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Awareness: A Practice to Activate the Divine Spark Within – Page Updated and Expanded

“Know thyself” is a maxim that’s carried down through the ages. It was famously inscribed above the ancient temple of Apollo at Delphi, and similar tenets appear in sacred teachings and traditions carrying the knowledge of the Religion of Sun, including Hermeticism, Gnostic Christianity, Hinduism and Taoism.

But what is a person’s true identity and nature? And how can someone know their real self?

In the Religion of the Sun, the true eternal self of person is understood to be consciousness – the spark of divinity within.12

Awareness allows a person to perceive reality more objectively and get in touch with their true nature

A person can “wake up” this inner divine spark, in any given moment, with a simple exercise called awareness, which involves being attentive and observant in the present moment. While thoughts and feelings come and go, consciousness is permanent. It’s been described as the core of a person, the constant inner presence which experiences what happens both within and without in life. Awareness anchors attention in the perception of consciousness, bringing clearer discernment and allowing the spiritual qualities of consciousness to shine through more, including its natural intelligence and ability to learn.3

The awareness practice page, in the practices by type section of the site, was recently updated and expanded to provide a more in-depth overview and explanation of this exercise for any potential practitioners. The opening section introduces and outlines the benefits of the practice as follows:

It involves grounding one’s attention in the time and place one is – perceptive of the surroundings and aware of being there. It can be practiced any time, in everyday activities. It’s a matter of coming out of daydreams and mental chatter and directing attention to the reality of the present moment – to the natural perception of life around oneself through the five senses – to be “awake,” “here,” and “present” in the moment one is living. Awareness centers a person in reality and activates consciousness – allowing life to be seen and experienced more objectively.

The increased perception is both external and internal. As well as being more aware of one’s surroundings, it enables someone to better perceive compulsive thoughts, feelings and impulses that might otherwise drive their behavior unnoticed, be detached from them, and consciously choose more beneficial and spiritually aligned ways of being and acting.4

Awareness is practiced in the Religion of the Sun, and features prominently in ancient sacred texts, because perceiving life and oneself objectively opens the door to self-knowledge, learning, inner change and spiritual development. It’s usually combined with the practice of self-observation, which extends perception of the moment to include awareness of one’s inner states for the purpose of inner study and change – in any case, what happens within and without are both part of the moment.5

Helping Others Spiritually — A Practice from the Bhagavad Gita

Krishna instructs Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita, a text with a number of references to awareness.

As well as describing how to do the practice and its benefits, the page now includes a section highlighting references to this exercise in various spiritual teachings that describe it in various ways, and explains their meaning in context. This should make it easier to use awareness excerpts drawn from spiritual texts as a guide to the exercise, a number of which are listed beneath the article.

While awareness has been practiced since ancient times, it’s also gained newfound popularity today (often referred to as “mindfulness”) because it’s been proven to have positive physiological effects on the body and mind.6  As the article explains:

Scientific studies also demonstrate it can have measurable positive biological and psychological effects, improving people’s wellbeing and cognition. For instance, it’s been shown to cause an increase in the density of grey matter in the brain, enhance neural pathways, improve memory, attention spans and mental processing, is associated with higher levels of empathy, and may help to reduce anxiety and stress.7 8 9 10

Because of its proven physical effects, many pursue mindfulness these days as an end in itself. But as helpful as the mind and body benefits of awareness are, they’re only small part of what’s possible in a wider spiritual sense.

In the Religion of the Sun, awareness is practiced as part of a much bigger journey of self-discovery and spiritual development. When combined with the core practices required for spiritual transformation, practicing awareness can be the beginning of a journey that can ultimately lead someone back to the source of creation awakened.11

Read More


  1. Belsebuub and Angela Pritchard, The Path of the Spiritual Sun: Celebrating the Solstices & Equinoxes (Mystical Life Publications, Revised and updated second edition July 2017) p. 17 

  2. Belsebuub, Searching Within, Taking the Way of Self-Discovery for the Journey to Source, (Mystical Life Publications, Fifth Edition, 2017) p.9 

  3. Ibid, p. 13, 34, 37, 41, 45-59. 

  4. Ibid, p. 37, 45-59. 

  5. Ibid, p. 46-48 

  6. Greg Flaxman and Lisa Flook, Ph.D. Brief Summary of Mindfulness Research, UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center: http://marc.ucla.edu/workfiles/pdfs/MARC-mindfulness-research-summary.pdf

  7. Britta K. Hölzel, James Carmody, Mark Vangel, Christina Congleton, Sita M. Yerramsetti, Tim Gard, and Sara W. Lazara, “Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density”, Psychiatry Res. 2011 Jan 30; 191(1): 36–43: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3004979/. 

  8. Christina Congleton, Britta K. Hölzel, and Sara W. Lazar, Mindfulness Can Literally Change Your Brain, Harvard Business Review January 08, 2015 (accessed August 2017): https://hbr.org/2015/01/mindfulness-can-literally-change-your-brain.  

  9. Flaxman and Flook, Brief Summary of Mindfulness Research

  10. Jeena Cho, 6 Scientifically Proven Benefits Of Mindfulness And Meditation, Forbes July 14, 2016 (accessed August 2017): https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeenacho/2016/07/14/10-scientifically-proven-benefits-of-mindfulness-and-meditation/#2b285bd363ce

  11. Belsebuub, Searching Within, p. 34 

12 Comments

  • Thanks for the update, Matthew. I really like the new section, especially the drop down sections — it makes the practice a lot clearer, and is surprisingly quite comprehensive without being overwhelming.

    Side note, but I’ve always liked that painting of Krishna and Arjuna 🙂 . The scene is very warmly and beautifully presented.

  • Very Inspiring article,
    I think it’s important to reference and show the exercise explained in teachings from around the world to show the link that has been lost over time.
    Great work as always..

  • Great article. It really makes clear what awareness is and how it can be found in spiritual traditions around the world.

    Learning about awareness was the doorway into a spiritual search for me. It was so joyful to get a glimpse of consciousness and see that there is a completely different way of being and perceiving available within me, all the time. It’s good to be reminded what a wonderful gift it is that we have this spark of light within us and can choose to nurture and develop it.

    There were two parts in particular in the article that stood out to me, for whatever reason.

    In the section on keeping it natural, where it notes “[t]he senses function naturally all the time as a matter of course without need to try, and are not awareness itself…it’s just a matter of directing one’s inner attention to the perception of the moment through them.”

    This was well put and explains an important point in a way that is easy to understand. It definitely was something that took me some time to realize, as when first trying this practice I would often force myself to be aware of the senses (which didn’t work well at all) rather than simply perceiving the information from them naturally.

    And then below it, where it notes how “the mind links consciousness to the body and its five senses” and how “it can work like a clear lens between a person and reality.”

    I think this understanding of the role of the mind in enabling consciousness to interact with the world helps explains many things, especially the diagram found in The Flight of the Feathered Serpent that shows the mind (along with the heart) at the center, linking the five senses and the perception of the external world with the spiritual parts within.

    • I was actually thinking of that part of the Flight of the Feathered Serpent when I wrote that line; the diagram as well as the explanation around it.

      When I first looked at that diagram many years back, when I was new to this, it was pretty much incomprehensible to me. But after practicing awareness for a while I started to understand what that book was explaining through experience.

      I like the way you explain awareness as a “doorway”. It really feel it is like that — a doorway that opens up to so much more.

  • ‘Awareness with consciousness’ sounds so different to how the mind perceives what it is.
    I was only thinking about the Know Thyself saying the other day.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • Thanks for updating that page so nicely.

    I’m glad to see that this most core, most central, practice of spirituality is at the fore of the Religion of the Sun.

    I mean it can be called a practice, and definitely the specific efforts made and the technique used to see with our five senses can be called a practice. Yet what is activated through that practice— perception of reality itself, ‘being’, it’s so much more than a practice and goes beyond description. It is life.

    “If taken, the journey leads us further and further within, and at the same time, deeper and deeper into the mysteries of creation. As we penetrate into our own psyche, we penetrate into the very heart of the cosmos. If taken far enough, this journey leads to the reunion with one’s divine Being and the very source of creation itself “

    I find this quote and the information Belsebuub gives to be absolutely spectacular. Knowing what Belsebuub has gone through makes such a quote filled with depth.

    I wish this practice and its potential was more widely known.

  • It was really really refreshing and inspiring to read this. A very thorough way to explain awareness that helped me to get a fresh perspective on it. Recently I’ve tried to focus on it more, especially on seeing and understanding any obstacles that stop me from doing it properly, so it’s a timely topic to read on.

    Briefly, one thing I got out of reading this, was the confirmation of what I had been suspecting, that I’m being too habitual and mechanical about it and trying to do it through the mind and intellectual ideas, whereas like it was described so well on that page it’s about the percetion of life, awakening consciousness, learning how it functions and how to use it.

    In trying it out lately, I especially noticed how I’m often not aware enough of those compulsive chattering thoughts, and then there is constantly like a fog or a cloud of thoughts I’m in that I’m struggling to get out of, because I remember about awareness but can’t break through. I’m still not sure why I sometimes can and sometimes not. But that was a big thing to realise and one of those things where you go like, ‘It was so simple, how didn’t I see it before’. I was surprised how quickly getting out of the mind chatter actually made a difference in my level of clarity and peace.

    One thing I’ve also noticed that’s definitely true – the amount of pure practice (where I’ve broken through the cloud and am not just struggling within it) is directly related to how strong and stable it is.

    I was going to quote what passages were most insightful to me, but I couldn’t choose because it was all so good 🙂 Thanks so much!

    • Glad it could help you Laura.

      For myself, I’ve seen a similar trap in the tendency to be complacent about it at times. When that happens, its like I stop really exploring consciousness (myself) and my subconscious but fall into a mechanical and habitual way of doing things — staying within the known, instead of pushing into the unknown.

      If I stop using awareness as a means to really explore life and myself, its like I stop seeing that things could be done in a better way, as I’m no longer open to the new. It also means consciousness can’t be developed any further. But that is such a narrow and limiting way of approaching things. Things can always be improved and done better, and there is always something new to learn and discover, and a higher level of Being to reach to.

      I find it amazing, and sometimes surprisingly refreshing, how much more can be seen, learned and understood when the approach is kept fresh and alive, with a spirit of discovery. Reality is literally infinite after all.

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