Think, Feel And Act As AwarenessHow can my feeling match the understanding that I have?
When I focus on sensations I feel them and understand that concepts just translate what I feel and these concepts are not real. I feel that I am that which sees through the eyes of this body, hears through the ears of this body.
At the same time I feel that I am this body, not another body, even if I understand intellectually that Consciousness is one, universal, limitless, etc. I continue to react as an individual. Because I understand the logics of the Oneness, I understand that this whole questioning is arising from Consciousness but this is still a mental understanding.
How can my feeling match the understanding that I have?
Thank you for your question.
The reason that there is a mismatch between your understanding and your feeling is that the investigation into the nature of experience has not been completed.
Let us proceed slowly through your description of your experience and try to explore it more thoroughly:
You say: “When I focus on sensations I feel them and understand that concepts just translate what I feel and these concepts are not real.”
First of all I would suggest that you do not focus on sensations. Rather, simply allow sensations, perceptions and thoughts to appear in you, Awareness. It is a relaxed allowing rather than a focusing. The reason I make this point is that to focus on one thing such as a sensation, normally involves the exclusion of another, such as a perception or a thought.
It is true that, as you say, thought translates or interprets these sensations and perceptions and forms a new concept out of them. These concepts are considered to be accurate descriptions of the reality of our experience (the sensation or the perception) but, in fact, they are not. The concept simply abstracts an object such as a body, a person or a world from our experience and, as a natural corollary to this, abstracts a personal subject as the knower of the object.
The object known and the subject that supposedly knows it are, in fact, both abstract superimpositions upon the reality of our experience. Neither are ever in fact experienced.
So you are right in saying that these concepts are not real, in the sense that they do not describe the reality of our experience. However, thoughts, like sensations and perceptions have a reality to them. The reality of thought is the same as the reality of sensation and perception, that is, it is Awareness.
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Nour: I feel that I am that which sees through the eyes of this body, hears through the ears of this body.
Rupert: It is true that you are that which sees, hears etc. However, you, Awareness, don’t see or hear through a body. In other words, Awareness is not located in a body, looking out through the eyes, or behind the ears hearing.
The idea that we see through the eyes or hear through the ears is simply another mistaken interpretation by thought superimposed upon the reality of our experience.
Let us take the experience of hearing. Normally thought conceptualises a ‘me’ inside the head hearing a sound that is considered to be outside the head. Take a sound that you are hearing now, for instance, the traffic. And take the experience of the head, in which hearing is supposedly taking place. Our only experience of the head is a tingling mass of vibration.
Now is it your actual experience that the sound of the traffic is taking place inside the tingling vibration we call ‘the head?’ Go directly to the experience. Or rather is it your experience that the tingling vibration called the ‘sound of traffic’ and the tingling vibration call the ‘head’ both appear in Awareness?
Or we can ask ourselves, do we experience the Awareness that is hearing the sound of the traffic as being located in the tingling mass of vibration called ‘the head?’ In other words do we experience Awareness inside a sensation but outside a perception?
In order to find the answer try to look at this Awareness…..do you know where to look for it, can you see it or find it? No! Whilst Awareness is undeniably present, it cannot be located anywhere.
Therefore it is our simple, direct experience that Awareness is not located in the sensation we call the head and therefore it is also our simple experience that hearing, which takes place in Awareness, is also not located in the head.
Our only experience of the head is through sensing and our only experience of the sound of the traffic is through hearing, and sensing and hearing both take place in the same place, that is, in the placeless place of Awareness.
In fact, it is not even true to say that hearing and sensing take place in Awareness. Rather, Awareness as it were, takes the shape of sensing and hearing from time to time.
Awareness then takes the shape of a thought which conjures up a fairy tale about an individual entity that lives inside the head which hears a sound which supposedly takes place in an imagined space outside the head.
However, this fairy tale doesn’t change the fact of our experience which is that there is only Awareness, which sometimes takes the shape of thinking, sensing and perceiving, thereby giving birth to the appearance of the mind, body and world.
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Nour: At the same time I feel that I am this body, not another body, even if I understand intellectually that Consciousness is one, universal, limitless, etc. I continue to react as an individual. Because I understand the logics of the Oneness, I understand that this whole questioning is arising from Consciousness but this is still a mental understanding.
Rupert: Whatever it is that is seeing these words and experiencing whatever else is being experienced is what we refer to as Consciousness or Awareness. That is what we intimately know ourselves to be.
First of all ask yourself if you can see, feel or touch the Consciousness that you know yourself to be and that is seeing these words? And if the answer is no, then how do you know that it is located inside your body. After all, your body is just a cluster of sensations and perceptions with a concept attached to it. Do you find Consciousness inside this cluster of sensations or perceptions, or inside a concept?
Don’t be too quick to answer with the correct non-dual answer. Go deeply into your experience. Take each sensation as it appears and see if you can locate Consciousness in it.
Now take this sensation that you call ‘me’ the body and compare it with a perception that you call ‘not me,’ for instance the sound of the traffic. Ask yourself whether the sensation is closer to that which knows it, that is, to Consciousness, than the perception. See that both take place equally close to Consciousness, that neither is closer to or further from Consciousness than the other.
If you go even more deeply into each of these experiences you will see that the sensation called ‘me,’ ‘my body,’ is made only out of sensing and the sound of ‘the traffic’ is made only out of hearing. And if you go deeply into the experience of sensing and hearing you will find no substance there other then Consciousness.
Therefore it is your own direct, intimate and immediate experience that sensing (the body), which we call ‘me,’ and hearing (the sound of traffic) which we call ‘not me,’ are in fact made out of exactly the same ‘stuff,’ that is, they are made out of Awareness, myself.
Explore your experience very deeply in this way, taking time with everything that seems to be both ‘me’ and ‘not me,’ and you will find that there is and has always only ever been one substance in your experience, Consciousness, and that one substance is simultaneously that which knows and that which is known. In other words to know something and to be that thing are the same experience.
It is not enough to understand this intellectually. We have to explore our sensations and perceptions as well as our thoughts if we want to FEEL this rather than just KNOW this.
It is the patient, detailed exploration of our actual experience that brings this understanding into 3D as it were.
Once it is clear both in the realm of our thoughts and in the realm of our feelings, all that remains is to live this experiential understanding from moment to moment.
Live as the Consciousness or Awareness that you know yourself to be. Take your stand as that. Think as that, feel as that and act as that. In so far as you feel you choose or decide anything, do so on behalf of this impersonal, unlocated presence of Awareness.
As much as possible, before thinking, feeling or doing anything, take your stand first as this Awareness. BE it knowingly and then think, feel and act as that.
Live this understanding.