June 12, 2014 § 2 Comments
A shift of base or emphasis starts when you begin to realize that your true nature is awareness. It’s a subtle shift wherein the objects of consciousness that so deeply preoccupied you in the past now become less important as consciousness itself comes to the fore. It’s as if all your life you’ve only seen the reflections in water and now, for the first time, you see water.
Of course, we never actually see awareness as a thing; just as most of the time we never actually see water. When we look at water we see what it reflects, or the light from things as it bends around and through it. Awareness is much the same in that we usually know it only in relation to objects.
Perhaps you’ve seen pictures of boats floating in water that is so clear that it appears they are floating in mid-air. Without the boats the water’s depth and transparency would be difficult to notice but with them it shines forth. Awareness is like that, always present but difficult to notice. Yet, if in our meditation we hold a subtle object in mind, we can turn our attention to the transparent awareness that surrounds and lays beneath it.
The Greek philosopher Plotinus wrote, “To attain the Good, we must ascend to the highest state, and, fixing our gaze thereon, lay aside the garments we donned when descending here below; just as, in the Mysteries, those who are admitted to penetrate into the inner recesses of the sanctuary, after having purified themselves, lay aside every garment, and advance stark naked.”
To follow Plotinus’ thought, if we lay aside the garments of thought and ego, we can penetrate into the recesses of our inner sanctuary where we may recognize Self without an object. Then, we will know our true nature as bare, transparent awareness.