There is something formlessly created
Born before Heaven and Earth
So silent! So ethereal!
Independent and changeless
Circulating and ceaseless
It can be regarded as the mother of the world
I do not know its name
Identifying it, I call it “Tao”
Forced to describe it, I call it great
(Tao Te Ching, Ch. 25)
You may have noticed from the posts in the Practice Profiles series that I often write about what I refer to as the source. It’s difficult to write anything about the source aside from what has been written already. In fact, it’s difficult to saying anything at all about the source (hence the reason why I began this post with the selected passage of the Tao Te Ching).
The reason it’s difficult is because the source is not an object that can be grasped, nor is it an appearance that can be witnessed. Rather, the source is that which gives rise to every object or appearance, and also that which knows them. The cognizing quality of the source is what inspires some to refer to it as primordial awareness, or ground luminosity.
While the source is not an object, it is also not wholly other than any object that emerges from it. This “not-two-ness” is more eloquently articulated as nonduality (a term that anyone reading a blog about awakening may have heard once or twice before – maybe more).
The creative activity of the source is experienced as a spontaneous outflowing and inflowing; a flux of expansion and contraction. And the whole shebang happens in the space of awareness that exists prior to the assertion of will. In other words, it is completely and totally empty of self. (Buckle up, kids. There ain’t nobody in the driver’s seat.) Therefore, the source is none other than the ultimate emptiness.
In regards to liberation, the source is already free. It always has been, and always will be, free from any snares and entanglements. The implication here is that you (the real you) are already free, and always have been, and always will be. To recognize the source is to experience freedom. And when this recognition of the source is continuously abiding, the search is over. You have awakened out of the dream (i.e. nightmare) of separate, painful existence, and into the Truth.
I hope that I provided enough information to make clear what I mean by “the source” and what it has to do with awakening. For, while awakening has everything to do with the source, it really has nothing to do with you.