Thursday, 4 September 2008

Enlightenment Q & A: Day Five, Taking a closer look at consciousness.

Q. What is consciousness?

I am consciousness. I, the reader of these words, am the consciousness that is fully conscious in this moment here and now. If I were not consciousness itself then it would be impossible for me to relate to the life I am now experiencing.

I say that you, dear reader, are consciousness itself. You are the consciousness of the individual man or woman reading these words now, is that true in your experience? You are awake and aware of your environment aren’t you? Where does this power come from? Do you think it is of your thinking mind?

Q. From where does individual consciousness originate?

Consciousness is not of the thinking mind. It is the power that exists behind, or beyond the thinking mind. It is what you are when you are not thinking, or it is what you are before consciousness enters the subconscious mind.

When the thinking mind is perfectly still, meaning there is no discursive thought or observable movement in the mind, consciousness still is. In other words you can be without thought or emotion and still be, or be fully conscious.

  • If you are intelligent enough to observe your thinking mind in action, you’ll begin to separate from whatever you observe within it.
  • Why will this happen? It will happen because you are this intelligent state of consciousness.
  • You are the consciousness that is intelligently observing the thoughts and emotions within your mind/psyche.
  • You are not that which you are observing, you are the observer. What you are observing, thought, is moving in the mind but you are not.
  • You are perfectly still, what you are observing is movement within your psyche.
There is only one problem. The problem is that what you really are and what you think you are have become entangled within your psyche. A layer of mind has been formed where consciousness and conditioning meet. Where they meet is an area of mind known as the sub-conscious.

How will you know if what I’ve just said is true? Only by becoming the observer of yourself [your thoughts, feelings and actions] will you know if what I am saying is true. What will you be left with if you don’t participate? Just a worn out belief or opinion, that’s all. You can choose to believe that what I’ve just written is true or you can believe that it is false. Alternatively you can suspend all opinion and find out for yourself! And the only way that you can know for sure is to expand your awareness of what is really going on within your own mind and psyche.

Perhaps thinking and emotionalizing are unconscious acts of a conditioned mind, how will you know for sure if they are or aren’t, if you don’t fully investigate?

‘To learn about consciousness, obviously, you must come to it afresh. You may have read books, you may have ideas, opinions; what you have read, your opinions, your knowledge according to somebody—all that is not what is, is not the fact. To understand a fact, opinions are not necessary; on the contrary, they are a hindrance. And to inquire into this consciousness, one must be free, not bound to any particular theory or knowledge.’

J Krishnamurti.

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