When we say we are “aware” of our minds and bodies, can this really be so? Are we not merely aware of a subtle master-image that has arisen in the mind that represents our current body-mind state? How, indeed, could it be otherwise?
In other words, one subtle representation–the sense of “me”–is aware of another subtle representation–the body-mind state. And both representations take themselves as “real” in a very basic sense.
To add to the mind-boggling-ness, neither of these representations is in “my” control. Both spontaneously arise and die down in the neurological storm that is reality.
I think this applies to awareness of the so-called external world as well. When we see a leaf or a chair, we are seeing something that is a massive construct of the brain. The brain fools us into thinking that we are seeing something as it is. But consider this:
- a different organism, with a different brain and different sensorial structures, will perceive a leaf very differently from me
- the appearance of richness in the visual field is illusory. We perceive in detail what is in focus in front of us; at our peripheral vision, we cannot make out colour changes
- we all have a blind spot that the brain is masking, and it is filling in details from the surroundings, rather like Photoshop
This list can go on. I guess the question in my mind is: when we say we are aware of reality, what exactly do we mean?