Note: This is a slightly revised version of a previous post with the same title.
People sometimes speak of “awareness”as if it were a higher state of consciousness. But awareness can be dim, or soft, or vague. The brain is “aware” of a lot of things that “we” are unconscious of. We can't pick up a glass of water without awareness guiding our movement. But what does it mean for an assembly of neurons to be aware?
Is higher awareness possible? That is, awareness that is more than an attentional spotlight and through which “one is able to gain the insight that leads to the end of attachment.”
If one acquires insight and loses attachment in conjunction with years of meditative practice, how much credit goes to the awareness and how much to the teachings that promote a specific worldview?