Pondering the World
Imagine you were to wake up in complete isolation, floating in complete darkness and silence, with no memory of your past nor of how you got there. No light, no sound, only the ‘sound’ of your thoughts. You are aware. “I am,” you think. Then you might start wondering, “Who is this ‘me’?” What might you think of, what might you imagine, what space and time, what theatre might you create in your mind to answer that question, to give form to the answer? In your imagination you create space out of nothing: A space which exists as surely as any thought exists, but is in reality (physically) dimensionless. Perhaps the reason we have an obsession with an ‘out there’ is because once our awoken consciousness has said “I am”, it must ask “Who is ‘me’?’ and “Where is ‘me’?” And so space is created to imagine your place; or, rather, space is imagined to create your place.
Questions we innately shy away from asking, or sharing with others, afraid to even entertain in our own thoughts lest we be labelled as having delusions of grandeur, or just simply delusional. But if we truly want to get (closer) to the bottom of things — to get closer to understanding the true nature of reality — we must dare to ask even those questions. Am I God? And by that, I don’t mean, “Am I the omniscient Knower?” (although even that is a taboo thought worthy of ponderance). I mean, as if all the characters in my dreams were to gather and say, “Hey, we are Scott”, each of them instances of my thought involved in asking the question, “Who am I?” Am I, then, the Knower’s thought?
Note: I avoid the term “God” because the term is so heavily-laden with imagery, fables, personal prejudices and projections, that it actually hinders any reasonable discussion on the topic. Saying “I believe in God” doesn’t convey to you what I think, rather, it creates in you a perception about what I think based on what you think. God is not “up there” or “out there”, and He’s certainly not an old man with a beard, let alone a penis or a vagina. I call him “He” because I believe he is not an inanimate object, and there is no easy way in English of denoting a conscious being without using a term which involves gender. Even the noun “being” implies some separate entity, but what I believe in is not separate at all; not separate, but ALL.
“This mysterious something has been called God, the Absolute, Nature, Substance, Energy, Space, Ether, Mind, Being, the Void, the Infinite—names and ideas which shift in popularity and respectability with the winds of intellectual fashion, of considering the universe intelligent or stupid, superhuman or subhuman, specific or vague. All of them might be dismissed as nonsense-noises if the notion of an underlying Ground of Being were no more than a product of intellectual speculation. But these names are often used to designate the content of a vivid and almost sensorily concrete experience—the “unitive” experience of the mystic, which, with secondary variations, is found in almost all cultures at all times.”
— Alan Watts, “The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are”
You can have, say, two birds, but the number two is purely a concept — a thought — not itself actually “out there” in a physical sense. Two exists, has always existed and will always exist, and while there are representations of it in the physical world, it does not exist there.
If “Who am I?” is the question, then surely the answer, which is itself knowledge, must already be known. Well, I could say that if that is the case, then the question has been answered and our reality would not be ‘necessary’. On the other hand, perhaps it is ironically the one thing that can not be known, and is the source of all longing and intent.
Be very wary of rituals. Rituals are more often than not very emotionally addictive traps which keep you focussed on being in the dream, focussing inwards rather than revealing the mystery and bringing you closer to becoming lucid. Keep searching, keep asking questions, daring to challenge your own assumptions and others’ taboo thoughts. Don’t follow anyone — for otherwise you will never get further than they do — but learn from everyone.
We will awaken, not in the sense of being roused from a sleep, but we will awaken in the sense of growing awareness, awareness that all that we experience is a creation, an imagining of our creator, and He is us. Though we are captivated by the illusion we are separate consciousnesses — separate egos —, we are all the one Knower asking the question that perhaps can never be answered: Who am I?
The ocean’s current can more easily be controlled than individual waves.
I believe UFOs do not exist. (Of course there are lots of flying objects which are unidentified, but I am obviously referring here to the extraterrestrial variety.) First of all, any alien civilisation would have to be thousands — if not tens of thousands — of years more advanced than we are now, in order to make space travel over such huge distances viable, and if that is the case, then I think it is highly unlikely that they would need, let alone be able to use, a physical container ship in order to do it. Thinking aliens come in ships is just a projection of our current state of technology, and the fundamentalist belief that the universe is mechanical. If aliens were to employ anything physical/spacial, then surely it would be some form of projection/visualisation technique so, again, no ship coming from the skies would be involved. Secondly, if physical space is an illusion as I believe it is, then an advanced alien would come by some means of consciousness. Thirdly, there is no conspiracy to cover up alien presence on Earth, because I presume any advanced civilisation would have no problem overcoming media silence, and if they didn’t want to be seen, we wouldn’t have seen a UFO in the first place. Finally, life here is too bizarre not to be a special case… and I offer ducks, penguins and cats as evidence ;-).
How long is a second? We can define its length in terms of things that take a second, but there is no fixed scale. If absolutely everything in our reality were to ‘run’ at twice the speed, or at half the speed, we would notice no difference. Indeed, even if the passage of time were to be in constant flux, we would not notice a difference. In our dreams, everything generally runs faster, yet we notice no difference until we wake and compare dream-timespeed to wake-timespeed. So we would notice no difference if the passage of time was infinitely faster or infinitely slower than whatever ‘speed’ it has ‘now’. We would notice no difference if our reality were taking place where the beginning of time and the end of time were the same place.
And how long is a metre? We can define its length in terms of things that are a metre long — for example, the wavelength of a particular electromagnetic radiation — but there is no fixed scale. If absolutely everything in our reality were to be twice as big, or half as big, we would notice no difference. Indeed, even if scale was in constant flux, we would not notice a difference. In our dreams, we create a huge space of zero dimensions, yet we notice no difference until we wake and compare dream-space with wake-space. So we would notice no difference if distance, size, was infinitely larger or infinitely smaller than whatever ‘size’ it has now. We would notice no difference if our reality were taking place in a singularity.
If the time’s and distance’s scales are irrelevant, then are not time and space themselves irrelevant?
If everything in the universe stopped in its tracks, stopped changing forever, then time would have no meaning, there would be no time.
Paradox: no change forever means there is no forever.
If there were no observer, no consciousness within the universe, the universe it would not exist. The idea that the universe was some unattended machine before there was an observer is absurd. What does it even mean, for a machine to exist but that nothing knows or can know that it exists?
It struck me, when I saw my cats dreaming, that they were thinking thoughts without language as we know it. Or when one of my cats runs to the top stair in front of me and lies down to get stroked as I ascend the stairs; or if I am working on the computer and don’t notice her, she gets up on her hind legs and gently taps my elbow once or twice with her paw to get my attention: she is requesting and anticipating an action, all thoughts formed without a formal language. Think of a deaf-blind-mute person and ask yourself what — or rather in what manner — they formulate their thoughts. What must that be like? We used to do it as babies, but we unlearned it. When you’ve been taught a language, it’s almost impossible to imagine what it is to experience thinking thoughts without a language.
I think that language, while increasing efficiency in many ways, in fact hugely limits our ability to experience and express: it collapses our worldview from experiences to objects. Using language to describe reality (which is what we do with thoughts) is like trying to describe a big complex building to someone, using only a few bricks. That’s what praying in a human language is: describing our building to the Knower using bricks. I think all consciousness, and therefore, ultimately, the Knower himself, has a ‘native’ language which we spend our first years unlearning, and I think it is closer in nature to things such as awareness, observation, intent, longing, passion, acceptance, and release — not as discrete concepts, but experiential.
To put it another way, God doesn’t speak English: The Knower understands everything fundamentally. So when you pray, try to put aside your language of ‘bricks’ and express — feel — your prayer in terms of awareness, observation, intent, longing, passion, acceptance, and release. For these are why the Knower has expressed himself as us, as our reality, and this is how we can truly communicate by knowing.
Few will disagree that Science has proven a very useful tool, bringing many benefits and insights to mankind. But science is trapped within the physical realm, which is an illusion of consciousness. So while science appears useful, it has in fact become yet another religion which blinds us to the deeper truth.
The Scientific Method involves proposing theories and finding/observing/measuring evidence which either supports or contradicts a theory. A common misunderstanding is that science proves things: In fact there is no such thing as proof in science, only supporting evidence. When sufficient supporting evidence for a theory has been found, a theory is taken to be “shown to be true,” or referred to as “fact,” and theories which form the basis for large numbers of other theories are even referred to as “laws”… but all these terms are incorrect: they all remain theories for which there is no proof.
And so, conversely, anything which is provable is not scientific.
My intuition says that anything which is ultimately True, must be self-evidently so. For example, my consciousness is self-evidently proven; and consciousness is meaningless if I do not have free will of thought: since I am conscious, it is self-evident that I have free will of thought*. Truth, therefore, is not scientific, and cannot be found by scientific method. It can be found by starting with that which we know to be (self-evidently proven) true — our consciousness — and proceeding logically from there.
*(I find it amusing when someone denies their own free will of thought, because without free will, their beliefs and theories regarding free will must be pre-determined and therefore valueless.)
I recently read a couple of articles by Donald D. Hoffman, comparing reality to a computer’s the desktop interface. Although I disagree with much of his theories, I find this to be an interesting concept. If physical reality is an illusion of consciousness, then the things we see/sense may be ways of representing concepts/thoughts as metaphors, in order to see them from a different, simpler and more comprehensible perspective. I recall reading some years ago that instead of analysing tables of numbers, or even charts, new insights can be gained when statistical data is plotted as a virtual reality mountain range and one goes ‘hiking’ in the mountain range. So perhaps physical reality looks like it does because everything and every event in it represents underlying information. Perhaps The Knower is exploring through us from a different perspective. Instead of viewing some thing or event at face value, perhaps we can understand more by trying to understand what the thing or event represents at some deeper level.
It is commonly said, the human mind cannot comprehend infinity.
But it is also true that the human mind cannot truly comprehend zero, nothing. Whenever one tries to imagine nothing, one inevitably imagines space in which there is nothing.
Truly imagining nothing is as impossible for us as truly imagining infinity.
If the human mind cannot comprehend nothing on the one end of the scale, and infinity on the other end of the scale, then the notion we have that we truly comprehend anything in-between is an illusion.
Is Jupiter big? In comparison to Earth it is, in comparison to the Solar system it is small. All bigness in physical reality is relative, and dependent upon conscious perspective, bigness is a quality in the mind — there is no absolute size. If there were no consciousness, then nothing is big or small, there is no bigness at all.
Is the universe big? If, as materialists claim, the physical universe gave rise to consciousness, then at some time there was no consciousness, only a physical universe without colour, brightness, heat, sound, taste or smell (as these are all qualities which exist solely in consciousness)… but also without bigness. The physical universe without consciousness is neither big nor small, and if something is neither big nor small, it is dimensionless. If something is dimensionless, it cannot be said to physically exist.
The existence of what we call physical reality is dependent upon consciousness.
Why is there violence in this world? Now I don’t mean the violence conscious beings out free will inflict upon others, but rather the fundamental violence of existence: why does virtually all life depend upon the death of other life to live; or even just why a duckling gets separated from its mother and dies. Why does this need to be? It’s at times like that, I have to wonder, What’s wrong? What am I missing?
I heard an astrophysicist recently say, that if everything was perfectly homogeneous and symmetrical in the universe, we wouldn’t exist. From a physics standpoint, we need ‘imperfection’.
And it strikes me that is true of our world, our conscious reality. Every experience and perception is relative, and if there is no black then there is no white; if there is no loud then there is no soft; near requires far. If all distinctions are gone, then there is only oneness. Without a fundamental level of violence, there can be no serenity. Put another way, individualism requires violence. But still, why is The One imagining ‘the many’ if it entails violence?
Imagine there was no movement — no change — anywhere in the universe. Nothing changing, not even an electron orbiting a nucleus. Everything literally frozen. The concept of time would be meaningless. Time would not exist.
But then suppose just one single electron moved, then time would exist throughout the universe.
Can time really be created everywhere by just one change somewhere? Or annihilated when change ceases?
Time is an illusion created by change.
Reality – the existence of anything – is dependent upon consciousness.
Consciousness only exists now, i.e. your consciousness is only ever in the now, not in the past or future, so without consciousness the past and future cannot exist.
If the past and future do not exist, then time does not exist, and without time, space-time cannot exist.
More evidence that time and space are illusions of consciousness.
When you recognise there is a greater consciousness which is not the foundation of reality, but is reality, you can finally ask questions. And when you ask questions without pretending already to have the answers, the consciousness – The Knower – provides answers… astonishing answers and confirmations. Synchronicities, patterns, insights… and blessings in an almost gluttonous abundance. So much that it becomes impossible to explain to others without their eyes glazing over…
“All the world’s a stage,” they say, but most people have an aversion to lifting their eyes to see the props for what they truly are, and they have an addiction to staying in character. Few want to know.
In creating our reality, The Knower – God – did not create something apart from himself.
God did not create not-God.
Our reality, therefore, is God. Just as everything and everybody and all the space in your dream is you, everything in our reality – including our own consciousnesses – is The Knower.
There is nothing which is not God.
If physical reality is an illusion of consciousness, then your mind is not in your body, your body is in your mind.
An ‘out of body’ experience would then just be a change of perspective.
Can you see without peering out of the eyes you imagine?
You can in your dreams.
But you can’t do anyting you don’t believe.
If time is an illusion of consciousness, then time-travel as such is not possible, because there is no time to travel through.
Time passing is, from another perspective, time-travel forward in time. So if (the passage of) time is an illusion of consciousness, then so must be time-travel.
The concepts of space-time and time-travel assume times/places are “there” – they exist in a continuum just as surely as now exists. But as time is an illusion, there is no time “out there” to travel in or to.
However, if reality is a thought, then The Knower could think of us being conscious in a new setting and we would be there, even in a setting which had the illusion of being ‘from our past’.
Most of us would not consider ourselves capable of writing a screen-play, creating characters and complex dialogues, designing sets and costumes – certainly not without extensive training -, let alone doing it all and simultaneously playing it out in real-time. And yet that is exactly what most of us appear to do when we dream at night. More time appears to pass in a dream than passes in real-time, so it’s massive creativity at a speed faster than real-time.
How do we have this phenomenal creative ability, which we apparently don’t have when awake?
Perhaps our sleep-time dreams have the same source as the illusion of physical reality we experience when awake.
We typically think of truth as something physical – something which is or has been, or something which is fundamental to things which exist (e.g. the relationship between radius and circumference of a circle is described by π). But if physical reality and time are illusions, then what is truth? Do we confuse – especially in this age of science – facts with truth? If the universe is a thought – our reality an imagining of The Knower – then truths within our reality require context: Facts are valid within the context of our reality, but not necessarily outside. The Knower could imagine realities which could contain other facts.
God is Love is a Truth. God is Creator is Truth.
I am conscious is Truth.
Truth (as opposed to fact) in our reality – this imagining – is expressed by the narratives which reflect these Truths of The Knower.
All narratives of death and destruction, even if fact, are Deception.
The Christian narrative of creation, love, compassion and forgiveness is Truth.
In which narrative do you believe?
Just as nowadays many ridicule those who believe in a higher consciousness, in a few hundred years – or perhaps much sooner – people will say of science, “How could anyone have believed that? The evidence against it is glaring, staring people in the face, but they were blind to the obvious – they took miracles for granted.”
The irony is that mysticism is closer to the truth, than is science.
Science is to truth what interior design is to architecture.
The Knower – God – is not physical, God does not consist of atoms.
God does not create something which is ‘not God’, for where would that something exist, in relation to God? God would be somewhere, in some places, and in other places not.
Since God is not physical, then a physical reality would be ‘not God’, and cannot therefore be true.
That we experience reality as physical must therefore be an illusion.
Years ago, someone said to me he believed that within 10 years science would prove God doesn’t exist.
- There is no such thing as empirical evidence for the non-existence of something.
- Scienctific methodology never proves anything.
- That which does not consist of physical matter or energy, is by definition outside the realm of science.
If you doubt your significance in the universe, consider the fact that The Knower imagines you.
The Knower didn’t create the universe and send it on its way to unravel over time.
Time is an illusion of consciousness; The Knower is imagining, creating reality in this moment.
And The Knower is imagining you.
That the universe began with the ‘Big Bang’, appearing – literally – out of nothing, is impossible.
As the philosopher Parmenides said, “Nothing comes from nothing”.
For the universe to come into being, it must have been possible for it to be created.
The possibility of something, is information about that something.
And it is non-sensical to speak of information – knowledge – without consciousness.
So the existence of our universe requires an eternal consciousness.
Our world is dependent upon The Knower.
It is my experience that The Name does not answer prayers of action, of actively changing outcomes. Christ’s prayer on the cross – “My Father, if possible, let this cup pass from me” – seems to exemplify this. As I write in my essay I Believe, I do not believe The Name heals someone only if we pray and otherwise not, or give us a passing exam-grade after the fact thereby changing all the other scores, or save our loved-ones in an aircraft disaster but only if we pray. Indeed, if everyone’s ‘action’ prayers were answered, the World would come to a grinding halt. But it is also my experience that The Name answers every prayer of opening doors, creating possibilities.
It is then up to me to pass through that open door.
Whether you loath the rain, or enjoy walking in the rain, is a question of attitude: do you experience it as a blessing?