We are aware of ourselves, our human bodies and all the sensations, emotions, and perceptions that make up our experience as people We have thoughts and we are able to express them because we are a few genes away from being animals. We are self-aware because we can look into a mirror and see who we are, and what we look like; we can think and reason because we have been endowed with intellect. This is the human package, the vehicle for something that is often referred to as Spirit.
When we say “I am”, we know that we are, we have been told so, and we have realized it through our experiences. We exist because we are in material form which is visible through our eyes. Our experiences allow us to feel emotions, good and “bad” and the whole range of what comes in between.
Intellect enables us to discern what is “true” and what is “false” and we learn to look behind and beyond what society insists is right and wrong. We are guided by a set of moral values which are particular to the society we live in and we can exist, or not, within this subset of agreed upon beliefs about how we should act, and what is “right”, so it is a relative concept dependent upon religious beliefs and dogma. Some people believe they have the ultimate truth, and reserve the right to judge others, that their belief (which are just thoughts) is more relevant and more “true” than someone else’s. They will die for these beliefs. They will kill for them too, believing that this is a way to appease the entity that they worship.
When you close your eyes, does the world and all it’s people still exist? They are only there because you see them with your physical eyes. You can hear them with your ears…you know they are there because of your physical senses. It is all related to the material world we exist in.
But what are we really?
What is it that animates the body and allows the mind to think? What is the difference between life and “death”? A spark so fragile, so easily distinguished that it can be snuffed out by a virus or a severe jolt, or a valve malfunctioning in the heart.
Why do we not pay attention to this spark, this thing that allows us to operate in our bodies as people?
We have been conditioned through the beliefs of others to think that our experiences and our bodies are who we are, instead of learning to shut off the noise and sensations that are part of our existence.
By sitting still and listening (meditation) we can access our true selves and grow in awareness of the magnificence of what we really are. We can feel the connection with a greater creative process that is ongoing and continually evolving, changing and growing. We can learn to see emotions and experiences for what they are and realize we do not have to become those sensations, we can identify them and let them go, for we are in truth far more than that.
This does not mean we become less compassionate, in fact, the reverse occurs for in this process we come to identify and feel the joys and sorrows more keenly, but we do not have to make them our own. That is true compassion. In this state we are able to reach out and help others without becoming enmeshed in their emotional states.
Self-awareness is when we are able to recognize that we are ONE and know that there is no separation between us, we are all divine sparks in an unending space of awareness.