Awareness is at once whole and direct. We see, hear, smell, feel, and taste the world each moment. Our consciousness coordinates inner and outer experience from the depths of our being to the ends of the universe. The acts of thinking and speaking about awareness, however, are indirect and require experience to be atomized, compartmentalized – rendered into discrete components by means of language.
In the realm of awareness, there is no doubt, only direct knowledge. In the realm of thought, logic, and language, there is no certainty and limited understanding. We are continually brought up short not by the world and our experience of it, but by our inappropriate means of explaining it to ourselves.
This is our first and persistent mistake. The means by which we come to understand the world is not the way in which the world appears to us. Piece by piece, we spend our time disassembling what is the single unified field of experience into separate segments – words and concepts composed of words. In the end, systems we construct from these components fail us – fail to adequately explain our experience and fail to provide us any deep understanding of our predicament.
It is better to know this than not, as it is better to know that it is our instrument which is flawed and not ourselves or our universe.
Image: “Veil of Illusion” ink drawing by Tullio DeSantis, 2009.