Let us now consider the connective aspect of consciousness further. We only know and understand consciousness from within the limits of our own individual and isolated human experience of it. We perceive and think of our individual minds as completely separate and isolated from each other because we are unable to share our inner worlds in the same way that we share the outer world. And yet, in spite of this, we are still somehow able to find a common understanding between us regarding purely subjective, non-physical things, such as beauty and confusion. Although we all know what these things are, these understandings are not based on any clearly established rules of order and therefore cannot be defined in any quantitative terms. We do not always define these subjective things in quite the same way, so that where one person might see beauty, another might not. Nevertheless, we all have some conceptual formulation of what beauty is, or confusion, or whatever else, and these understandings seem to be mutual, at least in a general sense.
Where does this mutual understanding between us come from? How can we know that we understand these things in the same relative way? To understand this, we should realize that although we may appear to be separate and isolated individuals, both mentally and physically, this is not really the case at all.
In a physical sense, we are interconnected with our environment and constantly exchanging energy with it. At the level of normal awareness, we do this whenever we breathe, as well as when we pass food and liquids through our systems for nourishment. If we consider our physical bodies at the subatomic level, we see that we are actually indistinguishable and inseparable from our environment. At this microcosmic level, lines of distinction break down and form loses substance. Absolutes disappear and only probabilities are certain. Matter itself disappears into pure energetic expression. There is no definite point where the material that makes up our bodies stops and the environment begins. The molecules that make up the cells of our bodies are constantly breaking down and losing atoms to the environment while other cells are concurrently forming to replace them, being replenished by atoms from our environment. In fact, all of the individual atoms that make up our bodies will be replaced over time, so that the body we have at twenty will be an entirely different one by the time we are thirty.
In regards to our mental separation from one another, we only appear to be completely isolated from each other in our thoughts and feelings. We can only share these experiences indirectly by describing them through speech, writing, etc., but these can never communicate our inner experiences precisely. We seem to be somewhat trapped within our own private worlds where our thoughts and perceptions are unlike anyone else’s, and unable to be directly shared with anyone else. But there is a connective link between our individual minds that is sometimes experienced in certain situations and to such a degree that when we do experience it we are taken aback, and can only conclude that something outside of our common understanding has taken place. These are moments where we feel that something paranormal has occurred, and these moments, although still quite rare, are common enough that we can give them credence as evidence that there is a mental connectivity between us.
The more common subjective experiences of our separate minds seem to be quite similar in many ways, and it is through these similarities that we find a certain degree of mental connectivity between us. In spite of this, however, we do not appear to be anything other than individual instances of consciousness taking part in a common physical reality. This separation between us is an illusion, however, and at a very deep level of consciousness we are connected to each other and everything else. In fact, consciousness exists in every physical form that we perceive, every sound that we hear, every scent that we smell, every flavor that we taste, and every touch that we feel. It is consciousness that causes matter to appear to manifest as physical reality before us. This all-permeating consciousness is even reflected in the very order and stability that allows our universe to continue to exist. All life forms and all inanimate things are essentially the faucets of one great, unified consciousness, existing as minor reflections of its greater being.
This greater consciousness encompasses all consciousness within this sphere of reality that we all share together. It is in all things, giving them sustenance through its energy of thought. Humans and all other ‘conscious’ beings, which include all plants and animals, as well as all atoms, molecules, rocks, clouds, stars, etc., arise as concentrations of the multi-focused, simultaneously occurring attentions of this greater consciousness. In the mechanistic terms of the physical sciences, what we call energy and equate with mass is also equated with conscious energy. The greater consciousness is therefore the sum of all the energy in our universe. But it is more than just this, because it also encompasses the subjective side of reality as well.
We experience both an outer and an inner reality, one objective and quantifiable, the other subjective and non-quantifiable. The outer reality, as we have already described, arises as a reflection of our collective thoughts and beliefs, and actually emerges from the subconscious level of mind, although this does not appear so to our senses. It is through our subconscious that we connect to each other and all the rest of reality, and this can be evidenced by the fact that telepathic reception and clairvoyant impressions often occur when the conscious mind is relaxed, allowing the subconscious to predominate mental activity.
The living human mind ranges between full waking consciousness and deep comatose sleep. When we are fully alive and experiencing our physical world with a high degree of connective interaction with it, we are at the peak level of our consciousness. When we sleep, we sink out of this conscious awareness and our brain processes that involve normal reasoning and logical thinking – the underlying framework that we use to interpret our sensory input – are more or less shut off, allowing a more direct connection to the subconscious. This is where the content of our dreams originate. The subconscious mind is also the channel for psychic impressions or sources of knowledge that are not always available otherwise. Much of what we experience as random mental impressions when we are drifting off to sleep, and the wisps of dreams that we recall upon waking, are impressions created by the subconscious. Although they may seem quite illogical and meaningless to our conscious minds, they often reflect a level of reality that seems to relate to deeper understandings and issues than our normal waking lives are usually concerned with, or should be concerned with.
Upon the death of our physical bodies, we slip deeper and deeper into this subconscious state, first letting go of our conscious connection to the outside world, then to the inner world, before fading out completely. Where do we go?
Many are led to believe that when our bodies die, so does our consciousness. This belief is caused by too much faith in the mechanistic view of science and little faith in a higher purpose. Other belief systems are not so limiting in the extent that they give meaning to consciousness, life, and reality itself. Until scientific thought replaced religious doctrine, our part in the world was at least important in the scheme of things, if not central to its meaning and purpose. Science has avoided any consideration of reality that would involve any such meaning and purpose to life forms other than to fulfill a part of a continuing process of physical existence for its own sake. We are supposed to believe that we only live for the sake of existing and to do our part to keep the cycle going, and that’s it. According to the scientific framework, life itself arose by purely random and unplanned physical events, and consciousness is said to be nothing more than an effect that arises when matter reaches a certain level of complexity. But is this to be believed?
The problem with this explanation is that it does not have any supporting evidence at all that would show that life arises out of random physical events, or that consciousness arises due to complexity. These are baseless claims that can serve no purpose other than to devalue life in general. Since science is self-limiting and cannot deal with anything other than external, objective events that occur in a physical sense, it is inadequate to rely on it if we are to consider anything beyond the physical domain. Science can offer the mechanics, but never the meaning.
Meaning is the subjective element of an experience or event. It is not inherent in the event itself, but only arises through the experiencer of that event. It arises from consciousness, not material substance. Meaning, being subjective, can be different for each of us, but there are those things that have the same meaning for all of us. We share a sense of reality based on meaning, expressed through the order that underlies that reality. The order itself is not physical, nor does it provide any meaning in itself. The meaning of this order, and of everything that arises through it as our reality, comes from a source that lies outside of normal awareness. This source had to exist before any sort of order could begin to form the physical world, and such order, being purely subjective in nature, was a reflection of mind.
We can see that from a scientific perspective, meaning is limited to describing physical processes, based on the laws of physics. This type of meaning, however, falls short of describing or defining anything beyond those laws. Science does not even attempt to address the question of the meaning of reality. It explains the history of the universe in terms of physical processes, but in doing so, describes it as originating from a state that lies outside of the physical laws that govern it. This prior state is described as a timeless, dimensionless point of nothingness, a ‘singularity’. From this conceptual singularity, science can describe the unfolding of energetic forces and the complex development of physical evolution that has culminated into today’s planets, stars, and galaxies. They claim that the universe continues to expand from an initial Big Bang event because distant galaxies are seen to be moving away from us. However, no explanation can be given regarding what space is expanding into, and we are left with a similar problem as we have with explaining a singularity.
No meaning or purpose can be ascertained to explain the universe’s existence as long as it is considered on its own. To derive any meaning, it must be understood beyond just itself, as part of or in relation to something greater. Science cannot explain where the originating singularity came from, nor can it explain what the universe is supposed to be expanding into.
These two conceptual extremes that mark the limits of physical reality reflect the essence of mind or consciousness as we are describing it here. The directive force behind the birth of our universe from a singularity is equivalent to pure focused consciousness. The background for this emerging reality is the subconscious mind that reflects back to us the expressions of conscious thought. The greater consciousness encompasses all of this, existing within all material manifestations, expressing itself through the directed energy of thought. The greater consciousness can direct its energies into separate creative faucets, which in some cases arise as living forms. These separate conscious beings are only digressions of the ultimate beingness of this greater consciousness. We appear to be separate instances of consciousness, but this is an illusion that is necessary to the type of experience that we are involved in. At a deeper level of mind, humans are connected together by the meaning that underlies this type of experience. We have accepted this meaning in terms of an understanding that was established prior to our involvement in this reality we share, before we came to be born into it. Each of us, deep within the core of our being, is part of the same conscious force that is involved in sustaining the order and structure of this reality.
To understand our connection to each other and to everything else through the depths of our subconscious minds, and to more easily conceptualize the greater consciousness that underlies manifest reality, we should give further consideration to the subconscious mind and its place in our experiences.