Self Awareness is not something that comes without a bit of work but you can begin to be aware relatively quickly. The starting point, of course is to begin to be aware of your ‘self’. Throughout history, there have been so many teachers and sages pointing to a separate ‘me’ which is permanent and more real than the ‘me’ that is perceived as being the body, including the thoughts and feelings being experienced within the physical body.
Try this and you will see what I mean:
- Go to a mirror and observe your body for a few minutes.
- While you are observing your body, look into the eyes of your image in the mirror
- Now ask yourself (either quietly or aloud) “Is this my body?”
- Now, who asked the question? Your body or something else that exists within your body?
- Who or what is observing your body? Who is the observer and what is being observed?
This would suggest that at the moment the question was asked, whatever owns the body is not the body. And the body is not a permanent entity; it changes over a period of time and finally ‘gives up the ghost’.
Thoughts and Feelings
What about thoughts and feelings; aren’t they the ‘me’ or ‘I’? They may seem that way; in fact they may seem more ‘me’ than the body; but the truth of the matter is that thoughts and feelings come and go just like the body, and most of them are not our own or not under our control. The ego is affected by these thoughts and feelings, but the thoughts and feelings are a process of the brain and essentially not solid or real; they have no form. If thoughts and feelings are not real, then it would suggest that the ego is not a ‘thing’ in and of itself; it cannot be destroyed nor should it be considered for destruction.
The identification with thought, feelings and body is the issue that keeps us from being aware of the real self. When you become aware of the silence between thoughts; focusing on the silence, you will become aware of awareness itself; you will become aware of your real self. If you have been able to experience the ‘Mirror Image’ process above, you will have begun a process of ‘consciousness’ or awakening.
The Self that is No Thing
After experiencing the above process a few times, you will, hopefully, get a sense of being an observer; observing your body (physical) and, with a bit of focus off your mind, observing your thoughts and feelings (mental); almost as if they are not the ‘you’ you thought you were; but you are living in a body that looks the way it does and it experiences thoughts and feelings that can be observed but not have to be entertained or argue with.
The observer is what I call the ‘Natural State’. For you, enlightenment may only go as far as this level of consciousness, but there is more yet. As I understand it, if you have experienced separation from your body and thoughts, you are experiencing your Natural State otherwise known as your Ego free from external influences; some know this as spirit or essence of self. This is the way you were born before you were taught to think and allowed your thoughts to take you away from your essence. It has no form but lives within one (your body); it has no identification with anything apart from itself. It is no ‘thing’ but it is the real you.
Once awareness and consciousness is activated within a person the realization that all things are a part of the aware self and not separate from it becomes very apparent; in fact the aware self is the creation of all things but knows it is not creation itself. To intellectually understand this, it has to become a discovery via experience only. No words and no thought can adequately explain any of it.
But Wait! There’s More!
The more you step back and discover space or silence, the more conscious of consciousness you become aware of; you become consciousness itself. Consciousness itself is that energy we have inadequately called God. God, from my point of view, is Creation itself. It needs to be understood, if you haven’t understood it yet, that God is an energy that pervades everything that exists, has existed, and is yet to exist, which includes yourself. God/Creation is moving through you right now and is conscious of all your thoughts and feelings, actions and reactions. So apart from stepping back from your body, thoughts and feelings, you can step back from your ‘Natural State’ and become aware of the power of consciousness and creation that you are. Once completed, you come to the realization that because you are creation, there is no need to concern yourself with the issues that are outside of yourself that create anxiety, depression, illness and dis-ease within the body. They are there but cease to exist within you.
Creation is your right
You can then begin to create your life the way you have always dreamt. Your dreams have always been the indication of what and who you actually are. You have probably been chasing them; some have been created but then again maybe not. As you begin to become conscious and aware that you are creation, you will discover the understanding and knowledge that you are the dream right now. You begin to create your desires as if they were actually happening in the present moment. For most people this in itself is a dream; that is because they have not been able to step back from themselves to discover what they rightfully are. Most get disheartened and give up living a life of ‘boring normality’. If this is you, you need to know that you have as many chances to begin the process of creation any time you want. Right now is a great time! Never give up!
It doesn’t stop
As you become aware of your very powerful self, you will also discover your authenticity. You will become what you are and who you are; your ego will happily portray to the outside world that which you know is the real you, without any care or hang ups about what others think. You exit the ‘matrix’ and enter reality, affecting the world around you in extremely positive ways. You will become fully aware that the world and everything in it, including other people around you are connected to you through creation; you become one with creation and the rest of creation becomes one with you; no separation at all.
Relationships begin to heal
During my counseling with couples, I have taught couples to be aware and conscious of themselves and not necessarily too much of each other; this brings each partner into an awareness of themselves as creation and love; the two major foundations of all relationships. I have witnessed the relationship itself take on new life as each step of awareness comes into being within each partner. As each step is followed, new life begins to pour from each partner to each other. Healing within each partner takes place and therefore the relationship follows the healing. Not only does the relationship heal, but if there are any children involved, they too become participants and are healed of any damage created by the dysfunctional relationship. The partners become one with creation and each other, simply because they now know they are one and always have been; no separation! Rather than being ‘in love’ with each other, you are fully aware that you ‘are love’ with each other.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this and have been able to remind yourself of the creation that you are. Your perfection, your life and all that is available to you can only be found within; have fun with the ‘Mirror Image’ process and discover yourself. You may be interested in The Happiness Project (click on link) in which all the above is taught and in which the participants, very easily, learn to become aware and conscious of themselves as creation. I leave you with a little poem written by Kalu Rinpoche:
“We live in illusion and the appearance of things.
There is a reality, we are that reality.
When you understand this, you will see “you” are nothing.
And, being nothing, you are everything.