Satsang and Soul

What is Awareness

What IS awareness or this present happening? Can any word or concept truly capture or explain ANY of this? And what does it even mean to ask what something “is”?
What is the source of the power to open and close my hand, or to type and read and understand these words? Is it the brain? The nervous system? The whole universe? Is it me? Or other than me? Is it inside or outside? Is it self-power or other-power? We may notice that none of these answers really seems to fully capture the living reality, and yet the actual ability to open and close our hand or to read and understand these words is simple, obvious, and undeniably present. Only when we try to put this happening (or any other happening) into thought-based concepts and formulations does it seem to get confusing and paradoxical. Then suddenly we’re caught in a debate over free will vs. determinism, choice vs. choicelessness, power vs. powerlessness, self vs. other.
Thought seeks the right answer, but the living reality defies formulaic categories and simplistic or reductionist explanations. The living reality is nondual, ungraspable and truly inconceivable. It is utterly undeniable and obvious, never absent, right here every moment, but at the same time impossible to pin down. We can neither find it nor lose it, for we don’t exist as anything apart from this living reality. THIS (Here / Now) cannot be boxed up into dead concepts or frozen into solid “things” that hold still. The map is never the territory it describes, only a useful guide for navigation. Although, paradoxically, mapping is an activity of life, and in that larger sense, the map—as a map—is also the actuality of life (the territory itself), but it is not the territory it abstracts, describes and represents. Life cannot be re-presented. It doesn’t hold still and there is no way to stand outside of it.