To ourselves, and independent of world views, we are consciousness and all our experience happens within and as that consciousness.
This consciousness may temporarily get fascinated by thoughts and stories, hold them as true, and take itself as a particular content of consciousness – an I, a me, an observer, doer, human being, and so on.
And it can notice itself as consciousness and all experiences as happening within and as consciousness. It can learn to notice this more steadily and through different situations. And our human self may reorganize and align within this noticing.
We can honestly say that to us, all is consciousness.
But to say that all of existence in itself is consciousness is a leap.
That’s a projection.
For me, the only thing that’s honest is to say that to me all is consciousness. My world happens within and as consciousness. And although there are signs and hints (synchronicities, ESP etc.) that all of existence is consciousness, I cannot honestly say that that’s how it actually is.
So why do many spiritual teachers and traditions say that all is consciousness? Whether directly or indirectly by calling it Spirit, the Divine, Allah, Brahma, God?
It may be just because it’s tradition and a habit?
It may be to make it simpler for most people?
It may be because they notice but don’t want to speak up because it goes against official and unofficial tradition?
It may be that they don’t have noticed?
And is it important?
Yes and no.
It’s perhaps not so important in a practical sense. But it is important in terms of noticing and honesty.
For me, it would not be intellectually honest to jump to the assumption that all of existence is consciousness – at least not without acknowledging that it’s a leap, an assumption, a projection.
A few notes:
It can take some examination to notice that we are consciousness and all our experience happens within and as this consciousness. As I often write about, there are structured forms of inquiry that can help us discover this more easily – Headless experiments, Big Mind process, Living Inquiries, and so on. And it can take continued examination to notice this through different situations. And the same for allowing our human self to reorganize within this noticing.
Also, the label “consciousness” happens within and as what we are. It’s a thought, an idea, a label. It points to it but isn’t it.
What about oneness and no-self as some talk about? When consciousness notices all its experience as happening within and as itself, it’s all one. And it also notices any ideas of an I, me, observer, doer, human self and so on as happening within and as itself, so there is no final identity in any of it.
On a personal note, I can say that this differentiation is something I noticed in the initial awakening in my – this human’s – teens. I did bring it up to some spiritual teachers but it was dismissed so I learned to not mention it very much. But I am doing it here since it seems important enough.
As mentioned above, the oneness – and recognition of all happening within and as consciousness – is the same whether we make the projection differentiation or not. It’s just a noticing, or an interpretation, or a way of talking about it. For all practical purposes, it’s the same, apart from one being a little more intellectually honest.
What are some of the hints and signs that tells us that perhaps all of existence in itself is consciousness? For me, there are a few things. Synchronicities – and especially the frequent and undeniable ones – suggests that all of existence is one and consciousness. As does ESP – sensing and picking up information at a distance or before something happens. And having prayers in different forms – including distance healing – answered in a relatively systematic way.
When the historical Buddha awoke, according to tradition he said “all of existence woke up with me”. (Paraphrased from bad memory.) That’s a projection. We can say that his world woke up to itself as consciousness, and he jumped to the conclusion that all of existence woke up. Or – equally accurate – it was a poetic expression of his direct experience there and then.
And yes, these questions are – not by accident – similar to what The Matrix is about. In the Matrix, all of people’s experiences happen within and as their own consciousness. The difference is that when they wake up from it, they awaken to a real (maybe!) physical world instead of as consciousness.Read More