This is the end, beautifulfriend, the end. This is the end, my only friend, the end.. .picture what will be so limitless and free... J
JL or thousands of years, people have been attempting to discern the nature of consciousness. As we bring this book to a close, it seems appropriate to look at consciousness in general, and specifically how it applies to Quantum Psychology.
Consciousness has been defined as an ability to know distinctions. Self-consciousness is consciousness of oneself or the imaginary distinction between subject (observer) and knowing object (self).
Consciousness, from the perspective of Quantum Psychology, can be defined in two ways. First, consciousness is that which discerns distinctions. For example, you might say, "I am conscious that you like television and I like reading." Here we have the consciousness to notice the difference between me liking television and you liking reading. Secondly, I am conscious that reading is different from television. In both cases there is consciousness of contrasts or distinctions, i.e, the you reading being different from the you watching television. As mentioned in chapter IX and X, without contrasts there could be no experience. Consciousness is creative because consciousness is that which lets us know of contrasts, distinctions, and Bohm's explicate order. What consciousness does not let us know is Bohm's implicate order (the underlying unity). Why? Because where consciousness is, the unity cannot be seen; the function of consciousness is to see contrasts and differences.
A student came to Nisargadatta Maharaj and said, "I want to be happy." Maharaj replied, "That's nonsense; happiness is where the "I" isn't." He was saying that happiness exists at the implicate level where there is no consciousness just emptiness which knows no distinctions or a separate "I" separation.
Consciousness is where the "I" is, and consciousness is where the distinctions of the explicate order take place. Consciousness does not exist at an implicate level, because at an implicate level there are no distinctions or contrasts, just pure Isness. This means that what you call an individual self or "you" can never know the underlying unity, because the underlying unity doesn't have consciousness of a "you" separate from something to be known or to know about. What is consciousness? Condensed emptiness. Therefore, to know consciousness as condensed emptiness and emptiness as thinned-out consciousness is to know the non-dual (implicate), dual (explicate) nature of the universe. Simply put, ultimately, the implicate is the explicate, the explicate is the implicate.
A French psychiatrist came to Nisargadatta Maharaj and began a long-winded question about past lives, future lives, karma, credits and debits, etc. I don't remember this gentleman's question completely, but I do remember Maharaj's answer. "Who told you that you exist?" Maharaj asked. The French psychiatrist looked at his wife; his wife looked at him but remained silent. Maharaj said, "Consciousness told you you exist, if you understand just this, it's enough."
Once again, he was re-stating the definition of consciousness as that which knows distinctions or the explicate order. Consciousness is the observer and observed, knower and known, experiencer and experience. Without consciousness to know distinctions, there would just be the implicate order of quantum Isness. Therefore, consciousness tells you you exist as a separate self. The concept of existence or non-existence does not arise or exist in emptiness— only in consciousness. It can then be said, consciousness is condensed emptiness, and emptiness is undifferentiated consciousness; (i.e., consciousness without distinctions).
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