Awareness depends upon your ability to open and shut your windows. When there is a storm, you need to shut your windows – otherwise you will get wet. When it is hot and suffocating inside, you need to open your windows. Your senses are like windows. When you are awake, you have the ability to open and shut your windows at will; then you are free.
If your windows cannot be shut or opened at will, you are bound. Attending to this is sadhana, or spiritual practice.
To the degree that you are awake, everything around you brings knowledge. If you are not awake, even the most precious knowledge does not make any sense.