QUESTION: When, where and how do we start to discover Reality? How do we begin our search for Truth, Wisdom, the Absolute?
ANSWER: This now-awareness is the starting place. We begin with this here-and-now consciousness of existence called Life, Awareness, Consciousness.
The consciousness reading this page is an undeniable and inescapable now-fact. We call it "Awareness" and Awareness is present for the simple, self-evident reason that we are conscious—even as we are conscious of these words.
Let us define Awareness and have our meaning carefully understood. This is not a mystical term and there is nothing difficult to understand about it. As we refer to it here, Awareness is the simple consciousness of being. We are speaking of the conscious awareness that smells flowers, hears sounds, sees trees, bees and dogs scratching fleas—the selfsame Awareness (awareness) reading the words on this page.
This is the Awareness, Life, Consciousness of Being that is the starting place. Here is where we begin. Where else can we? And when else but now.
AWARENESS IS BASIC
Awareness is the common denominator woven through all else that is called experience, Surely, all we know about every-thing comes to us by way of consciousness, Awareness. Every sight we have ever seen, every sound we have ever heard, every dream, every idea, anything from the infinitesimal to the infinite--has been noted by way of Awareness!
AWARENESS IS SINGLE
How many “Awarenesses” have we been concerned with during our lifetime? This one only. Everything, including that which we call the Awareness of mother, husband, daughter, friend, or humanity, comes to us within (and as) this single Awareness that reads these words. This Awareness is the only Awareness we have ever known.
There seems to be a time in our spiritual development when we awaken (sometimes very suddenly) to the wonderful realization this conscious awareness, right here, right now, really is all-inclusive! -- that no “thing,” no object of perception, no idea, thought or feeling is external! Indeed they are everyone included within this Awareness-I-Am!
Though we may have heard these thousands of times before, quite of a sudden, then the intellect is relaxed, the Hear-within declares their simple and inescapable factuality.” We discover their significance. Just as we perceive that now is the only “time” we are ever aware, we begin to comprehend that Awareness is single, only and all-inclusive.
AWARENESS IS ALL-INCLUSIVE
Dear reader, have we ever been conscious of anything that was not included within this Awareness that is right here? Have we ever said “you” to “another” without addressing an object of perception that appeared within and as this Awareness? Have we ever seen a sight or heard a sound that did not come to us as this present consciousness?
What is the smell of a rose, the taste of a berry, the feel of a rock if it sin’t that Awareness one is? Are not all the arts and sciences, figures and events of history with all their stories, every sprig of grass, every gain of sand, every star is the heavens, everyone included in and as this Awareness, being “I” right here, right now? Of Course!
This is a simple though seldom perceived, fact of existence. We live alone, so to speak, as an all-inclusive Awareness of existence. Friends, relatives, trees, mountains, and the throngs of humanity who keep us company are actually aspects of this Awareness we are. They are images, objects of perception, ideas within this consciousness-I-am. We are concerned with this single Awareness, alone and only!
We "begin" with this now-awareness, but the beginning must be a new and genuine redetermination of Isness. We start from scratch, but this is not being done until our previous beliefs, ideas and cherished opinions are loosed and let go. The practice of humanity, the intellectual temptation, is to carry them with us to see if our new discoveries coincide with our old ideas.
No, we let go everything and start again like new babes, with the first and basic fact about which there is no uncertainty—the isness of this present now-awareness. All else must go. Without regard or regret, without fear or consternation, we stand in a void, naked, childlike, innocent. As this now-awareness, empty of the ego, we open our eyes and awaken!