Q.531 Consciousness and reality

(Question posed in Quora  forum.)

Q: What is reality in the absence of consciousness? (Someone responded: ‘I’m beginning to be convinced that in the absence of consciousness, there is nothing. Can anyone shed some light on this?

A (Martin): That is an impossible, or a self-defeating, question. If there were no consciousness in the world, you could not write that sentence. What is more, no communication would be possible (books, newspapers, radio, etc.). Still more, no life and no evolution of life, because life depends on the communication of information (DNA, neuronal synapses, etc.), which itself derives from what is no less than a conscious universe. There is no need to believe in a personal (anthropomorphic) god to have this understanding or realization.

It is the same if we say, ‘absence of intelligence’. It is consciousness/intelligence which originates the universe and inheres in it. In Dante’s words, “l’Amore che muove il sole e l’altre stelle” (the Love which moves the sun and the other stars) – and that is so because without love there is no life, Love being a synonym of Being and of Light. The supreme triad is Being-Consciousness-Will, or Being-Consciousness-Bliss (or Beauty). — And Beauty and Love are the same.

Experiencing Non-Duality

the striped blouse Edouard Vuillard 1895

Edouard Vuillard, The striped blouse 1895

Spiritual seekers who aim to go beyond duality often fancy that, at the end of the journey, they are going to experience reality altogether differently. That’s right and wrong at the same time.

Even before, there are many situations that allow us to experience non-duality, which is in and through everything. Reality being non-dual, it would be quite surprising if non-duality was untraceable up to the time of enlightenment. So even unenlightened mortals experience non-duality plenty of times throughout their day. Indeed we interpret the experience wrongly. What happens with enlightenment or awakening, is that this wrong interpretation, based on ignorance, is dropped. This means that all those possible non-dual experiences are recognised for what they essentially are: non-duality itself. Continue reading

Consciousness and Mythology (or, Consciousness, Nausicaa and Ulysses)

“Mythology is the penultimate truth… Its ‘worlds’ and ‘gods’ are levels of reference and symbolic entities which are neither places nor individuals, but states of mind realizable within you.” — Ananda K. Coomaraswamy

If memories are nothing but thoughts, one after another, in the present moment, where alone they can exist, there is no loss – one feels – if most of them, even all of those which are merely personal, disappear altogether as into a dust-bin of useless personal history, a dark corner or recess of things readily forgotten, unclaimed and uncried for. But there are other thoughts, memories, that resist being forgotten. The deeds and trials of valiant, resourceful and noble Ulysses; the feminine beauty and candor of Nausicaa when she first encountered him; the ten years’ efforts and sufferings of the Aecheans (and the Troyans) seemingly helpless in front of the inexpugnable walls of Troya, which ended finally in the destruction of that legendary city; the prowess of swift Achilles, the prudence of Telemacus and the steadfastness, ingenuity and devotion of Penelope.The battle-field of Kurushketra, both armies arrayed for battle while Arjuna ponders what to do in such a painful dilemma… and so many other great deeds of heroic adventure and courageous example – the word epic describes the meaning of it all – whether fact is mixed with fiction, imaginations from the fertile minds of poets… but still unforgettable. Are these, and many others, not imprinted indelibly in mens’ minds across millenia? Are all these also to be lost for ever, thrown into utter oblivion? Can Consciousness Itself bear to ever be separated from such stupendous, towering events as have remained in the minds of men from time immemorial; in men (or minds) who refuse to forget them as the inheritance to which they lay claim – exploits they.aspire to emulate, even if in a lesser, or symbolical form? Well,  this is the lower realm, the realm of contingency, of men’s passions and narrow vision – of deeds of fallible men, even if they be heroes. Things in this world are error-prone, deceitful and ephemeral. And yet… beauty cannot be removed from the best of human acts, feelings, and aspirations. And Beauty is of the eternal. Is this, are these real questions?   A.M.


You are preaching to the choir. The beauty of the book 6 of the Odyssey, the encounter of Ulysses and Nausicaa, the first verses and their enchanting rythm
are forever engraved in my memory since I discovered them at age 15. They emanate directly from the Source, to which we return, and which contains them, and all the heroes and gentle souls they speak of. Nothing gets ever lost. There are many rooms in our Father’s mansion, and there is room for all.  Francis Lucille.