Kahlil Gibran states in “The Prophet” that beauty is eternity gazing at itself in the mirror, only you are eternity and you are the mirror. This is the continuing paradox of consciousness. Is the universe conscious of itself, or it it conscious of itself by seeing itself through our eyes? I’m taken back by the common hours, the days I spend in support of myself, family, and the things that surround me, realizing how temporal all of this is, and yet how important it remains to being. For without it, there would be only void – paradox indeed! Ray Kurzweil and others tell us that the world around us, is a singularity, a construct of our biological computer, where what we see – perceived light reconstructed from the tuning mechanism of our eye, into a construct of the world – realm – around us. The same can be said for sound, for smell, for touch, and for taste. Who is to say that what I see as green, you see as yellow, what I smell as mint, you smell as sage, and what I hear as water rushing you hear as wind. Shall we believe we are simply a biological computer and consciousness is nothing more than the sum total of a collection of elements and electrical discharges that begins at our first breath and ends with our last?
Then there is The Matrix, a construct of intelligence far beyond our own, something with a closer understanding of consciousness so it / they are able of manipulating our state of being, our thinking, into abdicating our free will, and handing over all our free energy to them. Carlos Castaneda and Don Juan talk of the The Flyers, reminiscent of Dragons, a Quetzalcoatl who controls the destiny of humanity.
What I can most assuredly state is we live in a consensus reality. Keep this in mind every time you listen to the news, stand up for your flag, or bow your head in prayer – Are you making a conscious decision, or are you assuming a consensus? Had I been raised in New Delhi instead of New York, my consensus reality would be far different than what it is today. So the question is – In consciousness do you question? Do you ever question? Do you question everything?
Consensus reality can be easy, and it can be very dangerous. Any behavioral scientist will tell you that mammals, including humans, are relatively easy to train, to program, in a sense, to carry out tasks with little or no interference from reason or will. We live in a free will universe for certain, and the reality is we are all acting on our own free will, except that will is easily co-opted, once we decide we are “this” or we are “that” (insert label).
Jung talks about our Shadow Self. If we are to believe that we are more than elements miraculously merged into a thinking machine, we have to delve into thought, and the idea that even as light casts a shadow, then it follows that thought, as energy, casts a shadow as well. Alan Watts tells us that we can’t see our self, we cannot take our eyes out of our head and look back at our self. Movies might be as close as we can get, but who can stand seeing their bare naked self on a screen. (Except for selfish narcissism, in my experience, most people do not like to be filmed). Yet our shadow self, is the where darkness follows behind us, the part of our being – ego if you like – that haunts us every waking hour, gives us headaches, the common cold, and a thousand other maladies, we define as illnesses, not accepting them as shadows.
Consciousness sets us free or haunts our lives, our being, without it all of these words are just in stains, are just just wind blown autumn leave, yet metaphors make the argument ever more certain that consciousness may only be a paradox to those who question it. Otherwise, thought is simply a means to an hollow, nihilistic end, a shadow lengthening in the twilight, and dust returning to dust.