A Coaching Power Tool created by Kishore Rao
(Business and Executive Coach, INDIA)
Silence is the space in which one awakens, and the noisy mind is the space in which one remains asleep. If your mind continues chattering you are asleep. Osho
Awareness and Ignorance
Most Business and Corporate Executives have been very adept, skilful and comfortable with running organizations, implementing projects and managing people. They were good at what they did and this was reflected in their own individual success – a sort of validation, so to speak. But if they did a deeper introspection, there was little that they would have done in managing themselves –understanding their true life purpose and intent, their values and underlying beliefs, and their own confidence in trusting themselves. Viewed from this perspective they would have discovered they were relatively quite ignorant.
Since school days we have been conditioned that knowing and memorizing information – be it in languages, the arts or sciences as the cornerstone of our success. Distilled to a finer degree this is what manifested in us as awareness. Thus awareness to many of us meant information – knowing the facts, and what was going on in the world.
If you were on top of these facts you were considered well informed, intelligent, aware. Thus, in the midst of all the noise and cacophony in our existence we lost the true signal and vital information lying within our own selves. Worldly knowledge, while necessary, by itself is not awareness – knowing our own selves and who we truly are is.
What the Wise Say
Osho uses the word “awake” to amplify awareness and his observations on the subject. Here is what he says.
One of the most important things to be understood is that man is asleep. Even while he thinks he is awake, he is not. Just by opening the eyes don’t befool yourself that you are awake. Unless the inner eyes open – unless your inside becomes full of light, unless you can see yourself, and who you are- don’t think you are awake.
How true? – let’s look at our own lives – most of us are on auto pilot and being driven rather than driving –always doing rather than being.
Where is the time in the constant activity of an endless information seeking society to be truly awake? We are all sleep walking victims in a cause and effect world – constantly reacting rather than responding.
He also says:
Why were Adam and Eve expelled from paradise? They were expelled because they had eaten the fruit of knowledge. They were expelled because they had become minds, and they had lost their consciousness.
The same still applies to the human race today. Our constant search for information and knowledge has put our own consciousness into the background and thus our own self awareness.
This is not to say that information and knowledge is superfluous – it is necessary for our existence and to be an enabler for other material pursuits to address the basic human needs as defined by Maslow – but deeper awareness is necessary for us to go down into our own subconscious and attain our true aspirations.
Heraclitus, the ancient Greek philosopher said:
Men are as forgetful and heedless in their waking moments of what is going around them as they are during their sleep” In sleep you are not aware of what goes on around you, but in your waking hours are you aware of what goes on around you? Much research has been done. Ninety eight percent of messages coming to you, your mind never allows to enter – 98% percent! Only 2% enters and that 2% the mind also interprets. The net result is one becoming judgmental and being trapped in one’s own beliefs – the first step to ignorance.
This is powerfully summarized by Lao Tzu, the ancient Chinese philosopher who said:
Everybody seems to be wise except me. Everybody seems to be very clever except me – I am a fool.
This is what interpretation and judgment in our minds lead to – ignorance!
One recurring question of those seeking awareness is “ Who am I? “
Lin-chi, the Chinese philosopher has this to say:
Do not ask me. Go inside and find out who is asking. Close your eyes. Do not ask “Who am I?”. Go inside and find out who is asking, who is the questioner inside. Forget me. Find the source of the question. Go deep inside.
Awareness cannot happen unless we are truly awake. Awareness cannot happen if our minds continuously interpret, Awareness cannot happen if we constantly sit on judgment, awareness cannot happen if we always react (rather than respond). Continuance of strongly embedded habits and beliefs leads to ignorance of the truth within us and ignorance of our own true potential as individuals.