Monday, September 3, 2012

What is the relationship between mind and awareness?

Mind and awareness should not mean the same thing. If they are used interchangeably they become less useful. When they are used with other words that are sometimes taken to mean the same thing, and simply defined in context, the whole thing breakdown and we are left with communication that defies clarity or even pointing the way do deeper inquiry. And such is the case!
If mind and awareness are both aspects of consciousness (I have defined consciousness more specifically in other essays) then they are like different facets of the same jewel - they don't exist alone, because they both depend on the jewel for their existence, but also they are not the same. Calling words the same means a lacking of understanding. Deeper understanding brings clarity to words, or finds words that can be used more clearly.
Mind as a vehicle for experiencing the manyness of the illusion, as well as expressing oneness into manyness, is itself what brings or doesn't bring clarity. Can this mind clarify its own relationship to awareness? I might say that awareness is the reflective aspect of consciousness, that which allows undifferentiated consciousness to manifest as an illusion of separation. As individuals we are manifestations  of consciousness, manifestations that seem to be different, and can be said to have individual awareness as well. Further inquiry begins to break the whole thing down because we are splitting concepts into sub-concepts yet...we can better show  the depths that contemplation can go to, and encourage each other to inquire ever so deeply. Why? The day that stopping and letting go occurs will approach sooner. Not holding out on the heart - the final duality of mind inquiring and heart opening will bring the unitive experience that leads to "nondual" awareness. So, it can be said that awareness is a higher calling of the mind - a deep place in which recognition of other first occurs - a mirage in which something seems to appear but in fact is a false appearance, an illusion. All of it in its essence a play, a miraculous bursting forth immediately and spontaneously all around us. And only when there is love, the fullness of infinite connection, the extinction of our personal suffering, and the opening of our heart to compassion for all things. Awareness is first. Then the mind. So it seems.

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