Consciousness is not created by you or inside of you; it actually is you.

Photo: Lucas Pezeta

by Vic Shayne
13 Pillars of Enlightenment:
How to realize your true nature and end suffering

There is an argument that rages on between materialist scientists and all others as to what consciousness is and where it comes from. Materialists claim that consciousness, like everything else, is the result of chemistry — brain chemistry to be specific. The ancient sages have always taught that consciousness is the allness, the totality of all that is, which means that it pre-exists the body, brain, thought, and action. And leading edge scientists, especially those in quantum physics, say that consciousness is the ground of all being, meaning that it is that which creates and embodies everything. This latter scientific view is in line with that of the ancient sages.

The fault of science

While science is a wonderful practice for measuring, testing, and explaining things, it is within consciousness and not outside of it. This means that it has no way to get outside of itself and determine what consciousness is. Science cannot prove or deny your personal knowingness that tells you that you know what it is to exist. This knowingness is consciousness.

Questions that are common to the subject of consciousness are often posed with a preconception, usually unknowingly. This preconception is that consciousness is a thing that we have or possess. Materialist scientists who are hot on the trail of consciousness begin with this erroneous supposition. But the idea that we have or generate consciousness is just a belief by people who like to chastise and defame others who live by other beliefs.

As the body and mind, we are in consciousness, but when the body and mind are removed from the equation, we are consciousness. How do we know this? Simply, we can observe to find out.

Beyond secondhand information

Jiddu Krishnamurti used to refer to “secondhand information” as a kind of knowledge — the kind that you pick up from sources other than yourself — what you hear in the media, what you read, religious teachings, information from authority figures and parents, and so on. The challenge is to know what is real by your own means and not merely by picking up and regurgitating the teachings of others regardless of how intelligent, well-established the information is, or whether it is commonly accepted as truth.

What can you know for yourself? You can know what you observe.

Since the mind is known to distort reality, fill in missing pieces, and filter information that is incongruent with its disposition, the mind is unreliable as the observer of truth. For this reason, observation must be done by means of persistent observation without the overlay of the judging, interpreting, self-aggrandizing, and guessing mind. Observation must be with an interest to see what is there and not to draw a conclusion or to satisfy a need of the ego.

So, what is “there” or “here”? Consciousness is. This statement is complete and needs nothing else to correct or embellish it. It is the same as saying, “I am,” without adding an object to the sentence. Existence is. How do you know? By observing thoughts as they appear to arise and fall, observing what you tend to think about, by watching how you react and what you say, and so on. Start with yourself, because they entire world of reality is a reflection of you as consciousness.

Consciousness is indivisible, so it is the same IN and AS everyone.

If you were to carefully observe your own existence you would discover a few interesting things:

  1. thoughts come and go, but you are the one who realizes this, so who is this “you”?
  2. the body changes and ages minute-by-minute, but you are the one who notices this and never change, so who are you?
  3. you alone can say what it is to feel and know that you exist, so who is this who knows such a thing?

To inherently know that you exist is not something you had to be taught, and it is not an idea.

Consciousness is the totality of all that is

The entire existence is one singular movement, potentiality, and action. It is the totality of creation, destruction, and reality. We call this consciousness. Therefore, everything is consciousness that has taken a form that is created out of what the Indian sages (and others in Eastern philosophical traditions) have called “the five elements.” These elements — air, ethers, earth, water, and fire — are the raw materials out of which consciousness fashions people, phenomena, animals, nature, plants, and so on.

So, all is consciousness, which means that you are no different from anything else. You are not part of everything, but you are everything in the truest sense; this is consciousness.



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