Already Awake
Nathan Gill

If you have had enough of searching for spiritual gold then you must read Nathan Gill's book 'Already Awake'.

For Gill the totality is made of the knowing and the known. The knowing is the film-screen and the content of consciousness is the film. Together they form an indivisible unity or knowingness.

'I speak of consciousness, oneness, wholeness, with its two simultaneous aspects of awareness and content of awareness. The two aspects – awareness and content of awareness – are not separate: they are one. Awareness is the registering or cognizing of all that presently appears as the content of awareness.'

Usually the knowing as part of the unity not noticed.

'Awareness is devoid of all qualities, and so it gets overlooked.'

According to Gill the content aspect of knowingness has a hypnotic effect – in the sense that it makes us forget the whole.

'Oneness is already Your true nature. 'You' oneness, are only ever seeing Yourself as all forms, but this fact is overlooked in the mesmerisation with the thought story.'

It is namely the I-thought that makes us lose sight of the unity and causes us to feel separate.

'With the identification as 'I', all of the other thought images become 'my' thoughts, and this seeming succession of thoughts is what is referred to as 'mind' or the psychological self-sense.'

In reality there is only seeing and not someone who sees.

'There is actually only ever seeing, but at times there is the play of identification as the character –so it seems as though the character is seeing, doing, all the rest of it.'

The tension between separation and our intuitive knowing of our true nature makes seeking arise.

'When there is identification as a character, there is a sense of separation from everything else. With this sense of separation, there is simultaneously an intuition of our true nature as oneness, and this disparity is what appears in the play of life as the motivation for the search for oneness.'

However, the seeking is also only a thought that arises in consciousness,

'In the thought story there is a search for meaning and a looking for a way out of it all – whereas when it's seen to be simply a story arising presently, an extension into past and future existing merely in thought, then the seriousness goes out of the quest for oneness. There is simply the registering of the present content of awareness. This is already presence, already oneness.'

Gill discusses a number of ideas around the theme of seeking. For example, he discusses the idea that searching for unity is a special kind of seeking.

'Seeking takes many forms. It can be the search for being able to play the best game of football or for a new car or to get over a feeling of anxiety or whatever.'

He also talks about the idea that we should go outside the content.

'This idea that the content of awareness is unimportant is a misconception. It stems from the traditional idea of spirituality, which is to try to escape from the material – or the content, an that's why the material is often negated. But if there is only Consciousness – which is awareness and content of awareness – then the content is completely and equally as important as awareness. There is nothing outside of the movie. There is only the movie and the present registering of it from 'within' the movie.'

Gill also warns about waiting for realization as a special moment in the future.

'There's a subtle waiting game for something to appear differently, for some kind of 'event' or experience as confirmation. But what confirmation is needed for presence? If it is projected as an awakening that's going to happen in the future, then something is being overlooked. There is only already awakeness, which may or may not be recognised. Without awakeness, none of this could appear.'

Searching for something special only disturbs the peace that is already there.

'The peace which is sought is covered up by the seeking for peace.'

As far as Gill is concerned very little has to be changed. Therefore, the 'I' need not go.

'It's not necessary for the 'I' to completely disappear. If there is knowing as our true nature, then it doesn't matter what appears, whether there is the appearance of 'I' or the absence of it. There is this appearance as the character, but the story of this character is no longer taken seriously. There is no longer the same investment. When it is simply recognised that 'I' is just another thought, it's not required that 'I' completely or permanently disappears, and it's perfectly OK for this 'I' to come and go.'

Separation continues to exist as a function of the game.

'There is still however, the appearance of separation, distance, perspective, as a functional aspect of the play. Although there is still appearance as this character, there's the recognition that this isn't all we are. We are not only the person but also the registering of the person – awareness and also the content of awareness. Oneness is the whole thing – including the seeming separation. It's not as though anything has to change – there is already awareness right now, presently viewing the content.'

Problems remain but without a 'someone' who assigns the problems to themselves.

'All the 'problems' are still there, but there is no longer identification with them. There is no longer the movement to escape from them. They are no longer 'my' emotions, 'my' thoughts etc. The story is no longer 'my' story. It's seen through. Agitation may still arise, but there's a tendency for it to subside fairly quickly. There is no longer the story of this 'I' that it can 'stick to'. There is presently 'what is', whether we stick a 'great' label on it or a 'mediocre' label'.

According to Gill you can't do anything to become conscious.

'The play is on automatic pilot, it's all happening automatically: apparent identification as the character, involvement with the seeking - and then maybe the permeation into the play of the recognition of oneness. 'You' can't surrender. What is going to surrender? An apparent surrender happens, but there is no one that surrenders.'

Further Gill has this to say about it:

'There is this mesmerisation whereby a story arises that 'I' need to be aware of awareness. But as the mesmerisation is seen through, the struggle to be aware as the 'I' becomes obsolete. The 'I' can't do anything about any of this; it cannot 'de-mesmerize' itself because it's part of the mesmerisation.'

Thoughts that can't be reached are also part of the game.

'The play is on autopilot, including all of these arising fears and anxiety about it not being seen. There's only already awakeness, only already oneness, and maybe a story about not getting it. With this seeing, the tension disappears from it all.'

If it is seen that there is nothing to reach then relaxation can happen.

'When the mesmerisation with the story is seen through, the contraction of tension and seeking is released. There is ease – no desire for escape. The ease is always the case: it's simply covered up by tension arising with the mesmerisation. And so, in the absence of that tension, there is still this apparent life as the character, but it's no longer 'my' life.' Once again in other words: 'When there is recognition of this being a play, then the desire no longer appears for any of it to change at all. That agitation that is the seeking dies. The play continues but without the tension of seeking. The mesmerisation is seen through. The 'I' that would do something is seen through. An ordinary life is lived in this innate knowing. So it's not that there's necessarily bliss, but there is an ease with it all.'

website Nathan Gill:
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[Herman Snijders]