What Consciousness Is
“Consciousness is the aperture through which potential becomes reality.”
“Consciousness is the interface between the world of the spirit and the world of the physical.”
A Lucid Dream
I just woke up from a dream, it’s 3am. I just condensed the gist of what I learned from my dream in the quotes above, which are my quotes, and I hope they’re a decent entry point into what I am about to write. I was contemplating the world of the spirit in my dream and how it relates to the world of the physical, which is an old alchemical juxtaposition from which we get phrases such as “as above, so below” and “mind over matter”. Essentially the relationship is describable in a slightly longer form as “The realm of mind tells the realm of matter how to behave, while the realm of matter gives expression to the realm of mind”. Think about how the laws of nature govern matter to express creation.
I’m probably going to use synonymous terms throughout, so be aware that the realm of mind is synonymous with the spirit world and the realm of matter is synonymous with the physical world. Each of us as living beings exist simultaneously in each world as a mind and a body, and our personal consciousness is a point at which the two touch. It’s actually better to describe the consciousness as an aperture but I hope you get the idea.
Let’s unpack what I was dreaming about in a longer form because there’s a lot of information that I consider firm ground that I need to convey to you the reader. Hopefully you’ll have a much better understanding of how the spirit realm relates to the material realm after this, especially as most people tend to have a pretty good grasp on the physical realm and a fairly poor grasp on the spiritual realm.
The Base of the Physical Realm
Fundamentally what we relate to as the physical realm is entirely expressed by energy acting under the laws of nature. Energy is the fundamental root of everything that exists in the physical domain and a modern physicist can express many energy states and transformations through mathematics. Every atom in your body is made of condensed energy and every electromagnetic wave rippling through your nervous system is too. You are living energy. Everything physical is made if it.
This is true for all of the atoms of the place you are in, the clothes on your body, the electricity flowing through power cables, radio waves passing through the air, and so on and so on for everything else. Everything that exists in the physical realm boils down to being energy. As far as I’m aware there are no exceptions to this, period. It’s all energy in this form or that form, transmuting from one form to another for eternity. It’s pretty amazing stuff when you consider that written into it is every possibility of its form, it’s every expression from a simple rock to a living human being. Both are expressed by energy and the potential for becoming both exists within energy.
The Nature of Energy
At the risk of becoming sidetracked, I considered how living things are written into the potential of energy. I considered that as life is expressed by energy it must be innate to energy, such that all things expressed by energy are fundamentally alive in some way. This is what gave rise to my interpretation of the cosmos as fundamentally alive in its entirety, an infinite superbeing with humans as the equivalent of gut bacteria contemplating our place in a host we can never completely comprehend. The gut bacteria in each of us are living beings and attempting to take on their perspective of us is an amusing exercise. To flip that around and attempt to see the Earth as a living system or the cosmos as as living system from the perspective of a tiny human being has a certain uncanny parallel quality to it. Interesting thought experiments if you can get your head around them.
Back to the potential within energy, one has to ask where this potential exists. If you try to grasp it with your hand you will always fail, but if you try to grasp it with your mind you may succeed. So, potential is not physical. Nor does it exist in space-time, for I write this at my place and time, not your place and time. You behold ideas with your mind and not your eyes. The nature of ideas then, is for them to be in a place that we perceive and move through with our minds, and this is the reality of the spirit realm. It has a very different nature to the physical realm and the rules for exploring it are quite different.
Making Sense of the Spirit Realm
The spirit realm is often thought of as supernatural. I say not, since it’s the very domain that nature resides in and governs from. Our spirit commands our body from here. I can tell you that it’s the realm that our minds inhabit and that it’s the realm of ideas, and while I describe the realm of matter as “what is” I describe the realm of spirit as “what can be”. It’s a realm of templates, of rules, of things that are frozen in time. Its contents in the form of ideas may be possessed by beings at any place in space-time. Its rules reach out and govern the physical realm from here, and by studying the physical realm we can reverse-engineer these rules back to their origin. That’s basically what science does.
It is the mind that pierces the future while the body is stuck in the present. The mind’s eye can see a weave of possibility that physical eyes cannot, guiding it through the aperture of consciousness into the present where our physical body experiences it. Thus the soul is a sailor of time and the body is our vessel. What concerns us as sailors on the sea of possibility is obtaining a map that can reveal to us the most pleasant and fulfilling of journeys. It is a map we call “morality”, and it is not well understood. Indeed it has a certain suffocating quality that we like to rebel against, just in case we can find a better, updated version that we can pen our name to.
Our ancestors have authored many such doctrines. Morality is the art of interpreting “what can be” in order to achieve “what’s best for life”. This would be the fundamental purpose of truth, or specifically moral truth. What is true in an objective sense is likely irrelevant in the moral sense and so I find it necessary to make the distinction. I wish we had a word for it that meant just that: “moral truth”; that which is best for life. Wisdom? Suggestions in the comments below. This truth exists in the spirit realm and its accurate description is the very purpose of spiritual beings.
Given that moral truth exists in the spirit realm as an abstract idea, how does one discover it and second, how does one know that one has discovered it? A train of thought I’ve become addicted to lately is that of Jordan Peterson, who suggests that we possess this knowledge in the unconscious parts of our mind. This part of the mind, for those who are unfamiliar, contains a record of wisdom built up over the unbroken chain of some 300 million years or so of evolution that took us from simple creatures to human beings. We have that much successful ancestral experience built into us, and it guides us and provides us with frameworks that we take for granted. Much of this knowledge we use every single day without the slightest idea.
A Study of Spirit, Psychology
A claim like that is going to be a pretty big deal to anyone who has never studied any psychology, I would say. These frameworks are how we manage to intuitively fall into society, respond to physical needs and dangers and automatically cope with the rough and tumble of life. Things would be impossibly complicated without inherited frameworks. As our species evolved, so we built these frameworks and rules layer by layer and recorded them in our unconscious minds, and they are what handle the background processing such that our conscious mind can deal with new, novel matters. Our consciousness is interested in what is new and undefined, while our active unconscious stores the emergent processes that we learn, useful rules and other lifetime wisdom. This is where dreaming comes in.
Dreaming is where our unconscious mind contemplates information in irrational ways. If your consciousness is something that relies a lot on rational thought, logic and a laser focus, then the unconscious thought process is a wide angled lens, that which casts a wide net, is playfully experimental and child-like, chaotic, combining elements that make no rational sense, judges them, discards what doesn’t work and makes little notes on anything that shows signs of promise. Iterating and iterating through myriad combinations of innumerable mental items, its industry is as close to the infinite as mortals can touch. That is the incredible power of the irrational mind. What it presents to the conscious mind it does so in symbols and dreams, and the conscious mind really needs to pay attention to avoid losing the unconscious mind’s insights.
Realising Truth in Dreams
The final step to realisation is to apply quality control, by examining a dream consciously. If ideas that are given up by the irrational mind hold up to scrutiny, then what has happened is called “genius”; the birth of an idea from chaos. What actually happens in terms of the physical world interacting with the spirit world is that a piece of significant potential has been actualised, or to put it another way it’s like rolling a dice and observing the resulting number. Something that was potential became real, matter expressed spirit and the result is found to be significant. A discovery is made. Genius is an everyday process that we all take for granted, and perhaps for many readers it goes unnoticed. The significance of our personal discoveries can vary from the small “I get it!” moments that only affect ourselves to inventions that change the world. It’s all the same, just on a different scale.
Moral discoveries are made over perhaps millions of years of evolution. Remember that moral truth is “what’s best for life”, and this took our ancestors a great deal of trial and error to discover and record in the unconscious mind. This record attempts to express itself through our culture, which is the natural conduit for such a thing. The Western cultural crisis that began in the 19th century with the proclamation of Nietzsche that “God is dead etc.” moved through the predicted and very bloody 20th century. We are now into a 21st century that is characterised by the internet and the exceptional processing power of information that the human collective can process and rapidly communicate, which gives us the chance to solve the moral crisis in a formal way.
Triumph Happily Awaits Us
The moral crisis can be summed up by the question “how should we live?” and the answer is “do that which is best for life”. What is best for life? Well, we already know this. It’s written in our unconscious minds and expressed through our ancestral culture. The tricky part is to get an accurate reading of this ancestral knowledge and proclaim it as the most perfect moral truth that we possess. Note carefully please that I said “most perfect” instead of “perfect”, because I do not believe human beings have the capacity to recognise perfection. If we attain perfection at all it will be by accident and likely we will throw it away in our ignorance for something altogether more stupid, because this is our nature. Humans are brilliant and stupid in equal measure and I suggest this to be self-evident. Consider the brilliance of our technology next to the everyday stupidity of politics and television. The fact that these are produced by the same species is surely a sign that our creator has a sense of humour.
So, given the ancestral record that tells us how to live the best way we know how, I need to point out a distinction in knowledge. There is a difference between knowing something and knowing that you know something. Unconscious knowledge is archived. Jordan Peterson has a great deal to say about extracting this knowledge back out of our collective archive and re-affirming that which serves life, that which is good, that which should be remembered in a time of nihilism and forgetfulness. Of destructive postmodernism. This will be the culmination of a 200 year crisis of the Western psyche, confusion and Godlessness in a rediscovery of what God is and is not, of what is good for us and what is not, and a discovery of how we need to think about ourselves as a collective consciousness in the face of machines that we are ever closer to making sentient. Our era is an era of incredible conscious transformation at a collective level, whether you personally know it or not.
I always seem to have some extra, random thoughts to write down. From a perspective of particle-wave duality, the spirit is the wave of potential and the body is the particle of what is. A personal consciousness is a discreet experience of the continuous wave-form collapse from “what could be” to “what is” in a future-present aperture, or simply “the mind”. This phenomenon of “being” lies on the border between the spiritual realm and physical realm.
Given the “outside of space-time” nature of the spirit realm and the eternal nature of energy in the physical realm, these apertures (a discreet consciousness like you, dear reader) can be expected to repeat ad infinitum. That is to say, on a personal level, reincarnation is inevitable and inescapable in perpetuity and always has been. Given that personality and memory are characteristics of a human brain however, we don’t get to remember this from life to life. Yet, I wonder if in its personal passage through time and across lives, our spirit leaves a ripple in its wake (karma), or possesses retained momentum across incarnations (destiny).
Well, I guess there are always more mysteries to contemplate… some other time, and certainly after breakfast.