Swiss cheese

Francis Lucille used Swiss cheese as a metaphor for awareness and thoughts, sensations, perceptions. My mind leapt ahead, assuming awareness would be the holes in the cheese. No! Our thoughts, sensations, and perceptions are represented by the holes in the cheese, because in the end, they  are not consequential. They come and go.

Awareness is the cheese itself.

I’ve been playing with this image. When I notice that thoughts or feelings have swept my attention away from presence, I imagine them slipping through the holes in the cheese, never to be seen again. What am I left with? The substantiality of the cheese, presence itself.

The metaphor completely falls apart, as all pointers do: it suggests that awareness or presence is a findable, touchable thing. We have to forgive language for that, and simply welcome the flavor it leaves.

© Skye Blaine, 2011


Filed under Advaita, Musings

3 responses to “Swiss cheese

  1. Have been trying to work with this metaphor for a few minutes now, but I’m finding it hard to get anywhere with it. Swiss cheese seems so solid! Clouds in the sky and waves on the ocean I get, but NOT Swiss cheese!!

    • Hi–obviously a metaphor may work for one person and not another–but think of the holes going all the way through the cheese, so thoughts, feelings, perceptions slip on through into the nothingness they truly are…
      The solidness of the cheese, well that’s the reliability of awareness–always there, always unchanging.

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