At the Beginning is Awareness — and the Void is Filled
By Alan Thurley
In the earlier parts of this series we have gradually uncovered a new view of the Universe in which there is a fourth dimension of space, and in which Mind also has been viewed as dimension.
This time we will see how Awareness, in its most fundamental aspect, can also be viewed as Dimension, the first Dimension to be expressed out of Void.
What is Awareness?
Perhaps it would be easier to say what it is not, to strip off the layers of misconception current in everyday life. It has nothing to do with being awake in any of its normal contexts. Neither does it require consciousness.
When we are asleep we are neither conscious nor awake in any normal sense of those terms, and yet we are still aware.
How many times have you wakened suddenly in the middle of the night, straining to hear some sound which disturbed you? What was it that heard?
You may say the brain interpreted a signal from the ear. This is true, but what part of the being was it that decided the signal was sufficiently unusual to trigger a return to the waking state?
Consciousness was a long way behind. It was thoroughly confused and worried as to why it had been disturbed. Memory wasn’t much help either. It had only a vague echo of something that could have been a noise. So, you have been wakened by some part of you that does not sleep, is neither consciousness nor the accessible areas of memory controlled by the brain.
It must be obvious then, that there is a deeper level of being which does not sleep whilst we live. Ever. This is Awareness. An inherent attribute of Life perhaps?
What other life functions does Awareness support?
We saw in the previous article, on Mind, that the cells of the body hold a memory of form, so that the entity con-form-s to the shape of its kind. The relationship between those cells is an aspect of Awareness.
Awareness then, is that which supports this aspect of Mind.
It should be evident that in order to do so, to support or sustain a Dimension of the Universe, the supporting agency must itself be a higher order Dimension. Awareness thus seems to be a prior Dimension to Mind, Time, and Form.
Is there any other evidence supporting this view of Awareness as Dimension?
Well now, we have discovered that Awareness is not dependent on thought, memory, or consciousness, so let us look at something which does not possess any of these. A stone maybe. It seems to have no connection with Mind or consciousness. What of Awareness?
Not in any normal way of perception certainly. But it is there before us. It occupies the Dimensions of Space, and has the durability associated with Time.
Is that all?
No; there is another aspect to the stone that is perhaps too obvious to remember at first. A property which goes beyond the statement that it exists in the Dimensions of Space-Time. It simply is.
What does this simple word ‘Is’ really mean?
Does it not equate with Awareness? An inherent state of existence, Timeless, Formless, and Mindless. For instance, the statement “It is dark” has no aspect of Form or Time and very little of Mind, but still it Is.
So this ‘Is-ness’ also seems to transcend the Dimensions of the Universe. Could it be that Awareness and ‘Is-ness’ are one and the same? A seventh Dimension encompassing all else.
It is certainly evident that the Universe ‘Is’. Any other interpretation is meaningless. It seems then that this also tells us that the Universe is Aware in a very fundamental way.
Awareness is not an active condition. Neither is there any related activity.
Try an experiment:
Sit down comfortably but alertly in a quiet place where you will not be disturbed, as you would for meditation perhaps. Let the Mind fall quiet and release the thoughts of what was and what might be. Stop day-dreaming and open the senses gently to the sounds and smells around you.
It is much easier to keep the eyes closed when doing this. They are by far the most used of our senses and easily dominate every other sense input except touch.
So then, you are sitting quietly and thoughtlessly, observing with your ears, nose, and skin. Passively. Allowing no thoughts, judgments, or associations to intrude on these sensual observations. Thoughts will arise, but you will see them and let them go gently and freely, without comment.
Your senses are as a net in the river of Time, unmoving and unaffected by the flow but missing nothing, impeding nothing.
Stay quietly like this for as long as possible, at least until you realise the Mind is interfering and making associations or value judgments on the observations.
Or until you doze off into a dream of course.
Now when the exercise is over, you may find that it is very difficult to remember the state you were in, although you probably can remember the thoughts that cause you to come out of the passive state.
So what was going on that you now find difficult to remember? What is this new condition we have found?
If you truly were thoughtless and didn’t fall straight off to sleep, you were experiencing Awareness. That state in which sounds, smells, and other sensory inputs are experienced entirely without correlation or comment in the Now. Neither anticipated nor retained. Clear, clean, and untainted; perfect in every way.
Did not that Awareness state lack any sense of Mind, Time, or Form?
They were not necessary.
You were still alive, perhaps more so than usual. You were experiencing the unconditional unstructured ‘Is-ness’ of the Awareness Dimension. It can be strangely invigorating if it does not dissipate in dream.
Was this Awareness present at the beginning of the Universe, at the moment of creation; the ‘Big Bang?’
It is very interesting to note that scientists attempting to explore the very earliest moments of this “event!’, have had to postulate an incredibly rapid expansion of the Universe in the very early instants of time. It is estimated that an expansion of perhaps as much as 1050 occurred before the Universe was 10-30 seconds old. This represents a pulse of energy reaching out almost instantaneously to the farthest possible future limits of the Universe.
It is not inconceivable that life would not have been possible without that primordial expansion, that flash of Awareness as I prefer to call it.
This is pure speculation of course. Science required there to be an expansive pulse in order to satisfy the observed structure of the Universe, and assumes it to have been physical expansion. However, the conditions and processes occurring in the first one second after the ‘Big Bang’ are still very much open to speculation.
That this pulse of awareness should be almost infinitely beyond the speed of light, which Einstein showed to be the limiting speed of matter, and of physical information exchange, is irrelevant. Neither Awareness nor Mind are of the physical Universe of Space-Time. There is no valid reason, then, to assume they are subject to the laws appropriate to Space-Time.
With the expression of matter from the Void at the moment of Creation, the ‘Big Bang’, ‘Is-ness’ flashed into being, encompassing instantly the limits o expansion of the Universe, its Laws, Dimensions, and properties.
As stated in the Myth:
From the beginning the Void always Is-Full.
In Indian religious teachings, the Creator-God was One and Alone. Becoming Aware, the need to now Himself caused the expression of the Universe so that He could see Himself reflected therein.
Life is part of that necessity since life is conscious and reflects therefore the Divine Consciousness of the Creator.
The Anthropic Principle of the modern cosmologist asks whether the Universe has to be the way it is.
It suggests that it did, and that conscious beings like ourselves are necessary in that Universe in order to be Aware of it.
Thus by being necessarily a part of the Universe in order for the Universe to exist, we share that fundamental Awareness and are identified with the entirety and origin of all things manifest and unmanifest, throughout every Dimension that Is.
Thus if God created the Universe then we also are God in this context. Absolutely and inevitably.
As of course, is every other conscious being in every one of the infinity of possible Universes.
© 1993 Alan Thurley