There is nothing more essential or primal in our experience than this Knowing Being…This essential Knowing of our own Being is what is referred to by the word Happiness. ~ Rupert Spira
Rupert Spira answers questions about Sat Chit Ananda or “truth, consciousness, bliss,” an epithet and description for the subjective experience of the ultimate, unchanging reality in Hinduism. Rupert explores sat chit ananda with clarity and depth in this three part series. … And here is Part 2 and Part 3 of this series.
Rupert’s explorations center around the following questions…
“Would you say that in deep sleep Consciousness knows itself?
Does Consciousness only know itself with the appearance of an object.
In deep sleep or what we call death, consciousness remains– but can it know itself without an object? Rupert answers, Yes, it always knows itself without an object
Rupert begins his full response ….
First of all I would like to say that I do not wish to comment on any other teacher. My comments are a response only to the above statement.
The suggestion that Awareness or Consciousness does not know itself is an expression of fundamental ignorance or dualism.
Let us be clear to begin with that by the words Awareness or Consciousness we simply mean whatever it is that is aware or conscious of this current situation. For instance, it is aware or conscious of these words.
We have no doubt that Consciousness is present and that it is what we most essentially are. It is what is referred to as ‘I.’ It is the experiencing element in every situation.
The experience ‘I am’ is known, and it is not known by anything or anyone other than myself. ‘I’ am that alone which knows my self to be. It is ‘I’ that knows ‘I am.’
In other words it is Consciousness that knows that itself is present. And it does not know itself through any agent or medium such as a mind or a body. It knows itself directly, prior to knowing any ‘other thing.’
This establishes that in the absolute certainty of the experience of our self, both the knowing of our self and the being of our self, is present.
Neither one of these two aspects of our self, Knowing and Being, can be present without the other. In order for Knowing or Consciousness to be present, it must be. In other words there must be Being. And in order to experience the presence of our own Being, Consciousness must be present ‘there’ to experience it.
Therefore we can say from our own intimate experience both, ‘I know that I am,’ and ‘I am that I am.’
However, we know that whatever we are, we are only one ‘thing.’ ‘I’ is one, not two.
Therefore in simply acknowledging the first hand experience of our own presence, in recognising that ‘I am,’ we recognise that Consciousness and Being are one, and that this one is what we call ‘I.’
We recognise that being our self and knowing our self is one and the same experience. This non-objective knowing/being is prior to and therefore independent of the body, the mind and the world.
There is nothing more essential or primal in our experience than this Knowing Being.
So the essential nature of our Self, ‘I,’ Knowing Being is Consciousness and Presence. It can never cease to Know and it can never cease to Be. This essential Knowing of our own Being is what is referred to by the word Happiness. It is for this reason that what we are is described not simply as Knowing and Being, but rather, Knowing, Being and Happiness.
So it is not just that Consciousness knows itself at all times but rather that Consciousness is the ever-present knowing of itself. It is Consciousness that knows itself to be Consciousness. It does not know itself through any other agency, such as a mind or a body.
Therefore Consciousness is said to be self-luminous, because it is the light by which it knows itself (It is also the light be which everything else is known).
Consciousness is said to be self-knowing because in the simple being of itself is the knowing of itself.
And Consciousness is said to be self-evident, because it is through itself, by itself, in itself and as itself, that it knows itself. It is its own evidence.
Consciousness can never not know itself and it can never not be itself.
When an object appears, the knowing/experiencing of that object is Consciousness’ knowing/experiencing of itself as that apparent object. Objects are only ascribed their own independent, separate reality (separate, that is, from Consciousness) when Consciousness’ knowing of its own self (as itself and as the substance of all things) seems to become veiled, by mind.
In other words, to seem to know an object, other or world is to seem not to know Consciousness. And to know Consciousness is to understand that we never know an object, other or world.
Or we could say, normally we think that Consciousness is the unknown element in every experience and that the object, other or world is the known element in every experience. However, it is in fact the other way round. Consciousness is the known element in every experience and the the object, other or world is the imagined element in every experience.
For much more about Rupert, take a look at his Teacher’s Page, which contains articles, videos and books. Also, you can purchase the 2 DVD interview set, The Transparency Of Things, where Rupert and Chris Hebard walk with the audience through a complete examination of the reality of our experience – here and now. You can also watch short video clips from these DVDs on our website for FREE or on our YouTube channel.