Self-Awareness. The forgotten gift. Tapping into the inner source of happiness.
Human life is a gift. Just as a gift comes with wrapping and a protective box, life comes with an outer wrapping — body, under which is the mind, and deeper within lies the gift of awareness. The wrapper may be attractive, the protective box holding the gift large and fluffy, but that tells us nothing about the gift itself which comes as a pleasant surprise. Similarly, we are very familiar with the body and the mind, but the gift of awareness is unique and different from the two.
Human life is a gift. Just as a gift comes with wrapping and a protective box, life comes with an outer wrapping — body, under which is the mind, and deeper within lies the gift of awareness.
The wrapper and the protective box do not necessarily enhance the value of a gift. Even if the two, wrapper and box, are discarded, the gift retains its value. Likewise, awareness increases in value when our attention is not on the body and the mind. Inner joy swells as we peel away the layers of the body and the mind from the inner core of awareness, which is our true self.
Inner joy swells as we peel away the layers of the body and the mind from the inner core of awareness, which is our true self.
The potential to become fully aware is in everyone. All are equally blessed with this potential. Some are satisfied with happiness that comes with living at the physical level. Others tire of such superficial living and long for a more profound experience. The mind may provide more depth than the body, but since the mind expresses itself through the body, we cannot escape linking happiness to what the body and the senses are capable of providing.
Happiness is a full-time need, but the body and the mind can only work part-time to fulfill this need. There remains a deep unmet need for joy. Everyone is involved in this search. We are always on the lookout for the next ‘big thing’ that will bring us happiness that is deeper in intensity and lasts longer than any other prior experience.
Happiness is a full-time need, but the body and the mind can only work part-time to fulfill this need. There remains a deep unmet need for joy.
This deep-seated happiness plays hide and seek with us during waking hours, and it only comes out during deep sleep when perceptive awareness is absent. No amount of bodily comforts or mental tranquilizers can equate with the sheer joy of living in awareness. Being consciously aware is a global phenomenon and is not localized to a body and a mind.
Being consciously aware is a global phenomenon and is not localized to a body and a mind.
Awareness is like standing in direct sunlight. There is no need to prove the existence of the sun. The warmth of its rays and it’s light itself is the proof. Similarly, when there are no thoughts in the mind, attention is not pulled towards the body, and we bask in the direct experience of awareness. Initially, the remnant of the localized ego or consciousness that limits us to the body and the mind, experiences expanding awareness as the vast open sky. Eventually, the shred of individuality disappears, and only awareness remains.
There is more aliveness when awareness is total and choiceless. There is no “I” or “we.” These are limited, finite, and refer to the body and the mind. The mind creates a false sense of space and openness through projection and imagination. Even the vastness of the mind is imagination and needs the vehicle of thought. Growing in awareness is becoming the vastness that hosts the speck of energy, which is the individual mind.
Growing in awareness is becoming the vastness that hosts the speck of energy, which is the individual mind.
To realize this gift of awareness, we will have to ‘unwrap’ the body and the mind. This will have to be done slowly, silently, and very carefully. To transport a delicate and precious gift article, it will have to be boxed and wrapped again — likewise, the body and the mind help in protecting the delicate gift of awareness. If we are careless with the body and the mind, we risk ruining the delicate gift of awareness. A diamond retains its clarity whether or not there is light or someone to appreciate its beauty. Awareness is like an inner diamond. Once we get a glimpse, it captivates us, and we want it more and more.
Awareness is like an inner diamond. Once we get a glimpse, it captivates us, and we want it more and more.
Diamonds lose value if we flood the world with supply. However, awareness gains in value as more and more people begin to realize this gift that lies within us all. We don’t need the guard of the mind and the body to live in the world full of people who live in awareness. We become freer expressions of ourselves. Just as individual rivers merge into one sea, through awareness, we merge into one energy called humanity.
Even if one billion people draw seawater daily, it does not significantly affect the water level of the oceans. Similarly, no matter how much we use the energy of awareness, from being aware of the smallest mental activity to the most significant thought, this energy does not deplete. On the contrary, the more we use it, the more it grows. The body and the mind, on the other hand, are limited stores of energy. As we use them, their strength depletes, and food and sleep are required for its replenishment. Not so for awareness. We cannot enhance its energy. We can only hope to discover and tap into its stream.
Keeping the body reasonably comfortable and dropping thoughts by not identifying with them, we slowly unwrap the layers that hide the precious gift of awareness. It is the secret to unlocking inner joy.