excerpt from Stillness Speaks – http://www.stillnessspeaks.com/ssblog/scott_kiloby_appearances_and_space/
If, having done the investigation, ‘I’ see the pointer that I am awareness and not the thoughts / perceptions, etc,” and I see that I get caught up in these thoughts / feelings occasionally, and then step back, re-recognising that I am the awareness that sees all of this . . . how can I be clear that it is the awareness that recognises this, rather than a subtle game by the mind?
Not sure if I’m being clear, but I guess the question is: are there any ‘signs’ that one has the right perspective, rather than gaining a new, sophisticated, subtle type of conditioning?
It really comes from keeping this stuff on an experiential level instead of trying to think oneself into it. That’s key! In just recognizing this awareness as the space within which all thoughts, emotions, states, sensations, and experiences appear and disappear, the “signs” start to reveal themselves quite naturally.
You get a sense that, whatever you are, it doesn’t come and go. Everything else is coming and going. But you—as the space itself—are unmoving and unchanging. There is a perfect stability in that recognition. It is not the stability that one finds in coming to a really good mental conclusion about or description of awareness. All mental conclusions and descriptions come and go. This awareness contains a certainty also. But it isn’t the certainty one experiences when he feels mentally certain about an idea. Ideas come and go.
The “sign” that there is a recognition of awareness is that the stability and certainty is not of the ego at all. It has nothing to do with ideas and stories. It is in the recognition that your real identity is like space. The space effortlessly and naturally allows everything to appear and disappear. Yet the space itself remains unmoved and untouched in a way. Real peace, freedom, and well-being reveal themselves in this recognition.
Formerly, you thought that the peace, freedom, and well-being were going to be found by emphasizing all those ideas and conclusions. But as you stand as what you are—awareness—you see that your real identity contains this peace, freedom, and well-being already. In being really clear (not mentally, but experientially) that this awareness is what you are, something else is realized.
Nothing that appears within this space has a separate existence. It is like space is being everything so much so that the line between space and that which appears in the space just cannot be found anymore.
To see this inseparability, don’t apply effort. Just notice where you are emphasizing thoughts that create the appearance of boundary lines. Often the boundary lines come from a subtle division being emphasized in thought, as if there is an awareness here and appearances there, or a witness here and the world out there. By just noticing where thought is superimposing this boundary on your experience, the boundary is seen to be just thought also. When this thought appears that gives the impression that thought itself is separate from awareness, notice that the thought is a transparent image. It is empty, just as awareness is empty. You can’t punch it, hold it, or anything. It is like a vague paper thin cloud. In seeing both that the thought is empty and that the awareness that sees the thought is empty, the boundary line between them cannot be seen. It line dissolves away, so to speak.
But what you know is that the boundary was never real. It was a concept. So even the idea of dissolving is a concept.
I’m always amazed how people are able to word something that is hardly possible to grasp in words. It’s almost like an art bridging seperate universes.
My answer to those fleeting moments I experienced would have been a lot shorter: you just know.
In the text above it is most respresentative to me in the words:
Nothing that appears within this space has a separate existence.
Real peace, freedom, and well-being reveal themselves in this recognition.
Sigh.. I wish I had more of those moments, because they are so full, so unforgetable.