One or many consciousnesses?

Are we one or several consciousnesses?

SEVERAL

We can say we are several consciousnesses.

Each conscious being is, by necessity, consciousness to themselves.

That also means that, to them, the world happens within and as the consciousness they are.

Every conscious being is a consciousness full of the world.

ONE NATURE

The nature of the consciousness we are seems to be the same. If we want, we can say there is one consciousness in that consciousness is consciousness whether it happens here or there.

We have the same kind of nature, just like water is always water.

That doesn’t mean that the content of consciousness is shared or the same. That’s obviously not the case. Even if we listen to the same music or eat the same food or all feel joy, the experience of it is unique and individual.

ONE TO ME

There is another oneness of consciousness, and that’s how it appears in direct perception.

When I look, I find I am consciousness, and the world to me happens within and as the consciousness I am.1

This consciousness is seamless, it’s one.

So to me, the world appears as consciousness, and it appears as one.2

It has a dreamlike nature, and it’s seamless.

It appears that way because of my own inherent oneness.

ONE CONSCIOUSNESS CALLED SPIRIT?

It’s also possible that all that is – all of existence – is consciousness. Everything, this whole universe and everything else, happens within and as that consciousness.

If so, that’s what we would call God, the divine, Spirit, Brahman, or whatever label we would like to put on it.

ALL TOGETHER

To me, there is some validity to each of these views, and likely many more.

Just one or the other is too one-sided.

Together, they can better hint at the richness of life.

A NOTE ON THE CARTOON

Although the quote may be a little simplistic, I like the cartoon.

Yes, religion can create a quite small space for us. Religions often include beliefs and shoulds which have their place and also confine us.

Spirituality is a little more open, although also often comes with shoulds, beliefs, and identification.

Consciousness is what it all happens within and as. It has no inherent boundaries, and it contains and makes itself into the boundaries of religion, spirituality, and anything else.

NOTES

(1) As mentioned above, I assume it’s like that for any “conscious being”: They are consciousness to themselves, and to them, the world happens within and as the consciousness they are.

(2) A layer of mental representations put on top of it can make it appear differently. Mental dividing lines can appear real and true and inherent in the world, which will distract attention from the inherent oneness of our experience. These mental overlays can also make the dreamlike experience appear more solid and substantial.


INITIAL DRAFT

one -> same nature, if all of existence is consciousenss
several -> each conscious being is consciousness to themselves

CONSCIOUSNESSES?

What do I find when I explore this?

SEVERAL

We are several consciousensses.

Each conscious being is, by necessity, consciousness to themselves. To them, the world happens within and as the consciousness they are.

ONE

We are one consciousness in that the nature of consciousness seems to be the same. We have the same kind of nature, just like water is always water.

That doesn’t mean that

one -> same nature, if all of existence is consciousenss
several -> each conscious being is consciousness to themselves

There is another oneness, and that’s the oneness of perception.

When I look, I find I am consciousness, and the world to me happens within and as the consciousness I am. As mentioned above, I assume it’s like that for any “conscious being”: They are conscious to themselves, and to them the world happens within and as the consciousness they are.

This consciousness is seamless, it’s one, and the world appears as one. (A layer of mental representations put on top of it can make it appear differently. Mental dividing lines can appear real and true and inherent in the world which will distract attention from the inherent oneness of our experience, but that’s another topic.)

So to me, there is one existence and one consciousness. It appears that way because of my own inherent oneness. (Again, the content of the different consciousnesses will be different and unique in each case.)

We can also, slightly sloppily, say we are one consciousness in that the nature of the consciousness we are seems to be the same.

We have the same kind of nature, just like water is always water.

That doesn’t mean that the content of consciousness is shared or the same. That’s obviously not the case. Even if we listen to the same music or eat the same food or all feel sad, the experience of it is unique and individual.

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