Hey guys! Welcome back to a new chapter and a new lesson. This one is called What Is Looking, Is Looking for What Is Looking.
The theme of this chapter is to help you end the seeking drive. By “seeking,” I mostly mean “striving,” because seeking, in itself, is an inherent part of our being. It is an innate, natural aspect of being Consciousness, of being physically-focused as a being here on Earth.
So, it is not so much about getting rid of seeking altogether; it is not so much about getting rid of the desire for self-discovery and self-expansion. Rather, it is about letting go of the really intense seeking nature of, let’s say, “the rat race,” or the striving, negative, self-perpetuating loop of trying to find something that cannot be found. That is where things get complicated: when we desperately try to find that which cannot be found by any traditional means—in this case, Awareness.
In my own seeking years, I was very much seeking for Enlightenment. I was very much seeking for pure Awareness. But the very nature of the seeking—the very nature of the striving, of the way I was seeking—put such a damper, such a contraction on my being, on my sense of who I am. It became harder and harder for me to simply relax and enjoy the experience of life, the experience of being awake, the experience of being already conscious.
In fact, I was seeking so hard that it was blocking me (as it does for many people) from seeing that, what we are looking for is truly always already here. We hear that idea: “What you are looking for is already here. Stop seeking.” It does not usually do the trick, because we will not give up seeking until we find what we are looking for. And that is quite all right, in fact.
I encourage you to not stop seeking until you find what you are looking for. However, there are some things to realize that can speed up the dissolution of the seeking process. Much of this will already have been dissolved for you by now, because in these lessons I have been so focused on, I have so emphasized the concept of Awareness being always, already here. I emphasize the concept of recognition, rather than seeking for a different state.
I have been encouraging you to recognize that Awareness is already always here; that it is already perfect, timeless, and spacious; that it is already here, right now. Since I have emphasized that over and over again, I am convinced that the majority of your seeking tendency has already dissolved to a great extent.
This chapter is designed to help you to really dissolve that negative type of seeking, that striving type of seeking, that “trying to find it where it is not present” type of seeking. Not that it is not present somewhere, but we are looking in the wrong places. We are looking from the wrong perspectives—and by “wrong,” I simply mean in ways that take far too long. When we actually find what we are looking for, it is by realizing that what we have been doing for so long has been irrelevant, redundant, funny, silly, ridiculous—a joke.
Why not realize that immediately, and give yourself the gift of finding what you are looking for, so you can stop the negative seeking spiral?
Awareness Is Simply Aware
This lesson is called, What Is Looking, Is Looking for What Is Looking. It is a kind of funny way to remember that the Awareness that is already aware of these words, is what you are looking for. It is that part of you—I can say “you,” because it is you—that is doing the seeing; the effortless, inescapable seeing, which somehow wraps itself around the idea of being a limited, separate person. And then it seeks out a particular type of experience, or feeling, or state that it can then equate to “Awareness.”
However, Awareness is not any particular state, as we learned in the lesson on Formlessness. Awareness is the spacious, infinite, endless, formless “container” that does not have an experience, feeling, or thought of its own. It is simply the Awareness that is aware of an experience.
The Awareness that is aware of an experience does not have an experience of its own, other than awareness. The experience of Awareness is simply to be aware. That is all it has. It has no other shape of its own. It is simply the Awareness itself.
When this Awareness wraps itself around the idea of being a body and a mind, when it starts seeking for “Awareness,” as if it is an experience, then it is missing the fact that it is already being aware. It is overlooking the profound, existential truth that its effortless, aware nature never leaves, never disappears.
Turn Around 180 Degrees and See that Awareness Is Looking
You are always, already aware and you will always, already be aware. So, what I want you to do is, in a sense, turn around—make a 180-degree turn—and recognize that you are already looking. Emphasize the seeing aspect; emphasize the looking aspect. There is something that is looking right now. There is something that is seeing—even if you have your eyes closed, even if you are blind.
There is an awareness of this moment. Something is looking. Something is seeing. Something is witnessing this experience.
When you notice that something is witnessing this experience, you can stay with that looking. You can, in a sense, turn your gaze around and look straight back at “the thing that is looking;” at the being that is looking, at the Awareness that is looking. This turning around is not literal, because you cannot really turn around and “see” Awareness; you would still be aware from your own aware point of view, even if you are turned around.
So, this is obviously an analogy; it is metaphorical, but it can be very profound. Make a 180-degree turn and, in a sense, look back at Awareness, look back inside, look back internally. Look back into the seer, into the seeing, into the looking, into the witness, and simply rest with that. Stay with that for a little while, as long as you can comfortably do so. Stay with the recognition, stay with the seeing of the seeing. Stay with the looking into the looking.
Notice the looking that is happening right now. Notice that you are looking, as we speak, and that there is no way to escape this moment being looked upon by you. Being gazed upon by your true being, by your Higher Consciousness itself. You can simply rest in the looking. Rest in noticing the looking, the seeing, the Awareness. When you do this, notice that what you are looking for cannot be an experience other than noticing that there is always a looking, a witnessing, of whatever you experience.
Whatever you experience now becomes a confirming, reflective factor for you to recognize that you cannot escape what is looking. When what is looking goes out to look for what is looking, it is bound to overlook itself. Remember this whenever you feel you are seeking for Awareness, for clarity, for that which you truly already are—changelessly so, beyond time, beyond space, beyond objects.
Simply notice the looking and stop right there. Dissolve into that… dissolve into that… rest into that… recognize that. Make it your sole focus. Focus your entire attention on the fact that there is something that is looking; something that is seeing. There is a seeing quality present right here, right now. When you do this, you undermine the identification of the looker, or the seer, with what is seen—and with the tendency to go out to try and find the seer.
Become Aware of Negative Seeking-Energy
This process is always about turning back to what is already the case. It is about recognizing what is already here. It is about recognizing the qualities that are already present in your experience, but that you are overlooking, generally speaking. So, learn to become very aware of seeking-energy (of the negative kind).
It is very good to have a palpable desire for breakthrough, for new discovery, for new experience, for new empowerment, for new awakening. This is very good; this is great! It is natural. You have to have that desire; otherwise you would not be here.
You are here because you listened to your desire. But whenever that desire turns into a nasty cycle of trying to find something, of not feeling good enough, of not feeling abundant enough, of not feeling free enough, of not believing that you are Enlightened yet—whenever you notice you are under the assumption, “Oh, I do not have it yet. I am not Enlightened yet,” you are quite literally looking for what is looking.
Remember, when you notice: “Oh wait, I feel a negative seeking energy,” it simply means, “I am somehow under the assumption that that which is already being here, that which is already seeing here, that which is doing the looking right now—looking at this experience of struggle, at this experience of contraction, at this experience of wanting to find a better and better place, or wanting to find a greater Awareness—that which is doing the looking of my perspective, of my negative, downward-spiraling, contractive experience… that, itself, is what I am looking for. I am not looking for another feeling state. I am not looking for Awareness or Enlightenment by changing things around, in form. What I am looking for is that which is already looking.”
Simply turn around instead, and notice what is already true. When you do this repeatedly—over and over and over and over again, relentlessly—in those moments when you find yourself negatively seeking, you will find such profound, spacious rest; such profound spacious relief from the struggle; relief from the tenacious nature of the negative seeking spiral. This allows you to truly, truly amplify; to amplify and clarify and increase the clarity of Awareness being aware of itself. It increases the clarity of the looking, of the noticing that Awareness is self-sufficiently looking; that all it could ever desire, really, is to rest in its own truthful nature. And from that space, to expand and empower itself, if it so wishes.
We all have the desire to empower ourselves, to liberate our belief systems, and to become the full individuation, the full expression we are designed to be. But more fundamental than that (at least in this course) on the path of Self-Realization is to always have the safe space of the looking itself; to always create that self-referencing, that self-looking, that loop. It is like a loop; it is looping back onto itself, until it becomes an infinite circle:
Awareness aware of Awareness, Awareness aware of Awareness, Awareness aware of Awareness, Awareness aware of being aware, Awareness aware of being aware…
When you repeat this over and over again, at some point it becomes automatic and continuous. This does not mean you have to remain in that state all the time, but it does give you a real example of what it is like to simply rest as the looking, without trying to find the essence—which is that which is looking.
Many words and many loops. The point is, you are already here. Awareness is already aware. Whenever you find yourself seeking, simply turn around 180-degrees and notice that there is a seeing and there is a looking. Rest as the looking and let go of all tendencies to go look for what is looking. Instead, become the looking.
For this lesson’s homework, in everyday life, whenever you notice you are seeking, whenever you notice you are trying to find your way back to Awareness, take 2 to 5 seconds and notice that you are trying to find Awareness as a particular type of state or a feeling of clarity. When you notice this happening, simply allow yourself to be at ease with whatever is.
Allow the experience of what-is to become a confirmation of Awareness. Turn your attention 180-degree inwards, backwards. Look back at yourself, in a sense, as the seeing, as the looking. Rest right there in that two-way tunnel—in that continuous loop of Awareness—and notice that it is aware of the seer, notice that it is the seer of the looking, notice that it is already looking and it does not have a form of its own, aside from the fact that it is looking. Rest right there, in that space, and amplify it. Build it up, make it more crystal-like. Make it clearer, make it more pristine, make it even more aware of itself.
You are the facilitator of Awareness waking up to its own nature; you are the facilitator of the looking waking up to its own looking, waking up to its already being here. So, rest as you already are, and start noticing the perfect ease that comes with being the looking itself.
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