The paradox of consciousness

Consciousness is perhaps the most difficult subject to discuss, still it is one which needs to be addressed in this time and space, since we are now bridging ourselves into a future that is truly uncertain, as there are so many people who are on the brink, who are at the tipping point between, believing and knowing, between the physical and the spiritual, between the merging of science and religion.

Our future depends on this paradox, and because it exists we are caught between a future based on truth and a past made up of a myriad of lies. Everyone talks about saving the planet. The reality is we don’t have to save the planet, we have to save the planet’s ability to support human life.

But I digress, this is about consciousness. The very fact that we can read and write; I as the creator of this message and you as the recipient implies a matter of consciousness, the ability to discern this message from the background of experience. In human terms, it is a recognition of past, present, and future. I am sure most would agree, that animals, even higher animals, do not fret over an uncertain future, and their pining over the past is very limited. Yes, I have seen mother chimps holding their deceased young, but this passes quickly, and they move on.

The paradox of consciousness is simply this – with it we would not recognize a flow of time, a past, present, and future, and because of it, we can argue over the very truth of the flow of time, and the matter of the universe, creation, and Spirit. So we define ourselves, and in that definition we begin to recognize that we are creating a world around us, and losing touch with the natural world.

Because of consciousness, we argue over the nature of time and space, of things, concepts; like ‘yours’ and ‘mine’. While a creature of the earth like a lion or bear might quarrel with another over a piece of food, it is a quarrel of nature, not a quarrel of consciousness.

Consciousness then allows us (each) to define our reality, to create or deny divinity in our lives, intelligent design, creationism, or any other supposed truth. We even go so far as to quarrel over time, over the evidence buried in stone regarding the earth, and the cosmos. These are what Eckhart Tolle calls our ‘competing narratives’, or Robert Anton Wilson refers to as our ‘reality tunnels’.

What then is this thing? Science still cannot define consciousness, still debates over what it is, and where it exists. Some would tell us it only exists because of the nature and the construction of the human brain, and will continue to dissect corpses looking for the ‘seat of consciousness’, which is as Rumi says; like knocking on a door and when it opens realizing we have been knocking from the inside!

We are able to ask these questions because we are conscious(ness), and we debate what it is because of it … what greater paradox than that – the riddle (consciousness), inside an enigma – the human mind – not the brain, but the mind …

How does it end? It does not – In the words of CG Jung when asked what does he believe – his reply, “I do not need to believe, I know” And when we know there arises true compassion. An ache, a sadness, that if not for consciousness would bury the Spirit in matter forever, in a total eclipse of the Sun.

-gfs 2012



15 thoughts on “The paradox of consciousness

  1. Exceptional. Life provides us with the experiences (moments) needed to evolve our consciousness. If I ever wonder whether this is the experience I need, the answer lies (simply) in the reality that it is the one I’m having. ~ B

  2. Wow..that’s a hit after a long away-stay though I was expecting a Poem…
    Thomas Carlyle’s say: “The difference between Socrates &Jesus? The great conscious & the immeasurably great unconscious.”….I’ve read it in wonder many times & had to put aside some beliefs of mine to get it all & as you brought it back to my mind, I’d like to know your mind..

    • The great conscious and the immeasurably great unconscious – there is reality in what Carlyle is saying, yet are we missing the point that Socrates was preparing the way, 500 years is a long time in the evolution of human thought and it was Socrates who we first see giving us the dialectic the thesis and the antithesis, giving rise eventually to the Hegelian dialectic where the two contrary thoughts give rise to a third or a synthesis of ideas.
      In Carlyle’s thought he seems to be referring to that very Socratic Dialectic – where the two ultimately become a synthesis – the actual mystical goal of pure Christian thought – that is the true teaching of Christ that his was the example of the truly evolved human being, bringing peace and not by the sword but by love.
      This was pandered about (a deliberate choice of words), for many centuries, but now is upon us, the evolution of consciousness – man know thyself! When we learn that consciousness is our divine right, that we do not live under the stars
      but are of the stars, then we make the shift into the next state of being – the much talked about 4th dimension, best to be thought of as the 4th density – we let go of fear and make the Christ Transfiguration …

      • loved your analogy & so back to Carl Jung, I’ll lean on his his mind to say:
        “Man’s task is to become conscious of the contents that press upward from the unconscious.”…

        Much love to you

  3. You blow my mind. I mean, your own mind would have to get so quiet and so still to be able to ponder such thoughts. There’s too much noise in my head to be able to think that deeply right now. Man, I need to work on that.

    I like the quote from Jung. I have always liked Jung anyway. I have a seriously atheist friend who just had two beautiful little babies–twins.

    My friend is a man of science, but I keep trying to tell him that God IS Science. I feel as though he thinks the two can’t co-exist.

    Anyway, since he’s been a father, he’s got his spiritual feelers out there. He knows there’s something bigger….

    For me, it’s not about winning a debate with him. I’m not trying to convert him or score one for the team. I just want him to simply have the hope and the love that I know in God.

    Your quote from Jung is basically what I told him. It’s not about a belief system of any sorts for me. I just know… My spirit just KNOWS.

    I think he would enjoy reading your blog…


    • Ava,
      This is decades of thought, and barely scratches the surface, except that consciousness is a paradox. Jung was a wise soul. He walked the line between scientist and mystic, and to avoid being ostracized, I think he cautiously avoided any scientifically heretical positions.
      Another case in point – I have read that found on Einstein’s nightstand after his death was a tattered copy of “The Secret Doctrine” by HP Blavatsky … there is much hidden knowledge to be found if we care to look …
      All the best … -gfs

  4. As Isabel Hickey Pisces was the age of belief, Aquarius the Age of Knowledge, therefor to belief must be added knowledge, unless we are permitted to know how do we grow in Spirit – in my mind belief is external, and not integrated, knowledge is the integration of the external with the internal – it is assimilation of truth into being.
    The truth of life and death, or eternal “life” will be debated for as long as we are unable to pierce the veil, see and share the truth with others. I think your conclusions about it are valid, there is certainly continuity. As Earl Nightingale stated so many years ago “one thing is for certain, we all came from someplace, and we are all going someplace”. Beyond that we get into the idea of consensus reality (previous blog)
    As far as the God Gene goes, to me its purely a manifestation of an aspect of soul – who is to say that truth or deception does not continue into and past this current aspect of our reality. Defining things like God Genes is a poor attempt to fasten Spirit into a material form. We have to stop that sort of thinking. There is so much more to truth, to God. In that light I would say they are synonyms God is truth … Nothing more, nothing less. God as a deity is a anthropomorphic, we cannot define or create God, it would be like trying to define the image in the mirror !

    • Yes we can, but it take a conscious effort, and as you notes too many have had their consciousness usurped, and / or have abdicated their free will for a supposed protection from fear (terror). The internet is a large sense is a manifestation of Jung’s Collective Unconscious, far too many people when segregated from direct human interaction (face to face) by a keyboard and a fiber optic cable allow their subconscious to rise up and out into the things they look at and participate in. Are you thinking of the same example that I am? I find, and have found since I have been a computer administrator almost since they became ubiquitous, that people will type things in chat sessions that it would take most of a fifth of vodka for them to talk about face to face. It’s the emergence of the unconscious, the shadow self. Honestly I think psychology would be more productive if done that way. Instead they use drugs (considerably more profitable!) to get people to “open up”.
      Changing your foundations of thought is so important, and it does take some discipline, but it so fruitful it is worth the effort. Easiest way to start is to no longer believe anything, almost like seeing things for the first time. Like the awe of the first time viewing the Grand Canyon – I recall my mind , my brain could not take it all in, there was nothing to compare it to. Thought becomes and remains manifest, like creases in a piece of paper. The more times we fold it the more permanent it becomes. Lewis Carrol was so right when he said in Alice in Wonderland – “Why there are times I believed as many a six impossible things before breakfast”

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