According to Sankara, discernment, or viveka, cuts through our identity like a sword, severing it from all that is not timeless. In this way we understand that the realities to which we attribute value and significance are but phantoms. The Self, in contrast with ever-changing nature of the universe, is immutable. Meister Echhart, the great German mystic, used the analogy of a door: the world is a swinging door, and the Self is the unmoving hinge. Sankara compared the Atman, or Self, with the hub of a wheel that remains still while the wheel turns, and described it thus:
The Atman is supreme, eternal, indivisible, pure consciousness, one without a second. It is the witness of the mind, intellect and other faculties. It is distinct fro the gross and the subtle. It is the real I. It is the inner Being, the uttermost, everlasting joy.
Through the exercise of dis-identification, without repressing, forcing, or judging, you learn to take a new spatial attitude toe the various elements of your personality. You distance yourself form them and see them in perspective- as no longer overwhelming or absolute. From this new outlook it is easier to answer the ever recurring question we all carry inside, Who am I?
where do you live in your body?
inquiry for today~ how will we balance the need to please ourselves with the need to forget ourselves today?
To awaken to fundamental consciousness means that we have contacted ourselves inwardly to the subtle vertical core of our body. This is at once our greatest distance from other people and the basis of our experience of oneness with them. When we live at our defensive boundary, we communicate from our own surface to the surfaces of the people and things around us. When we live in the vertical core and internal space of our body, we meet other life through the continuity of our own and the other’s internal depth and content. We experience the qualitative being of the other person. For example, we can feel the quality of intelligence behind the face, the quality of love inside the chest.
This is more than connection- it is communion, the oneness that is our true relationship with all other life. This communion occurs when we have grown further away from the world, inward to our deepest perspective in the core of our body. Our greatest contact with the world occurs across the unfolded distance, the true distance, of fundamental consciousness.