What is meant by pure consciousness?
acurry at UVIC.CA
Wed Nov 12 23:18:47 CST 1997
Jonathan Bricklin writes:
>I'm willing to make a leap of faith, but this requires a leap of logic I
>can't seem to move on. How does "consciousness-without-an-object" void of
>kind of sense data make sense to you? Consciousness, like desire, can be
>contemplated apart from the content of any one given object, and each
>moment of consciousness may be a relativized emanation from the one
>unchanging consciousness--unchanged, because, as unrelativized, it is at
>once all moments that ever were or will be, but what is this *pure*
>consciousness you speak of? A Zen koan? Like one hand clapping?
What makes sense to any given human intellect does not
circumscribe what is, in my view. This is not to say
reality is absurd, just unthinkable. Don't advaitins
hold that Brahman is consciousness (or awareness if you
prefer that term) and that "there is no other"? What
would consciousness with no other be but
consciousness-without-an-object? It seems to make pretty
OK sense to me and it also seems to be not an altogether
wrong description of the actual occurence of awareness
in the sleep state.
> Consciousness, like desire, can be contemplated apart
> from the content of any one given object, and each
> moment of consciousness may be a relativized emanation
> from the one unchanging consciousness--unchanged,
> because, as unrelativized, it is at once all moments
> that ever were or will be, but what is this *pure*
> consciousness you speak of?
I can't agree that consciousness can be contemplated
because it cannot be made into an object whereas desire
is an object (according to Bhagavad Gita anyway). If I
understand you here (which is very questionable), I'd
say "pure" consciousness (ie. without-an-object) *is*
the unchanging consciousness you mention. It does always
*seem* to be exactly the same absolutely new core of
every moment of experience whenever experience is
experienced completely (this ever-newness is bliss and
it is always that way). Sometimes the body and world
appear in it (consciousness), sometimes they do not.
The problems seem to start with the identification of
consciousness with the body/mind in such a way as to
create the apparent separation between self and
non-self, subject and object. If that identification
doesn't occur then the mere appearance or disappearance
of the body/thought/world is not a problem. Appearances
in consiousness *are* consciousness if they are not
artificially turned into objects as a result of
identifying a false subject which is actually just
another part of the total appearance in consciousness.
The whole manifestation is an appearance in
consciousness and the personal self is not the true
subject but rather just another appearance in it.
I hope whatever I've said that's just personal opinion
will not be too misleading and will be quickly corrected
May God bless us all with understanding...
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