I’ve always enjoyed finding new ways to communicate the nature of being, transcendent of any materialist explanation or subject/object duality. Materialist would have us believe the origin of consciousness is exclusively the product of neurochemistry and complexity. Nearly every argument made to support this position falls within what David Chalmers calls the ‘Easy Problem of Consciousness‘. Obviously, when we poke a molecular here, or tweak a neurotransmitter there, a change in consciousness results. Ask anyone whose taken a psychoactive and they will confirm this for you. But it still begs the question of why, how, and where from is there this experience of consciousness in the first place. This question, is the essence of the ‘Hard Problem of Consciousness‘.
This all ties in very neatly with eastern concepts of ego-loss, impermanence and the bliss of self-realization. From the Buddhist tradition it is meditation on various aspects of impermanence that results in ‘enlightenment’, and from a yogic perspective, the bliss of self-realization is achieved the very same way. Moving beyond the dogma of these traditions, both eastern and western, you can find that they are all basically saying the same thing.
As I’ve gotten older and had more experiences of my own, I no longer validate thoses experiences much on the basis of what others say, traditional or avant garde. I know what I have experienced countless times, and it is from this experiential perspective that I write the following:
As I explore the subtle changes in each moment, endless varieties of bliss are revealed to me. The richness of these experiences is too vast to ever articulate it justly. But what I have learned over the past few years since mastering this process, is that beyond the mind and body, attachments, ego fixations, and other cognitive constructs known as the “self”, lies a freedom of consciousness that is overwhelmingly blissful, confirming, and reassuring to our deepest being. From these experiences I know there is no such thing as “death” as we might understand it. There is no oblivion, or void outside of what we make it. Existence itself is already perfection incarnate, and any concept we harbor in conflict with this basic reality, is our own “make-wrong”, “karma”, or whatever you want to call it. When we let go of our attachments, and surrender to the experience of each moment, the true universe reveals itself to us. This universe is utter perfection beyond our wildest imaginings. Any notion/experience I’ve ever had that doesn’t align with this always turned out to be one of my own impermanent creations. When “I” get out of the way, this bliss of self-realization reveals itself again long enough for to run into my next “make-wrong”, etc.
So what have these experiences taught me about the nature and source of consciousness? Firstly, that consciousness transcends and precedes materialist descriptions of reality. That consciousness is beyond mere matter, energy, space or time. That consciousness always existed and always will exist, that there is only death of form through change and transmutation, while consciousness remains an ever present reality. This is another way of understanding “being in the now”. Time as we know it is a highly dependent process of space-matter-energy, and like everything physicists have described, even the most basic constants of the universe appear to be transmuting.
From USA Today:
A new study in the journal Physical Review Letters suggests that over the lifetime of the cosmos, some fundamental things may not be so fundamental.The study, led by physicists Wim Ubachs and Elmar Reinhold of the Free University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, suggests that “mu,” the mass ratio of two atomic particles — the proton and the electron — “could have decreased in the past 12 billion years.”
At that’s an interesting notion to physicists, who rely on this fundamental constant to understand the structure of the atoms inside stars, planets and people. In more technical terms, mu sets the scale of the “strong” nuclear force, one of the four fundamental forces in the universe (gravity, electromagnetism and the weak force that governs radioactivity are the others.) The strong force binds the sub-atomic particles called quarks to one another inside protons. As fundamental stuff goes, that’s pretty fundamental.
So even science examining its own understand of so-called “contant’s” is discovering that nothing is constant. So why is it that the more we become aware of how un-constant everything is, the more we experience this bliss of the clear light? Perhaps because only then do we realize that the source, the very essence of consciousness is beyond all of that. Some might argue that its all really just a trick of the brain. That somehow by doing diferent types of mediation or drugs, the body and brain reward us with various pleasure chemicals which in turn equate to this “bliss”. That would be true, until one discovers the bliss we are all describing is experientially eternal, and sustainable precisely because it has no attachement to any particular flood of neurotransmitter activity. However, my favorite way of looking at this, is when we as conscious entities experience the perfection of the universe, our all too remaining human selves as part of this perfect universe respond to this perfection in its own uniquely human way with built-in, totally natural and evolved pleasure reward system. And why not? It all seems highly consistent with a perfect universe’s way of expressing itself!