Will “Simply Abiding” Ever Deliver?

Q: Is it really so that my true nature is pure, simple, open awareness?

And if I “simply” abide there (which seems to be the tricky bit), that this truth will become as obvious to me – or even more so – as the human nature that I have taken myself to be has seemed for all these years?

If you could enlighten me (pun intended), I would be truly grateful.

A: Well first, I hope I never claimed that the truth of who you are will become obvious by simply abiding in awareness! 1SMILEY That's not true at all.

Yes, it is really so that you are pure, simple, open awareness. Awareness is all there is. All the objects (including the body and mind) are awareness (you) appearing as different forms. But yes, bottom line,
you are awareness – this unbroken consciousness that is always present, clear, and unchanging.

Now, you ask, will this become as obvious to you (or more so) as your being the body/mind person seems to you now? The answer is yes. But there is no shortcut or one-trick solution. The advice from some teachers to “simply abide” sounds reasonable, since you are told that you are this already, and it’s all there is. But as you say, it’s tricky to do that. It’s wonderful to repeatedly touch into that abiding now and again. But as a practice, that’s never going to free you from the belief that you are a person who suffers and enjoys, gains and loses, and dies.

Q: Why not?

A: Because until we really become clear on which one we are (i.e., am I pure consciousness, or am I the body/mind?), the ignorance (Maya) will always win. It will continue to win until it just isn’t believed in at all anymore. This persistence is the nature of ignorance. All you have to do is look around at Maya to see how incredibly successful it is at convincing you that there is a world out there, that you are a separate being in the world, and that you better not let your guard down or it will crush you to a pulp.

Q: How do you stop believing the ignorance?

A: Knowledge! Your true nature is only revealed through knowledge. Knowledge removes the ignorance which is deeply ingrained in your mind. The mind is where the problem of separateness and suffering is, and the mind is where the problem is resolved. There is no actual separateness, and there is no actual suffering. Those are only misperceptions, and once cleared up – by your understanding what causes them – all problems disappear.

Q: But if my mind is the tool, and my mind is ignorant, how do I ever escape the ignorance?

A: This is the beauty of Vedanta. When the logic is followed from beginning to end, the mind is led along happily thinking it is still in control (which it needs to think), until finally at some point, after a certain accumulation of the information, the mind realizes a couple of things at once – 1) it isn’t in charge anymore, and 2) it never was.

I tried for years to crack the code myself. I trusted that I would figure it out eventually, and just when I thought I was “almost there,” I would find myself in an infinite regress, a mental loop that could not be resolved from within my mind. This happened so many times that I finally gave up and let Vedanta do its job. And then it all fell into place.

I was off and on with
Vedanta for years, doubting and going away to try something else, but luckily for me, I kept coming back. Vedanta is a science, and it's perfectly designed to side-step the mind's tenacity. It delivers the knowledge little by little, slowly, and at some point, the person starts to unravel and there's no turning back. All that's left is awareness.

So what I'm saying is, there isn't a shortcut. And I don't know of any way besides Vedanta of getting rid of the ignorance. If you try to remember to just abide in awareness all the time, it's okay, but you'll just keep getting pulled back into the world. For moksha, you really have to see the world for the trickery that it is. That's what keeps you from getting sucked back into it. The desires and fears are vanquished because it's seen that they don't apply to anything. And you remain, unchanged, eternal.

So yeah, I'm just recommending
Vedanta again. But as for part one of your question, yes, you can totally bank on that. There is only awareness and you are that. And yes, it becomes obvious, but you will still live your life as usual! Just without the bondage.