Greater Awareness

Greater awareness refers to cognition – the direct and intimately personal experience of being alive – of Being – that takes into account mental, emotional, nervous system, and bodily based activities and awareness thereof.  Similar to human vision with its dual aspects of macular/focused vision and peripheral vision, greater awareness/consciousness refers to cognition via multiple dimensions, or contexts, or modes.  This dimensional increase is at a fundamental, personal, and experiential level and is not related to the amount of details present within a specific mode.  Similar to human vision when looking at a grove of apple trees with ripe apples, it doesn’t really matter how many apples or trees are in view.  The visual cognition of looking at such an apple grove can be experienced via macular discernment and/or peripheral awareness.

One dimension or modality of Being is stream-of-consciousness thinking.  This modality, some may say left brain, is highly useful and powerful – it has allowed the human species to over-power other species and achieve great manipulation of the physical world.  However it is not the only human dimension of cognition nor perhaps the initial human cognitive dimension of Being.  Another dimension of Being, some may say right brain, is non-verbal, non labeling and non mental/mind identification based.  There are no ‘thought forms’ present when primarily experiencing this modality.  No stream-of-thought occurs with this second dimension/modality.

This second dimension is not sleep nor is it motionless or static.  Cognitive based thought forms just are not present.  It is a breathing, a silent humming of awake-ness of a non stream-of-thought Being.  It is cognition described by a deep receptiveness or gratitude, a deep consciousness or oneness, a deep connectedness.  It is the deep ocean waters compared to the waves on the surface.  There is no verbal or language based object or subject framing or form-naming in play.  In a cognitive sense there is no formal or fundamental separation or dualism present between the human being manifesting it and that which is not the human being.

A math based analogy to the multi dimension aspect of cognition can be the complex number plane with real numbers (the x-axis) being the dimension of form and imaginary numbers (the y-axis) being the dimension of transcendence, the formless, the imaginary.  The Christian cross can be interpreted as displaying this archetypical union with the horizontal short member pointing in the direction of the earthly plane and the vertical longer member, while grounded in the earth, pointed sky-ward toward heaven.

The quote  “You are the sky – the clouds are what happens, what comes and goes” speaks to the belief that one’s true self, one’s true nature, is the formless sky, not the materially real earth.  Regardless of analogy, human beings are both transcendent and mortal – we are both of Heaven and of Earth – we are both the formless canvas and the paint with which we all paint.

Either dimension is available to all sentient beings and can be directly and personally experienced at any time. The first by thinking thoughts; the second by not thinking thoughts – while not going to sleep or becoming drugged or drunk.  Sometimes a sudden event shifts us into the second dimension: a beautiful sunset, a moment of compassion, a touch of the Grace of God, or perhaps a Zen satori.

Note that the ego mind, the narcissistic aspect of human beings, is not present when we operate in the transcendent dimension.  It can’t be.  Similar to macular vision the ego mind is a focusing towards the physical, material self.  Yes it is good at keeping humans alive until tomorrow but only when we are not doing so via greater awareness.  Without the transcendent dimension, the ego mind employs the stream-of-thought dimension to create labeled, rationalized cognition that is self focused, ignorant of others .  It psychologically or physically hoards food, shelter, or power.  Unbalanced this can be dangerous – it can create the Other; it can nurture fear, hatred, and violence individually or collectively.  With only one dimension of cognition available and present, the ego can leverage fallacious reasoning, bamboozlement, or externalization and culminate in manifesting violence.

The ego mind left unchecked can destroy a democracy or can destroy the environment.  And the ego mind can operate both on the individual and collective basis.

With greater awareness comes more right action – and less violence.  And with more right action comes greater awareness – and less violence.  A regenerating wave.  With greater awareness the individual and the collective transitions from single dimension communication to multi dimension communication, to Nonviolent Communication.

So, be careful of bad habits and bad material pursuits, those stemming from the ego self, either yours or others!  The ego may be good at some things, but alignment with the divine is not one of them.  Life becomes shallow or potentially violent when ego-driven.  And how much material pursuit is necessary?  Ah yes, just how much?  S/he who owns little is little owned.

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

By Portia Nelson

I

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in.
I am lost … I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes me forever to find a way out.

II

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place
but, it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

III

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in … it’s a habit.
my eyes are open
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

IV

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

V

I walk down another street.