For any who may be unfamiliar, the expression “Duh!” is a popular one (at least in the U.S.), which basically means, “That is SO obvious! How could I have not seen that?” It’s a light-hearted way of poking fun at oneself.
Get to know the expression Duh! Use it freely and often—especially when reading spiritual literature. Make it your best friend.
What does Duh! have to do with spirituality and “the end of seeking”?
It is one of the best false-belief-busters there is. Why?
First of all, who or what is being aware, alive, right here, now? Is being aware something that a personality or thinking intellect personally activates? Do people keep Awareness aware all day long? Of course not. The “job” of being Awareness is entirely up to Awareness, or the Self Itself. Duh!
Go ahead, say it. Loudly. “Duh!”
Say it again, even if there’s a little feeling of hesitation: “It is Awareness Itself that is being aware here, now. DUH!”
Feels good, doesn’t it?
Why is that?
Because it REALLY IS Awareness Itself that is being aware here, now—and to Awareness, this is, well, Duh!
It’s just true. Now there’s no would-be little self trying to oppose Awareness by pretending otherwise; no longer is there also a little self pretending it has to be as aware as Awareness Itself. In Truth, there never was.
If you happen to be familiar with the book about Papaji titled “Wake Up and Roar!” this post is saying a similar thing: Wake up and Duh!–because Awareness Itself actually never has been asleep to Itself.
Now notice the difference between pure Awareness and thinking. What exactly is a thought, anyway? Always, it only would be something one seems to be aware of. No thought ever is aware, or is the same as Awareness Itself.
See for yourself right now, and boost your Duh! proficiency level.
Think a thought. Is that thought ever aware of you? Can that thought ever change places with Awareness, so Awareness no longer is aware, and that thought is aware instead? No—always the thought is just a “thing”—it, itself never is aware, never intelligent. Duh!
How often does it seem we mistakenly identify with, or as, thoughts and let them drive the bus? How aware is that? And actually, not even that is really true, but only how it may seem. Can Awareness Itself ever slip up, and assume It is a mere thought, so It ceases to be aware? Of course not.
Sometimes, when it seems something new and exciting is “discovered” (such as Awareness, non-duality) there can be a tendency to be in awe of It. But is Awareness ever in awe of Itself, Its own simple Presence? No! Then is there another being aware that could be in awe of Awareness or put Awareness up on some kind of spiritual pedestal? No. Duh!
Getting the hang of Duh!? Maybe you already see where this is headed—in which case you may want to skip the rest of Beginner Duh! and move on to Advanced Duh!—or perhaps even the pinnacle—Transcendental Duh!
Or you may want to try one more example, just to be sure you’ve got a solid Duh! foundation.
Notice how the Presence of Awareness never is influenced or changed by thinking, or by anything one says. Nor is Awareness influenced by emotions or sensations or anything else.
Try this: Let thinking try to sweet-talk Awareness. Let thinking tell Awareness It is Magnificent, that Awareness is the ALL, the Infinite, the Supreme, etc. etc. Anything happen? Has Awareness instantly made that thinking fully enlightened? Duh!
Try cash. Offer Awareness $10,000,000 if It will make that thinking, that “you,” more aware and fully enlightened. Any change?
Now try scare tactics. Tell Awareness It is way overrated, that’s It’s cold and insensitive, and that nobody’s really into this Awareness or spiritual stuff anyway. Anything happen differently?
One last attempt. Try playing hard-to-get. Tell Awareness you won’t meditate or “be spiritual” unless Awareness changes and does what that thinking wants. Gee—Awareness still doesn’t budge. Duh!
As Awareness Itself is all the “aware-ing” that is ever going on, is there another self who maybe is not fully deserving of the immediacy of Awareness’ Presence here, now?
Sometimes there can be a feeling that Awareness is so unapproachable that, “It will elude ‘me’ unless ‘I’ do everything just right.” Wait! Is Awareness ever elusive to Its unavoidable Being? In fact, is Awareness ever trying to approach Itself? Is there another, lesser awareness that could do so? No! Duh!
What’s the value of all this? Of course, pure Awareness Itself never talks, never thinks, so It obviously never says Duh! Nor does Awareness become more aware or present thanks to such a silly exercise. Even the very use of Duh! implies a kind of “seeing” or realization of something that wasn’t clear before.
To this Present Awareness which has no history, no “before,” there hasn’t even been so much as a moment before when something wasn’t clear! All there is, is this Awareness that is present NOW.