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.