Hang ups with with awareness and separation

Did you ever look at a bird sitting in a tree or another person and wondered at the separation between you? Well don’t. What you’re seeing is just eye consciousness. It’s the nature of it to separate. The only non-separation experienced is through the formless, the real. Realise this and the rest won’t matter.

So how should we regard that which is labelled awareness? That which points to the knowingness of the moment? In a language which is structured with nouns it’s hard not to think of nouns as things. But awareness isn’t a thing. It’s not separable.

Imagine we look out of a window and we see the brightness of the morning. We see the brightness shining on the buildings, the trees; it shines on the grass. But the brightness, while it can be seen, is not a thing. You can’t put it in a jar and store it. You can’t separate it from the form on which it shines.

So you ask with awareness, ‘Is it everywhere?’ Well, is the brightness everywhere? Is it in the space between the buildings? We might say it is ‘in potential’ because if it wasn’t it wouldn’t be able to shine on that which it illuminates.


But really does this make it any clearer? Maybe a little but also recognise that what you’re trying to do is to create a clearer thought, a better thought to understand more accurately. This path only runs so far and stops a long way short of seeing or realising truth. We don’t need to get rid of thought, it’s useful in its way. But it’s like trying to escape the atmosphere in a hot air balloon. It can’t take you there.

So this comes back to the noticing, the seeing of this. The more we allow this simple, everyday seeing to arise in the moment, the more we notice. We might be looking for a ‘whole’ but really what we see is separation. This is the way it is. But if we’re trying to see an unseparated whole, then watch this desire arising, just notice this.

Seeing the separation is what is, this is what’s seen. And this is a path we can follow, but rather than look ‘out there’ look ‘within’. Can separation be seen here too? Can we see lots of separate parts and processes? If we can use this, if we can really start to see the parts and not attach to trying to make a whole or something permanent or fixed out of that which is labelled ‘me’ or ‘self’, then we can start to notice the nature of the labelling mind. Its nature is to ‘make something of’ that which is seen, so we notice this tendency.

The more this is seen, the more it’s noticed, the more it’s let go of. When we see the way it is we let go. There is no choice in this, we don’t have to make it happen. When we see the nature of a thing we can’t then unsee it, we can’t believe it’s then another way. We see it is this way.

When this noticing sees that ‘self’, ‘other’, this form, that thing are all that which are created by the process of perception, in thought, then it’s seen that this is not the real, it’s just that which arises in thought through the senses i.e. it’s seen that the perceived ‘world out there’ is just a creation in thought, as thought does what it does.

This isn’t a denial of that which arises in the senses, it’s just a noticing that whatever arises in the senses in this way is created as a story in thought. Whatever might be ‘out there’ is not to be known, there is just a partial experiencing of the senses happening as part of the movement of the moment.

Letting the unfolding of noticing happen in this way, we reach a point of seeing, where ‘whole’ and ‘separate’ have no meaning, and these thoughts are largely disregarded. Disregarding these thoughts we reach the end of seeking.

4 thoughts on “Hang ups with with awareness and separation

  1. On my walks in the forest, more often than not, seeing trees arises, saturated with deep joy, all arising as one inseparable whole.
    I can not make this happen but sort of stimulate it by focusing attention on one particular object.
    It is like looking directly at an umbrella and the umbrella opens up. Does this make sense?

    • Yes I find it’s not about making it happen but allowing it to happen. In the peacefulness of nature, when awareness is fully open to the moment, without any barriers, surrendering to the moment, there are no labels for what then arises, apart from to say it’s very beautiful. I’m sure there are several ways this can arise, I don’t tend to focus on an object but allow the awareness of beingness to be present through the heart. Then it sort of opens up.

  2. Yes, “in the peacefulness of nature” in reference to seeing beauty, is only the seeing beauty. Hope you can say this. 🙂

    However, in the midst of the city center, focusing on one object appears to be a good condition to stimulate the perception of “in seeing the concret wall, is only the seeing.”

    Yesterday I friend mentioned to me, that concret is not alive.
    Well, if concret is looked at out of the perspective of quantum physics, (using a particle accelerator) what is seen is empty space and a wave of energy. 🙂

    • Yes, in the seeing, just the seeing. In the city as strange as it sounds, for me even noticing the moss between the paving slabs can allow this opening, or sometimes just watching the people as they rush about. As long as there’s no story arising with what is seen, just being with this, receiving it, then it just is. I’ve noticed I sometimes get odd looks because I’m the only one smiling, which I guess can look out of place.

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