Q: I have a question regarding what has been referred to as the "Absolute" or the Supreme State. Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj said that we are the changeless awareness that illumines the infinite content of consciousness.
C: I stand by that for sure!
Q: To me it is obvious that I am, and that there is this eternal, never-changing presence of awareness in the background - my question is regarding whether or not this awareness is actually what I am in the very deepest sense.
C: Yes, you are that Light of Awareness that shines forth as Consciousness (I AM).
Q: Although Maharaj and many others say that you are this awareness, he also mentions that you are the Absolute, which is "beyond awareness", beyond the sense of "I am", and that the absolute transcends birth, being, and death.
C: Here you kind of get hung up on the semantics or languaging of what IS and PRIOR to language and semantics. Using a word - “Awareness" - to point to The Absolute is just that – a pointer. Awareness is the objectless Subjectless Light of Being. Consciousness is the KNOWING “I am", there IS existence, consciousness, aliveness.
Q: It is also stated that beingness or "I am" is dependent upon the body-mind and disappears when the body dies.
C: Correct. The body-mind is like the candle and consciousness is like the flame that consumes the candle, whereupon as the last bit of fuel is exhausted the flame goes out. But the Light that IS cannot be extinguished because That is NOT an object. Call it a Flameless Light if you like. But bear in mind that no word can ever capture it because it is That which gives essence and appearance to the presence and the absence of the body-mind and consciousness.
Q: Is there a difference between the changeless in which everything, even the "I am", happens, and the Absolute?
C: Yes and no. The changeless is not an object that comes and goes and therefore IS The Absolute. Yet that Absolute appears AS everything, arising here and now in this timeless moment, so to speak…
Q: I guess what I'm getting at is whether or not I'm actually aware of the Absolute,
C: NO! You ARE the Absolute so to “be aware” of that you would have to be separated from that and there is no separation between you as consciousness (I AM) and The Absolute. These are, as is forever POINTED to, NOT Two. Or, “One without a second”.
Q: Because I feel a strong need to abide fully in the state I was in before I was born and that is unaffected by death.
C: You already do abide as That. Trying to recover that seems to obscure that. Pause thought right now for a timeless instant: Here and now you ARE and already always abide AS that. You are just trying to capture it as if you were separated from that. That is a fool’s errand!
Q: Is this simple, ever-present presence of awareness that I feel the Absolute, or is even this just a transient state that disappears sooner or later, and if so how does one realize the Absolute?
C: “One” does NOT “realize the absolute”! Who is there to do that? Where is any separate entity that is NOT already whole and complete, not already The Absolute? This is the ignorance of a mind that takes itself to be separate – yet that mind is just a notion, an idea of a person apart from The Absolute. Do a bit of looking for that so called person with a separate substantial existence apart from Being, Awareness, Aliveness itself and see what you find. I promise you will come up empty handed. And in that cognizing emptiness you are as you already always are will be have forever been – the Living Buddha-Nature, this Absolute arising as Being.
The bottom line is, YOU ARE THAT. Full Stop.
And THAT is Love.