The clarity that’s always here

Daily, I notice the contrast between the clarity of what I am and the muddledness of who I am.

My nature is inherently clear and my human self is somewhat muddled in a few different ways.

THE CLARITY OF WHAT I AM

When I look, I find I am not primarily this human self. More fundamentally, my nature is capacity for my experience of the world. I am what my experience of the world – of any content of experience including anything connected with this human self – happens within and as.

Here, there is an inherent clarity. This clarity is unavoidable. It’s part of my nature. 

If I wanted to put it into words, I could say: 

It’s a clarity that frictionlessly allows any and all content of experience. It inherently doesn’t stop any experience because it is and takes the form of all of it. 

It’s the clarity of consciousness inherently conscious of any and all experiences, even if it may not be reflected in any conscious examination of it. It’s prior to the wonderful gymnastics of making itself into an apparent I and Other so it can reflect on experiences and analyze and be consciously conscious of experiences. 

It’s a clarity inherent in what I am. It’s not fabricated. It doesn’t come and go. It’s not any clarity related to this human self, like mental clarity. 

And any attempt to put it into words seems a bit futile, perhaps because I haven’t directly examined this clarity so much and the nature of this clarity is not entirely clear to me. 

THE CONTRAST

Daily, I notice the contrast between this inherent clarity and the muddledness of my human self.

This muddledness comes from the nature and characteristics of this human self and takes a few different forms.

As a human self, I have hangups, emotional issues, blindspots, traumas, and so on. 

Even if oneness notices itself, it has to live through this human self. This human self has many parts formed within and operating from separation consciousness. And these parts will inevitably color perception, choices, and how this human self lives in the world. 

My nature is oneness and clarity, and that doesn’t mean that this human self always will operate cleanly from it. A lot more is going on than just oneness and clarity.

Similarly, this particular human self has brain fog and chronic fatigue. Even if my nature has inherent clarity, it doesn’t always translate into mental clarity. 

ALL HAPPENING WITHIN AND AS WHAT I AM 

How does this look in my direct experience?

I notice this inherent clarity in my nature.

I notice the muddledness of my human self in the form of hangups and brain fog.

And if I look, notice that this muddledness happens within and as this clarity. 

The clarity takes the local and temporary form of hangups and brain fog.

It’s one of the many ways it expresses, explores, and experiences itself.

It’s part of the play of this clarity.

A NOTE ABOUT ABSTRACTIONS AND REAL LIFE

In my first draft of this article, I started with examples from my own life. And in my second, I gravitated toward abstractions. That often happens.

Why? Probably because I personally am familiar with the specifics of how this looks in my own life, I am curious about finding more general dynamics and the essence of it, and I use this writing to support inquiry to find the apparent essence. While this is satisfying for me, I know that for readers, it can seem a bit dry, abstract, and intellectual.

That’s why it’s good to span both in these types of writings, and include both specific examples from daily life and also the more general dynamics and the essence within it. 

So what are some examples of what I wrote about above?

In daily life, I notice the clarity of my nature. It’s unavoidable. I notice the clarity that’s always here, the clarity of what I am. If I am not engaging mentally, I am unaware of any brain fog. And as soon as I engage mentally, I am often very aware of the brain fog. (From Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / CFS). I have trouble processing information. I have trouble organizing my thoughts so I can express them clearly. I may have trouble remembering. I am unable to find words. And so on. When this happens, I am often a bit surprised. Even if I have lived with this contrast for decades, a part of me is still a bit surprised by it. And when I look more closely, I see that the brain fog – the sense of cotton in the head, the inability to function mentally very well, the way parts of me react to it, and so on – is all happening within and as the clarity. Even the lack of mental clarity is an expression of the clarity I am. 

One of the more dramatic examples happened several years ago. I visited Crater Lake in Oregon on a hot summer day and hadn’t had enough to eat or drink. My human self had heat exhaustion, bordering on heat stroke, and didn’t function very well at all. At the same time, I was very aware of being this clarity and what all of this – this confused human self in trouble, the car, my then-wife, the landscape – happened within and as. I was clarity that this confusion and troubles happened within and as.

A NOTE ABOUT CLARITY

As I mentioned above, these are different types of clarity and muddledness.

One is the clarity inherent in our nature which we can notice if we look in our first-person experience.

Another is mental clarity or muddledness.

And yet another is the kind of muddledness that’s here when parts of our human self function from separation consciousness. And the kind of clarity that’s here when more of our human self is more fully aligned with a conscious noticing of oneness. 


DRAFT

Here is something that happens almost daily. 

I notice the clarity inherent in what I am. It’s crystal clear. The world and any content of experience happen within and as this clarity. Nothing is hindering what I am to reflect/create these appearances for itself. 

And then, when I am engaging in some mental activity, and especially when there is something I need to express verbally or in writing, I am surprised to see that there isn’t much clarity at that level. My cognitive abilities often don’t work very well because of chronic fatigue (CFS) and brain fog. I can’t think of the right words. It’s difficult to string words together. I am unable to think very clearly. 

The contrast is inescapable. There is the clarity I am, which is typically all I notice when I don’t engage in mental activities. And then the very obvious muddledness of my mental activities, when these are engaged and try to produce something, due to how my system works these days. (And as it has been, with ups and downs, since my teens.) 

At times, this contrast is especially striking. Several years ago, I experienced heat exhaustion on a hot summer day at Crater Lake in Oregon, and the clarity inherent in what I am was here while the content of experience was very muddled. My human self and cognition hardly functioned at all. 

So why do I keep being surprised? At one level, I am not, of course. I am used to it. I recognize it when it happens. And yet, my mind still sometimes quietly assumes that the clarity that’s here means that there will be a similar clarity at a mental level, and that’s often not the case. 

There is an upside to this, and that is the contrast itself. It makes the clarity inherent in what I am – and I assume what everyone is to themselves – more salient. It’s difficult to overlook when what comes out of my mouth or fingers often is far more muddled.

….

SECOND DRAFT

It’s almost a daily occurrence that I notice the contrast between the clarity inherent in what I am, and the muddledness inherent in who I am.

I notice this most clearly in two ways, one that’s universal and one that’s more specific to my situation.

WHAT I AM

When my attention isn’t on something else, I notice the clarity inherent in what I am. It’s crystal clear.

Here, I notice my nature as oneness, and that – to me – the world is oneness.

IMPERFECT HUMAN SELF

The more universal way is that this human self is imperfect. It’s perfectly imperfect.

As a human self, I have conditioning, hangups, wounds, blind spots, traumas, and so on.

And although I notice my nature, and notice it – and the world as it appears to me – as oneness, I don’t always live from this noticing.

At the best of times, my perception and behavior is colored by whatever is left in me of hangups, wounds, blind spots, and traumas, even when these are not actively triggered and even when I appear to live more from the noticing of oneness.

And when these are more actively triggered, they will color my perception and actions even more obviously. 

BRAIN FOG AND EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONS

I notice the clarity inherent in what I am. It’s crystal clear. The world and any content of experience happen within and as this clarity. Nothing is hindering what I am to reflect/create these appearances for itself. 

And then, when I am engaging in some mental activity, and especially when there is something I need to express verbally or in writing, I am surprised to see that there isn’t much clarity at that level. My cognitive abilities often don’t work very well because of chronic fatigue (CFS) and brain fog. I can’t think of the right words. It’s difficult to string words together. I am unable to think very clearly. 

The contrast is inescapable. There is the clarity I am, which is typically all I notice when I don’t engage in mental activities. And then the very obvious muddledness of my mental activities, when these are engaged and try to produce something, due to how my system works these days. (And as it has been, with ups and downs, since my teens.) 

At times, this contrast is especially striking. Several years ago, I experienced heat exhaustion on a hot summer day at Crater Lake in Oregon, and the clarity inherent in what I am was here while the content of experience was very muddled. My human self and cognition hardly functioned at all. 

So why do I keep being surprised? At one level, I am not, of course. I am used to it. I recognize it when it happens. And yet, my mind still sometimes quietly assumes that the clarity that’s here means that there will be a similar clarity at a mental level, and that’s often not the case. 

There is an upside to this, and that is the contrast itself. It makes the clarity inherent in what I am – and I assume what everyone is to themselves – more salient. It’s difficult to overlook when what comes out of my mouth or fingers often is far more muddled.

SECOND DRAFT

It’s almost a daily occurrence that I notice the contrast between the clarity inherent in what I am, and the muddledness inherent in who I am.

ONENESS VS THIS IMPERFECT HUMAN SELF

One way I notice this is the contrast between finding my nature as clarity and oneness, and my human self often operating from unquestioned assumptions, hangups, beliefs, and traumas.

At the best of times, my perception and behavior are colored by whatever is left in me of hangups, wounds, blind spots, and traumas, even when these are not actively triggered and even when I appear to live more from the noticing of oneness.

And when these are more actively triggered, they will color my perception and actions even more obviously. 

CLARITY VS BRAIN FOG

I also notice this contrast in another way, and one that’s more specific to my situation.

I notice the clarity inherent in what I am. It’s crystal clear. The world and any content of experience happen within and as this clarity. Nothing is hindering what I am to reflect/create these appearances for itself. 

And then, when I am engaging in some mental activity, and especially when there is something I need to express verbally or in writing, I sometimes find that there isn’t much clarity at that level. My cognitive abilities often don’t work very well because of chronic fatigue (CFS) and brain fog. I can’t think of the right words. It’s difficult to string words together. I am unable to think very clearly. I am unable to take in and process much information at a time.

The contrast is inescapable. There is the clarity I am, which is typically all I notice when I don’t engage in mental activities. And then the very obvious muddledness of my mental activities, when these are engaged and try to produce something, due to how my system works these days. (And as it has been, with ups and downs, since my teens.) 

At times, this contrast is especially striking. Several years ago, I experienced heat exhaustion on a hot summer day at Crater Lake in Oregon, and the clarity inherent in what I am was here while the content of experience was very muddled. My human self and cognition hardly functioned at all. 

There is an upside to this, and that is the contrast itself. It makes the clarity inherent in what I am – and I assume what everyone is to themselves – more salient. It’s difficult to overlook when what comes out of my mouth or fingers often is far more muddled.

I should mention that the word clarity is here used to point to two different things. One is the clarity inherent in what I am and what everyone is. It’s similar to the clarity of clear water. It’s what everything in our experience happens within and as. The other is mental clarity, the clarity of thinking and functioning. In my case, the first is always here and easy to notice, and the second often absent and more muddled because of how my human system works. 

DRAFT FRAGMENTS

It’s not a mental clarity. If crystal clear water formed itself into any of its content, it’s more that kind of clarity. It’s a clarity inherent in my nature. 

….

When I look, I find I am not primarily this human self. More fundamentally, my nature is capacity for my experience of the world. I am what my experience of the world – of any content of experience including anything connected with this human self – happens within and as. 

Here, there is an inherent clarity. It’s a clarity that allows any and all content of experience. It’s a clarity that is all of it.

It’s a clarity that’s similar to crystal clear water that forms itself into whatever is inside of it. (I struggle finding the right words to describe it.)

…..

At the same time, my human self if often far from clear.

….

When I look, I find I am not primarily this human self. More fundamentally, my nature is capacity for my experience of the world. I am what my experience of the world – of any content of experience including anything connected with this human self – happens within and as. 

Here, there is an inherent clarity. It’s a clarity that frictionlessly allows any and all content of experience. It’s a clarity that is all of it. It’s the clarity of consciousness inherently conscious of any and all experiences, even if attention is somewhere else. 

It’s not a mental clarity. It’s a clarity inherent in what I am. (I am unable to find the right words to describe it, which is why I usually don’t write about it.)

….

The clarity of my nature…. Frictionlessly allows any and all experience. Is all of it. Is the consciousness conscious of all of it, whether it reflects that awareness back to itself or not. 

…..

EXPRESSIONS OF ONE NATURE

……

And any attempt to put it into words seems a bit futile, perhaps because I haven’t directly examined this clarity so much and the nature of this clarity is not entirely clear to me. 

I suspect it has to do with the short distance, or no distance, between observer and observed. There is no distance here since they are not two. There is nothing in between that can muddle the clarity.

….

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