And yet, awareness is aware of itself .
And yet, despite the accuracy of the previous insight, you are self-aware. And so am I. That's because awareness is, itself, aware of itself as aware.
To check this, ask yourself, Am I aware?
Now, ask yourself, Am I aware that I'm aware?
You should find that you can answer yes to both questions. Which is to say, you're aware that you're aware that you're aware.
Even more amazing, the same awareness that you can apply to external things can be, by a sort of hard-to-explain but easy-to-verify process, aware of itself as aware.
So, from the same vantage point of awareness, you can be aware, you can be aware of your own awareness, and you can even be aware of yourself as aware of your own awareness.
Writer and oneness teacher Rupert Spira uses the sun as an analogy to explain this phenomenon. The sun illuminates all of the non-luminous things around it by shining on them, but does not illuminate itself in the same way.
Instead, the sun is self-illuminating: Its very nature is illumination. It doesn't require a mirror to illuminate itself. This makes the sun very different from your cell phone, which does require a mirror to illuminate itself.
In a similar way to the sun, awareness makes observation of external things possible in a fundamentally different way from how it makes awareness of itself possible.
And because awareness is you, you are similarly self-illuminating. If everything else in the universe suddenly went away, you would still be here and, more importantly, you would know that you are here. Most important of all, you don't need any external frame of reference to verify this knowledge.
Indeed, it's essentially this knowledge that I've been asking you to call on when verifying each of these insights. None of them requires you to consult any other person or body of knowledge, or even your personal history or memories, to confirm them. This is information to which each of us, as awareness, has free and constant access.
If you feel sufficiently comfortable signing off on this understanding of awareness as aware of itself, skip forward to Insight 20.