Monday, December 12, 2016

AWARENESS IS A FACULTY

Electricity is an abstraction. But uses of electricity are concrete. Our understanding of electricity increases with the exploration and exploitation of its uses.

Awareness is a faculty - perhaps the first of faculties without which nothing exists for Me.

Faculties grow with cultivation. I must systematically cultivate this faculty in much the same way I cultivate other faculties like my speech or muscular power.

I found some of the following ways useful.

  1. At any given moment I note down the contents in as much detail as practicable: persons, places, times, objects, own instrumental reactions - feelings, thoughts, intended actions and words; reactions of muscles, breathing, heart beats, bodily and facial expressions, etc.
  2. In practice, I find that the contents get dominated by some social interaction, by an incident, centering around a person or two. There is very little of the vast abundance around me: the trees, sky or sea, birds and nature’s bounty.
  3. I become aware of the extreme poverty of my house of awareness; the feelings of narrowness, imprisonment, suffocation that are the natural consequence of this cultivated constriction.
  4. I, at once, become aware of this narrowness and the ease with which this can be enlarged.
  5. I become aware of the centuries of conditioning that have resulted in this misfortune of having the awareness oriented to view the miserable little personal self as the centre of the universe, the whole universe as an object for one’s eating and exploitation. The whole awareness is trained to scan for food or a mate - the proverbial vulture which soars very high with its eyes in search of carrion.
  6. It is this systematically inducted egocentric awareness that is at the basis of the present civilisation and its malady.
  7. No amount of juggling with this or that reform, or ism, or technology, can solve the riddle till this basic lie on which civilisation rests is nailed for what it is.
  8. In any case, I must learn to enlarge the area of awareness, and the awareness of my underlying unity with the whole universe in order to liberate myself from this conditioned prison house. Let me look at an example…

AWARENESS OF UNDERLYING UNITY

I am in a room in the midst a group of people in heated argument. Each assumes some degree of omniscience, omnipotence and self-righteousness.

Each one is aware of nothing but his own miserable little self, its requirements, imagined or real, and various alibis for bolstering up the value of this self-image, as against the others.

Are we really so independant? Are we and the islands of interest the only determinants, even in the contines of the room?

Let me enlarge the contents of awareness, to include something more than the persons, the objects like chairs, and shelves. Consider the air in the room. Imagine for a moment that this air were withdrawn. Not one of those wise disputants can exist. It takes but a fraction of time to realise that we are bit the frontal expressions of an agent called air.

How much enriching contact with the world do we lose by an awareness constricted by the ego-conditioned habits of awareness?

Is there not something one can learn from the worship of the various elements of the universe? I come out of the house and greet the world with a scowl: what a horrible hot day; dreadful rain; and so on. There are quite a number of such people. These are the persons most likely to get pimples, prickly heat and pneumonia. If you hate the sun and rain, the hate will come back to you, the same as your hate for a person. The person who greets the world and the day and the persons he meets with a glad welcome in his heart, ensures himself and his body a bright prospect.

It is not the animists of the primitive tribes who are to be pitied for their ignorance, but the educated primitive of today who cannot go beyond the basic perceptions, essentially true, of the primitive. Man is a product of the evolutionary laboratory of the universe; and his consciousness and awareness and the instruments for it are its products, not its creators. And yet, this puny person denies a much richer and vaster personality to the universe and its various inhabitants. Even a smattering of present day physics should dispel this pretension. What does not come under the category of food ceases to have meaning.

All the isms, plans, technological exploits will fail to solve man’s problems until this first error of perception is abolished: that man is the centre of the universe; the universe exists for his especial exploitation and enjoyment.The world is a person; much bigger and cleverer than you can hope to be.

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