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Re: Consciousness

Aug 18, 1996 11:20 PM
by RIhle

Richard Ihle writes>
>>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,
>>personal experience is probably this:  "I ~am~ a headache."

Alan writes>
>I have never noticed such a thing.  A headache, toothache, full tummy,
>whatever, is an experience that send me a message of either "like" or
>"dislike" or "not sure".  It is what it is, and I get the message.
>Nothing "undifferentiated" there at all.

Let me try to clarify.  (All problems in communication are undoubtedly mine,
since I not sure that I have ~ever~ been able to make a single person
understand me on these subjects.)

First and most importantly, the experiences you cite above would all be
examples of ~differentiated~ types of consciousness, not undifferentiated.

What you are conscious of ~simply~ seeing, tasting, touching, smelling, or
hearing would be regarded as ego-formations temporarily coming into and then
probably soon going out of existence at the Second, or Physical, Level.  If
whatever it is progresses into a conscious feeling/emotion of like/dislike,
it might be said that an ego-formation has come into being at the Third, or
Desire-Feeling, Level.

An ego-formation can arise, pass away, and then arise again in a split
second, so sometimes it seems like many are "on-stage" (commanding the
attention) at the same time; however, this is probably an illusion.

As mentioned previously, the reason most people seldom regard the
ego-formations at the lower levels as any kind of even "temporary
identities," is because just a modest degree of Self-awareness--or
Undifferentiated-Consciousness-Awareness--(as "captured" by what HPB might be
inclined to call the "Spiritual component of the human soul"--i.e.,
Buddhi-manas consciousness) makes it possible to maintain a
"Once-Removed-Vantage" or Witness during the experience.  It then becomes,
for example, "I ~have~ the physical sensation," rather than "I ~am~ the
physical sensation."  Or, "I ~have~ a dislike for the physical sensation,
rather than "I ~am~ a dislike for the physical sensation."

Fortunately, distinctions like the foregoing are comparatively unimportant at
the lower levels.  --Let me take that back:  they probably ~were~
comparatively unimportant before the advent of modern visual and auditory
electronics.  Now, it is a common experience to be sitting in a movie, for
example, which is so powerful that it can "command your conscious attention"
the whole while, but then you are surprised that two hours have gone by and
"you hadn't really been there"--i.e., that you had lost complete awareness of
yourself--your ~Self~ as its Buddhi-manas ~upadhi~, so to speak.  Missing
Witness or "Silent Watcher," so to speak.

So anyway, maybe in the good old days, perhaps the big challenge was for
people of the Fourth- or Fifth-Degree of Self-awareness to maintain enough of
the Once-Removed-Vantage not to let themselves be deluded that they ~were~
their Fourth- and Fifth-Level (Desire-Mental and Mental) ideas and cognative
operations (rather than that another "Witnessing I" was simply ~having~ these
ideas etc.).  Now, perhaps the Apocalypse is really at hand because
soul-snatchers of unprecedented power can nab even some of the best of us at
the lower levels as well.

Indeed, allowing for the moment the possibility that reincarnation may be
true, I have long suspected that mere "aggregates of attachment" (~skandhas~)
might not be enough to bring the old Atma-Buddhi-manas package back for
another try:  it seems reasonable that at least some Self-awareness must
remain in association with these "desire-seeds."

--Yes, let me take it back:  if modern life becomes primarily like sitting in
one highly entertaining, attention-grabbing, but ~Self-erasing~ movie after
another, who is to say that every human soul will leave this world "practiced
enough" in consciousness of itself to "hold the seeds together" and return?

Alan, I swear . . . the reason that no one can understand me ~has~ to be
because I always start talking about aardvarks and then inevitably end up
with Zoroaster. . . .

~Undifferentiated Writing~:  I'll cover this subject next time. . . .

Best wishes and


Richard Ihle

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