Its an interesting phenomenon: What we seek with limited success when awareness is identified with its content, is revealed to be the nature of awareness when it awakens to itself as distinct from its content. It is as if awareness has a knowing of what (it) is, and seeks it in the ways available to it depending on how it currently functions.
When awareness is identified with its content, it is caught up sensations, emotions, thoughts. It is caught up in the rollercoaster ride of the ups and downs of shifting emotions, it blinds itself through elaborate ideological frameworks. It believes in thoughts and beliefs.
Awareness has little choice but to engage in whatever sensations, emotions, thoughts come up, either by giving energy to them or pushing them away. It either fuels the current patterns, and see them as “me”, or it struggles to push them aside and see them as “not me”. Either way, it is a struggle.
It identifies with the organism and personality, and see a clear separation between self-other, we-them, inner-outer, which is continued in the perception of separation between the poles of any other polarity. It functions in a dualistic and fragmented way.
One of these split polarities is the one of good/bad and desirable/undesirable. When awareness is identified with its content and functions in a dualistic way, it naturally seeks desirable and avoid undesirable inner/outer situations. This is a precarious situation as the organism and personality does not have much control of what comes up in inner/outer situations. Again, it is a struggle.
All these is just the natural functioning of awareness when it identifies with its content. There is nothing wrong in this, it just is – beyond good/bad and right/wrong. It just is. It is just a phase in evolution, valuable in itself. It is just one way God manifests and explores itself.
When awareness awakens to itself as distinct from its content, it also awakens to its inherent qualities of spaciousness and clarity. It sees itself as what it sought to find when it was identified with its content, but which was always elusive and temporary.
Now, it can rest in its natural way of functioning when awakened to itself as distinct from its content. It can rest in clear spaciousness, in which joyfulness and compassion comes up effortlessly. It can allow any experiences of the inner/outer world arise, unfold and fade within clear spaciousness – with no need to fuel it or push it away. It functions naturally in a transdual way.
And all this is without effort or trying, it is just its natural way of functioning when awakened to itself as distinct from its content. It is just what is.
There are several interesting distinctions in how awareness functions in the two situations.
Duality & Transduality
When awareness is identified with its content, it naturally sees a distinction between inner and outer, me and you, and this way of operating generalizes to we and them, life and death, living and nonliving, mind and body, heaven and earth, right and wrong, good and evil. It tends to see distinctions but not the larger whole. It splits polarities into separate poles. Awareness functions in a dualistic way.
When awareness awakens to itself as distinct from its content, it naturally functions in a more transdual way. It sees the inner and outer as two aspects of one fluid whole. It allows the experiences of all inner/outer phenomena to arise, unfold, fade within clear space, beyond and independent of polarities.
Permanence & Impermanence
When awareness is identified with its content, all it can see is phenomena – which are inherently seamless and fluid. Still, it wants to see itself as existing and permanent and does this in two ways. It emphasizes the distinction between inner and outer, self and others, through seeing qualities in one and not the other. It strives for impermanence through believing in fame or the soul. It functions in a way that creates a perception of separation and permanence in what is inherently a fluid seamless whole. It tries to hold on to ideologies and believe in beliefs that are at odds with the nature of existence, and this is a precarious situation. It gives rise to suffering.
When awareness awakens to itself as distinct from its content, it naturally sees all inner/outer pheomena as a fluid seamless whole. There are no absolute boundaries, nothing to hold onto. And it can do this because it awakens to itself as distinct from phenomena. When it examines itself, it sees only spacious clarity – there is no birth and death, no beginning and end, no boundaries, no existence or nonexistence. It has a foothold in that which is independent of fluid phenomena, and thus can allow itself to perceive all phenomena as seamless and fluid. It can allow itself to see impermanence deeply, in every phenomena.
Self-Care & Compassion