You can split an onion many ways, but when it comes to the mind, one traditional way is to look at these five aspects: mindfulness, awareness, imagination (perceptive formation control), intention (informs will-power), reason (informs strength of skill to sustain fortitude).
In this article, I want to focus on awareness.
Awareness is what mindfulness is meant to cultivate. At least, in some forms of meditation, that is the stated goal. This awareness is natural before the age of two or so, but by the time you gain language, you also gain the habit of over-paying attention, and it can take several more years to realize that awareness, concentration, and attention all draw from the same essential pool, and they should be managed in order to enhance life.
Kindness, joyfulness, seeking mutual respect, by agreement rather than force or coercion, and the passion of love, are all related to this essential pool.
Enjoying the moment is great, but as we move and rest, we should, ideally, have a sense that we are beloved — not in the manipulative way, but in the unconditional way. That we have a source of never-ending encouragement and support, if only we would harmonize with this source.
This is the source of esoteric Christianity, and is a subject which most people get offended when I talk about it. After all, religions are seen by semi-academics as dross for the masses, enemies of science, breeders of terrorist, and so forth.
However, it is the system I know the best, so it is easy for me to speak of it. It isn’t easy for me to speak of Hinduism, Buddhism, or Chi Kung, since I have less experience with those systems of thought, cultures, and attendant languages. Furthermore, there’s one thing which sets esoteric Christianity apart, which seems to be ignored a lot.
The character of Yeshua, as painted out in the canonical gospels (which contradict each other on minor points) and the Gospel of Thomas (which is a set of parables which expand on John 8:51) is that of a savior who cannot save anyone, because everyone is drunk, stupid, and just not getting it.
This is how most people feel about most things: politicians aren’t getting how much the average person is suffering, insurance companies are too greedy to help with health, love-making isn’t working because it isn’t just like the porn movies, parent’s don’t allow children to grow up, and children don’t allow themselves to enjoy childhood because school and such get in the way.
However, if we gain awareness, then we gain much more awareness, and social concerns of the Id, Ego, and Persona become minor at best, and irrelevant for the most part.
We are saved, not by religion, but by awareness, mental improvements, and investing time, effort, and priority in interpretation of parables.
The process of study builds structures in the brain, which allow more positive energy and high concepts to be grasped, and thus, our esoteric education improves.
This is true not only in the academic sense, but also in the pragmatic sense; however, everyone needs some degree of language and a model to base things on. Mechanics have theirs, stone masons have theirs, poets have theirs, and they are no real rigid barriers between them: to gain comprehension of one major thing is to gain comprehension of all major things.
Metaphorical thinking only works if you have sufficient awareness to perceive by analogy. If you have concentration, but not awareness, then you’ll process symbols like a machine or insect, but never get out of various loops. If you have attention, but not awareness, then you’ll be exploited by people who “trap your attention” in order to coerce compliance, submission, and eventually your destruction.
With awareness, you can visualize, or otherwise perceive, the pools of sentient essence which comprise awareness, concentration, and investment (for gain), and avoid paying attention (for sacrifice).
The world will keep spinning without our attention, but we won’t grow, develop, nor be smart and happy, if we drain our awareness away.
Awareness is like the plasma that fuels the soul.
To lose it, pay all of your attention to social concerns, to the world, to externals.
To gain it, hold and remember the fact, feeling, and awareness that you are beloved by an infinite source of wisdom, intelligence, and inspirational invitations to pursue and fulfill various aspirations and you own deep desires.
As we say in the house of David, the Church of Philadelphia, Selah: Pause and carefully consider it.