Utility

Consciousness Alone Exists – Part 4: Meditation and Grace

It has been raining on and off for days in Havana. In this world it is an opportunity to take long naps. Everything is difficult and slow. A gap in the weather brought the miracle of delivery of table, chairs and cabinetry that was supposed to be finished two months ago in November. I lived in Soviet and post-Soviet places many years so I have the private joke that the Russians did a good job of showing the Cubans how not to live, and live in accord to “You pretend to pay me, I pretend to work”. Well, I don't even pretend to work and my days go by with the grace of Meditation! This part of the blog series reaches the final conclusions being suggested by the metaphysical paradigm of Vedanta before concluding with implications for neuroscience in Part 5. It is a heartfelt offering to all who resonate in our Divine Relationship.

If science is going to serve our intuitive desire to explore Consciousness itself in the Absolute actuality reflected by reality and metaphysical to reality, it must, in the grace of “meditation” and Meditation, expand attention beyond the “subject-thinker” reflecting the light of Consciousness thinking it is that Consciousness. Just as with the investigation of the properties and dynamics of matter, the guiding question is “how?”. How could neuroscientists inquire about the unknowable metaphysical Subject of the mind-brain relationship and the attending body-mind problems. Many problems are in question attending the desire to grasp the Absolute actuality of Consciousness. Responding to the question of our grasping is very tricky. The “way” does not exist, as will be discussed, as the question of “how” disappears because the question is about causality while the “object” in question, Consciousness, is not an object of knowledge and as such is acausal. We need to look in a way that works in the world of causality, but mitigates the “Mayic” demand for an answer to the hard problem of Consciousness.

Let's review first what has gone before in this blog series beginning with a truncated version of the outlines of earlier entries that were provided,and ending with an outline of the last blog entry. The reader can refer to the full outlines previously provided and to the relevant text if clarification is needed:

1. Conscious Union implies an Absolute not only manifesting as infinity but also as an intuitive experience in personal life that pulsates in clarity, ultimately to full clarity as the Conscious Subject.

2. Satchitananda is clarifying the experience of the contents of individual Consciousness, our reality, revealing its union with the actuality of infinite Consciousness, the Conscious Subject. Feeling the unlimited experience of Satchitananda is the spiritual teaching of Consciousness itself.

3. Some neuroscientists say it is not to be concluded that modifications of the content of individual Consciousness, which are objectively knowable, produce the Conscious Subject: “nothing we can or could know about the content of what anyone is knowing tells us anything about what it feels like to be anyone”.

4. Metaphysics not only pertains to humans, but by logical necessity to the “Mind at Large”. By that is not meant just the physical universe at large, but also what it means to be the universe. My own project here, is to offer the distinction between the materialistic “subject-thinker”, and the metaphysical Subject or “Mind at Large” inclusive of the “subject-thinker”.

5. The brain is a physical entity being in a relationship with a metaphysical Subject having Conscious experience. The measurable activity of the brain, particularly thought of oneself, is memory reflected from our first person Subject experience and as such is also a second person perspective – our own second-person perspective as “subject-thinker”.

6. If we are to extrapolate from organic life as a subset of the physical universe we would posit a universal mind: metaphorically matter would be the brain and and what it would be like to be a cosmic Subject would be personal Consciousness as Absolute Consciousness!

7. Positing matter without space is a disassociation from what is actual. The Upanishads assert that matter is superimposed in space, and space is superimposed in Consciousness! Just as the illusion of matter without space is a disassociation from actuality, so is living as a “subject-thinker” with the illusion of space without Consciousness.

8. An insight that one is Living with a disassociated image of oneself is a potent realization. Attention to our thought, according to Vedanta philosophy, is a process of thought within the contents of Consciousness that is in practice “meditation” as an activity which nonetheless continues in a state of disassociation. However, this “meditation” is a conditioning of the mind which mitigates the conditioning that generates disassociation, which in the language of Vedanta is better understood as “Maya”.

9. The questions attending the addition of Consciousness as a primitive element has its philosophy of science origins in the Pan-Psychism of Alfred North Whitehead. That material is superimposed on space, and space on Consciousness could be read into the theoretical metaphysical hypothesis in Pan-psychism. However, Pan-psychism leaves “simple individuals” devoid of Consciousness, so the hypothesis read is not nondualism as only some space is superimposed in Consciousness.

10. Vedanta recognizes the reality of individual Consciousness, as the actuality of Absolute Consciousness. Its a hypothesis only substantiated by direct experience of a Subject – for a Subject being like that. A Subject like that would have to be an Absolute Subject with an Absolute mind in an Absolute material universe superimposed in Consciousness.

11. Vedanta will change the way we look, so we can find out what the consequences of that may be beyond the confines of material determinism or Pan-psychism and so take neuroscience into a novel arena of investigation.

12. The “not-me” fragment is also part of the unified field of thought as the known world from the second-person perspective, existing seamlessly with the “subject-thinker”. This helps us grasp the enigmatic statement “the knower is the known” because the “subject-thinker” is also a second-person perspective!

13. No “I” fragment of thoughts in the sphere of thought could be posited as the first person perspective of individual existence. Worlds of thought are objects of knowledge, including what are thoughts of second-person subjective life as “subject-thinker”. Ironically, the “first person perspective” is also just an idea about something unknowable, but the perspective is logically implied as what it is to feel like somebody. It is the designation as a material thought for metaphysical Consciousness including but also in excess of thought.

14. Reality is an individual person, thinking she is, as “subject-thinker”, knowing the objects of perception. Well, she is, but the “subject-thinker” is reflecting the light of Consciousness thinking it is that Consciousness. Such is the nature of Maya in Vedanta. A metaphor for this metaphysics is bowls of water reflecting the sun. In each bowl there is a sun (“subject-thinker”), and when all the bowls are broken the sun (Consciousness)remains.

15. Experience is retained as memory and memory meets continuously with new input retained as additional memory. Experience is the bridge between past and future, all belonging to the “subject-thinker” sustained in its continuity by the operation of Maya. Maya is an identification of the metaphysical existence of Consciousness with the “subject-thinker” and all that ensues as disassociation, as the reality of that identification in space-time.

16. Changing the way we look is a science of attention to what is the nature of thought. Deeper attention, attention to our inattention, is a “meditation” process mitigating disassociation. The ending of a limited, dissociated individual paying attention, the birth of the “individual” Meditated by Absolute Consciousness is the ending of the operation of Maya sustaining the “subject-thinker” in time-space! Vedanta proposes “meditation” to find out if our apparent state of disassociation from what some neuroscientists designate the “Mind at Large”, comes to an end in psychological time.

17. A science of attention would engender a formal axiom for the necessary metaphysics for neurologists studying the brain for investigation of the hard problem of Consciousness. This axiom is the need to ask what is the timeless state, or the stateless existence, of a living brain while discounting any conclusion depending on the operation of thought because thought is always the past, an operation of memory in time.

18. Investigating the hard problem of Consciousness is a matter of negating the conditioning put together by thought over the millenniums of brain evolution and the entire history of cultural influences. Reality is everything put together by thought, but thought does not put together Consciousness.

Neuroscientists desire to investigate and grasp the Absolute Actuality of Consciousness asking the big question of “how, what is the way?”. The tricky part of responding to that is that the question disappears as it is an inquiry of causation of acausal Consciousness. At first it may seem there is a way of “meditation” because we can see the objective results of the operation of Maya and engage countermeasures of attention, and attention to inattention, that mitigate the power of disorder Maya insures in our mind-brain body-mind complex. We see, however, that the “subject-thinker” “meditating” is still a cycle in time by a fragment of the thought sphere. If “time must have a stop” (W. Shakespeare), it won't happen by our “meditating”.

Here, we recognize the limits of “meditation” to mitigating disorder within the thought sphere. Meditation (now capitalized and not in quotes) is the clarification of actuality in the reality of our individual existence obscured by the operation of Maya in the confusion of dissociation, the confusion of the “subject-thinker” with the unknowable Conscious Subject. Clarification is the action of the Conscious Subject Meditating! We can say the “subject-thinker” “meditating” is Meditated by the Conscious Subject. Clarification is a mutation of the brain in the ending of the operation of Maya. It cannot occur as a cause and effect result in the thought sphere world by the action of the disassociated “subject-thinker”.

The disassociation creates an image of being which is real but not actual. It is real to us, so real that the whole of the operation of the mind-brain relationship is anchored by fear of the image not continuing in time. A whole fragment of the thought sphere as “I and me” is content of memory that has put the story of “me” together. We only undertake action as this image, to preserve and enhance the image and the experience of the image in the “not-me” world. The “not-me” are the thoughts which compose the rest of the thought sphere. The thought sphere is this relationship of the fragments of “not-me” and the “self-image” which I call “subject-thinker”.

We, at best, can practice “meditation” as attention to the operation of Maya, and then the attention to the obvious fact that we forget to be attentive. We can see the disorder created by our inattention. The easy example is seen in relationships with others. What happens when someone violates the image we have of ourselves or we violate the image others have of themselves? Here we have the origin of anger, jealousy, greed, self-aggrandizement, and worse in the extension of our image into being a man or woman, a white or black or brown, a Jew or Christian or Muslim, an American or Cuban or Arab. Then in all this division comes poverty, war, hatred and cruelty. Inattention is the root of all this disorder, while attention is resistance to the disassociated image, even in the domain of the thought sphere.

I introduced the suggestion that Meditation is clarifying actuality in the reality of the “subject-thinker”. This means that the image we have as a “subject-thinker” practicing “meditation” is actually Consciousness mitigating the operation of Maya through the “subject-thinker” negating the image-making process in time, and as long as the image continues. It is actually Consciousness negating the conditioning put together by thought over the millenniums of brain evolution and the entire history of cultural influences forming the particular image of any “subject-thinker”. That the “subject-thinker” would engage “meditation” in the direction of annihilation of the image-disassociation is best described as “Grace”. There is no such causal relationship for this negation in the sphere of thought functioning entirely for continuation in time-space, so Grace is Conscious Subject negating Maya and thereby clarifying the thought sphere.

The ending of a limited, dissociated individual paying attention, the birth of the “individual” Meditated by Absolute Consciousness is the ending of the operation of Maya sustaining the “subject-thinker” in time-space! Described as “Grace” is the existence of an impulse for a “subject-thinker” to engage “meditation”, but of course the complete ending of disassociation in psychological time is the ultimate Grace of Meditation. Even if that happens to a living person, time on the clock will continue as will the needed operation of thought, but without identification. This is sahaja samadhi. This is the best explanation I have for saying the question of the hard problem of Consciousness disappears.