My experience since the initial awakening is that “everything” is insubstantial and awareness itself. Whatever I see is God.
But this “everything” is only a rough everything. It leaves something out: smaller islands of density.
These function as anchors for a sense of I located in space, on sensations, and created through an overlay of images. There is a sense of a doer and observer located in and around the head area, located on sensations there (in my case and right now, created through a slight muscle tension in the upper neck and through the tongue slightly pressing against the back and upper part of my mouth), with an overlay of images of a doer and observer, images displacing some of those sensations so the sense of an observer is more around and outside of the head, and – crucially – images and stories telling me that is what I am.
Fleshing out this sense of a doer and observer, other islands of density come up now and then, these too created from emotional attachments and stories taken as true.
As someone said, they are also “islands of insanity”, hangups, living a lie, belief-emotion knots.
And these are exactly what it is good for me to bring attention to, in a matter-of-fact way and with kindness.
I can notice these islands of density as they happen, and see if they really are as dense as they initially appear. Are these too just the play of awareness? The play of appearances created within and from awareness?
If I miss that, I can notice the symptoms of islands of density, and then bring attention to those islands of density and notice if they are really that dense.
And I can investigate this in many other ways as well, including by exploring these islands of density through the sense fields. How does it appear in each sense field? Where do I find the density? Can I notice the image overlay telling me it is dense? What happens when I notice that image overlay?
Or I can investigate the island of density through its shape, location in space, texture, color, taste and so on, and how these fluctuate and change over time.
Or I can find the story behind the island of density, the story I take as true creating an island of density, and then investigate that story.
Or I can simply be with the experience of density, as it is, as if it would never change, with heart and kindness. And then notice what happens. What happens when I resist it? What happens if I want it to go away? Where am I coming from if I want it to go away? What happens when I allow it as it is, as if it would stay the same forever, in a wholehearted way and with kindness?
Footnote: The photo above is a great illustration on this. In the insubstantial air and ocean floats islands of land and density. These are created by stories taken as true and their corresponding emotional attachments. And when these are fueled and elaborated on, these islands are developed even further with buildings, piers and more.
Footnote II: From which stories are these islands made? The basic one is the same for all of us in this situation, it is the story of a doer and observer, taken as true and identified with. And the ones fleshing it out are a little different for each of us. For me, they have mostly to do with regrets about lost opportunities, at times neurotic irritability over noisy folks, and a few other things, right now, I notice a knot around wanting to preserve dignity.
- anchors and islands
- anchors for sense of I (in space, on sensations, through overlay of images)
- islands of density, sense of it being real, substantial
- “everything” appears as insubstantial, awareness itself, except those islands
- islands = sensations in head area use to anchor sense of doer/observer
- also, emotions when caught up in, emotional attachments + stories when taken as true
- aka “islands of insanity”, hangups, living a lie, knots