“That which is Purely Aware is sometimes said to be the Other because Pure Awareness is Other than all that appears in Consciousness.”
How Does One Get There from Here?
No practice or belief or comparative thinking process leads to the Presence of Pure Conscious Awareness - Now, as all such practices and beliefs are rooted in concepts of Mind and as such, are tied to the conceptual notion of space and time.
Realizations in Pure Awareness only occur in the Clarity of the Present Moment - never in the past or future, but only Now. Put another way, in the Present Moment - Clarity IS. Not Clarity was or Clarity will be, but Clarity IS or is not - full stop, end of story. Realizations in Pure Awareness only occur in the Present Moment, absent volition by any imagined "I" entity, for all such "entities" are rooted in concepts of Mind and as such, can neither "see" nor "Be" that which is beyond Mind.
Enlightened Being simply stated, therefore, is Being Aware of Being Aware in the Present Moment, absent attachment to concepts of Mind that arise in Consciousness. In the Present Moment - Truth IS.
Realization of this fact is nothing less than enlightenment.
Awakening unto Living Truth
(From Preface of book entitled, Pure Consciousness: The Last Frontier by JC Tefft)
Because concepts are rooted in duality, each concept is aligned with a polar opposite concept in conjunction with the originating concept arising in Consciousness. The concept of “duality,” for instance, is aligned with the polar opposite concept of “non-duality.” Likewise, the concept of “conceptual awareness” is aligned with the polar opposite concept of “non-conceptual awareness.” The concepts of non-duality and non-conceptual, however, are not the living Reality of Awakening unto Pure (non-dualistic, non-conceptual) Awareness because the words duality/non-duality and conceptual/non-conceptual represent concepts of Mind and as such, are not that which is Aware of concepts, as they arise. This is why enlightened Beings, both ancient and new, continually point out that the living Truth of what actually is so cannot be written or spoken in words, but can only be realized in the Present moment from within.
Pure Awareness is not a concept of Mind. Nor is Pure Awareness a thought, feeling, emotion, or experience that occurs beyond the purview of Mind, but rather, Pure Awareness is that which is Aware of concepts, thoughts, feelings, emotions, and experiences, as they arise in Consciousness. That which is Purely Aware is sometimes said to be the Other because Pure Awareness is Other than all that appears in Consciousness. And that which is Aware of all that appears in Consciousness is not experienced, but is Present in all that arises in Consciousness.
The Ineffable cannot be experienced, which means Pure Awareness cannot be experienced. One doesn’t experience Pure Awareness, One is simply Aware. The fact that Pure Awareness is Ineffable, which literally means “unable to be expressed in words,” implies that Pure Awareness cannot be experienced. The experience appears in Pure Awareness. Pure Awareness does not appear in the experience because Awareness is not an object of Mind.
When one Awakens unto Pure Awareness, one Awakens unto the Presence of Pure Awareness – Now. Such Presence is of Pure Awareness, not of Mind, and Pure Awareness is what is Aware. Plants, animals, and humans are not Aware – Pure Awareness is Aware. Pure Awareness is not a "thing," a "God particle," an “entity,” or an “object” of Mind, just as the Source of All is not a "thing," a "particle," an “entity,” or an "object" of any kind. Objects appear in Awareness, but Awareness does not appear in objects of Mind.
The realization of this fact is the end of the illusion of separateness, the end of duality, the death of attachments to egoic points of view, the loss of self, and the end of searching for that which is not found in concepts of Mind, but is none other than the living Truth of what actually is so.
On the Illusion of Duality
The illusion of duality occurs as one identifies with and/or attaches to various and sundry concepts of Mind that arise in Consciousness in the Present Moment - Now. This practice of identifying with images and thoughts, as they arise - a practice that begins soon after one is born - forms the content of one's conditioning over time. Identifying with images and thoughts, as they arise, creates the illusion of duality, which is the illusion of space and time, while increasingly ignoring the living Truth of what actually is so in the Present Moment, absent attachment to the content of Mind.
This ongoing practice of identifying with the content of Mind creates an increasingly false sense of a separate "I" entity called "me" vs a separate "I' entity called "you," as if "me" and/or "you" were the image or thought arising in Consciousness. In this manner, a false sense of a separate "self" ensues, rooted in the false notion that "I" am an image that arose yesterday and "I" will be that same or different image tomorrow because the body/mind/organism "I" think of as "me" identifies with same.
Thus, a perpetual chronic disease ensues with each passing moment - with each attachment to each passing thought - as one repeats and repeats and repeats the same delusion, day after day. Like Adam in the ancient biblical story, one is lost in the "Tree of Knowledge," which is thought, while failing to recognize and honor the "Tree of Life," which is the living Truth of what actually is so in the Present Moment - Now.
Freedom from attachment to images and thoughts that arise in Consciousness occurs when the ongoing practice of attaching to such images ceases and falls away. In the absence of identification with images and thoughts comes a sudden loss of egoic identity, a loss of a self that is no longer cloaked with concepts of Mind that in Truth only appear in Consciousness in the Present Moment - Now. Absent attachments to images and thoughts one realizes that "I" am not an image or a thought. Nor is anyone else an image or thought, but I AM THAT which is AWARE of images and thoughts, as they arise in Consciousness, regardless of what said images or thoughts might be. In such Moments of Clarity the false sense of self is done away.
Concepts are the "known." Lack of attachment to concepts, as they arise, is freedom from the known. Realization of this Truth, which is the living Truth of what actually is so, is nothing less than enlightenment.
Further Clarification in Response to an Inquiry
In your statement regarding the duality/non-duality paradigm you write,
This statement seems contradictory to me. How can “Pure Awareness” be “Other than all that appears in consciousness,” which seems to imply a separation? It’s as if consciousness EXCLUDES awareness (the tree of knowledge of good and evil), while awareness INCLUDES consciousness (the tree of life). Am I missing something here? Or is this only a matter of semantics and I’m obsessing over the precise meaning of words?
A valid question, kind lady, even if, as you suggest, a bit obsessive as well. Nevertheless, let’s see where this leads.
Prior to exchanging evermore thoughts on this matter, however, let’s first acknowledge that language, which in this case refers to words that point to concepts that arise in Consciousness, is inescapably dualistic in nature, which is why pointers in the form of words can appear “contradictory” when attempting to point to that which lies beyond the literal meaning of words. Since language is rooted in dualism, it is impossible to realize the Totality of Consciousness expressing, as a Whole, by means of words because language (i.e. words that point to concepts that arise in Consciousness) cannot be anything other than what it is.
Consequently, because language is rooted in concepts of Mind, and that which is conceptual, by its very nature, cannot BE that which is non-conceptual, it is impossible to write of the non-dualistic aspect of Absolute Reality, as regards the Totality of Consciousness expressing, as a Whole, in anything but conceptual terms. Thus, language, by its very nature, can do nothing more than point to that which is non-dualistic or Other than conceptual, utilizing words that are rooted in concepts of Mind.
Keeping this fact in mind (that language is dualistic in nature), the word “Other,” as expressed in these writings, points to that which is Other than that which arises in Consciousness or Other than concepts of Mind. And that which is Other than concepts of Mind, in the context of the duality/non-duality paradigm, is that which is Aware of concepts, as they arise. And that which is Aware cannot BE a concept of Mind or it would not BE Aware. Awareness cannot be a concept because concepts are not Aware. On the other hand, that which is Other than concepts must be Aware for Conscious Awareness to occur.
Concepts are not Aware; Awareness is Aware. Concepts are thoughts and images of Mind that arise in Consciousness. Awareness does not arise in Consciousness as a concept of Mind, but is Present in all that arises in Consciousness. One cannot BE without the Other, but the Other can BE, absent concepts arising in Consciousness. Thus, Awareness is Eternally Present, while concepts are forever changing – appearing and disappearing from one moment to the next – while Awareness is Present in All that Is: The One in the many and the many in the One, as the ancient saying goes.
Accordingly, to read or analyze these words – or whatever the words might be – from a literal point of view is not to realize or awaken unto the living Truth that lies beyond words to which these words point. To memorize or repeat these words is likewise not to awaken unto the living Truth of what actually is so. The only way that non-literal, non-dualistic Reality comes to Light is by means of non-conceptualized realizations that occur of their own accord, absent any imagined volition on the part of a conceptualized egoic entity of any kind. Realizations such as this cannot arise in the form of concepts of Mind because, as pointed out previously, Awareness is non-conceptual, therefore, cannot possibly appear, be explained or passed on, one to another, in conceptual terms.
So, we could parse words ‘til the cows come home – describing, analyzing and redefining the duality/non-duality paradigm – and never actually awaken unto the living Truth of what actually is so in the Present Moment - Now. This is because the fundamental obfuscation continues to play a role in our inquiry. Words cannot realize that which is beyond words, they can only point to the possibility of same. And awakening unto that which is beyond words only occurs absent identification with thoughts, concepts or images that arise in Consciousness, regardless of how such are described, defined or explained.
Ultimate Clarity in this regard only occurs in a moment when attachments to ANY and ALL concepts that arise in Consciousness are completely done away (as in, disintegrate and die) and in that vacuum or space, call it what we will, absent attachment to any concept or ‘thing’ at all, Pure Awareness IS.
The complete version of the original commentary quoted in your above inquiry continued as follows:
“… that which is Aware of all that appears in Consciousness … is Present in all that arises in Consciousness.”
To be Present in Consciousness is not to be separate from that which arises in Consciousness, but is to be Present in All that appears in Consciousness. Presence must accompany that which arises in Consciousness for Conscious Awareness to occur.
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On the Nature of Duality / Non-Duality
The meaning of the words duality and non-duality regarding the nature of Conscious Awareness is better understood, it seems, when one realizes the difference between concepts of Mind arising in Consciousness (which in their entirety encompass the world of conceptual duality) and non-dualistic, Pure Awareness, which is that within which concepts arise.
Pure Awareness is Present Moment Awareness wherein concepts arise. Concepts that arise in Pure Awareness are forever changing - appearing and disappearing in Consciousness - while that which is Aware of concepts, as they arise, is changeless, formless, and eternally Present - Now.
That which arises in Consciousness, including images, thoughts, emotions, and the like, is dualistic in nature because each inevitably appears in conjunction with a polar opposite concept or effect - small vs large, happy vs sad, easy vs difficult, anxious vs calm, unenlightened vs enlightened, and so on down the line. And that which appears in Consciousness - whether images, thoughts, emotions, or the like - comprises in its totality the content of Consciousness, which is likewise the content of Mind.
On the other hand, that which is Aware of concepts, as they arise, is non-dualistic in nature when absent identification with or attachment to that which arises in Consciousness. Moreover, Pure Awareness is eternally present in ALL that arises in Consciousness, while that which arises in Consciousness is constantly changing - appearing and disappearing - from one moment to the next.
Because Pure Awareness is forever changeless, while concepts are forever changing from one moment to the next, one cannot discover or approach that which is eternally Present and Pure from a conceptualized point of view. Instead, one must Awaken unto the Presence of Pure Awareness by means of complete dis-identification with concepts of Mind because that which is Other than Mind is forever beyond the purview of Mind. Put another way, while concepts appear and disappear in Awareness, Awareness does not appear or disappear in concepts of Mind.
Realization of this fact is nothing less than enlightenment.
Commentary by JC Tefft
Duality / Non-Duality and Pure Conscious Awareness