But people don't analyze it like this, lfen. We're simply all aware of being a consciousness or self, and we recognize it in others. We may recognize something lesser but somewhat similar in some animals but it's not really relevant to the main idea, which is human consciousness, or soul, or self, or mind or being etc. We all know what it is. We all recognize it. We know what we mean. What's the need for a model? Or a theory of its origin?
The most interesting thing about it, I think, is the awareness of it as a phenomenon, that may suddenly come over one, of being so utterly locked within this peculiar consciousness that is me, and unable to access other consciousnesses, having to know them only through complicated communications and never from the inside-out as we know ourselves. And how our consciousness never leaves but other consciousnesses float in and out of our awareness of them. Sometimes that sense of being so enclosed in this so very specific strangeness of my I-ness can give me chills, make my hair stand on end. It's so ODD my being me and nobody else, only once in the entire history of the world and never again. WHAT IS IT? I want to know. Not how it got here. Not how it connects to physical things. But, what, IN ITSELF, is it?
Yes that is the core question. That is why Ramana was telling people to question "Who am I" and keep sorting through the experience getting deeper and deeper looking for the core of experience which is not words but in the same way you taste a cherry and there it is the flavor of cherry, the texture, the experience.
It's not settling for the first verbal answers and then getting back to all the busyness of everyday life, television, etc. This is contemplation or meditation this alert watchfulness. The same way a naturalist would sit and observe some species they were studying one can observe the functioning of their experience allowing it to reveal itself. And it requires the same patience of a naturalist waiting for the animal to emerge and then quietly watching it as it goes about its activities.
Beings possess consciousness and you are referring chiefly if not exclusively to earth based lifeforms?
That's the only ones we know of.
You are not sure if consciousness is a quality of all life, including bacteria or have you arrived at a cutoff point? Like say oh worms maybe?
There's a cut-off point somewhere. One essay I read set forth this ingenious idea that the way we know if an animal possesses consciousnes or not is whether or not it sleeps. If they sleep, then it is likely that they are conscious when they are awake. Most animals don't sleep (according to the essay).
It seems that you are then agreeing with the position that consciousness is an emergent quality in the universe that come about when? With cells? With sufficiently complex neural organisation? With brain?
It evolved gradually somehow. Admittedly, that is mysterious.
Sometimes that sense of being so enclosed in this so very specific strangeness of my I-ness can give me chills, make my hair stand on end. It's so ODD my being me and nobody else, only once in the entire history of the world and never again. WHAT IS IT? I want to know. Not how it got here. Not how it connects to physical things. But, what, IN ITSELF, is it?
You may have made this connection but I wanted to mention that your statement points to a key distinction about individuals the East calls sages.
Sages aren't prophets, preachers, ministers, theologians, etc. They are individuals who have deeply experienced THAT as you put it IN ITSELF and then are available to assist others in that realization. Their utterances are attempts at helping people see into themselves.
I think you are pointing very clearly to the obvious intimate secret of our being that is at once elusive and yet so constant.
Sometimes that sense of being so enclosed in this so very specific strangeness of my I-ness can give me chills, make my hair stand on end. It's so ODD my being me and nobody else, only once in the entire history of the world and never again
I am reminded here of what Bernadette Roberts wrote in the opening of her book The Experience of No-Self. Having returned it I can only roughly paraphrase. She mentions that she had often been at the edge of a great silence but had always at the last moment felt a fear and in some way drew back, but on that day no fear came and so she just sat until the nun rattling the keys signaled the chapel was closing.
The ego or self is a mystery and beyond it lies an even greater mystery.
Yes, that is initially the reason that many people are drawn to church....they wish to commune. Many times, many churches are coldly exclusivist,(usually unconsciously) judgemental, and otherwise quite frankly boring.
Many people, having experienced such types of social clubs, reject the entire concept of communion with others based on the behavior of those same others.
The argument can be made that many other social outlets, such as the friendly neighborhood pub, provide more comfortable interactions than the church.
quote:I doubt that Robinrohan actually believes what he claims to. I've seen many of his posts and he strikes me as a fundamentalist Christian creationist who's taking everyone for a ride. That's just the impression that I get from his choice of words and overall attitude.