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Indirect Knowing

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mtony502's picture
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Awareness awakens to itself in this incarnation through this human, biological form. This creates some potential speed bumps in the awakening process. (I use this terminology for illustrative purposes only; for the purists among us it’s noted that there is no actual “me”, “you”, “I”, “awakening”, “consciousness”, etc. They are just imprecise labels.)

In this body my experience is limited by biology. My hearing comes from oscillations of air molecules hitting my ear drums and my vision from electromagnetic waves hitting my retinas and being processed in the brain. This happens without my willing or intending it to happen.

In a very real sense I have a problem defining “illusion” because in a manner of speaking all vision is an “illusion?” After all, the brain is encased in complete darkness in the skull. It doesn’t see anything. All it “knows” are tiny electrochemical signals and not much else. And yet “I” perceive the world in all shades of colors. The brain is in darkness but the mind creates light? Okay, it’s a mystery and an example of indirect knowing?

Another example: what is or is not "temperature?" Partial answer which is no answer: “the temperature indicated by the dial of a thermometer is not temperature, but rather, a response to the physics of two metals contracting and expanding differentially in a spring and how this positions a pointer on a dial of numbers. But that is not temperature, only an indirect effect of temperature.”

So, "I am" is an indirect effect of consciousness? Mmmmm. Can “I” know this directly? No, because “I am" is an illusion. On the other hand there is no “me” or sense of “me” outside of “embodied” awareness, this biological form. Absent the form there is no “I amness” only “amness”, “isness”, “thisness” or “thatness”? And that “isness” or “amness” (living happening to no one in particular) is supposed to be considered my True Self? Mmmmm.

Water droplet consciousness and oceanic consciousness are not separate. Ordinary, everyday consciousness is not separate from cosmic consciousness. So water droplet, individual point of view coexists with oceanic point of view. . . simultaneously. And ordinary everyday point of view coexists with cosmic point of view. . . simultaneously.

Mmmmm. I know One but do I know two?

Mmmmm. I know Two but do I know one?

(And what is behavior other than the outward expression of embodied awareness – fully awakened to itself or not?)

“Consciousness” is a word “I” use, but when I look for it I can’t find it . . . like a lot of other words . . . absolute reality . . . God realization . . . enlightenment . . . emptiness. On the other hand it is undeniable to me that I am aware of things, real or imagined, including consciousness itself, whatever it is. Go figure, huh!

“Conscious states are caused by neurobiological processes. The fact that scientists do not know how that occurs, doesn’t mean they, and you, and I, don’t know that it occurs.”

In short, see for yourself directly or indirectly what there is to see . . . or not see . Remember if you can that as embodied awareness, we explore the universe, actuality, consciousness through a filter of human perceptions and emotions. That’s just how it is. And if you can, try not to get too caught up in seeking some “objective” truth that transcends human consciousness. But if you can’t help yourself . . . go for it. Ultimately, there are no missteps on this journey.

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YouTube Channel: Ordinary Consciousness
By: MTony502

Mukti Da's picture
User offline. Last seen 1 year 29 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 01/19/2011

Here is another way to look at the idea of consciousness (God Realization and all that jazz). Whirlpools in water always notice the other whirlpools, but they do not notice the water that substantiates the very medium in which the whirlpools exist (this mimics the ego kind of conscious awareness). The whirlpool and all the other whirlpools are perfectly one via the water through which they exist/appear. There is no idea of merging or separation, you do not have to separate the water from a droplet in order to have a picture of both, instead the whirlpools seem to offer a bit more precise of a picture (IMHO). Droplets of water and an ocean seem to imply some kind of separation in order for both to exist.

The whirlpools do not exist outside of water, they can come and go, merge and separate, and interact with the other whirlpools or similar things within the water. Taking the idea further in order to find a closeness to life experience; there can still be whirlpools in water even when the water has no surface. So, in calling the universe an ocean, we also state there is no apparent surface, no up or down, left or right, and outside or inside. Imagine these whirlpools are spherical, and these spherical whirlpools have a spin, and some are spinning in different directions. The spherical whirlpools also can work together. In other words, they can come together to form larger and larger more complex forms. All of a sudden these spherical whirlpools in the ocean looks a lot like our universe and us.

Now, you (Tony) seem to convey the idea that human consciousness sprang up from the coming together of the biological forms. This is a deep question in science and philosophy, and if we look at this idea of human consciousness coming from the gathering of stuff in the universe we can see a real flaw. How can something come from nothing? Again, how can life on Earth manifest something that is not apparent in anything else? Electrons don't have consciousness, atoms don't have consciousness, quarks and sub-atomic energy doesn't have consciousness; or do they (two slit experiment says electrons act like they have some kind of consciousness)?

Using the model of spherical whirlpools working together to form larger and larger more complex forms - ultimately achieving something like us. Where did the consciousness come from, and what is this ghost in the machine claiming to be alive? To return to the question of where did consciousness come from, my response is it must be inherent in the very substance of the universe, and not some kind of by-product from random smashing together of sub-atomic energy. The water not the whirlpools Is consciousness, however, due to the whirlpools living experience of the universe there only appears separation, uniqueness, boundaries, and otherness. Once the whirlpools (complex gathering of whirlpools = human) discover a clear vision of reality they can release the illusion of a false sense of self and Awaken to the true Sense of self, and not being separate from the water, but inherently One with the water.

Just a few thoughts on a very nice post from Tony. <3<3<3

- Jared

You Are Tacit.

mtony502's picture
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Joined: 02/07/2010
Participating in the conversation

SB, many thank s for participating in the conversation.

I offer some elaborations of my point of view: I assume each of us in form has a world view created and shaped by the times we live in, and the country, neighborhood, and family we were born into and the education and experiences we have . . . until awakening happens or doesn’t happen.

In this regard, I have no desire or interest in altering or changing anyone’s world view. It is enough to know that until formless awareness awakens to its formless nature via this human form, it peers at itself as world and universe through a filter of assumptions, beliefs, desires, judgments, conclusions, and knowledge. Each of us in form has to figure this out for ourselves or not.

I no longer seek peace of mind, liberation, enlightenment, bliss, happiness, nor even the end of suffering. Once I did, when I thought transcendence was the way. Now I’m partial to embodied awareness and exploring the aliveness inherent in our so-called human condition.

Despite appearances, I am not wedded to any particular language, teaching, or description of how it is or is not. Ultimately it’s not about any words, teachings or descriptions of “enlightenment”, “god realization”, “awakening”, “string theory”, “quantum physics”, “atoms and sub-atomic particles”, “dark energy or dark matter”, “consciousness”, Buddha nature”, “God”, “whirlpools”, etc. etc. etc.

As such “water droplet consciousness” and “oceanic consciousness” are just figures of speech. If there is any implication of separation in those terms, it arises out of the language itself – where there is the “word” and that which the word refers to, material or immaterial. There is no separation in reality only the appearance of separation.

Again, despite appearances, I do not mean to imply that human consciousness springs from the coming together of the biological forms. It is my unscientific opinion that consciousness always was and is from the time of the Big Bang. It existed in the first explosion of energy, in the incredible expansion of that energy, the cooling and formation of that energy into dust clouds, and the congealing of matter into rocks, planets, suns, and galaxies and ultimately us. And that is what we are – that energetic consciousness manifested as human being. And if some want to call that energetic consciousness God, cosmic intelligence, or quarks, it really doesn’t matter what anyone labels it, does it? It is as it is.

I draw attention to the neuroscience of the form primarily as a way of not ignoring the 800 pound gorilla in the non-duality living room that is the body. One can intellectually try to distance oneself from it in abstraction and a desire to transcend it, but there it is every time we wake up in the morning. So why pretend otherwise? Since it is how we are temporarily manifested, why not work with it?

My point I guess is that as we are right now, without any special transformation or awakening required, we are manifestations of that essential energetic consciousness that always was and is. This seems to me to be fairly self-evident; that our ordinary every day consciousness is not separate from cosmic consciousness . . . it can’t be.

Nevertheless, Buddha’s description of what he saw and experienced through his world view is not my experience. That’s why trying to emulate or experience someone else’s descriptions or teachings are basically futile.

Each of us in form needs to figure out this perceptual filter thing for oneself; that it exists, that how one looks at the world affects what is seen, felt and experienced. And even then all one sees through this human filter is a pinhole perspective of actuality, not actuality in its totality. But then . . . so what?

How I see this basically working out is that somewhere along the line there is a moment of profound embodied recognition of non-separation and the form is just a vehicle for this realization . . . or not. There is no intellectual insight that delivers me into presence.

And how does this embodied recognition come about? As some of you may have heard and read thousands of times before . . . when mental chatter goes silent and still. Until then welcome to the funny farm.

Once again, thank you for your conribution to the conversation.


YouTube Channel: Ordinary Consciousness
By: MTony502

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My interaction with you is an Experiment to further enable this vision to be true, and up to the rhythm that you are a part of the action.  


Please contribute to make this vision real.  

With Heart Felt Thanks, Richard Miller.



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