The universe, the intersubjective matrix of consciousness, is indeed one. There is the great light of awareness unfolding and enfolding within all things equally. The path of yoga, of spirit, of enlightenment is to become aware of this underlying and overarching oneness. It is within this oneness that both unity and separation unfold, arising and falling from state to state, experience to experience. Every experience is a state, both individually and collective. (Do remember that every state, that is every experience, is interpreted from the immediate level of one’s egoic development).
Within oneness, separation and unity flow. In the state of separation there are four primary perspectives: individual interiority, individual exteriority, collective interiority, and collective exteriority. (More on this in a future post).
In the state of both unity and separation, self-awareness is present. In Kashmir Saivite theology, oneness is referred to as Prakasha, the great light of unified consciousness, and self-awareness is referred to as Vimarsha, the great reflective awareness.
In the state of separation, certain objects and beings have greater self-awareness, that is to say, greater consciousness than others. Humans have more self-awareness than rocks. Some humans have more self-awareness than others. Self-awareness is what unfolds and evolves – self-awareness is our becoming self.
Oneness is the ground, the great web, the infinite sameness and selfness of the universe. Self-awareness is present in all in differentiating degrees. My teacher Sally, when writing a paper on Prakasha and Vimarsha in the early 80s, asked her Guru to explain Prakasha and Vimarsha. He said that Prakasha allowed the toaster (he pointed at a toaster sitting next to him) to appear in consciousness and Vimarsha is what allowed the toaster to know it was a toaster. “The toaster knows it’s a toaster?” Sally asked.
“Of course the toaster knows it’s a toaster,” he said.
In reflecting on this and then experiencing this, objects that are thought to be without subjectivity, without self-consciousness, do indeed have self-consciousness. Rocks, for example, have enough self-consciousness to remain rocks knowing that they are rocks. There is a physical, subtle, and deep awareness that allows rocks to remain rocks.
Cut to humans. The practice and path of enlightenment is to not be more conscious, for that’s a give. If something exists, it is consciousness. The practice and path of enlightenment is to become ever more self-conscious. It is to rest as consciousness allowing the self-reflective nature of consciousness to shine brightly, for it is here that unity unfolds and separation unfolds as expressions and experiences of consciousness. It is here where God brightly shines forth as all things and in all things, forever great and divine, and forever present as self.
(There is more to come).