Originally written March 2, 2018
One sign of spiritual maturity seems to occur when one finds oneself investigating the last frontier (or origins) of consciousness: that of no consciousness; of unconscious awakeness; of no-thingness; of emptiness.
This ‘stage’, so to speak, seems to occur after we have realized our true nature and have stabilized to a large degree as the spacious awareness that we are. And although thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and sensations continue to come and go, there is the ability to ‘rest’ as the spacious awareness that we are and to observe all those comings and goings much like someone laying in a field watching the clouds move across the sky. Only, in this case, we are the sky in which the clouds of sensations, perceptions, feelings, and thoughts arise, and consequently, spacious awareness includes those sensations, perceptions, feelings, and thoughts. (Indeed, as I am attempting to articulate in another post that is being written simultaneous with this, another question arises as to whether spacious awareness exists prior to the sensations, perceptions, feelings, and thoughts, or is dependent upon those arisings for its own existence.)
(Note: In my post Cat and Mouse, which was written four months after this one, but posted first, the conclusion is that awareness isdependent on the arising of perceptions.
So, it seems natural to now question, what is prior to the awake space? If the awake space is prior to all arisings, does it too have an origin? From whence does it come? Is this what Zen masters and non-dual teachers have referred to as nothingness, emptiness, or the void? And if so, what is this void from which spacious awareness itself arises? Can it ever be known or experienced?
Some non-dual teachers have gone so far as to write that the awake space (or spacious awareness) is present even