Consciousness is merely the witnessing process. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
Consciousness is a localized platform for awareness. Consciousness is the interface between the mind-body and the all-enveloping field of Ĉonsciousness. Ĉonsciousness is the interface between phenomena and noumenon.
Consciousness is not something we see. It’s something through which we see. ~ George Mashour
Every organic entity experiences a separation between itself and its environment. This illusory concept – that self exists in an external world – is the duality we experience in everyday life, defining actuality.
Your consciousness itself gives rise to this world, which is a unified field, a unicity. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
Nature is a cacophony of phenomena, performing on the stage of noumenon which defines reality. Actuality is a fabric of quantized energy, patterned by coherence, emanating from Ĉonsciousness. Ĉonsciousness is itself a unicity, which appears localized as consciousness, leading to sentience.
It is not really the individual that has consciousness, but it is the Ĉonsciousness that assumes innumerable forms. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
States of Consciousness
There are 7 nominal states of consciousness. 3 predominate: awake, asleep, and dreaming. These states reflect basic bodily and mental activity.
While awake, the body is receptive, and often active. The mind is active with perception, as well as with thoughts not immediately based upon sensory input. The typical awake mind maintains several mental streams, but only 1 consciously predominates at any moment.
While asleep, the body is at rest, and not receptive to experience; so too the mind. The sleeping state has the mind-body in repose.
During dreaming, the body remains at rest, but the mind is active in experiences not based upon immediate perception. Instead, the mind engages with memories and other internally generated fabrications. The mind is more open to extra-consciousness communication while dreaming than when awake.
Simultaneity in states of consciousness is common. For instance, daydreaming is dreaming while awake: in both, the mind presents fantasies. State transitions over short durations are also common, as catnapping illustrates.
Awareness comes as if from a higher dimension. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
Sentience is the capability of consciousness to be aware. Whereas consciousness is the platform for awareness, sentience is the witnessing of awareness.
Awareness refers to the quality of being conscious in the present moment. Awareness is a level of activated consciousness.
Baseline awareness varies, depending upon the normal level of noise from nattermind. An astute person never loses the perspective that categorized objects are just a convenience. Uniqueness is as readily perceived as classification. By contrast, someone less aware lumps similarities together and takes the concept of identical as fact.
The extent and quality of perception creates the fact base upon which empirical knowledge is built. Acute observation is an essential element in living a bright life.
Inattentional blindness – immediate focus on thoughts or a memory overshadowing attention to the present moment – affects the quality of perception. Much is missed by a diverted mind.
Each individual has a certain capacity for processing information. People vary in their ability to bear a cognitive load without slipping in inattentional awareness.
Cognitive load capacity and level of awareness are closely related. A major factor in cognitive load capacity, and level of awareness, is how quiet the mind is when unfocused. A constantly chattering mind lowers awareness, as nattermind is itself an incessant cognitive load. In contrast, a quiet mind (quietude) greatly improves cognitive load capacity. As a bonus, a clear mind improves mood, as bliss flows from Ĉonsciousness.
The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness. ~ Aristotle
The 4th state of consciousness – transcendence – is mental silence while still readily receptive to physical stimuli. While the body is inactive yet sensitive, the mind reposes.
For most people, transcendence is fleeting when it does occur. Transcendence may transpire when the body has become fatigued and the mind-body system momentarily lapses into relaxation.
There are several bungling methods to provoke the transcendental state. These typically involve repetitious mental exercises. Extended prayer is a hoary practice unknowingly aiming at transcendence in a most inefficient fashion. Zen kōäns are another inapt technique.
A modern ersatz practice is called mindfulness, which involves paying attention to what comes to mind. In contrast, proper meditation effortlessly leads to transcendence by abandoning attention away from any mental production.
In the transcendental state, the mind rests as consciousness communes with Ĉonsciousness.
Our minds are just waves on the ocean of Ĉonsciousness. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
Our essential nature is usually overshadowed by the activity of the mind. When the mind has settled, we are established in our essential nature, which is unbounded Ĉonsciousness. ~ Patañjali
Transcendence may be sustained during the waking state. This is a 5th state of consciousness: enlightenment, also known as quietude or quiet consciousness.
In the state of quietude, even as thinking transpires, there is a backdrop of mental silence. Being present in the moment, enlightenment affords focus, clarity, and keener awareness.
When the mind is calm, how quickly, how smoothly, how beautifully you will perceive everything. ~ Paramahansa Yogananda
Though nattermind will never cease, as it is an integral agency of the mind, the mind’s incessant noise loses its grip on the way to quietude. In enlightenment, a backdrop of calm exists even when the mind is engaged.
The noise of nattermind sphincters awareness and engenders a sense of individuality. Quietude clears the conduit to empyreal Ĉonsciousness.
The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness. ~ Lao Tzu
There is inherent contentment in enlightenment. Bliss become an ordinary experience.
When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves. ~ Buddha
Bliss is the entirely natural feeling of joy in being alive. It is visibly evident in every infant that is well cared for.
Beyond pain and pleasure there is bliss. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
Bliss comes from living in resonant harmony with Ĉonsciousness. Bliss biologically fortifies enlightenment by acting as a calmative on the system.
This bliss is not like the intoxication of wine or that of riches, nor similar to union with the beloved. The manifestation of the light of consciousness is not like the ray of light from a lamp, Sun, or Moon. When one frees oneself from accumulated multiplicity, the state of bliss is like that of putting down a burden; the manifestation of the Light is like the acquiring of a lost treasure, the domain of universal non-duality. ~ Abhinavagupta
Too much may be made of bliss. Bliss is a symptom, not a goal.
The term enlightenment is especially apropos, as the worries and suffering that burden the Collective are lifted.
I hope for nothing. I fear nothing. I am free. ~ Greek philosopher Nikos Kazantzakis
The realized knows that all this is the play of ignorance. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
Enlightenment is profound step toward realization. The last 2 progressions in consciousness are a deepening of the experience.
When the mind is quiet, we come to know ourselves as the pure witness. We withdraw from the experience and its experiencer and stand apart in pure awareness, which is between and beyond the two. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
Coherence consciousness is the 6th state of consciousness, where awareness of the entanglement of diversity is felt. The unity of Nature begins to be part of everyday experience.
I find one vast garden spread out all over the universe. All plants, all human beings, all higher mind bodies are about in this garden in various ways, each has his own uniqueness and beauty. ~ Anandamayi Maa
Realization (aka unity consciousness) is the apex of sentience. Though in a mind-body, one witnesses phenomena in the silence of noumenon. In realization, there is an abiding experience of the unicity of Nature.
No sorrow nor delusion can overwhelm one who sees the oneness of existence. ~ Isa Upanishad
Awareness in realization is expanded over its facility in ignorance. Further, nattermind in realization is reduced to occasional intrusion, whereas nattermind is often overwhelming in ignorance. Nattermind is responsible for the abridged awareness in ignorance, including less perceptive acuity. Finally, realization augments the performance of the subconscious mind and enhances its accessibility.
It is impossible to experience the past and the future, other places, other people, and alternatives to reality. And yet, memories, plans, predictions, hopes, and counterfactual alternatives populate our minds, influence our emotions, and guide our choice and action. ~ Yaacov Trope & Nira Liberman
Everything is a mental construction, even perception. All that is experienced is a construal.
Psychospace is the subjective experience that something is close or far away from the self, here, and now. Psychospace distance is egocentric: its reference point is the self, here and now, and the different ways in which an object might be removed from that point – in time, space, social distance, and hypothetically – constitute different distance dimensions. ~ Yaacov Trope & Nira Liberman
Israeli psychologists Nira Liberman and Yaacov Trope construed construal level theory in 1998 to explain psychospace, which is the relative distance that the mind considers objects, actions, and events to be. The more distant something is construed to be, the more abstractly one thinks of it, and vice versa. Whatever is the focus of attention is always a concrete experience.
Mental construal processes traverse psychological distances and switch between proximal and distal perspective. Moving from a concrete representation of an object to a more abstract representation involves retaining central features and omitting features that by the very act of abstraction are deemed incidental. ~ Yaacov Trope & Nira Liberman
High-level construal is abstract: looking at the big picture, getting the overall gist. Conversely, low-level construal is concrete, focused on detail.
There are 4 psychospatial dimensions: spatial, temporal, social (interpersonal), and hypothetical (imagining event likelihood). For instance, the more likely something seems, the more concrete the mind takes it to be. The same applies to time and space.
Spatial distance is conceptualized as a dimension of psychological distance. People identify actions as ends rather than means to a greater extent when these actions occur spatially distant, as opposed to near, and they use more abstract language to recall spatially distant events, compared with near events. Spatially distant events are associated with high-level construals. ~ Japanese psychologist Kentaro Fujita et al
◊ ◊ ◊
A child’s mental development involves gaining pliability with psychospace – notably, learning to attain a higher-level construal. Maturing to achieve a proper perspective is a matter of psychospace management.
Human development in the first years of life involves acquiring the ability to plan for the more distant future, to consider possibilities that are not present, and to consider the perspective of more distant people (from self-centeredness to acknowledging others, from immediate social environment to larger social groups). ~ Nira Liberman & Yaacov Trope
Emotional intensity is an outcome of psychospace. Frustration is a very concrete experience which can be reduced by psychologically distancing oneself from the situation. More generally, increasing psychological distance via a high-level construal dampens the impact of negative emotions and makes challenging tasks seem easier.
Psychological distance can reduce the subjective experience of difficulty caused by task complexity and task anxiety. ~ Indian American psychologist Manoj Thomas & Taiwanese behavioral economist Clair Tsai
We look at a person and immediately a certain impression of his character forms itself in us. Such impressions form with remarkable rapidity and with great ease. ~ Solomon Asch
American social psychologist Solomon Asch determined that the impressions formed when meeting someone is a Gestalt-like process, in that details of observation and conversation effortlessly meld into a summation. Asch found that first impressions form abstractly and holistically rather than concretely and piecemeal.
The situation in which acquaintances are made affects the impressions formed via construed psychological distance.
When forming impressions, psychological distance affects whether perceivers construe behavioral information about another person relatively concretely (e.g., how a behavior was performed) or relatively abstractly (e.g., why a behavior was done). The behaviors of distant individuals are especially likely to spontaneously elicit trait inferences. ~ American psychologists Randy McCarthy & John Skowronski
Implicit psychological distance subtly shapes expectations about another person’s behaviors and their consistency.
People expect distant (relative to near) individuals to behave in a manner that is especially consistent with their inferred dispositions. ~ Randy McCarthy & John Skowronski
In the present electronic age, within an increasing number of contacts made at a geographical remove, it may take mental effort to close the psychological distance and consider long-distance acquaintances and attendant impressions of them with an appropriate construal level.
Placing individuals into a more abstract construal mind-set influences stereotyping. ~ American social psychologist Sean McCrea et al
Construal in Unity Consciousness
For the Collective, the involvement of the mind-body is concrete: experience feels real. In realization there is an inherent psychological distance between consciousness and the mind: a dissociative sentience, as contrasted with the concrete experience of being the engaged mind-body. It is this dissociation that affords high-level construal of everything that is not occurring at present.
Psychospace is an aspect of meaning. ~ Yaacov Trope & Nira Liberman
The idea of oneself is an abstraction when one is realized. A distinction between actuality and reality is not only conceptual in unity consciousness, it is experienced. The spiritual maturation of realization is the fruition of the same process that a young child undergoes in mentally taking steps to higher-context construal.
By contrast, being in the moment is completely concrete. With quietude, full attention can be paid to the task at hand without mental distraction, affording focus on details. Easy low-level construal also applies to social situations, so as to attain an enhanced sense of intimacy.
The best of both worlds is had in unity consciousness: a generalized high-level construal along with a fine focus for getting work done. The experience of entanglement and unicity makes treating other life with requisite respect easy. The overall effect is comfortable self-actualization and a natural compassion.
Live quietly in the moment and see the beauty of all before you. ~ Paramahansa Yogananda
Ĉonsciousness is said to be the cause of all things because it is everywhere emergent as each manifest entity. ~ Abhinavagupta
▫ A unified field of Ĉonsciousness entrains existence as an entertainment platform; populating all levels of life with the semblance of individualized consciousness.
You are the immensity and infinity of Ĉonsciousness. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
▫ There are 7 nominal states of consciousness: awake, asleep, dreaming, transcendence, enlightenment, coherence consciousness, and realization (unity consciousness). While some states are mutually exclusive, such as being awake or asleep, others may be coincident: enlightenment is transcendence while awake.
▫ Efficacious meditation technique easily leads to transcendence: a state of consciousness in communion with Ĉonsciousness.
▫ With regular meditation and mental discipline, familiarity with transcendence engenders enlightenment: sustained mental silence, largely free from the distractions of nattermind.
▫ Manifestation is a mirage and attachment to it can only bring suffering. In contrast, considering life as entertainment, despite its vexations, utterly changes worldview.
▫ Knowing the noumenal nature of reality, one naturally progresses from enlightenment to realization, which is a state of unified consciousness with Ĉonsciousness.
Once you realize that bodily existence is but a state of mind, a movement in consciousness, that the ocean of Ĉonsciousness is infinite and eternal, and that, when in touch with Ĉonsciousness, you are the witness only, you will be able to withdraw beyond consciousness altogether. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj