Question: I just reached a page [in Living Nonduality] that stated something along the lines of "that even in deep sleep, this something remains constantly present" which I'm having difficulty with. How do we know this for sure? Is it possible that EVERYTHING and NOTHING stops, that even PRESENCE is absent when we are in deep sleep?
Answer: Even as a fetus in the womb, awareness is present. The eyes are closed, and the environment is dark, but the organism still responds experientially to certain stimulus. Then the baby is born, the eyes are open, the environment is multitudinous, and the same awareness continues undiminished.
Throughout our lives, an unabated awareness monitors every activity or inactivity. Yet, the awareness itself cares naught what is seen, heard or considered.
All living things evidently share in awareness; even plants exhibit a responsive awareness to their environment. And awareness in any particular human shows no characteristics of being different from that of any other human.
As an organism, every single thing which you experience is experienced within awareness. And to the extent to which awareness itself can be experienced, it too is merely another experience.
It is not "you"--an object of awareness--which is seeing through your eyes, it is this ever-present be-ing. It is not you which is aware of thoughts--objects in awareness--it is, again, awareness. Any thing which you can think of that you are, is simply objectified in awareness. So, clearly, it is the awareness which is the you that perceives, not the objectifications in awareness identified as characteristics of your self. There is no self outside of awareness.
Whence the source of this awareness? Surely not you: it is not a "creation" which you had any control in initiating. It was in existence long before your organism was germinated, and will continue in existence far after "you" are conceived as a fixture in awareness.
So, the sages say, recognize that essence which is aware of "you"--and every movement, concept and experience--as you. And this, which is your unchanging being, is itself without partial interest in any thing which occurs in the world, indeed the universe, that can appear as an object of awareness. From the standpoint of that which is aware, not anything ultimately matters.
by Robert Wolfe on December 31st, 2011
Posted in Living Nonduality, Questions Tagged with sleep, presence, Awareness, organism, unchanging
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