An Intellectual Approach to Consciousness

An Intellectual Approach to Consciousness

Yesterday, I posted an article on David Chalmers talk at TED on the Hard Problem of Consciousness.

Waiting in my browser was an interview with Bernardo Kastrup. Turns out Chalmers was one of the influences that had him take a hard, discriminating look at his own experience.

Quite enjoyed the interview. Though you may find it a little heady at times, it does nicely debunk a number of materialist tenants. It points to the primacy of consciousness by following the logic.

A few points I can add to the discussion:

What is the cut-off point between sentience and non-sentience? The key is the energy structure to support awareness in experiencing through form. We could say the chakras ground consciousness in form. Form is nothing but consciousness but it does not innately have the mechanism to be aware of itself through the form. The chakra structure adds the flow of prana, which moves through channels (nadis) formed by consciousness curving back on itself. It brings the flow of self-aware consciousness (life) right into the form.

I disagree that what vibrates is outside of existence – it is existence itself. It is outside of physical and energetic existence though, if you consider them separate. Existence in fact is a function of consciousness. It arises when consciousness becomes aware of itself and recognizes it is. This becomes obvious when we transcend consciousness. Brahman cannot be said to exist or not exist, to be conscious or not conscious, and so forth.

I would suggest that an entity is not “split off” any more than a wave is split from the ocean. Rather consciousness in form becomes identified with the objects of it’s experience, lost in the content of experience. There is self-stories, yes, but its the identification that causes us to see them as true. And as the Yoga Sutra tells us, attachment (identification) is born of ignorance of our true nature.

Rick gets Unity a little off. For the Self to recognize itself, there has to be a distinction. There has to be Self seeing itself, a subject and object. Self flows within itself and curves back on itself and recognizes itself. That is the seed of all creation, all experience. In the Unity shift, the 2 are recognized to be one and the same. Then there is no longer that sense of difference. But until then, there is.

Outside of the process of the wave (person) becoming aware of their ocean-ness, awareness is aware of itself both globally and at every point within itself. It is only that some of those points (us) are still lost in their experience. There is still a relationship taking place in consciousness but it is solely within itself. Without that relationship, there would be no experience (excitation) and there would be no space for form to show up in.

The divine is globally self-aware. It is awareness itself. But to become aware of all the details – that’s our role. Unfolding it into space and time to experience all the nuances through one of those points.

Why do we have sense organs? To experience those values of form. Clair’s and subtle perception are designed for other values.

The idea that it’s all a shared dream in the group mind is the second of three ways of perceiving Maya, as described by Shankara. The first is the materialist perspective, that nothing but the surface is real. The third is Lila, the divine play, where the mechanism of creation is perceived directly. There’s a fascinating story in the Yoga Vasishtha of Bhusunda the crow that explores how creation repeats itself. And then there is going beyond the three gunas. Ricks mentions that briefly – that nothing every happened. But that includes even the dream. Now there’s one that’s difficult to describe. It’s known in the Vedas as Smriti, memory.

Amusingly, Rick mentions me in the closing of the interview, as “someone named David” who’s helping with the category page. Using the same tech I used for Key Posts above. 😉

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  1. don salmon

    How fascinating. I was an active member of Bernardo’s forum for several years, starting in 2014.

    It seemed to me that when he was developing his view, he stuck very closely to what logic showed and experience revealed.

    As he has become more well-known in the last few years, it seems that he’s felt pressured to develop his view in more details, at times (at least, it seems to me) twisting the logic in order to present an adequately complex view.

    It seems that he is being moved by the same Force that is pressing on the collective to awaken. A fascinating process.

    1. Hi Don
      It is typical of mind to “fill in the gaps.” When you’re trying to explain the whole thing and don’t have the whole picture, you inherently make mistakes. The more mind-driven it is (and the less experiential), the more we can got astray.
      This blog spans over 12 years and you can see how my thinking and language has changed in that time. Some framing I no longer use. But this is how it should evolve.
      Here’s a somewhat related article i just read.

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