Monday, June 8, 2015

Three kinds of consciousness, part I—unworded

Consciousness is discussed as if it were a single thing; as if I could say, I am more or less conscious, and leave it at that. Yet I think there is a much greater dimension to this question that has to be examined quite specifically in terms of both experience, intelligence, and insight in order to understand the question better.

The consciousness of the mind is very familiar to us. Yet the other two forms of consciousness that can be equally important and equally active in man are the organic sensation of being – which I would call organic consciousness — and of the emotive consciousness. 

These two consciousnesses are unawakened in the average person, so they have no experience whatsoever of the nature of these consciousnesses, although they may have had inklings and intimations from time to time.

It is impossible to begin to understand what living means without the organic consciousness. This consciousness ties itself deeply into breathing, sensation, and the roots of the body itself, so that a vibration unifying the experience of living arises in the cells and brings them together. 

This is not a thinking consciousness, so it's somewhat pointless to discuss what its attitude is in terms of words or the mind. Yet it can be described.

My organic consciousness is alive. That is enough to know; and when I am within it, I know both that I live and that I will die. In this sense, both life and death become less of a question to me, because instead of pondering them, I inhabit them, and I see that it is impossible to have one without the other.

As I write this, it is a year since my father died; so death has been on my mind. Yet it is not just on my mind; it is in my body, in terms of the awareness of vibration and the distinction between being alive and dying. Living is a vessel that contains death; and this is very different than our perception that death is an entity that takes away life. I generally think that death owns life, that all things die, but really, as I sit here early this morning — in the cool morning air of the Atlantic seashore, on the Outer Banks of North Carolina — I see that life owns death. 

Life, in fact, owns everything, when perceived from organic consciousness.

The organic consciousness can come into relationship with the intellectual consciousness. Yet they are separate entities; one thinks, the other senses. Thinking is organized along the lines of association and the assignation of labels; sensation does not submit to this kind of order. It is immediate and unworded. This is a state to inhabit, not an analogy to engage in. And there isn't any need for my mind to seize it or interfere with it: it is quite simple and quite compelling, like the tone of the single musical note that sounds onward through time and even through life itself.

The contact between the organic consciousness and the intellectual consciousness provides a certain type of energy which can feed the emotive consciousness; this is yet again a third and very different kind of consciousness in the first two.


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