CONSCIOUSNESS is at once the most familiar and most mysterious aspect of our lives.
Knowing very little of its spiritual essence, we define consciousness by names we give to its various ‘states’ — waking, sleeping, intuitive, meditating, angry, depressed, happy or sad.
We experience perhaps hundreds of such random mental and emotional states every day, no wiser in understanding the hidden matrix, or field of consciousness in which they are embedded.
Material Science approaches nature only “through her appearance,” H. P. Blavatsky writes in The Secret Doctrine (1:610), and “that appearance is always deceitful on the physical plane,” adding that Science:
“…refuses to blend physics with metaphysics, the body with its informing soul and spirit, which they prefer ignoring.”
Nevertheless, physics and metaphysics were once deeply entwined, resulting in the natural philosophy of the Greeks, but is given the cold shoulder now by a science that prefers computer simulations, and huge particle collider machines to the natural world.
Occult Science, on the other hand, rejecting the Cartesian system, describes the body-mind consciousness as the lower end of a universal, spiritual substrate referred to as “BE-NESS” in The Secret Doctrine—symbolized by two pre-manifested aspects cited as “abstract space” (bare subjectivity), and “abstract motion” (representing unconditioned consciousness.)
“Consciousness has long been one of the great mysteries of life, the universe and everything,” writes Linda Geddes in the 29 November 2011 NewScientist.
Lucid dreaming, being conscious of dreaming while dreaming, best exemplifies this multi-layered conscious now-presence. Perhaps H. P. Blavatsky expressed it best with a word she coined to describe absolute consciousness —”BE-NESS”— “the first fundamental axiom of the Secret Doctrine is this metaphysical One Absolute.” (Vol. 1:14)
Among all earthly creatures, who might most exemplify this enigmatic quality, if not our feline friends?
One of Rupert Sheldrake’s experiments on the unexplained powers of animals is dramatized by the case of David Waithe’s cat Godzilla!
Biologist author of more than 80 scientific papers and ten books, Sheldrake is a former Research Fellow of the Royal Society. In this clip Sheldrake discusses Godzilla, a cat that knows when his owner is calling. 🙂
A Telepathic Cat
Consciousness is Universal
“Even our increasingly sophisticated technology for peering inside the brain has, disappointingly,” Geddes writes, agreeably with Theosophy, “failed to reveal a structure that could be the seat of consciousness.
Yet the esoteric wisdom, ever a true and honest system, “checks the discoveries of modern exact science,” notes Blavatsky, and demonstrates
“…some of them to be necessarily correct, since they are found corroborated in the ancient records.”
Offering insights into the discoveries of mind-body-spirit interplay, Deepak Chopra describes the effect of a deep spiritual experience on our physical bodies.
According to the ancient wisdom traditions of India, Chopra says, when you get in touch with your spirit
“…you experience love, intuition and happiness, and improved health.”
In modern scientific terms, your body produces serotonin and dopamine, the happy hormone; oxytocin, the pleasure hormone; and pain reducing opiates. All assist in regulating the immune system, protecting our health.
We judge consciousness by ‘awareness’ — if there are no voluntary movements, or a response to stimulus, we think that person or animal must be un-conscious.
Yet Theosophy declares that “everything in the Universe, throughout all its kingdoms, is conscious, i.e., endowed with a consciousness of its own kind and on its own plane of perception” — even stones!
Through physical signs, life may be detected in the comatose, or persistently vegetative person. But medical science has no reliable tools to measure if such a person is conscious and awake inside.
We don’t know for sure if someone is conscious and aware, without showing any signs of being so.
But just because there are no ‘recognizable’ signs of consciousness in stones — (let’s include the atoms and electrons in those stones) —
Blavatsky, nevertheless, asserts:
“…we have no right to say that no consciousness exists there.”
Dr. Dean Radin, senior scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, is interested in seeing whether consciousness can directly interact with quantum systems, and we are using a double-slit optical system to find out. At the end of this post you will be given a link to participate in this ground breaking experiment, should you choose.
Universal or abstract consciousness, Theosophy says, shows no individualized ‘awareness,’ and as a result is not easy to define. It is like the quality ‘wetness’ which is its own attribute, and the cause of the wet quality in other things.
In its most unified, abstract state, consciousness is a universal condition or ground state—a medium which includes the perceiver, the thing perceived, and the power to perceive.
What is it when separated from those other things? — We don’t really know what pure consciousness is apart from the objects through which it manifests!
These are all one Theosophy says, but in a state difficult for us in our undeveloped condition to separate, because everything is intertwined, interrelated and interconnected.
In the tradition of Advaita Vedanta, this synthetic state is called “non-duality.” In physics it might be called a “unified field.”
Being Stared At
Sheldrake studied natural sciences at Cambridge University, where he was a Scholar of Clare College, took a double first class honors degree and was awarded the University Botany Prize.
He then studied philosophy at Harvard University, where he was a Frank Knox Fellow, before returning to Cambridge, where he took a PhD in biochemistry.
Biologist Rupert Sheldrake proposes that the mind extends beyond the conventionally recognized parameters.
That “detectable effects” of this extended mental field can be measured in several phenomena associated with vision.
Light & Darkness
“We call absolute consciousness ‘unconsciousness,’ because it seems to us that it must necessarily be so,” Blavatsky writes, and
“the idea that things can cease to exist and still be, is a fundamental one in Eastern psychology.”
“Just as we call the Absolute, ‘Darkness,’ because to our finite understanding it appears quite impenetrable, yet we recognize fully that our perception of such things does not do them justice.”
“We involuntarily distinguish in our minds,” Blavatsky brilliantly states, “between unconscious absolute consciousness, and un-consciousness, by secretly endowing the former with some indefinite quality that corresponds, on a higher plane than our thoughts can reach, with what we know as consciousness in ourselves.”
“But this is not any kind of consciousness that we can manage to distinguish from what appears to us as un-consciousness.”
– H. P. Blavatsky
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Thank you, Monica/ BioEng Services
“Knowing very little of its spiritual essence, we define consciousness by names we give to its various ‘states’ — waking, sleeping, intuitive, meditating, angry, depressed, happy or sad.
We experience perhaps hundreds of such random mental and emotional states every day, no wiser in understanding the hidden matrix, or field of consciousness in which they are embedded.”
Consider Where the Semantic Sidewalk Ends
People notice thoughts and emotions within themselves. Is this simple division an adequate description of what transpires within consciousness? Often not, but this binary tends to guide and define the inner life and common discourse about it. We may speak of thoughts or feelings for which we do not yet have appropriate words, but are “feelings” and “thoughts” adequate terms for the full kaleidoscope of inner experience? And who was it that first defined and limited consciousness to the somewhat trivial sounding binary of thought and emotion?