The Nature of the Self
Self is Awareness or Consciousness. It is not awareness or consciousness
'of' anything specific such as a feeling or thought or a physical
object. If you subtract the objects that appear in Awareness
and the activities that place in refliected awareness (the human mind) ...perception,
experience, memory, thought, emotion, imagination, intuition,
etc....you are left with simple,
ordinary uncontaminated impersonal Awareness. Awareness is the container
of experience and experience is the contents. We exist quite happily
without experience but we cannot experience without awareness,
The goal of Self inquiry is to realize that one's primary identity
is Awareness. Most of us take ourselves to be the content, the
ideas arising awareness, like I am the body, mind, intellect,
ego, man, woman, black, white, gay, straight, etc. Since the content
of awareness is always limited we have come to view ourselves
as limited beings.
the statement that the Self is limitless is difficult to accept.
For example, nearly everyone feels limited with respect to time.
The day is simply not long enough to accomplish everything we
wish to accomplish. As we age we become increasingly aware
of our mortality and this does not please us. Who does not
feel limited financially? Is there ever enough money to
satisfy our seemingly endless desires? Think of the misery
we suffer in our quest to find love. How needy we can be,
seeking attention, recognition and validation at every turn.
The body, which most of us call 'I,' is forever short of energy
and constrained by any number of factors: heat and cold, pleasure
and pain, injury and disease. A sense of smallness and inadequacy
causes many to strive for power and influence. That this
is an insecure world and that I am equally insecure seems so obvious
no one questions it. Every day in myriad ways we struggle
against a pervasive sense of self limitation. I am never
good enough, pure enough, strong enough, kind enough or wise enough...
no matter how hard I try. Only occasionally, at peak
moments, during epiphanies, satories
and fleeting samadhis does this sense of limitation dissolve and I see that I am in
Not only am I limitless I am whole and complete. Because
I do not suffer lack, I want nothing. Therefore, unlike
the small self we normally take ourselves to be, I am desireless.
A desireless self is blissful itself. Nothing robs happiness
more quickly than one's cravings. Because I
am whole and complete I fear nothing. Just as nothing can
be added to me, nothing can be taken from me either. Because
this is the way I am...and I know it...I am peace itself.
Favorable outcomes do not elate me and unfavorable outcomes do
not depress me. I am the same in pleasure and pain, joy
I am not a body or a mind. I am ordinary non-dual awareness.
I live without breathing. I am always awake. Feelings
and thoughts, memories and dreams, desires and fears, fantasies...a
myriad of fleeting subjective happenings take place in me every
day...but I am unaffected by them. I remain uncontaminated
I am not a doer. I am already accomplished, unborn
and unmade. I need do nothing to survive. I need to
accumulate nothing to feel secure. I am security itself.
Will the one who is pleasure itself seek pleasure in this ever-changing