The Great Misconception
Q: So, this morning I had an amazing experience, because yesterday I said ‘I want to be free and I want to be loving’ and I realize I Am That.
So, I understand that I am being aware or pure Awareness. And yet (I was talking with my neighbor) you can’t understand it with you mind. Well, how do you know it’s true? How do I know that’s what I am?
It’s maybe a silly question. I can see the test of experience. I know that I’m not all these images I have of myself. But if I can’t know this with my mind, how do it know it? I don’t know any other way in my experience of knowing it.
Rupert: When you say ‘How can I know this apart from my mind?’…, when we talk about the mind, we mean thoughts and images. If you look inside your mind now (it’s a bit of a generalization but) it’s a mixture of thoughts and images. Yes? Now, is a thought aware of your experience?
R: For instance, is a thought listening to our conversation?
R: A thought can’t hear. An image can’t see. So, what is it that is knowing our experience? [Silence]
Q: That’s the question.
R: Whatever it is…, is You. It is You that is now knowing your experience. You are knowing the contents of your mind; that is, a series of thoughts and images, including feelings and sensations. But a sensation cannot know a thought. A perception of this room cannot feel a sensation. What is it that is knowing all of these?
Q: I am.
R: I am. Perfect. So what is the nature of the ‘I’? ‘I’ is obviously not made out of thoughts; it knows our thoughts. The ‘I’ that is aware of our feelings is obviously not itself a feeling. The ‘I’ that is perceiving this room is obviously not itself a perception.
But ‘I’ is common to each of these experiences.
What is its nature?
Q: To be aware of all these thoughts, sensations, feelings…
R: Just to be aware.
So, whatever it is that is NOW aware of your experience is not what is called the mind (in the sense of thoughts, images, feelings) …, we could say it is the essential nature of the Mind, which is to be aware.
So, to be aware, that is, Awareness Itself, which is knowing our thoughts, sensations and perceptions, but what is it that knows the experience ‘I am aware?’
Q: It’s the Awareness.
R: It knows Itself.
R: I am aware of thoughts, I am aware of feelings, I am aware of perceptions, and I am aware that I am aware.
In other words, before I-Awareness am aware of thoughts, sensations and perceptions, I am aware of my own Being: I am that I am.
In other words, Awareness’ primary experience is to know and be Itself.
How do I know that I am? Because the I that I am is aware that I am. My Being is an aware Being. It is Self-aware. It is Self-luminous. It illuminates Itself. It knows Itself by Itself. It doesn’t need to take the shape of the finite mind (that is thought, sensation and perception) in order to Know Its own Being.
As Baliani said, “God doesn’t need another Self to know Itself.” Consciousness doesn’t need to rise in the form of the mind in order to Know Itself. It Knows Itself by Itself, through Itself, as Itself, in Itself. That is our primary experience. And I’m describing everybody’s…, before any of us know anything, we all know our own Being. It is the most obvious, ordinary, intimate, familiar experience there is, and all 7 billion of us have this experience and Know this experience. But we overlook it because it has no objective qualities.
Q: And you said that like the infant that doesn’t know it, receives it in his body. The infant, that maybe has a trauma when it’s a young baby is not aware that it’s aware because it’s days old.
R: You see, it is never the infant that is aware. Your question about the infant being aware is based on an old habit. In spite of the experiment that we’ve just walked through, immediately an old habit is kicking in, which says ‘It is I-this-body which is aware’. And therefore, you’re presuming that the infant is either aware or not aware. No, the infant is not aware. You-the-body is not aware. It is not the body that is aware.
R: This is the great misconception. We think now, as we’re sitting here…, we think I-the-body is aware. No! [Smiles] It is I-Awareness that is aware.
Q: Yeah, I get it. Thank you. Thank you.
R: It’s a profound change in the way we think; the conditioning ‘I-this-body am aware’…, in other words, the belief that Awareness shares the limits of the body is so profound; it’s so woven into our upbringing. Our culture is so deeply based on this assumption that even when we go very simply (and it is very simple)…, when we go to our simple experience that ‘No, it is I-pure-Awareness that is aware’…, the implications of that take some time to reverberate through the body/mind. When we first recognize that, it’s like there is a kind of crack in the structure of our world…
Q: It’s discombobulating.
R: … that it takes some time for our word-view to completely fall apart and to be built again on this new understanding; on the foundation of this new understanding. It’s discombobulating. It’s very challenging. It’s threatening; it can evoke a lot of fear.
Q: I actually feel excitement, not fear.
R: Beautiful. Beautiful. When I say that, don’t feel that you have to…, it’s not in everyone.
Q: Thank you.
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“The Great Misconception”