In two recent posts, I mentioned how awareness – even when exclusively identified with small self – has a hunch of its inherent nature. Its inherent qualities of spaciousness, clarity, equanimity, compassion and wisdom.

The spaciousness and clarity is always there, and when awareness awakens to its own nature, this nature is also spontaneously and effortlessly expressed in the form of equanimity, compassion and wisdom. They are aspects/expressions of the inherent nature of mind. They are independent of any shifting phenomena, but are in a way “conditioned” on the nature of mind itself.

It is interesting to look at how these qualities become distorted to various degrees and in various ways when awareness is exclusively identified with the small self. From being spontaneous, effortless, fresh, fluid and transdual expressions, they become filtered through the fragmented and dualistic views of the small self.

Spaciousness can be filtered into spaced-outness and absent mindedness, excluding clarity.

Clarity can filtered into intellectual sharpness – functioning in a dualistic way and excluding opposite views.

Equanimity can be filtered as repression of any disturbing experiences, emotions, thoughts.

Compassion can be filtered into a habitual repression of own needs.

Wisdom can be filtered into attachment to ideology, excluding the spontaneous fluidity of the inherent wisdom of mind.

A sense of timelessness can be filtered into a belief in an eternal “soul”.

Forceful Action/Cutting Through
Forceful action and the quality of cutting through (delusion etc), can be filtered as destructive anger and violence.

A briefer way of describing it may be…

  1. Spaciousness
    (a) Big Mind view: Allowing all phenomena/experiences to unfold, without needing to fuel or push away, and leaving no trace
    (b) Small Self filter: Spaced-out, unclear, drifting

  2. Clarity
    (a) Clear perception of the nature of mind/existence, and the fluid phenomena
    (b) Intellectual sharpness, functioning in a dualistic way

  3. Equanimity
    (a) Equanimity, from a non/transdual view. All is included here/now, there is nothing or nowhere else. All experiences and phenomena unfold within space, with no need to fuel or push them away.
    (b) Superficial sense of equanimity through repression of unpleasant experiences, emotions and thoughts.

  4. Compassion
    (a) Compassion from seeing oneself in others, and all as one – expressions of the seamless Existence.
    (b) Compassion from trying to convince oneself to act compassionately, and/or habitual exclusion of own needs to the apparent benefit of others.

  5. Wisdom
    (a) Spontaneous and fluid transdual wisdom, expressed according to the situation.
    (b) Adherence to ideology.

  6. Timelessness
    (a) A sense of being unborn, not in time.
    (b) A sense of an eternal “soul” – something that goes on.

  7. Forceful Action/Cutting Through
    (a) Cutting through delusion with focused energy when appropriate
    (b) Confused anger and violence

  8. Being
    (a) Nonseeking from the view/experience of nonseparation, expressed at profound relaxation and ease for the small self.
    (b) Sleepiness, sluggish, dullness, lethargy. Relaxation without clarity.

This description is obviously somewhat caricatured, but the main tendencies seem to be mostly accurate – based on own experiences. The inherent qualities of the mind/existence are filtered by the small self view into distorted expressions. And these same qualities can unfold more clearly when awareness/mind awakens to its own nature.

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