Why Are We Unaware of Awareness?

(Part I first pub. in The Middle Way, August 1966.)

The answer is that split-mind, cognising by means of a subject cognising objects, cannot cognise its own 'wholeness' as its object.

There is no need to cognise our 'wholeness', and it is forever impossible to do so, for there is no 'thing' here to cognise and no 'thing' there to be cognised.

Any attempt to cognise what is cognising - and is thereby incognisable - forbids apperception of what-we-are. Such apperception is not a function of split-mind. It can only be an im-mediate apperception released by some sensorial stimulus - auditory, visual, tactile, or of an unrecognisable origin.

The supreme obstacle to such apperception, in our space-time context of consciousness, lies in attributing subjectivity to phenomenal objects, and objectivity to what is subjective.

Mind cannot be reached by mind, as Huang Po stated. The attempt is itself an obstacle. Awareness is no thing of which we (who are This) can be aware.

Knowing this, understanding this, is not awareness of Awareness. Awareness is no kind of knowledge. All knowledge is conceptual, all conceptuality inheres in the space-time continuum. There is a solution of continuity between knowledge and Awareness.

If one were to say that auditory apprehension might reveal it - such might be an indication of what is implied, but quite certainly not in the sense of deliberately listening to music - nor of deliberately looking at any object, touching any 'thing', or seizing any thought.

Why is that so? Because split-mind must be in abeyance, and 'we' must be absent for Awareness to be present.

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In the Silence of the Mind I Sing

There is nobody and nothing to be aware of Awareness,
Awareness, I cannot be aware of myself,
For I know no self of which I could be aware.

I am no thing of which to be aware,
As a thing 'you' cannot know awareness,
For 'you' can only be aware as 'I',
When there is no 'me' of which to be aware.

Divided into cognising subject cognising objects,
I cognise all that can be cognised,
Every conceptual thing save what is cognising,
Which, as such, is not conceivable, since it is no thing,
And is no thing, since it is not conceivable.

This is all I am, so simple am I,
Devoid of mystery, majesty, divinity,
Of any attribute whatever.
Being no thing,
How could I have the attribute of any thing?

Why try to glorify me?
I am neither glorious nor not-glorious,
I am neither anything nor nothing,
Neither the presence nor the absence of any thing.
I am this total phenomenal absence
Which is all that phenomenal presence can be.

Then how can I be known?
I cannot.
How can I be experienced?
I cannot.
Only 'God' can be experienced,
And He is my concept, my object.

But when conceptualising is in abeyance,
Time is in abeyance also,
And space, together with all concepts.
Then all that you are I am.
You are my 'self'. I can have no other.

(© T.J. Gray, 1968)
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