Authors
Brentyn Ramm
Witten/Herdecke University
Abstract
I am aware of the red and orange autumn leaves. Am I aware of my awareness of the leaves? Not so according to many philosophers. By contrast, many meditative traditions report an experience of awareness itself. I argue that such a pure awareness experience must have a non-sensory phenomenal character. I use Douglas Harding’s first-person experiments for assisting in recognizing pure awareness. In particular, I investigate the gap where one cannot see one’s head. This is not a mere gap because I seem to be looking from here. Critically, I claim, the experience of looking from here has a non-sensory phenomenal character. I argue that this sense of being aware cannot be reduced to egocentric visual spatial relations nor the viewpoint because it continues when I close my eyes. Neither is a multisensory origin sufficient to explain why I seem to be at this central point rather than elsewhere. Traditionally, claims of a pure awareness experience have been restricted to highly trained individuals in very restricted circumstances. The innovation of Harding’s approach is that it reliably isolates a candidate for pure awareness using methods which can be replicated at any time.
Keywords Buddhism  Douglas Harding  Pure Awareness  Egocentric Space  First-Person Methods  Experimental Phenomenology  G. E. Moore  Mysticism
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DOI 10.1080/0020174x.2019.1592704
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References found in this work BETA

Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness.David Chalmers - 1995 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 2 (3):200-19.
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Citations of this work BETA

Minimal Phenomenal Experience.Thomas Metzinger - 2020 - Philosophy and the Mind Sciences 1 (I):1-44.

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