Awareness of Unawareness is Awareness

Sometimes it takes a while to see that there is nothing I can add to myself to make me more aware and conscious. But if I watch myself in action, without condemning or judging, I may find I’m asleep most of the time. Krishnamurti gives a great example of this.

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“Can you practice awareness? If you are ‘practicing’ awareness than you are being inattentive. So, be aware of inattention, you do not have to practice. You do not have to go to Burma, China, India, places which are romantic but not factual. I remember once traveling in a car in India with a group of people. I was sitting in the front with the driver. There were three behind who were talking about awareness, wanting to discuss with me what awareness is. The car was going very fast. A goat was in the road, and the driver did not pay much attention and ran over the poor animal. The gentlemen behind were discussing what is awareness, but they never knew what had happened! You laugh, but that is what we all are doing.

–Jiddu Krishnamurti The Flight of the Eagle

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Speaking Exercise

Right while you are talking, you can become aware. Listen to yourself converse with people, then ask, “Why did I say that?”
“What was my real motive?”
“Did I speak impulsively?”
“Did I say that nervously?”
“Did I speak because I was fearful of the silence?”

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3 Comments

  1. Gina on June 14, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    How many times have I gone through an activity, had a conversation, come to some ‘great’ conclusion, only to come Awake suddenly and realize I was completely asleep during the whole event!?! I got married, divorced, raised children, spent money, criticized, loved and hated,made grand plans ~ all of my life ~ and never really experienced any of it! Shocking to look at the magnitude of this!! Finally it is apparent to me, which is a miraculously wonderful occasion, that sanity is only available in the present moment, not as an afterthought or in memory. Tough on the ego, but so sweet for the soul! “Awareness of unawareness is Awareness!!” as Vernon Howard so often said. This speaking exercise helps me to keep my mind with my body and experience life as it is happening.

  2. Steve on June 14, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    The most amazing personal experience a person can have is to truly see that they are asleep in life. That is, self-enclosed with their own thoughts and feelings, believing totally they are a certain kind of person and going about their daily routine dreaming that they are a fully conscious individual and right and just. Having this personal false view bubble burst right in front of their own eyes and realizing a whole new unexplored world exists, they are in awe. Experiencing this new, child-like existence fills their heart with endless possibilities and the feelings that the whole planet is really all right and has always been all right. Then your Vanity shows up, which is very very unhappy about this whole realization, attempts to put you into pain and will try anything and everything to make you suffer for seeing what you saw. Refuse to go along with any suffering. Discovering this new inner world is the meaning to life. The experience will then fade and you must dare to see even more about yourself. To wake up is everything.

  3. Terry Ingraham on June 15, 2018 at 5:48 am

    Krishnamurti’s example of wanting to ‘discuss awareness’ versus actually being aware is priceless. Yes, it is helpful for people who genuinely want to understand the truth to discuss and share. But awareness must also be lived and understood directly by each one of us to allow for inner change. Let us use truth-based sites like these to guide our fruitful, earnest discussions and to encourage our direct inner journeys for a deeper understanding of who we really are, and who we are not.

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