One of the aspects of some philosophies & disciplines that I have found limiting in the exploration of Self-awareness is the idea of there being no Witness in transcendent states. The idea being that the Witness is described as becoming pure awareness. I have little argument with the idea that the unhealthy ego is a perceptual illusion, as is all things of creation. The unhealthy ego is a part of creation itself, and not the true Self. The unhealthy ego is the dream the Self is having, based upon the illusionary perception of separation and limitation (insert comfy label for "unhealthy ego", such as "self" small "s", or "historical self", etc.).
Accordingly, some philosophies say that there is only Source. My understanding is that some congregate is becoming conscious, as demonstrated by consciousness evolving perpetually over ten and a half billion years in our universe alone (that we are aware of presently). This conscious evolution is taking place in the arena of matter, from particles all the way to pre-frontal lobes. The fact that the human body is one of the latest pieces of this long evolutionary chain would suggest that it is not humans who are evolving, but that the marvel of the human form would point towards consciousness inhabiting more and more complex forms as it evolves and expands. Nor should we assume it ends with humanity.
What is the thing that is driving this evolution? Is the evolving consciousness the cause of it, or is it an effect of evolution? If we look at the "as above so below", we see that we evolve not by choice, but by natural default. Why should it be any different for that which we are a part of? It would also seem in its infancy (billions of years ago) that consciousness as a whole (what I label "active principle") would not likely be causing evolution, but led by it. In this perception is the idea that evolution is the neutral cause of creation, and not a "creator" deity. Evolution as a natural law or mandate which the expanding consciousness is subject to.
Some philosophers have always confused what is evolving with mundane evolution itself, saying there is no duality present. Duality is self-evident all the way up, and all the way down. Why does a universal truth as such end at the Self? There is a witness, and there is that which is witnessed. Even if the witnessed is perceptual illusion, it is nonetheless witnessed. How can there be no witness if there is an report given of these states? How can there be no witness if anything is remarked upon? Even if you discover no-thing, pure awareness, and void in the non-dual state, how do you know you did, unless you witnessed some thing - no matter how subtle it was? I have always wondered at this huge gap in reason in some meditative disciplines. If there was no witness, a person would have no idea they ever went into any state. "How did your meditation go, Bob?" "Huh, what are you talking about? I didn't meditate? Come to think of it, where did the last two hours go?"
Self-awareness begins with recognizing the unhealthy ego as not the true Self. Our true Self would be that part of the whole evolving into more and more expanded consciousness, and not the self that is attached to form and appetites. My perceptions are based upon an "as above so below" observation. A masuline aspect and feminine aspect gave birth to me. As a child I evolved through the levels of awareness to Self consciousness. Consciousness evolving within form, as a whole, started at the big bang the same - a zygote produced from active and passive principles coalescing (reason unknown). The active principle's evolving Self awareness (caused from sensual exploration & experience) is what has created all form. The form has evolved to more complex, in order to house this expanding and awakening consciousness.
Obviously given the nature of this essay, using terms and labels that I have stumbled upon, some are going to want to nitpick the definitions of meanings of definitions. I implore you to look beyond my word usage to the perception underneath, because I will not debate concepts. This essay is based upon my experience first in transcendent meditation practice (discovering the passive principle), and second in contemplation from a state of presence (discovering the active principle), and not based on any books I have read, or ontologies I have heard.
© 2004 DC Vision