Primacy of Consciousness

I was at a BBQ pool party last evening and somehow managed to discuss meditation and consciousness with a friend. He is an educated scientific professional and we got around to discussing consciousness since he inquired about my meditation practice. He wanted to know “What I meditate on” (or in other words, what was the goal of my meditation practice).

This is a very valid question and one that needs some thoughtful introspection in many cases…often the answer is not as easy as it seems on the surface. But that was not the problem here…my response to him was “Meditation is expanding the gap between thoughts”…so he immediately responded: F:”What happens when you get to the gap between thoughts? How can there even be a gap…surely if we don’t have thoughts we die or are in deep sleep, right?”

Me: “No no…the gap between thoughts are very valid and do exist. You only have to meditate a little while and it will become clear”.

F: “So what happens in the gap?”

Me: “You stop thinking”

F: “How do you know you have stopped thinking?”

Me: “Because thoughts don’t exist”

F: “But if you have realized that you aren’t thinking, then you are thinking, aren’t you?”

Me: “Yes…but you only realize that you experienced the gap after thoughts are triggered again and not during the gap”.

All in all…a very deep rabbit hole to go down, if you ask me…

So we discussed more and he questioned the reason for meditation. I said “To find the unchanging, eternal consciousness that has always been there and will always be”. So he asked:

F: “Where does this consciousness exist, inside me or outside?”

Me: “Both inside, outside, neither inside nor outside, neither not inside nor not outside”

F: “You are being silly!”

Me: “No…let me explain why”

Me: “Are you familiar with Subject and Object?”

F: “Sort of….object is inanimate and subject is animate or perhaps object is third-person whereas subject is first-person?”

Me: “Subject is the experiencer….Objected is that which is being experienced”

F: “Elaborate”

Me: “Subject, let’s say you, are aware, you have a consciousness…that is experiencing this samosa you are eating right now”

Me: “So you are the subject, the samosa is the object, and you are interacting with it using your sense organs”

F: “Oh okay…so anything I experience is an object and I am a subject”

F: ” And this subject is my Consciousness”

Me: “Okay…if you didn’t have this samosa in your hand and weren’t eating it, does it exist?”

F: “It may exist, even if I wasn’t aware of it”

Me: “To you, your reality is the presence of absence of an object in your field of sensations…so if it isn’t there in your field of sensations, it doesn’t exist to YOU, right?”

F: “Okay…I see where you are going with this…”

Me: “Great! So you agree that the samosa doesn’t exist if you haven’t seen it or sensed it in any way?”

F: “No…just because I haven’t experienced it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist”

Me: “So you are trying to say that someone else might have experienced it and told you about it?”

F: “Yes…isn’t that how things are?”

Me: “Yes…these are called Pramanas…or proofs. There can be three types…Direct experience, testimony of a reliable source or logical inference. For eg: your friend told you that a samosa exists on the kitchen table and even though you haven’t experienced it directly, you friend has, so it becomes a testimony of a reliable source. Similarly, there might be other things you can logically conclude and thus come up with…such and such a thing exists because of certain conditions being met”

F: “Right…so this creation thing…it is a matter of chance…there is no higher consciousness that has created this universe. The scientists have said it all began with a Big Bang. Surely, even if consciousness doesn’t exist, the material universe can and does exist?”

Me: “If a tree fell in a forest and there was no one to see it fall, did it really fall?”

F: “Yes….no….I see what you are trying to say…but just because someone didn’t see, how can I say it didn’t happen?”

Me: “Isn’t your reality created by those things that you can experience, or listen to others testify as being existent or logically infer as being existent?”

F: “Yes…but…how can we say it doesn’t exist…we don’t know!”

Me: “Exactly, if you don’t know it doesn’t exist, do you know that it does exist?”

F: “The probability of it existing, mathematically….”

Me: “If there was no Consciousness to witness and experience the universe, then there would be no Math neither probablity, right?”

F: “Right!”

Me: “So you agree that Consciousness is the most important function of the Universe”

F: “Yes…but how can you say that there is only one underlying consciousness and that it exists forever and will continue to be that way?”

Me: “There have been Rishis who went into a deep meditative state called Samadhi and came up with the knowledge that all universe is One…there is nothing else. And have prescribed meditation and yoga to be a path to get there, to the realization of One-ness”

At this point I had to get up and discuss something else with someone since it was getting every heavy….but thought I’d share this interesting experience with the Medhavis

More posts by this author:

Please follow and like us:

Co Authors :

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.