Excerpt About Knowingness
So, little by little, the concepts go away. The concept of being the body, the concept of being an individual, the concept of past, present, and future, the concept of space—all dissolve. The last concept to go is existence, the notion that something is there. Awareness of existence is called consciousness. We are attached to the sense that there is beingness. And even when the sense of beingness goes, there can remain a sense of consciousness. If the sense of presence or existence goes, there will be just consciousness. Pure consciousness is awareness without content. In Zen, this is often called fundamental reality. There is no sense of existence, there is just awareness. There is knowingness, but not knowingness of anything in particular. Nothing can be said about it. But even this open knowingness has to go at some point. It doesn’t go and never come back, but we discover that knowingness is not final, that consciousness is not final. As the sense of knowingness and consciousness dissolves, the soul is in cessation; it has no sense of being or existence. We call this the Absolute. You realize your final nature is not that cosmic existence, but the source of cosmic existence. You discover that the nature of the human being you have taken yourself to be is ultimately the source of everything. This is the deepest mystery, unknowable by mind or by consciousness. You realize that the universe is simply a robe that you wear. When you take it off is when you go to sleep. The Absolute is like the sleep of the cosmic existence; the cosmic existence is like the waking up of the Absolute. The cosmic existence is the day; the Absolute, the night.