Seeing Without Boundaries

Dear Scott, No matter what I do, I just can’t seem to get over my fear that if I give myself to awareness or “not-knowing,” I won’t understand anything. And I’m far more interested in understanding what is actually going on here than I am in experiencing peace, love, or happiness. I’d give up all hope for happiness and live the rest of my life in hell if I could just understand–beyond any doubt and uncertainty–exactly what is going on here and exactly what I actually am. Two questions continue to bother me, and I can’t get over the feeling that if I understood the answer to them, I wouldn’t fear giving myself to not-knowing (or at least not fear it as much).

First, if there is only one consciousness, one awareness, and it is the infinite space in which all things arise, then what are “states of consciousness”? Are they just what people call consciousness when it fixates on a particular level of phenomena (e.g., fixating on thoughts and feelings we call it “conscious,” fixating on background noise we call it “subconscious,” and with nothing to fixate on we call it “unconscious,” etc.)? If that is so, then what is the nature of this fixation? Does consciousness _really_ ever fixate on particular things, to the exclusion of other things? Suzanne Segal once wrote: “To see things for what they are is to see with the eyes of the vastness itself. This seeing is always occurring, whether or not we are consciously aware of it.” Does that mean that consciousness itself is always the same and never changes its focus–just a vast opening in which all things arise equally, just as they are? Then why, if I am consciousness, do I not experience that? Or do I but I just don’t admit that I do? Ramana once said that our ignorance is just an “imaginary ignorance,” and I think that might be relevant to this, but I’m having trouble understanding what that means.

Second, and most importantly, if there is only one consciousness, then _where_ is it? It’s everywhere, right? But why is this particular bodymind at the _center_ of my awareness, with the whole universe _around_ it? I understand that the whole universe is _within_ consciousness, but why do I not experience, say, Scott Morrison’s body and mind at the center of it? Or the viewpoint of a turtle or a rock? Why this exclusive point of view, if I am all-inclusive consciousness? Isn’t there a single, objective universe here, or is everyone actually experiencing an entirely different universe (the sum of which just _seem_ to be a single, objective universe)–with one awareness illuminating them all? (That seems to be the right answer, but is it?)

Could you please answer these questions? Perhaps they’re incredibly stupid and pointless, but I just can’t get them out of my mind, and I really want to know the answers (particularly to the second question). Even if it’s all just the play of thought, the _experience_ described in the second question remains as such regardless of what thoughts may be present, and it is really starting to disturb me. I want to know the truth far more than I care to be free, and I would appreciate any help you could offer me (even though you’ve given me quite a bit already).

Truth and freedom are not different. Consciousness is one, yet infinitely diverse, mysterious, and without boundaries. But my suggestion is to forget about all of that. What any of us have read, heard, and thought is only what we have read, heard, and thought, no more. None of it is relevant. This is not about what you or I or anyone else thinks (given the very limited parameters of thinking, how could it be?).

This problem cannot be understood or solved intellectually. To remain committed to that approach is no more than a defense against taking responsibility for the fact that you are already awake. It presupposes a known solution, one that will be a comfortable and tidy fit within the fictitious boundaries of thought, opinion, speculation, and assumption, which is impossible. You simply cannot even begin to squeeze that which is infinite into that which is, at best, a very, very tiny fragment, a faded imitation.

The answer is this simple, this direct, and this immediate:

Stop thinking about yourself, your consciousness, and your life, this very instant, and be free. If you do, the simple fact of what is will shock your whole system with wonder and amazement. What is true and what is not, what is important and what is not, will be overwhelmingly clear and embarrassingly obvious. Be with this and this alone, and there will be no more questions.

-Your own Self-

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