"Get into the Know"
Watch closely your knowing, this feeling and sensation of being aware and alive, and observe what you feel. I do not mean that you look at the contents of your mind. I mean becoming fully aware and conscious of the sensation of being alive and existing. Some concentration ability is required to perform this simple exercise, because the mind and its thoughts will probably try to stand in your way.
This consciousness I am referring to, is not the awareness of having a body, emotions or thoughts, but of something beyond.
This consciousness is your inner being, and there is nothing mysterious or mystical about it. We all experience this consciousness constantly, but never investigate or try to be consciously and intently aware of it. This is because the mind and the attention flow outside, and rarely inside.
You might ask: "Why do I need to be aware of this consciousness? I have never thought about it before. Why now?"
You are this consciousness - it is your being, and you therefore need to know about it. If you own a car, don't you want to know, at least superficially, how to take care of it? If you own a TV, a mobile phone or some other electrical appliance, don't you want to know how to use it efficiently, and understand, at least a little, how it works?
The more you become aware of your consciousness, the more you become conscious and aware of its power, and can utilize its power. Calmness, peace of mind, freedom from anxiety and worry, inner strength and happiness are some of the by-products of becoming conscious and aware of your inner consciousness.
When watching a beautiful, breathtaking landscape, do you sometimes become immersed and overwhelmed by it, and for some moments you cease to be aware of your body, feelings and thoughts? For a little while you become merged in some sort of silence.
A little while later, your mind starts verbalizing about the landscape, and you become aware again of your feelings and thoughts. You return to your ordinary consciousness and awareness of your body and its sensations.
You did not lose consciousness during this experience. It was a happy and joyous experience, in which you became aware of something beyond your ordinary awareness.
This consciousness is beyond the body, feelings and thoughts. It is beyond beliefs, attitudes, names, gender, family and social or economic status. It is your inner being.
Body feelings and thoughts are changeable and impermanent. Even the cells of the body change in time. Yet, the Higher Consciousness never changes. It is immutable. It holds everything else together like a string that holds a necklace of pearls. It is constant, but all the "things" attached to it or revolving around it always change.
When you reject every component as not your "I", the residue that remains is something, which cannot be described, only lived. It is an impersonal "I". It cannot be the object of thought, because it is above and beyond thoughts and the mind.
You can know, experience and be this "I", but you cannot think about it or analyze it, as it is not an outside object. This "I", this consciousness is the real you.
Discussing this consciousness is just mental acrobatics, because this consciousness is beyond thoughts. It is fully experienced only when thoughts cease, whether unintentionally, as in the above case of watching a landscape, or intentionally when special exercises are performed to enhance it.
By teaching yourself to be aware and immersed of this consciousness, the mind and the flow of thoughts calm down, and you experience inner peace. This is usually done through meditation and proper mental attitude.
Being able to concentrate is a great help. Reading spiritual literature, or coming in contact with people who are living in constant spiritual awareness are great aids. Your practice should be done in a relaxed and calm way, without thinking of the target or worrying about it too much.
You do not need to search for this Consciousness. It is here, and you are living in it all the time. You only forgot it. You are letting thoughts rule your life. The sky is always up there. If you don't see it, this is because of the clouds that cover it. In the same way the clouds of thoughts cover your Consciousness, but by removing them you become aware of it.
This Consciousness I am talking about, is not the everyday, ordinary awareness of our body, ego and personality. It is not the awareness of the world around us. It is a sort of "Higher Consciousness" that stands beyond the ordinary one, and is responsible for it.
The ordinary consciousness is changeable and intermittent. At times we are aware of the outer world and at other times unaware or only partially aware. There are times of sleep and times of wakefulness. Yet, the "Inner Consciousness" is always present. It never ceases to be and is always present. It is at the background of whatever happens in life.
Developing the power of concentration, practicing meditation and trying to be aware of your Awareness, Consciousness, and Being, is the way to the golden key that opens the door of Enlightenment.
Great post! As one who has been on a spiritual path for many years, I know first hand the difficulty of accessing one's higher consciousness. While there is nothing "mysterious" about it, simply telling someone that he or she is consciousness will not necessarily allow him/her to experience it. As you stated, a certain degree of concentration is required, and to achieve that concentration, one must be given a technique by someone who him/herself has attained a certain level of spiritual development. Also, since we all develop at different speeds, it might take longer for some than for others.
A qualified teacher is needed so that one understands that when "consciousness" is spoken of, it is not the same thing as "conscience," as the earlier commenter stated. Consciousness is always the case regardless of the actions of the body-mind, and only through training and practice can higher levels be realized. This is a very profound matter.
Again, great post.
Great post,very well expressed, Mark.