What Is Really Real? How Awareness and Beingness Open the Doors to the True Self
Everything that is, everything that ever will be, everything that has ever been, can only occur because we are bearing witness to it. Everything exists simply because we are aware of it. Without us, nothing can be. The entire universe unfolds from our true self: our consciousness, which is also known as the ultimate self, or the ocean of awareness. Whatever words we use to describe it will be inadequate, however, since words are limited. They are only able to be a part of our conscious mind, and even our conscious mind arises out of that which we truly are.
Often we think that the universe is and we merely became aware of it. But unless we are aware of the universe, it is impossible for the universe to exist. This can be a little complicated and difficult to wrap one’s head around, but it is because we are conditioned from an early age to assume that what we see is real, instead of understanding that everything is there because we are aware of it.
Are dreams real in and of themselves? Or are they illusions with their only real element being our awareness of them? Try to think back to your childhood. There are some things that seemed so real to us as children but which were forgotten when we became adults. And yet, when those events occurred during our childhood, they seemed real, in much the same way that a dream feels real but is later forgotten unless we become aware of it. We often have a tougher time seeing the universe as requiring our awareness because our experience of it is longer than dreams. The universe also seems more tangible and real. But ultimately, we can’t deny that the universe cannot be unless we are first aware of it. Our awareness, our consciousness or true self, precedes that which is around us.
We exist before that which is created and then everything arises from our beingness. Our universe has a beginning and an end, but because it is changeable and not constant, it can’t ultimately be what is the real self. The real self is that which is just beingness, that which is constant, that which is always there: awareness. Awareness stands alone. There isn’t a person being aware; there’s simply awareness or beingness. Everything else is time-bound and momentary. Thus, it can’t be the true reality of what is.
All that occurs does so in memory. But what exists before, during and after (what always is) is that which is ultimately the true reality, true beingness. The universe unfolds in that awareness and in that beingness. The past and future can only be known now and they only occur in the mind. All there is, is beingness. This can be proven by remembering when we’ve had dreams. Sometimes the dream can feel like it went on for days yet when we awoke from the dream we might have discovered that only a few minutes had passed. Time is therefore relative. A whale experiences time very differently from a firefly. This is another example of how time is in the mind. What is real, that from which everything arises, is now. All that there is, is now. Even past and future arise in the present, in the state of beingness.
Our true self is our natural real self, and everything else arises from it. What it means to say that our true self is our natural self is that it is a state in which we are when all the concepts are extinguished and we can just be with our thoughts. We are in our natural state then, in our true state of beingness. The only way we can reach this state is ‘via negativa’ or ‘neti neti’, which refers to letting go of the knowledge we have gathered and learning to just be.
Anything that truly is the ultimate self of who we are has to be permanent. When we move through the process of asking “What’s permanent?” everything that isn’t constant disappears: the past, the future, concepts and reality. Beingness right here and now is all there is, all that there has ever been and all that there will ever be.
Beingness is all about the present moment. It is our actual true self which we can locate by getting rid of the false self, that is, those concepts that we hold so dear. We might think that these things are real, but they aren’t permanent and therefore not the true ultimate self.
Our real, ultimate self is merely residing in the present moment without thoughts, fears, or desires. It is just being present with what is, whether we’re dreaming, sleeping or wide awake. Even when we are thinking about the past, perseverating on the future or thinking in the here and now, everything is happening now.
The world appears in our consciousness. When we’re asleep there is no world but when we awake it appears. Instead of identifying with the world, however, let’s identify with who is aware of the consciousness in which everything resides or from which everything flows. Identify with your awareness, and recognize that it is right here in the moment.
There are seven billion people on the planet and everyone experiences the world in different ways. We actually see and experience it differently. However, that which experiences the world is the same in all of us. It’s just beingness and awareness. The world can take on many different shapes but the beingness that is aware of the world is our ultimate true self.
When we limit ourselves to this time-bound world, it’s like we’re living in a prison cell where everything seems so real yet confined and limited. Why not break down the walls of our prison and realize that the prison isn’t even real? Outside of it exists a vast universe with which we’re totally, intimately connected. We create everything through our mind and beyond the universe; we connect with everything and everyone. We should break free of the prison and just be. In this beingness the world opens up to us. It’s a truly beautiful, infinitely wonderful experience when we discover who we truly are.
Our minds limit our reality. Our beingness, on the other hand, creates a vast, infinite, true self. True reality that is beyond anything the mind can grasp. Be that.
There’s another way to look at this. In our dreams, everything occurs spontaneously. Similarly, as we are awake, our hair grows, our nails grow, our hearts beat, all spontaneously. They just are. Why not see the mind in the same way? Don’t fight or repress the concepts and occurrences; rather see them as spontaneously arising. Flow with them and realize that we are ultimately beyond them; we are far more than anything our minds can conceive because we are.
If we stay in that beingness, all becomes well because we flow with life. As our hearts beat, our lives beat too. In the same way that we are not concerned about our hearts beating and our lungs breathing, we also won’t worry about our thoughts and they will be able to flow. We can then just flow with life in our true self, that of awareness and beingness.
Dr. Robert Puff, Ph.D. is a meditation expert, international speaker and creates a podcast and articles that explores the world of Enlightenment available at http://www.EnlightenmentPodcast.com He also has a blog at http://www.Meditation-Enlightenment.com He is the creator of the weekly Meditation For Health Podcast, available at http://www.MeditationForHealthPodcast.com He has a weekly podcast that explores the world of Happiness at http://www.HappinessPodcast.org If you would like to contact Dr. Puff, his e-mail address is DrPuff@cox.net