Friday, May 19, 2017
I recently found a quote with the book 'The Seven Steps To Awakening' (ed. Michael Langford). It contained a quote from the Yoga Vasistha (The Supreme Yoga), an ancient Indian yogic text, that states:
"Consciousness does not truly undergo any modification nor does it become impure."
"Nothing is created in or by cosmic consciousness, for it remains unchanged and unmodified."
I would like to draw attention to the idea of 'pure consciousness', which is spoken about in nondual teachings.
This term does not actually mean that consciousness can be or become 'impure', or that there are two types of consciousness- a mixed, impure consciousness and a pure unadulterated consciousness. It is also not referring to pure in terms of good/bad, morally speaking.
The term is rather a pointer to the idea of consciousness alone. When starting to work with the idea of consciousness (or awareness), a beginning point is often emphasized- to become acquainted with just consciousness, rather than the objects appearing in consciousness. Likewise, the idea is introduced to become more familiar with the subject of experience, rather than objects appearing in and as experience.
This pointer achieves 2 aims- 1) the seeker is led to the discovery that consciousness or awareness must be prior to the appearance and disappearance of objects that arise in one's experience, and 2) consciousness cannot be denied or negated, since the very denial must also appear within consciousness. There is also the added bonus that allows one to become less identified and enchanted with objects, events etc. appearing in one's experience, and more interested in the actual source of such objects and events in one's experience.
Ultimately however, it may be seen and experienced with increasing duration, that consciousness cannot be separated from the objects that appear in experience. Can a border between subject and object be found? Likewise, the search for consciousness is being conducted by consciousness itself, which has no observable characteristics, being self-evident only. The practice of self-enquiry and self-investigation (e.g. "Who am I?") is a practical and useful way to investigate and repeatedly experience this point.