A new philosophical foundation for religion, science and everyday life.
The ‘A-dvaita’ or ‘non-dual’ school of Indian philosophy. In particular the schools of yoga and philosophical theology known collectively as ‘Shaiva Advaita’, ‘Shaivist Tantrism’ or ‘Kashmir Shaivism’.
Awareness as such and anything we are or could be aware of are like two sides of a coin, both inseparable and perfectly distinct.
Similarly the whole principle of ‘monism’, ‘unity’ or ‘non-duality’ implies neither separation nor loss of all distinction.
The true ‘monistic’ principle of ‘non-duality’ is inseparable distinction.
Space and Awareness 1
We are aware of things in space.
Those things cannot be separated from the empty space around or within them (atoms are largely space too).
Nevertheless that space remains absolutely distinct from anything and everything we are aware of in it.
Like ‘empty’ space, awareness as such – ‘pure’ awareness’ - cannot be separated from particular, tangible things we are aware of.
Nevertheless it remains absolutely distinct from them.
Space and Awareness 2
If there were no such thing as space itself we could not be aware of anything within it. Space as such is therefore the pre-condition for us being aware of anything in it.
Similarly, awareness as such is the precondition for us being aware of anything at all, including space itself.
Ultimately, what we perceive as ‘empty’ space is nothing but the field of pure awareness necessary for us to be aware or ‘conscious’ of anything at all within it.
Space is essentially nothing ‘physical’ or ‘objective’. Instead it is a dimension of awareness or subjectivity – one way of experiencing pure awareness.
‘Awareness’ and ‘Consciousness’ 1
Awareness and ‘consciousness’ are inseparable and yet fundamentally distinct.
If people ‘lose themselves’ through absorption in watching TV or a movie, reading a book or playing computer games, in work or domestic chores, in talking or making love, in sensations of pleasure or pain, or just in trains of thought or strong emotions, then they are still ‘conscious’ - but they are not fully aware.
‘Awareness’ and ‘Consciousness’ 2
Whenever our ‘consciousness’ becomes overly focussed on, fixated by, absorbed in or identified with any one thing, we lose awareness of our body and sensory environment as a whole, and all the other things and bodies within it.
In this sense, ‘consciousness’ is contracted awareness.
If, on the other hand, we can experience something or engage in some activity without losing a more expanded consciousness – one that can simultaneously embrace other things, thoughts, feelings and possible activities within it - then we are aware.
In this sense ‘awareness’ is expanded consciousness.
Awareness, Consciousness and Space
Awareness has the same nature as space. It always embraces countless things, and can never be fully absorbed in, or contained by or reduced to any one thing or set of things.
Like time, space is a dimension of awareness – understood as an expanded and ultimately unbounded spacious field of consciousness.
In this sense awareness is field consciousness.
Consciousness on the other hand, is the contraction of this field of awareness to a specific focus.
In this sense consciousness is focal awareness.
Locality and Non-Locality
We can locate an object ‘in’ space, but space as such, even though it can be divided and has many dimensions, has no location.
Similarly, awareness has an essentially non-local or field character.
Awareness fields are essentially non-local, whereas anything we are conscious of or aware of within them has a local or localisable character – whether an object in space, a feeling we experience in a part of our body, or a thought we are aware of in our head.
Loci and Foci of Awareness
Awareness is ultimately one singular, multidimensional field.
Every thing and every being in that field is a specific centre or ‘locus’ of awareness.
It is also a possible ‘focus’ of awareness for another such locus of awareness.
Each of us is a centre or locus of awareness able to focus our awareness on other such centres or loci of awareness – whether in the form of things or people.
As centres or loci of awareness, each of us is also but one centre or locus of a singular, multi-dimensional awareness field.
The One and the Many
The infinite, multidimensional awareness field is ‘God’ - the source of everything and every being.
Every thing and being is a unique field-pattern of awareness, one that in turn shapes its own uniquely patterned awareness field – its own uniquely perceived experiential world or environment.
The divine awareness field is therefore a field of fields – a holofield embracing the individual awareness fields of every thing and being.
We perceive all things according to our own field-patterns of awareness and from our own centres or loci of awareness.
Yet what we perceive is itself a unique field-pattern of awareness with its own uniquely patterned awareness field or experiential world.
Unity in Diversity
What unites all things and beings is that they are each centres of the infinite multi-dimensional world of awareness that is God, and that their own individual experienced worlds or awareness fields are but one part of that larger and divine ‘field of fields’ or ‘Holofield’.
Each individual’s awareness field is bounded only by the limitations and horizon of their own awareness.
The divine awareness field is unbounded and yet it both embraces and experiences itself through the individual awareness fields of each and every being, knowing itself as their common source and centre.
This common source and centre is God - understood as a divine “singularity of awareness” (Michael Kosok) uniting all individual centres of awareness as their essential or divine ‘Self’, and uniting also all the individual awareness fields that make up their experiential and perceptual Worlds.
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