Awareness vs. Mindfulness

The notion of awareness is often made equivalent to mindfulness, perspective, or mindset. The process of awakening is, as a result, often mistaken for the change of mind, perspective, or mindset. However, awakening, and the awareness that arises from it, are completely different from anything having to do with the change of mindset, philosophy, or anything having to do with mind.  Mindfulness, in fact, is something that awareness no longer needs, because awareness is always, by nature, the awareness of any given state of mind. Awareness is not mind, nor is it a function of it. When one achieves awareness, mind becomes secondary.

I am going to attempt to compare a few aspects of awareness to forms of mindfulness that are often confused with it, and therefore result in a certain kind of stuckness, or blindness in those who wish to become more aware in their lives.

Awareness begins in faith

Awareness begins in faith. And by that, I mean that it there is that we must choose to be aware and that that choice is entirely based on faith. By faith, I mean an inner, indescribable sense that something powerful is present within you, something you can trust. It is a light at the bottom of a dark pool of water, that you can barely see, if you can see it all. You know, however, that it is there, and you, without proof or any external confirmation or mental argument, know you can trust it. Your mind might continue to doubt and question, but you are still drawn to that light, a dark light that is hidden.

Awareness begins there, in the dark, where there is no light. It doesn’t begin in a book, in a lecture on mindfulness, in a slide deck demonstrating its importance, or in any other form of presentation or argument. Awareness is the choice to have faith in the light that shines in the dark for you and you alone. And when you take that faithful first step, you have no idea where it will take you, and you do it anyway.

Again and again, your faith will be tested. Again and again your mind will want to pull you away, to have you look at, be with, and identify with the lights that are much brighter and more amicable to the mind, simply because they are in material form, and shine in the light of day, like little mini suns all around you. Why do you need a dark light that you cannot even see? Why would you even pay attention to it? This is the mind’s reaction to faith.

This is why mindfulness, and efforts to promote it, confuse itself with awareness.  Mindfulness begins, not in faith, but in the principle that something is not right with your current state of mind, or that something is wrong with yourself, or the world.  Changing a mindset or become “more” mindful implies that you are not mindfulness. This is why so many people “try” to be more spiritual, more mindful, to be better, to improve themselves. However, they have, through mindfulness, through consciousness, rejected themselves. As I have said in other essays, the word consciousness means is from the Latin conscientia, which means in or with knowledge, which, in Latin, means guilt, as in the guilt of an accomplice in a crime.

Mindfulness, in this senses is nothing like awareness, as it is born in the consciousness, in the sense of something being wrong and needing improvement, whereas awareness is faith in the light, even in the dark, even in the shadows.

It is for this reason, that awareness is a function of deep unconditional love.

Awareness is Self

The state of awareness is always the same. It doesn’t change with time or space, mood, or emotion.  It is always a state of neutral peace, presence, and acceptance. The is the nature of the Self, of your true nature. Of course, as human beings, we have, at least initially, a difficult time in maintaining a state of awareness. And that is because of what Plato has often referred to as those “mad masters” of the passions. These always act as clouds, mental formations, that pass through our perception, informing it, giving it shape, and giving shapes their identities, their stories, their mythologies. The human mind is addicted to stories, because it is addicted to timelines, and elements of causation that explain its happy or sorry state.  Stories give continuity to our mental lives and give us the illusion of change, of growing up, of being different than I was when I was younger. The stories about “me” also give us a sense of persistent identity across space and time, the feeling of being the same person that has nonetheless changed in different ways, developing new mindsets, perceptions, and ideas, and so new careers, loves, and losses.  Regardless of all these changes, the mind says that I know myself, who I am and who I am not. The mind, in that sense is the ego, the Latin word for “I”, the objectification of self in the mental-physical plane.

However, the Self is not in the mental-physical plane. The Self is only aware of all the possibilities of that mental-physical plane. It cannot be seen “in” it. This is why those who seek themselves fail until they realize that there is nothing to seek, and that they are already that Self that they seek. This occurs as a sense of truth, like that light in the dark. Faith is another fire that attracts even the most hidden of fires. That is when the search, the chasing, stops, and the seeker dissolves into the Self, ready to begin the awakening, which is the realization that all stories, all tales, all ego is a function of mind, and so a function of illusion.  This realization cannot happen all at once. It takes time to shed the ego and all its facets, and all of the conditions and limitations it has imposed. It has set up walls that you thought you couldn’t walk through. No amount of mindset changes can change the reality of those walls. Because all mindsets believe that walls exist as barriers, no matter what form they take.

Awareness is never about other

Awareness is always awareness of the non-Self, what Self is not, as well as its Self.  Awareness is something like watching, which is an experiencing or witness of phenomenon. It doesn’t define, calculate, judge, or attempt to change what it sees. The reason for this is that awareness is a window through which all is seen as its perfection. Mindfulness, on the other hand, is set in place, as we have learned, because we believe we don’t have enough of it, and so it begins in judgment and ends in judgement. Mindfulness wants to change the world because it is complaining about itself or others. A mindful person will often judge others as not mindful enough, or more mindful than itself can be.  Awareness never engages in this assessment of others, of pointing the fingers at the outer world. The reason for this is that there is, in following the path of awareness and awakening, only yourSelf to see. In a sense, awakening is the realization that the only way we can truly change the world is if we love it completely, unconditionally. The only way to love completely, is to love ourselves enough, to have faith enough in ourselves, to trust that our hearts are the only true guidance system for what is good and true for all. Awareness teaches, in the end that the road to unity of all, is through the Self alone. Mindfulness teaches the opposite, and it tries to create community outside of it, to control it and manipulate it, to teach it to be more mindful. This is the way of error and it is a constant one for humanity.

Awareness arises in al-one-ness

Mindfulness is a teaching and it is a popular one. It is something we are told to do outside of ourselves. We are told that we are not mindful enough. How do we know that we are not mindful enough? It is usually determined by the way we act around others, or behave. Mindfulness seeks to fix that behavior through cultivated or teaching how to be mindful, to be aware that others are hurting from our behavior. This is where we attempt to change our mindset, the ways in which we think that have us acxt in a certain way.  The idea is that if you change this mindset for another one, you will do better and be a better person.

But this is just moving furniture around to make the house look better, and it very well might look better. But it won’t change the foundation of the house, and it won’t do anything to one who is being told that they are wrong and must change, except ensure that guilt and fear continue to encourage to try and be a better person. The implication is that they are not good enough. Mindfulness approaches attempt to make people feel better about this emotional river by collectivizing their pain. IT teaches that people are not perfect, that no one is perfect, and that you, like everyone else, should take on a growth mindset and encourage yourself to change for the better. This makes the pain feel a little better because there is pleasure in shared suffering. The ego is always addicted to the proof that others afford it.

Awareness has nothing to do with community. Awareness is the light that allows you to see, to observe. It is not a function of mind, but is, as it were, a light, an energy that emanates from within. When that happens, its power diminishes all mental conceptions and attitudes about life, making it easier for you to maneuver around them, to be less affected by them, to manage to keep them away from hitting you in the gut, and allowing them to consume you in their pain and suffering. All the world’s a stage, and you begin to see it that way, to experience it, and you can go in and out of the matrix as you wish. You hold compassion for those who suffer and hope for those who do not. The way to love of all, is through your Self, not through social acts, or society or community, not through changing the community, but through being that light that you truly are. Awareness shines for all because you allow yourself to let go of the mind that wants to control. When you do this, you begin to see that you aren’t who or what you thought you were. That you aren’t even necessarily human—human being just another mental-physical form–at all, and that you are something far beyond what your philosophy can imagine. Your faith here has grown more powerful, and deeper. The arguments of logic and mind no longer affect you.

Awareness is Connection

Mindfulness seeks connection, and seeks to create it in communities, or it seeks to make people see a connection. But awareness is connection, as in already there. There is no need to anything in awareness, and to do so almost seems silly, just as silly as those who are attempting to find connection between their hand and their wrist. There is already a connection. But to those who are blind or cannot see, this makes perfect sense, it makes sense to seek relationships, friendships, and lovers. They do this in order to seek connection, mostly because if they don’t, they will experience loneliness, and being alone, which to mindfulness is not connection or is the lack of connection.

As I said before, being alone is the gateway to awareness, and so it is the gateway to connection. Yet, mindfulness continues to insist that it focus on how it interacts with the world, and how it interacts with others. The focus is never inward. In fact, even when Mindfulness teaches meditation, it teaches it in terms of a guided meditation through someone outside of itself, through music, scenery, ambience. It uses forms and formulas, soft clouds and mental noise, to pretend meditation.

Awareness doesn’t happen in a spa or a calm voice. Awareness is best practiced in times of difficulty and challenge, where overwhelm occurs.  When you are in the dark, is the time to feel the light within. That is the time to truly find courage, to step back and possibly take that faith in the light inside of you, instead of the noise outside of you. Mindfulness is a distraction for the Self, to make the ego think it is engaging in helping the world, when all it is doing is perpetuating separation from Self, and so perpetuating the energy that Self is aloneness, and disconnected, and, so, unmindful and bad.

Awareness cannot be taught

Socrates called awareness “wisdom”, and Nietzsche called the aware one, the “over-man”, the one who overcomes himself.  Awareness cannot be taught, but we have had many guides over the centuries, who have attempted to write in a way so that the light can shine through. They didn’t write to teach you something, but instead they sought only to show you something, namely, the light within you. For that light within you, is the light of the all, and the whole, and the one. Once you trust that guidance, it will lead to the true nature our connection, of our ability to communicate beyond space and time, and beyond the quantum field. The process never ends, and you discover that there is a world right here that has always been present here, as you and as without you, regardless of the ego and this particular body with all its aches and pains and challenges, forever and ever to come. This experience is more powerful than any argument coming from the book or mouth of any human being. Many in the past have called this the faith of God, but the word “God” has also become as distorted as the word “Mindfulness”.  I leave both behind.

So the deeper into awareness you go, the more you faith becomes certainty. When it becomes certainty, you feel the certainty of love, and the power of connection to all beings and all that possibly exists, beyond mind, beyond the perception of the physical form. We are blessed to be able to walk through this gateway, even while still in the physical plane. That is when the universe rewards you with its magic, beyond anything the mind can conjure or argue for. No matter how much the ego tries, it can never experience love or magic in this way. Make no mistake, all egoic love is non-love. It is all false, from the bottom to the top. True love, the love that is present always through you and around you without preposition, never changes, never leaves, and never ever causes any amount of pain through circumstance or otherwise.

Final Thoughts

This world is still dominated by the mental-physical addictions of ego. The virus has succeeded in waking some people up, by sending them inward. However, technology has given people a way to avoid this process of al-one-ness, and so has allowed to them to continue mindfulness and egoic connectivity in order to avoid the fear of walking in the dark in faith of their own light. In doing so, they have continued to reject themselves, and will continue to suffer as human beings suffer, until they eventually awaken in this life or the next one.  There are many timelines that will lead to deep pain, but as I said before, that pain and suffering cannot be fixed through external changes. The only way to find release from the pain, is faith in the light, and then the courage to let go of the egoic attachments of the world that is created through mind, and the collective ego.  Those who are on the path of awakening cannot be touched by those timelines because, as I have said, they have chosen the timeliness that are created through higher awareness.

Egoic mind is always polarized and its mindfulness consists of the knowledge of what mindfulness is and what it is not. It is always engaged in some war, some kind of battle, some form of “us” against “them”. It always believes its cause is good and true and righteous. However, it is not, and it is no different from the enemy or the friend. In fact, it is instrumental in perpetuating the war, and the separation, and the pain of all humanity.

The war is always within the egoic mind of each, projected out into the world, in concert with the collective egoic mind, and so it is the responsibility of each one of us, to let go of that war, to take true responsibility, and begin the journey into the light, onto path that is unity and true connection and all love.

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