When awareness experiences its own nature, it sees itself as empty of any characteristics. In words, the closest we may be able to come is to describe it as clear spacious awareness, void, deep silence, etc.
When it is exclusively identified with (or temporarily blindly caught up in) the small self – the body, emotions, thoughts and the habitual processes of this small self – there is a case of mistaken identity. And this has a cascading set of consequences.
- Awareness has its base, its center of gravity, in the body and personality. It percieves the world from this base, and experiences a strong separation between the body/personality and the rest of the world.
- Awareness then functions in a dualistic way, differentiating well while overlooking the fluid seamless whole.
- It perceives absolute – or mostly absolute – boundaries between self and other, body and mind, earth and humans, creator and creation, right and wrong, etc.
- It perceives itself – as the small self – as one little object in a world of a large number of unpredictable objects. This leads to fear, power-over, accumulation, etc.
- Biologically, the small self is programmed for aversions and attractions – this is what helps the individuals and the species to survive and evolve.
- Awareness gets blindly caught up in these attractions and aversions, and adds a set of thoughts, values and ideologies to go with these attractions and aversions.
- One end of most or all polarities is then seen as “good” while the other is “bad” or “evil”.
- Whatever arises – in the inner or outer world – that does not match this ideology is either repressed or done away with.
- The perception of the inner and outer world is fragmented.
- Awareness is blindly caught up in – and believes – in thoughts. And there is inevitable discrepancies between the inner/outer situation and these thoughts.
- This all causes suffering.
When awareness awakens to its own nature, it has found a “ground” distinct from the small self. From here, it can see all phenomena – in the outer and the inner world – as aspects of a seamless whole. It now functions more transdually. And this has a cascading set of consequences as well…
- The awakening to the nature of mind can unfold into various degrees of awakening into Big Mind, that which is beyond all dualities. When it awakens to Big Mind, its “ground” or center of gravity encompasses the absolute and the relative, the nature of mind and the world of phenomena.
- There is a softening and less blind attachment to the small self and the habitual processes of the small self, they seem less important. There is a sense of overview, detachment and perspective. This opens up for choices beyond habitual patterns and the habitual likes and dislikes of the small self.
- The small self is seen as a vehicle for the nature of mind or for Big Mind. There is an enjoyment of all levels of the holarchy, of all the russian dolls – from the nature of mind to the body. There is a new enjoyment of engagement in the world, and a freedom to be more fully and wholeheartedly engaged in everyday life.
- The awareness of distinctions as well as the fluid seamless whole opens for spontaneous… Joy – from a sense of belonging and connection, compassion – from no separation, humility – from clear(er) perception, gratitude – from belonging to such a rich Existence.
- There is a spontaneous wisdom that comes up, especially concerning the differences between being a small self or having a small self. The first comes out of exclusive identification, and brings dualistic perceptions. The other comes out of recognizing the nature of awareness, and brings transdual perception.
- The recognition of no separation brings power-with, and an appreciation of flow in all areas of life.
- There is a resting in the clear spacious awareness, and a detachment of thoughts. This also leads to a more fluid and porous self-identity, which allows anything arising to be more fully experienced.