On being conscious
Posted by Simon Parke, 18 October 2017, 5.51am
Consciousness…it’s a rare bird.
Sometimes some people are conscious.
Though in most of us, it’s rather partial.
To be conscious is to be one self… without a confusion of other selves.
RD Laing spoke of our personality as ‘a system of false selves.’
But beyond this confusion is one self… and when we are here, we are conscious.
Our personality is not for consciousness; rather, it’s a chaotic gathering of psychic wounds and defences around the wounds.
Perhaps we have a sad part and a part insisting the sad part isn’t sad.
Or an angry part and another part repressing the angry part saying it shouldn’t be angry.
Or an anxious part and another part saying it’s ridiculous to be anxious.
We have wounds, and walls around the wounds… and walls around the walls.
Some have so many walls, they’ve long forgotten the wounds they protect; they just know they protect something they don’t ever want to see or hear of again.
There are rumours of bad things in the past, feelings reckoned inappropriate… the dull hearsay of terror.
And around them gather our defences and false identities; and we’ll come for anyone who threatens them.
So much to protect! So much to defend!
...and some way from consciousness.
But beyond the social debris people leave with us each day; beyond the thoughts, emotions and tensions left lodged in our being…for this is not who we are…
And beyond the psychic cluster that is our own gallery of thoughts, memories and images around our identity…for neither is this who we are…
Is a different space, beyond our thoughts, behind our thoughts, a space of clarity and stillness like blue sky around a mountain top.
You may well have been there.
And into this space, with delight, springs the question ‘And what is me?’
Nothing here is recognizable by memory, for this space exists entirely in the present.
It is quite without a sense of self, and exists without commentary or inner dialogue.
No walls within sight, nothing to protect, nothing to defend.
Simplicity of perception, simplicity of presence.
Here is consciousness, a space aware of thoughts and feelings passing through, but unattached to any them.
Here we are a witness to everything in the field of vision…but not a chattering commentator.
We arrive in this space as we peel away the social debris of the day; and allow our thought-grasping identity to dissolve like mist in the sun.
We might arrive here on the train.
Or in a meeting.
Or as we sit.