I am awareness.
Now, we strip away all the uncertainty from the previous insight and say I am awareness.
I don't necessarily know what that means, and I'm not sure how or even if it helps me. But let's be clear that seeing myself as awareness is a fundamentally different perspective on myself than I've most often been encouraged to adopt.
For example, if you met me at a party and casually asked me about myself, I probably wouldn't answer with the words I am awareness. Most likely, I'd tell you facts about myself that would provide you with a picture or a story of who I supposedly am, rather than this simple statement, which I believe to be more vitally descriptive of who I actually am.
I'm guessing you might well do the same.
Alan Watts called this the taboo against knowing who you are, and made it the topic of a famous book.
You don't have to confront this taboo head on and, in the process, get labeled as exceedingly weird the next time someone at a party engages you in small talk.
But seeing yourself as awareness – and, more importantly, having arrived at that insight by a process that is both first-hand and repeatable – is the doorway to a host of further insights that can have a profound impact on your life.
Above all, this understanding of yourself as awareness can lead to lasting peace, the basis for grounded happiness that is remarkably resilient in the face of shifting conditions around it.
So, if you feel comfortable signing off on the statement I am awareness as a useful descriptor of who you are, go ahead and jump to Insight 13.