Observing Sensation Is The Gateway to Aliveness

Updated: Nov 25, 2020


Sensation in the body is the experience of being alive. From the first moments of awakening each day, till the last, I sense the world. From my senses, I know what is happening from moment to moment. My body is the primary means by which I can know my own existence. This occurs through direct contact with the sensation of my body with my mind's attention.

Mostly, I don’t pay attention to my body. Sensation occurs passively and without much notice. But then, something takes my attention. From out of the background of experience at the moment, something comes towards the foreground, right in front of me. My attention will go there automatically. It is the effect of something that occurs as a cause. I am usually not that cause unless I try to use my attention to drive it with some conscious intention.

I have some limited ability to do this, but the quality of my attention at this time is weak. Something in me reacts to the sensation that crosses the membrane of attention into awakened-ness. I am suddenly acutely aware In the reaction, something of that awareness moves within me in a way, toward the sensation. I know immediately if that sensation is one that I like, that I move towards, or if it is a sensation that I don't like, and I instead move away from it. In this way, my being is like that of any other animal, the state of being a biological machine governed by the reactions to the sensation that are conditioned or inherited from the past.

What happens though if I begin to pay attention? If I then observe the flow of my attention through its focus on the sensations that make up my waking state of being in my body? As a result, I see what occurs in the observation of this. I experience my life suddenly differently. I observe that I am less passive when I begin to observe my passivity. This is how one works on one's own Self.

Perhaps I can begin to have a sense of the observer as well as the sensation, at the same moment that I am observing. This is an active state because some effort is involved. As a participant-observer in my life, I begin to experience my life as being quantum. That is, I am beginning to experience myself as an observer-dependent reality. In effect, I as an identity, begin to occur as a function of my action of observing, and now interacting with phenomena that I am in real-time. At one moment, I am a biological machine living passively to forces in the absence of an observer within me. At another moment, I am able to observe this occurrence, and that realizing that fact causes a different experience of life in me. It is an experience that makes something possible in self-awareness that is active. I as an identity can now begin to approach life with an intention, rather than passivity. The sensation of my body is the doorway to this experience.

Photo by Sebastian Unrau on Unsplash


© Copyright 2006 Robert Fertman, All Rights Reserved


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