It’s important to have the right understanding of a pointer like “awareness” because it’s the foundation of how to start coming out the dysfunction of negativity. In this post, I would like to give a clear description of what I really mean when I use the pointer of “awareness”.
Where does awareness originate from?
Look back on your life and think about how aware you were of your existence when you were 6 months old, 1 year old, 3 years old, 5 years old, 10 years old, 15 years old, 20 years old and 25 years old (I am assuming majority readers are above 25). If you are like most, you wouldn’t have much awareness of your first 10 years in this body – in fact you may not recall anything of your first 3 years. Also, if you are like most, your life mostly felt like a daze till at-least 20 years if not more. The reason for this is simple, till the first 10 years of your life your brain is not very developed in the faculty of awareness.
If someone had slapped you when you were 1 year old, you would have no recollection of it. In fact, my parents tell me I poured boiling water on myself (by upsetting the tea kettle) when I was 3 years old and had injured my hands, whereas I have no recollection of this incident or of the pain. The simple reason for this is that my brain had extremely low awareness when I was 3 years old, so it looked as if I was moving around – eating, crying, talking – but in reality I had no real awareness, I was as good as a zombie. In fact, I would say my brain’s awareness was pretty low even till I was 20 or 25 for that matter – I was living life in an unconscious manner, mostly in a daze, just living out some external conditioning and deriving all my sense of identity from the ego structure.
Actually, it was only after I read the book “The power of Now” by Eckhart tolle, that I realized how unconsciously I was living because this was the first time I was introduced to the pointer of “awareness”. In simple terms, awareness is your ability to observe without needing thoughts. We automatically feel the need to label everything we observe and hence awareness gets mixed with thoughts. But, you will realize that you can be aware of the thoughts, of the feelings and of your surroundings as a pure observer without judgments/interpretations – basically awareness is this power of pure observation. Thoughts create interpretations, feelings create emotions and events are again created by thoughts in the mind – all of this can be observed in pure awareness.
Your power of awareness can be very low, and underdeveloped, if you never exercise it enough. So does awareness arise out of the brain? Well, the brain has a center for awareness and this center is what needs to be developed to deepen your experience of physical life. As I mentioned, in a 3 year old child this awareness center is poorly developed and it keeps becoming more developed with age. The brain is inherently connected with the wholeness of life, it’s not isolated, and life-energy is also an “aware energy” – so in that sense the awareness of your brain is connected with the awareness of the wholeness of life-energy, this is how you connect with wisdom, instinct, intuition and inner-guidance. The stronger the awareness in your brain the more receptive you are to the intelligence of life, because when your brain is more aware it connects more firmly with the awareness of the wholeness of life.
So when I talk about developing the power of awareness, I am purely taking about developing the awareness faculty in your brain. Like everything, it takes time to grow when activated, but the more you activate it the faster it grows. How do you activate it? The simplest way is to stay aware of your mind movements and your feelings, you can also do some practices like being aware of your surroundings/environment in a keener manner – but mostly just being aware of your inner space is enough to allow a strong growth of awareness power.
Do all brains have the same capacity for awareness?
The obvious answer is No. Not all brains have the same capacity for awareness, though an average human brain has to have the highest capacity for awareness among all other species on earth – the level of awareness of birds, insects and animals is far lower than humans simply because their brain is not so highly developed in this center – why should there be such a discrepancy? Simply because it’s not life’s intention to create brains with highly awareness in these living beings, they are meant for different intention. Of course, there are many humans whose level of awareness is no different than an animal – in some cases their brain does not have the faculty to develop awareness and in some cases they’ve never developed their ability for awareness. If a human’s brain does not have the capacity for awareness, it’s not a problem (it’s not like something went wrong), it’s just the way their brain is – it syncs with the intention of their creation, they are not lesser to any other humans, they fit in this world just as much and have their own intention to live out.
The deal would be to develop your capacity for awareness to the extent possible – it’s “personal” to your brain. There are people who have strong awareness center in their brain, even in their childhood, this leads them to feel a high sensitivity, and in the absence of an emotional maturity, and understanding of life, it can be a source of suffering. Just because you have high awareness does not mean you have a good understanding of life. Understanding of life needs to be developed through introspection, reasoning, maturity and looking at things in a deeper manner. The advantage of this era is that there is so much information and knowledge available (especially due to the internet) that one can easily have access to a lot of understanding in short time.
Some drugs strongly activate the center of awareness in the brain, sometimes taking it to an unnaturally high level. Too much awareness (usually activated in an unnatural manner) is also not a good thing because it amplifies your senses so much that it overwhelms your brain and body. People who take such drugs can suddenly feel very alive because their awareness become very keen, they start seeing beauty in the most ordinary things around them, like a plain tea cup or a drab wall. Though it’s an unnaturally amplified awareness, it can still give you a glimpse of how your experience of life can deepen when your awareness is high. The only deal is that when your awareness is unnaturally high (as induced by drugs), you are so overwhelmed by your sense perceptions that you lose your ability for wisdom because you lose touch with your inner guidance.
In fact, a lot of people who start developing the power of awareness in their brain, initially feel a bit overwhelmed by their increased “sensitivity” to their body and mind – it’s as if they suddenly got plugged into a higher voltage of everything, including the force of their negativity, causing them to feel overwhelmed for a while. But soon you adjust to this high level of awareness and your body adapts to this increase. The benefit of higher awareness is that you can be more strongly aware of your negativity, even subtle patterns of them and thus can start letting go more easily. It’s easy to be lost in negativity when one has low awareness, because there is no space to even see one’s own negativity. Once you start developing awareness, it’s like upgrading your room lights from a 40 watts bulb to a high wattage flood light, it just makes things more clearer and vivid, so that you can identify negative patterns more easily.
How does awareness work with “letting go”?
Awareness is the light using which you identify negativity, and letting go is the attitude which allows you to dissolve this negativity. Letting go simply means to stay in a space of allowing, letting the negativity to run out of the momentum and fizzle away in force. Letting go is similar to the pointer of “do nothing”, just stay as space, and the negativity will soon dissolve. The science behind this is simple – life is a space of pure positive vibration and hence it does not support low vibrational states, the only way to sustain a low vibration state is for you to give energy to it by your belief/attention/focus, so if you simply stay in an “open awareness” the negativity will automatically dissolve since it’s not supported by life.
So, awareness and letting go need to work hand in hand in order to dissolve negativity. Without the power of awareness you may not be able to detect resistances and negativity in you, in a clear manner. In the absence of the attitude of letting go, and staying open, you cannot release the negativity because you will continue to stay latched on to it by trying to suppress it or fight it. For example, when a negativity arises in the mind and you feel negative about it (like when you fear it or hate it) you are basically fueling the negativity; this is one reason why techniques don’t work because all techniques stem from the base that you fear/hate the negativity, and the truth is that anything you hate/fear will keep sticking around because you are indirectly fueling it. If you just stay as a space of openness, the negativity will have nothing to hold onto and it will soon just fizzle away on its own, as it’s not supported by the vibration of life.
The attitude of allowing what arises to arise fully (which is what letting go means) comes from a place of love, not from a place of fear or hatred. Allowing is just another name for unconditional love. So when you simply stay allowing/surrendered/open when the negativity arises, it will soon lose its hold on you and will dissolve – yes, it’s unpleasant for a while to allow the negative energy, but as a grown up you have the capacity to handle this discomfort for a bit. Only love/openness can dissolve negativity because love does not fuel negativity. If you fear/hate negativity, you are indirectly fueling it – it’s a simple logic. By love, here, I just means openness – not the emotional love that your mind imagines. So when I say stay as open awareness or relaxed awareness, it just means stay allowing, don’t look for escapist strategies, don’t try to hide from what arises, even the strongest fear/negativity is not as overwhelming as you think because all thoughts/emotions have a limit to their intensity and they are all temporary/fleeting. The more allowing you, the more easily they dissolve.