Sense of being - Part 1

I like it when a consistent theme seems to arise that leads to a deep investigation of some elemental teaching. Much of what follows below emanated from a video post by Fred Davis in which he discusses both the sense of being and the “I am” thought. (

And because multiple pointers seemed to arise following a viewing of that video, there has been a compelling energy to write about it. However, in preparing my written thoughts, there was the realization of the importance of using precise language. And so, in a Satsang earlier this month and a private talk with Fred, he and I explored the razor’s edge of consciousness while simultaneously refining the precision to which language is used to communicate these teachings.

Part 1: Sense of Being

In order to discuss the sense of being, we must first discuss consciousness. Just briefly, Fred and most other non-dual teachers equate consciousness with the spacious awareness that exists prior to language. Consciousness has also been referred to as awareness, spacious awareness, the awake space, awakeness, and oneness, among many names.

Consciousness is not the same as thinking that there is a ‘me’ or a ‘self’ that is conscious. Rather, it is the pure awareness that senses light, sound waves, pressure, temperature, etc., and converts that energy into perceptions. Consciousness exists prior to having a sense of a witness observing an object of perception: it is non-dual.

Conversely, being conscious is dualistic: it implies that there is a witness and an object, even though the truth of the matter is that there is only one consciousness.

However, recognize the difficulty of language: using the phrases “awareness” or “spacious awareness” or “awakeness” as synonyms for consciousness can easily be misconstrued that there is someone that is consciously awake. However, it is not the ego or ‘me’ that wakes up to its true nature; rather it is awakeness itself that wakes up to the illusion of the ego.

Fred talks about the sense of being often and it is one of the key aspects of his teachings as well as the teaching