Spirituality Magazine

Recognize That You Are Only Awareness #6

By Hanumandass @HanumanDass

Dictionary.com defines “Recognize”:

1. to identify as something or someone previously seen, known,etc.

2. to identify from knowledge of appearance or characteristics

3. to perceive as existing or true; realize

This series is about recognition, the recognition of what you are. It will be worthwhile to explore exactly what recognition entails. Here are a few things we can say recognition means with regard to nonduality:

1. First and most importantly the recognition we are talking about is not an action. It’s not something you as an apparent person are doing. Is there something happening? Of course, but as should be clear from previous posts “you” do not exist, at least in an ultimate sense. So who is recognizing Awareness? We could actually stop right here. If you can answer that question with honesty, that’s enough to dissolve the illusion of self. But for the sake of my being able to continue writing, let’s say you don’t really understand that question. This recognition is really a seeing or an awaring. When I ask you to recognize what lies behind the self-assertion all I’m asking is that you turn your sight in upon itself and look to what is doing the seeing.

If we’re not clear on this point we stand to scuttle the boat of realization on the rocks of delusion well before we ever reach the gateless gate of liberation. If you think there is something here you must be doing, trying with all your might and mental energy to recognize what you are, that’s just more avidya, it’s stroking the cat we’ve named illusion. The curious thing about ignorance is you can’t get rid of it by sticking to its way of reasoning, you have to either investigate how it’s flawed or simply drop it altogether. Pretending to be a person recognizing they’re not a person just perpetrates a deeply confused imaginary person! What’s the point in that!? So again, when you set out to recognize that you are only Awareness don’t do anything or even think you’re doing something. Just re-cognize, look back upon yourself…see what you already are.

2. In the first definition we see that recognize means that there is cognizance of a thing previously seen or known. This definition is particularly potent in meaning for our purpose here. But stop! Let’s not forget that words are just that, symbols of things; names applied to apparent phenomena. Words are as vaporous as the mist we cling to called “me”. But since we have to use words lets use one that will at least point to what can’t be “word-ed“. Recognition is the remembering of a truth of which you already are. Again, there’s nothing to become, nothing to gain. You are already That.

Since we are using words they always refer to subjects and objects. That’s how language works. In fact language is one of the elephants in the room that got us into this whole mess of thinking we are separate entities in the first place. When we set about recognizing Awareness we have to be clear that there is no slipping into the error of trying to lay hold of Awareness. It’s not a thing to be had, you can’t possess it or own it. How can you touch what can’t be handled; who’s going to touch it anyway? All we’re doing in recognition is assuming the framework of language provisionally in order to point to that which is not a thing. As soon as you intuit what the pointing aims at the subject/object paradigm has to be dropped. What I’m suggesting is that from the outset you are always mindful of this as a provisional tool. It’s like the analogy of the finger pointing at the moon. The finger is merely a tool.

3. Finally, we’ve already touched upon this, but coming from another angle notice that recognition is only the remembering of what is already the case. Definition 2 states that recognition is the identification of a thing from appearance or characteristics. Logic dictates that if we are identifying something from an appearance or characteristic we must have previously had knowledge of the object, i.e. we re-cognize it. So, …and here’s the juicy part…, if we are re-cognizing what we truly are, we can’t avoid that we are already It! For by definition to recognize Awareness we must have previously known it in order to remember it. We were never not Awareness, we apparently just forgot. Recognizing is nothing more than re-membering, returning to what we are.

This recognition series should not be confusing or difficult for you. You may have questions or perhaps not “get” everything I say but the exhortation is always the same. All that is required is that recognition take place. Don’t get hung up on points you don’t understand or things you may not agree with. If you’re not getting the jest of one of these posts try to determine what the overall message is. Then turn again to the recognition, focus on the investigation of “you”. The process is always about starting with an apparent entity you call “you” and realizing you are not this self-assertion. Once you’re past this merely recognize what remains.

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