A Knowledge Path to a Radical Reset to Life with Conscious Awareness
At some point in time in our life, we get to ask ourselves, “Who am I” “What is the purpose of my life” “Is all this worth it” “Is there life after death”. One can ask even bigger questions like, “How could the universe create itself from nothing?” or “what is consciousness”.
When it comes to existence, there are no easy answers. You may never know everything about everything.
Maybe there is no need to know all the answers; the wonderment is enough for a lifetime. And so, Buddha, the enlightened one, refused to answer a few questions, such as when his disciples asked, “Is the world eternal or not?”.
One need not know all the answers for awakening.
But one needs a mindset of wonderment to become aware, to awaken. The entire existence is a mystery. One needs a sense of vulnerability to say, “I don’t know”, and have the curiosity to explore the phenomenon around oneself and within. Try to know the invisible substance that holds galaxies; how life thrives on earth, look within, and get curious about Consciousness, energy, and death. The mysteries are endless for the inquiring ones, those who want to live this one life to the fullest.
You may not know every aspect of the other person sitting next to you and the entire existence. But,
· A scientific inquiry mindset will lead you to see the physicality of reality.
· A systematic business approach mitigates the risk that might lead you to wealth.
· Looking within to understand oneself leads you to the very essence of life
And that looking within triggers a total reset that awakens you to life.
Modern science studies Consciousness by interpreting brain states, by considering it as a function of the brain and can be measured in physical terms, which is true. But in multiple Indian philosophical schools of thought, the approach to Consciousness is the Jiva-Ātman (Life-Consciousness). Life-Consciousness is observed as metaphysical. It is the innermost essence of life within Conscious awareness. To attain that experience in meditation, the physicality of an experienced/doer, thought, mind and body are relegated back.
Philosophers, especially in the east, have had the field open for hundreds of years. Many of their insights have stood the test of time. For example, in yoga, they say, “Without conscious human awareness within, the external, the universe would not exist for the human mind.” And modern science comes to the same conclusion.
The eternal space and Consciousness
Spiritualists and philosophers in the east, consider the space of the Universe and the space within Consciousness as inseparable. The potential of space precedes the creation of matter, which is considered the Universe’s creative Consciousness. And life-consciousness of a life form is a fragmented reflective part of the Universe, looking at a fraction of itself. The eternal Consciousness and life consciousness are expressions to explain but are inseparable.
In eastern spiritual and philosophical reflections, different paths of various traditions lead to the same underlying pure Consciousness as the immeasurable. Let us examine a few of those traditions.
The Traditions of Non-Dualistic Shiva and Shakti
Non-Dualistic Shiva — Shakti Traditions. The non-dualistic view of these Indian traditions points to the concept that there is no separation between the infinite unmanifested, cosmic Consciousness and the indwelling Consciousness in the manifested, energy body. They are two sides of the same coin. Space is eternal and encompasses everything; it is the creator and creation.
This tradition recognizes our innate nature, which is challenging to grasp. Once we understand our true nature, our outlook changes, and we put love into every action in our worldly pursuits.
Yoga is a dualist viewpoint, working with two fundamental realities: pure Consciousness and energy or matter. Every living entity is a form of connection between these two realities, and every living human being is regard as a union of body and mind through Consciousness.
In traditional yoga, the practitioner’s aim is to monitor and calm down the mind by being a detached witness-consciousness unaffected by the mind chatter and everyday misery. Meditation techniques are practised to free oneself from worldly desires.
The practices and goals of yoga are modified and adapted into different forms in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Modern-day yoga is created into traditional and contemporary practises worldwide.
Vedanta — ‘End of Knowledge’ is an Indian discourse. It is about experientially going beyond the sphere of knowledge to explore the nature of reality.
In Advaita Vedanta, meditation practice, in one technique, the meditator turns away from thoughts, concepts, senses and emotions. The approach is to attain all-pervading beyond all thoughts, beliefs, images, sensations, and duality. The non-dual awareness is achieved through “neti-neti”, meaning “not this, not that”. I am not my thoughts, not my sensations, but the witness of all.
The eye does not go there, nor speech, nor mind. We do not know That. We do not know how to instruct one about it. It is distinct from the known and above the unknown. — Kena Upanishad.
Buddha -The Buddhist concept of Sunyata, of Consciousness, is erroneously translated into English as “emptiness” and sometimes “voidness.” In contrast, ‘Shunya’ is a mathematical term for ‘Zero’. So Sunyata is a state of Zero-ness in Indian philosophical and mathematical construct. In Buddha’s preaching, the zero states of Consciousness and infinite space exist in a mathematical position of nothingness, having innate potential. You become aware of it and tap into it through meditation. Sunyata is either an existential feature of space, a meditative state, or a lived experience of Consciousness.
Buddha denied the idea of a creator god
Here Buddha’s teachings are not to confuse with Buddhist religious teachings that developed later. The Buddha has a scientific temperament. He rejected the idea of a creator god and considered an eternal god not required to seek enlightenment. His approach to Consciousness and the entire existence was to be aware of objective reality in the present moment. His preaching focused on practical tools for eliminating suffering here and now by making sense of life.
Spiritual and Philosophical Experiences from around the world
Jesus called it ‘The Kingdom of Heaven and said it is within you. Here we are not to mistake Jesus with the later-day religion that spread worldwide.
Tao, the treatise “Tao Te Ching” says, the Tao that can be spoken about or explained is not the eternal Tao.
Modern-day spiritual leaders call it “Pure Conscious Awareness”. They all deal with self-enquiry.
Shunyata is a non-religious answer to saying that there is something immeasurable in the Universe. The immeasurable is accessible to everybody through Consciousness. The quality of Consciousness is a state of Shunyata that does not take or give off energy to be created. It has not been named by Buddha, Lao Tzu and contemporary Jiddu Krishnamurthi. In contrast, a few others did as given above. In this understanding, some likeness resonates with Spinoza’s definition of God. Religions do not hold ground.
Albert Einstein stated that he believed in the pantheistic God of Baruch Spinoza. However, he clarified that “he did not believe in a personal God but was not an atheist”. Einstein called himself an agnostic or a “religious nonbeliever.” He stated he did not believe in life after death, adding, “one life is enough for me.”
Spinoza believed that God is “the sum of the natural and physical laws of the universe and certainly not an individual entity or creator”.
In modern times, reflecting upon what science has revealed so far about the grand scale and mysteries of the Universe, and the enigma of space, energy and matter; atoms to molecules to cells, life sprouting in different forms and ways. The great mystery of this entire existence is fascinating. One thing is for sure — Consciousness makes it possible for our mind to become aware of all that.
Through thoughts and deliberation, everyone has a direct path to self-knowledge to be aware of our reality, for it contains all of our existence. We think it is impossible for everyone; that is how we have been conditioned to believe in our cultures worldwide through religions, politics and propaganda to control the masses.
When I am aware of the false process and see the state in which the thinker is the thought. It is only when there is no experiencer, no experience, that reality can come into being. Only when the mind is in the unknown state does the unknown come into being. Only when there is the wiping away of all experience and knowledge is the mind truly still. In that stillness which is immeasurable, that which has no name comes into being. — J. Krishnamurthi
Find the immeasurable stillness within
Becoming aware of Consciousness could be possible if one looks within. Like science through hypothesis, this truth is inferred from experience and cannot be known directly. All these philosophies indirectly point to the unknowable stillness at the core of every being. Words and language are not adequate to explain this phenomenon. And so many philosophical reflections were written with the critical investigation, using analogies and metaphors. All these epistemologies acknowledge proofs of perception, inference, testimony and test of time as the only reliable means of gaining knowledge.
Looking within is a direct experiential approach to becoming one with reality. You don’t need a guru, a teacher, a preacher, religious scriptures, science or philosophy to access it. Our mind has access to the internal and external world through the filter of Consciousness. It is accessible to everyone.
Meditation techniques teach us to become aware of the pause between two thoughts when they are not given importance. With meditation, you witness your thoughts without being a participant. This technique is like a Trojan horse, using thought to follow the process and discard the thoughts as they arise; this instils calmness within. The brief interval between thoughts snatches a moment of pure Life Conscious Awareness. You suddenly become aware of this vast tranquil space of peace within.
Get motivated by the enchantment and harmony of nature that flows from your inborn, biologically-driven need to interact with other people and forms of life, such as animals and plants around you. We human beings need nature to sustain us. Whatever things we do, the prerequisite is remembering our innate nature to respect life and use natural resources wisely to fulfil our needs.
Now you know. You have the choice. What would you choose? Love or Selfishness.
“Through our eyes, the universe is perceiving itself. Through our ears, the universe is listening to its harmonies. We are the witnesses through which the universe becomes conscious of its glory, of its magnificence.”
- Alan Watts, quoted in The Best Alan Watts Quotes, David Crombie and Catriona Jardine, Crombie Jardine, 2016.