faces. The Absolute and the Relative. The Absolute refers to the spacious, clear, cognizant nature of Existence, the empty ground. And the Relative refers to the manifestations of Existence, all fluid phenomena. The two are inseparable, and always here/now.
Awareness, the cognizant nature of Existence, can function in many different ways.
In matter, it is dormant and a potential only. In some animals including most humans, it functions in a self-aware, half-awake and dualistic way (only aware of the relative). In some humans, it functions in a nondual way (identified with the absolute). And in others, in a transdual way (inclusive of both the absolute and relative).
When it awakens to a dualistic view, it functions locally and perceives the world in fragments. When it awakens to a nondual view, it perceives itself as unrelated to time/space. When it awakens to a transdual view, it embraces the nonlocal/timeless and the local/timebound.
First, awareness awakens to itself in many local points, in local “awareness organs” such as animals and humans. It is identified with one particular small self. It looks at itself in the “outer” world – the rest of Existence including other small selves – and perceive it as “other”. The world is experienced as a struggle and a big drama. It perceives itself as unique, different, and separate from everything else.
Then it can awaken to its own nature – the Absolute aspect of mind and Existence. It realizes its own nature of spacious clarity and awareness, beyond and distinct from all polarities including that of existence/nonexistence. There is typically an immense and natural facination here, a wish to stay with and explore the Absolute as much as possible.
There is also a possibility that it – at least for a while – will exclusively identify with the Absolute. It will then say “I am not this body, I am not this personality”. It sees the Absolute in all phenomena, and it may dismiss the Relative as an insubstantial “dream”.
Eventually, awareness relaxes into an embracing of both the Absolute and the Relative.
It recognizes the small self as a way to engage actively in the world. It can choose to rehumanize – to deepen its humanity and become more fully human.
Awareness then is simultaneously universal, and it has a unique flavor and engagement. It recognizes itself as inherently unrelated to space/time, and as very much local and timebound.
It knows that everything “out there” is also Existence manifesting, and that this small self relation to the rest of the Universe is Existence interacting with itself – in its many diverse manifestations. It chooses to actively engage in this big exploration process, rather than distance itself from it.
When awareness awakens to Big Mind – the embracing of the Absolute and Relative – it is also actively engaged in the world, an active participant in the evolution of the universe, the planet and ecological and social systems. This process is always new, always adapting to new inner/outer situations, in the context of Big Mind as well as past experiences.
Playful and Serious
When awareness realizes that it is all Existence interacting with and exploring itself, it gives rise to playfulness as well as seriousness From the Big Mind view, it knows that all is perfect as it is – whatever happens. From the small self view, it is indeed a serious business.