Awareness always has been, is, and always will be present throughout your life.
Like the time I ran away
And turned around
And you were standing close to me.
Jon Anderson, Awaken
So far, I've distinguished awareness as a possible way to understand Who I am.
This path of understanding makes intuitive sense and also, by the way, seems to have an additional benefit: It allows me to make free use of the things around me that are not me while providing a method to get unattached from them should I need to.
Continuing on our journey, then, let's see what we can discover about awareness to try to understand it better. As with the previous insights, we'll do this simply by consulting our direct knowledge of awareness – uncovering whatever information we can observe directly about awareness – rather than by asking another person or a written-down source, however authoritative, for this information.
By the way, I realize that, as you read these words, I'm both another person and a written-down source in your experience.
So, I encourage you once more, as I've done throughout this book, not to consider me or these words as in any way authoritative. My goal here is simply to share lines of inquiry and insights that have been helpful to me, personally, so that you can try them on and see if they work for you.
In this way, please think of me not as a guru, which I'm certainly not, and more like a competent tailor, making suggestions such as: I think this might look good on you – how do you like it?
This next insight is simple: Notice that awareness has always been a constant throughout your life. In fact, in a world of constant change, awareness is the only constant.
Think back to this morning and recall that you were also aware at that time. Now, think back a year or two, and recall the same thing. In fact, as far back as you can remember, even early in your childhood, that perspective of I as awareness was also present.
Now, imagine next week or next year, or any time in the future that you like. Whatever you picture, wherever you think you'll be or who you'll be with or what you'll be doing, awareness will be the lens through which you will experience the world.
In other words, awareness is not just who you are, but it has always been, is currently, and will always be that, unchangingly. The landscape may change, but who you are remains constant throughout your life because awareness remains constant.
If that enhanced description of you as awareness makes intuitive sense, feel free to skip to Insight 15.