Freedom in the Divine Awareness
April 2, 2012
In a previous essay here (“Slavery and Spiritual Freedom,” March 12, 2012), we examined the nature of spiritual freedom. Spiritual freedom occurs when we give up our dependence on the voice of our ego within us—when we free ourselves from our self-imposed addiction to that voice within us that constantly constructs for us the story of ourselves and of our interactions with the world beyond us. When we silence that ego-voice and then cross the divide which separates the interior world of our self from the exterior world beyond our self, we find ourselves in a serene and quiet place, uncluttered by the noise of our ego-voice. This place, we observe, is beyond our “interior self”—the cramped interior place which we usually inhabit. We find ourselves in the “outer world,” and we perceive that we are directly experiencing the beings and the events which comprise the world around us.
This silent, direct, and intimate experience of our environment is a wholly different way of perceiving the world than we are used to. This new way depends entirely on our awareness—our awareness of what exists in our environment, without interpretation or judgment by our ego-voice. In the interior silence, we look and listen and feel directly. There is no “barrier” between our inner self and the environment in which we exist. We find ourselves to be directly connected with the other beings in our world. We can say that we are “participating” in the world of our experience—not out of habit or learned response, but in conscious response to the events taking place around us.
This new way of direct experience is characterized by clarity and vividness. We immediately recognize that the objects and events we perceive are vivid and full of color. We see them in a new light: that they are individually existing entities; that it is as though they constantly proclaim their existence just by being what they are. They exist “straight and tall,” as it were, taking their unique places in the world of existing things.
And we join all these entities in this world of pure experience—in this world of existing things. We recognize that we individually are also directly in the world. We are no longer “acting out ourselves” in the world. Rather, we now participate as uniquely existing individuals in the world of uniquely existing beings. We actually exist!—just as every entity in creation actually exists around us.
This new clear and vivid experience of existing things depends entirely on our deliberate use of our faculty of awareness. We silence everything else within us, and in that silence, we find ourselves aware of a world of clear and beautiful existing things—we find ourselves perceiving the beauty and intimacy of the things and people around us—simply, without words, just being aware of them—of them and ourselves—of our intimate relationship or fellowship with these people and these things—all of us existing together. We allow ourselves to be simply conscious, and what we are conscious of fills our perception with the sweet and lovely truth of being.
When we are in this state of pure perception, awareness is all that matters. There is nowhere else that we desire to be. And because we enter this pure state through the gate of silence, we question nothing while we are there. It is only afterward, when our interior voice starts up again, that we think, and therefore, that we think about and question the experience we had had. We try to make meaning out of our pure experience, and we try to verbalize that meaning in words and sentences, as I have tried to do here.
It’s at that point that we can ask, “What is this awareness which is who we are?” In order to make sense of it, we attempt to search for its source within us. But when we do so, we find that it is an impossible task. We can’t look at our awareness at all, because our awareness is the faculty in us which does the looking! We can feel our awareness within us as it does its work of registering the experiences which we undergo. But we cannot look at it directly, and so we cannot see where it arises within us.
In fact, when we attempt to observe our observing awareness, we recognize that it does not arise within us at all, as, for example, the words that we speak arise within us, as they come into our minds. Rather, our awareness fills us. It fills us and extends out from our self into the world of existing things around us. And it fills that exterior world, as well. Everything is filled with the one awareness. It’s as though all existence—everything existing in the universe at this moment—is immersed in a single, vast ocean of awareness.
And so, when we examine our experience of being aware, we find that the best way to describe our experience of our awareness is not to say that my awareness “issues from within me.” Rather, the best way to describe it is to say that “I participate in a great awareness that inundates the world.”
This means that my individual awareness is actually a part of a vastly greater awareness—an awareness that encompasses everything that exists. This vast awareness, in which we perceive that everything exists, we call Divinity or God. Divinity is the Awareness that fills the world and holds everything in the world in existence. All things exist because Divinity continues to be conscious of them—to call them into existence—from moment to moment.
And when we enter the state of pure perception—pure awareness—as we have been discussing, we are in fact entering into Divine Awareness. More than that, we are participating in Divine Awareness. For we cannot simply observe ourselves being aware. Rather, we perceive that awareness is actively occurring within us and around us. We are participating in Divine Awareness. We are taken “up” into it.
Our liberated awareness, then, is in actuality a relationship—two conscious entities existing together in a mutual context. I exist within Divinity, in the “matrix” of Divine Awareness. Divinity causes me to exist by bringing me into the Divine Awareness, and Divinity maintains me in existence by being continuously aware of me existing. And I—when I enter the silent, pure awareness—surrender the sense of my individual identity and share directly in the immediacy of Divine Awareness.
When we abide in the realization that our individual awareness exists within Divine Awareness, we find that with a small nudge from us, all those addictions and considerations and enslavements which had accompanied us in our ego-lives subside. We are free. We are free to exist with, and to participate in, all that is. We are free to give ourselves over to Divinity, without expectations. We are free to live unencumbered in Divine Awareness.
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