rachmiel wrote:Apologies for getting a bit analytical. I'm trying to avoid doing something that feels like vivid awareness, but is not. To do this, I need to know if I'm on the right track.
Let's say there are two main types of awareness: awareness of objects (physical and mental) and pure awareness (no objects).
Awareness of objects can be very obvious: I see a tree, name it (tree/maple), and think about that time as a kid when I climbed a maple tree and found a bird nest in it. Or it can be subtler: I see a tree, name it (tree), but I don't go beyond that in interpretation/storytelling. Or it can be even subtler: I see colors and shapes, but don't name them.
Pure awareness is awareness with no objects, no subject/object division. One simply IS awareness.
My question: Which of these types of awareness is vivid awareness? Specifically, is it the subtlest form of awareness of objects, in which one perceives sensations without naming them? Or is it pure awareness, in which there are no objects, just awareness itself?
First of all, an awareness without object is a fiction, it is only a theory, a false concept of self. When there is no duality of subject and object it means that one does not reify a self and a thing, and by grasping on one there is always the other, that's why Buddhism is not a monism nor a dualism. The emptiness of self and appearances means that there is no clinging to an inherently existing essence. But, it doesn't negate any ordinary phenomenon, the six faculties work perfectly well, but one knows and sees that all are dependently arisen and without substance. That's why in Dzogchen you don't create any special state, don't make any effort in achieving something, but simply let things come and go without attaching to them any importance. You are aware of everything but don't get stuck by anything. So, if you are wondering about what pure awareness, vivid awareness or anything like that is, just see how the thought appears, stays and goes, but don't try to hold on to it, solve it, respond to it or remove it. Also, look at the preliminaries given by Gangshar on how to analyse appearances, since that can help you clarify some difficult points.