Rupert Spira on Awareness

The Daily Quote from Rupert Spira, 24th July 2016
“We are the open, empty, allowing presence of Awareness, in which the objects of the body, mind and world appear and disappear, with which they are known and, ultimately, out of which they are made. Just notice that and be that, knowingly.”

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Is your ‘inner self’ mind or heart or heart-mind?


My answer is the human spirit – her own and her pupils. How might we construe that spirit? My answer is as the flow of ‘spirit-as-the-life-force’ (chi?)

One analogy for the ‘flow of spirit-as-the-life-force’ is water flowing. Another analogy lies in the flow of energy as dancer dances. Another metaphor for ‘the flow of spirit-as-the-life-force’ is that of white light. These metaphors are the opposite of the mechanistic ‘human-as-computers’ or the older ‘humans-as-machines’ metaphors.

Since I see teachers as ‘developers of consciousness’ I here am focusing on the idea of the life-force, in a normal person, culminating in (raised) consciousness. I also use the term interiority to refer to consciousness. By interiority I mean ‘affective awareness’ and ‘moral awareness’ as well as ‘cognitive awareness’ – hence my preference for ‘heart-mind’ as a term for interiority.

I am grateful to Martin Cortazzi for pointing out that a unitive presentation of heart-mind has a long history. He tells me that heart-mind corresponds to ‘xin’ in Chinese, (sometimes transcribed as ‘hsin’). (Professor Peter Harvey of the University of Sunderland also points out that ‘citta’ in Sanskrit, as used in Indian Buddhism, has the same meaning)

Hansen (1989 p. 97) explains that ‘We use ‘heart-mind’ to translate xin. This is because the philosophical psychology of ancient China did not use a cognitive/affective contrast in their talk of well-honed human performance…’

He also points out (1992 p. 20) that ‘The common translation of xin as heart-mind reflects the blending of belief and desire (thought and feeling, ideas and emotions) into a single complex dispositional potential.’
Tu ( 1985 p. 32) provides further evidence in saying:

…the Confucian hsin [xin] must be glossed as ‘heart-mind’ because it involves both cognitive & affective dimensions of human relations. This ‘fruitful ambiguity’ is perhaps the result of a deliberate refusal rather than an unintended failure to make a sharp distinction between conscience & consciousness. To Yang-Ming [Wang Yang-Ming, neo-Confucian philosopher 1477-1529] consciousness as cognition & conscience as affection are not two separable functions of the mind. Rather, they are integral aspects of a dynamic process whereby man becomes aware of himself as a moral being. Indeed, the source of morality depends on their inseparability in a pre-reflective faculty.

Rupert Spira: All that I have ever been is ‘knowing presence’

All that I have ever been is ‘knowing presence’ – Rupert Spira

Keys to Nondual Interspirituality 1: Heschel – 'We are Citizens of Two Realms'

Heschel wrote;

‘The search for reason ends at the shore of the known;
on the immense expanse beyond it
only the sense of the ineffable can glide.
It alone knows the route to that
which is remote from experience and understanding.

Neither is amphibious:
reason cannot go beyond the shore,
and the sense of the ineffable
is out of place where we measure, where we weigh…….

Citizens of two realms, we must all sustain dual allegiance:
we sense the ineffable in one realm;
we name and exploit reality in another.’

In this wonder-full passage Heschel tells us a number of key things about the nature of what it is to be human and about our relation to the physical and spiritual cosmos.

Heschel is the master on awe, wonder and the ineffable. He is a philosopher and spiritual teacher who is also a poet.

We are ‘citizens of two realms’ tells us that we are born to live in the dual, contingent world. We are challenged to discover, realize and integrate within ourselves the ineffable, transcendent realm. Reinforced by our contemporary society, most manipulatively by ‘mammon’, we are led into believing that this is reality. Whereas from all of the great spiritual teachers we gradually learn, through our unhappiness and the dull ache of not ‘being home’, that this is our false self. The answer lies in realizing our true Self – the Transcendent realm.

The dual is our small island of knowledge – of the dual, contingent world. The nondual is the infinite Ocean that surrounds our little island i.e. Mystery, the Whole, YHWH, the Source etc.

Experience in the ineffable realm is by definition indescribable but thank God the Messengers of God and poets give us glorious intimations.


To date the best way of describing nondual experience is;

When the heart-mind is quietened, there is only Oneness – the dual world slips away…..

Bill Carey: The Cornerstone of Reality is Consciousness & the Zen Gateless Gate

I came across an interesting insight by Bill carey on consciousness. Consciousness is a synonym for awareness for some writers on spirituality. My simple distinction is between the physical consciousness and the spiritual awareness. Awareness can be difficult to explain in a Nondual context. “Rupert Spira says;

“By ‘Awareness’ I mean whatever it is that is aware of our experience. By ‘mind’ I mean thoughts and images (although in a wider context I sometimes use the term to include feelings, sensations and perceptions as well.)”

The Bill Carey piece;

“Finally, I came to understand the nature of reality, whose cornerstone
is consciousness:

(a) it is created by the delimitation of perceptual chaos through agreement;

(b) it is unique to each individual; and

(c) we create a cultural consensus regarding the content of “reality”
using language as our tool.

Language is our willed abstraction of our experience, just as identity
is our willed abstraction of what some call “the ground of being.” A
visceral understanding and utilization of these insights constitutes,
in a real sense, the abandonment of all paradigms; at that instant,
one steps through what Zen calls “the gateless gate” (a one-way
passage, by the way.)

But everybody’s got to do it by themselves, because it isn’t teachable
in any current sense of the word, since language merely abstracts the
experience rather than describes it. Yet the experience is available
to everyone. Once again, Zen:

“It is too clear, and so it is hard to see. A dunce once searched for
a fire with a lighted lantern.

Had he known what fire was, he could have cooked his rice much
sooner.” ”

Rupert Spira weaving love, beauty and presence and other wonderful no-things

‘The Seamless Intimacy Of Experience’ – Interview by Renate McNay

The two books referred to are – ‘Presence: The Seamless Intimacy Of Experience’ and ‘Presence: The Art Of Peace And Happiness’

Scott Kiloby: on inattention as an object in awareness

Scott has written on ‘inattention’ in a very useful way that I haven’t seen elsewhere. It is helpful in relation to several nonduality teachers. For example it is useful in relation to the brilliantly successful definition of meditation given by Joan Tollifson;

“meditation is moment-to-moment presence that excludes nothing and sticks to nothing.”

Scott on ‘Inattention’

Notice when thought is referencing past, future, or resistance to now. These thoughts appear in awareness. When these thoughts appear, it feels like inattention. In other words, it feels like you are not here “in the now.” Is that really true?

Inattention is merely an object in awareness. It is a movement of thought, a dream of past, future, or resistance to now. In noticing that movement, notice that there is often another voice that comments on the inattention. This voice says that you should not be lost in your self-centered story.

The voice is trying to convince you that what is happening (i.e., inattention) should not be happening. Is that true? Is it true that something that is happening should not be happening including inattention? Is it true that thought should not arise? Only a thought would say that thought should not arise.

Instead of making a new self-centered story about whether you are or are not “present” enough, just notice what is. Noticing what is — including so-called “inattention” — allows what is to be just as it is.

A thought within the time-bound story and the subsequent thought that tells you that you should not be lost in that story are both appearances in awareness. Be clear that you are the awareness. In that clarity, it is seen that no appearance can take you away from what you are.

~ From: Reflections of the One Life, by Scott Kiloby