I have read in many spiritual books and teachings that the awareness is always present, and is "behind" or "above" thoughts, and other sensations. Sometimes I see this - a clear, peaceful emptiness beyond thought. But other times, I see that awareness can not exist without senses and thoughts - i.e. if those things are gone, then there is nothing left.
It’s very important that you put aside everything that you’ve learned from others. Why? Since that’s just an intellectual knowledge for you what you can agree with or not, or in other words, you either believe in or not.
Intellectual knowledge is utterly useless in this inquiry.
Actually, it’s in a way to see what is here at plain sight, but ignored, or unnoticed, since the focus is on trying to justify the learned information.
This whole illusion is mainly created by thoughts. So you cannot use the same tool to see through the illusion which is creating it in the first place.
But for now, we are halting to investigate awareness, since there are other beliefs in your comments which needs attention first. But later we will come back to it. I know you are keen to look at this, but as long as other beliefs are in place, seeing this could be much harder.
Yes, being completely honest the awareness is still the subject of experience. There is an awareness that is aware. If I look for it, it can't be found because it is looking for itself. It is already there. Frustration arises slightly when I try to do this.
This is a pure intellectualization. It’s coming from logical thinking. Thinking is exactly what is creating the illusion.
You need another tool to see through it. And that tool is investigating experience directly, BEFORE any thought interpretation. And you might THINK that you are investigating experience, but you aren’t. You have an idea what you’ve learned from others, and now you are trying to justify this idea. This justification happens in thinking. The circle is closed.
The noticer is still in my head, but still can't be found when I look for him / it. The awareness can't be found, but the thoughts can be "seen". Although thoughts are not seen to appear - they are not announced with any sort of notification - I simply find that they are already there. Where is "there"? It is simply "in awareness".
Here, you are actually doing some looking! You are noticing what is actually there in experience. And you see that this noticer in the head is not there. But, and this is a big BUT, you are quickly shifting back to thinking and trying to interpret what has been seen, and then you are concluding that “it’s simply in awareness’. And this conclusion is based on the belief that there is such thing as awareness in which things appear. You’ve heard it so many times, that it has become a belief accepted at face value. And even when there are experimental facts of showing that this might not the case, the evidence is dismissed, since it’s not in accordance with the belief.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not your fault :) It’s not your doing. This is how we humans function. We conceptualize almost everything and this conceptual layer is ‘covering’ the experience. And even if we peek ‘under’ this thought overlay and see what is going on in realty, it’s automatically interpreted through this conceptual layer, through our beliefs.
Yes, the narration / commentary is directed at "me", and also narrated by "me"; so it is obvious that both of these entities cannot exist simultaneously.
Exactly! But what if none of them is real? What if both of them are pointing to the same fictional character?
So, do you believe that there is such thing as a mind?
Thoughts are therefore less "real", since they only exist in the mind.
Is mind something that is experienced, or something that is learned?
It’s very important that you put aside ALL learned knowledge, all beliefs, all assumption, theories, philosophies, speculation, imagination and you stick to only your own immediate experience. Only to the facts of experiential reality.
So, if you put aside all learned knowledge, HOW do you know that there is a mind inside your head?
Can you find a mind?
You can easily find your head, right?
Now, focus on experiencing your head.
How is you head experienced?
As a color? Sound? Taste? Smell? Sensation?
And now shift your focus to experiencing the mind.
How is it experienced? How does it look like? How big it is? What shape it has? What color? Texture? Does it have a smell? Taste? Where is its exact location?
Can you find a mind at all?
Can a mind as such be experienced at all? Or it can only THOUGHT OF, and IMAGINED?
And HOW do you know that thoughts exist or appear in a mind?
Have you ever seen a thought appearing IN a mind?
Or you can just imagine a thought appearing in a mind?