An Indian Civilizational Perspective

What is Awareness?

You see a lovely tree with its leaves sparkling after the rain; you see the sunlight shining on the water and on the gray-hued feathers of the birds; you see the villagers walking to town carrying heavy burdens, and hear their laughter; you hear the bark of a dog, or a calf calling to its mother. All this is part of awareness, the awareness of what is around you, is it not? Coming a little closer, you notice your relationship to people, to ideas and to things; you are aware of how you regard the house, the road; you observe your reactions to what people say to you, and how your mind is always evaluating, judging, comparing, or condemning. This is all part of awareness, which begins on the surface and then goes deeper and deeper, but for most of us awareness stops at a certain point. We take in the noises, the songs, the beautiful and ugly sights, but we are not aware of our reactions to them. We say, ‘That is beautiful’, or, ‘That is ugly’, and pass by; we don’t inquire into
what beauty is, what ugliness is. Surely, to see what your reactions are, to be more and more alert to every movement of your own thought, to observe that your mind is conditioned by the influence of your parents, of your teachers, of your race and culture – all this is part of awareness, is it not?

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Also read:  Because you know that you are, you know also that the world is.

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