“woman using gray binoculars” by Chase Clark on Unsplash

Awareness Is an Illusion

This is a very controversial statement in any circle, spiritual or not. We all assume that awareness is real. It seems like we’re looking out of our eyes at reality. It seems that we’re aware.

The root fallacy is that there is a self. If you look for it, you’ll find that there is no self. The self is an erroneous presupposition. With the illusion of self in place, everything else gets wrangled around it. Everything that appears to be happening gets misconstrued as happening to an individual.

The individual assumes that there is space inside of it and space outside of it; it assumes that a boundary separates the inside from the outside. The individual assumes that thoughts and feelings that arise are in some way related to it or about it. The individual assumes that it’s somewhere “over here” and that everything else is somewhere “over there.” The individual assumes that it can know and understand reality by being separate from it. It’s both terrifying and unsatisfying to misconstrue reality like this, so the self doubles-down and contracts even further.

Awareness is another name we use for the self being aware of other things. In fact, there is no separation between any apparent thing and any other apparent thing. Every apparent thing is essentially the same: nothing appearing as that apparent thing.

The good news is that all there is is perfect wholeness. The bad news, for the illusory self, is that by its nature the self can never know this. This [points at reality] is not knowable, not understandable, not perceivable, not containable, and there can be no awareness of it. It just is, and it is the freedom that the illusory self endlessly searches for.