Question of awareness

Ingvar Andersen, modified 6 Months ago.

Question of awareness

Posts: 8 Join Date: 4/18/20 Recent Posts
The word knowing-being resonates with me because I am, and I know that I am.
Some teachers says that the nature of awareness is that it is self-aware. In deep sleep I can not say that I am aware of my being or that I am aware of the absence of consciousness. So my question is that does self-awareness or the self-reflexive knowing part og awareness disappear during deep sleep? Is it more correct to say that self-awareness is a «secondary quality» to awareness in the sense that it arises and passes away?
Can awareness exist without self-awareness?
Martin, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Question of awareness

Posts: 296 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Difficult questions, and great ones to think about!

There are multiple possible ways to think about awareness and self, and they produce different types of experiences. If you want to explore it, one classic way is to ask, when I say "I know that I am" does that statement describe my body ("there is a body and I know that there is a body") or does it describe knowing ("there is knowing and I know that there is knowing") or does it describe perception, or feeling, or something else? Of course, we tend to bundle all those things together, but if we look closely, they actually come and go in awareness, one at a time, or two or more at close to the same time, or whatever, but we can certainly say that not all of the possible components that make up "I" are present in awareness all of the time. So, instead of "self-awareness" we might want to say "body-awareness," "knowing-awareness," etc. Now if we look at the same question of what happens during sleep, or even when suddenly switching from one situation to the next while awake, there is an interesting question of whether there is just one awareness, with multiple things arising in it, or whether awareness itself arrises afresh each time. There are some advantages of each way of thinking about it, but I like the second one. 

Rob Burbea wrote a great book on this subject called Seeing That Frees. 
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Chris Marti, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Question of awareness

Posts: 4066 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Rob Burbea wrote a great book on this subject called Seeing That Frees. 

Yes, and in which he posits the observation that awareness is constructed - like time and space.
Martin, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Question of awareness

Posts: 296 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Chris Marti
Rob Burbea wrote a great book on this subject called Seeing That Frees. 
Yes, and in which he posits the observation that awareness is constructed - like time and space.


Yes, exactly. And that fits with why I like the second way of thinking about it. I also like Burbea's approach of playful exploration, which encourages us to try out the different ways things can be seen. I think Ingvar is doing a good job of that already. 
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Pepe, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Question of awareness

Posts: 438 Join Date: 9/26/18 Recent Posts
Regarding "Seeing that Frees" and dependent co-arising, check these chapters:

15. Emptyness and Awareness (1)
25. Emptyness and Awareness (2)
27. Dependent Origination (2)
28. Dependent Cessation

I'm planning to do a short summary of them in the next few weeks, but IMO those are the core chapters of the book.