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Re: Consciousness

Aug 18, 1996 04:03 PM
by RIhle

Alan writes>
>Defining terms: "Consciousness is knowledge of being - I know *that* I
>am, though I may not know *why* I am nor *how* I am."

Richard Ihle writes>
Nicely put, Alan.

We don't, of course, want to forget the " ~what~ I am," since one is always
running into the "rationale for creation" which is often stated something
like this:  "In order to learn of its own Nature, Absolute Consciousness
(Brahman) brought into being all that was unlike Itself."  It apparently
wants to know ~what~ It is, in other words.

>As for "undifferentiated consciousness" - this seems to me to be
>something of a contradiction in terms.  Does it know that it's
>undifferentiated?  If so, how?

I can sort of see what you are getting at here; however, it is probably
important to remember that just as ~Prakriti~ is usually seen as the
underlying "Primal Matter" or "Substance" out of which ~everything~ (and
sometimes this ~everything~ really seems to include ~everything~--prana,
physical atoms, ether, astral matter, emotion, thought, Spirit etc.) which is
a component or ~later evolved~ on the non-consciousness side of the ledger,
so also is Undifferentiated or "Pure" Consciousness (Purusa, Brahman, Atman,
Self, Soul etc.) often regarded as a sort of "Universal Raw Material" of the
consciousness side.  Interaction, they say, of Undifferentiated Consciousness
and "matter" is made possible by means of by its verisimilitude with Spirit,
the most rarefied component of matter (making possible ~Atma-Buddhi~).

Is any of this "true" in a common scientific sense?  Who knows?  Not me, I
assure you. I am only interested in this model because of its heuristic
value--viz. what it points to on a human rather than universe-building scale.

And indeed, looked at with the aid of such a model, a human being seems like
a most amazing opportunity for a construct like Undifferentiated
Consciousness.  Just from Darwin's standpoint, ~material~ evolution in humans
has proceeded so far that entire new realms of emotional and mental nature
(both regarded as "material") are present to ensnare and taint a little
Undifferentiated Consciousness and thus create new and important points of
contrast with Itself.

A person often says, "I ~have~ a headache."  Easy enough to say.  However, in
the private agony-space before one puts it into words, the secret, intimate,
personal experience is probably this:  "I ~am~ a headache."  A little bit of
Undifferentiated Consciousness's ~I AM~ has been "differentiated" by
involvement with the material and has become at least temporarily "deluded."
 Fortunately, an "ego-formation" (semi-Self) coming into being at such a low
physical level would not be likely (unless the pain is bad enough) to
~completely~ transmogrify a person in terms of consciousness.  Some
"untransformed" Undifferentiated Consciousness, still "riding" its
Buddhi-manas vehicle, would remain, providing the person with the ongoing
"Silent Watcher" of the situation.

And when one thinks of it, that might be one very significant difference
between animals and humans, mightn't it?  An animal in pain could possibly
~completely become~ the pain, while the poor human not only could partially
become the pain but could have the extra torture of watching himself or
herself in pain as well.

What a life. . . .

Not Undifferentiated enough for my liking. . . .


Richard Ihle

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