Perception of the physical when we notice our nature

How does our perception of the physical change when we notice our nature?

Here is what I find for myself.


As a human being in the world, I use and relate to objects as anyone else. I move around. Try to avoid walking into things. Make use of objects. Enjoy experiencing certain things with this body. And so on. All the ordinary and usual things humans do.


And in terms of what I more fundamentally am in my own first-person experience, this looks a bit different.

To myself, I am consciousness. And the world to me – any experience at all – happens within and as consciousness.

That includes this physical body and anything physical. It happens within and as consciousness, and within and as what I am. It’s as if I can put my arm through it.

A night dream is created by consciousness, and it is made up of consciousness. And so also with this body and the physical world. My experience of it is created by consciousness. And it’s made up of consciousness.

To me, my nature is the nature of my body and any physical object.

If we are so inclined, we can say that all inherently is consciousness AKA God, Spirit, the divine, Brahman, and so on. And if I take a slightly more grounded and sober approach, I’ll say that to me, I am consciousness, and to me, the world happens within and as consciousness. It happens within and as what I am.


In daily life, I operate in the physical world as anyone else.

And I also notice the dreamlike quality of the physical world. It’s created by consciousness. It’s content of consciousness. It’s made up of consciousness. This helps me hold it all a bit more lightly.


When I was fifteen, there was a shift where it felt like the world – including this human self – was very far away and seemed like a dream. In hindsight, I see this as a shift into a simple observer-observed duality and a perception of all as consciousness. (It was terrifying and confusing to me at the time. A year later, this shifted into oneness and the perceptions I write about in many of these articles.) This shift gave me an early visceral sense of the physical as consciousness.

Later, I have continued to notice and explore this, including through inquiry and sense-field explorations.

When I explore how my mind creates its experience of my physical body, I find that it’s a combination of mental representations and sensations. In general, certain mental representations (mental images and words) are associated with certain physical sensations, and the mental representations give meaning to the sensations while the sensations give a sense of solidity, substance, and reality to the thoughts. That’s how a sense of a solid physical body is created. And when this is explored in some detail, we see through the illusion and the sense of solidity softens. (Living / Kiloby Inquiries is a good way to explore this.)

Note: I have written similar articles on distance, movement, time, doership, and this human self.

Read More

Sense of solidity

If all is awakeness or consciousness, why do we experience a sense of solidity? (We can also use modern science as a reference here since it tells us that even the most solid-appearing things are mostly space with some energy appearing in it here and there.)

This is something we can explore through different forms of inquiry. It can, for instance, be the traditional forms of Buddhist inquiry (exploring the sense fields) or modern versions such as the Living Inquiries.

When I have explored this for myself, I have taken something that seems quite solid to me. It can be my body or a part of the body, or something I am touching such as the floor or a cup. It can also be something I remember and imagine as solid, such as a car or a rock. I look at the mental images. Is that where I find the sense of solidity? Is that the thing itself? What about the words associated with it? Or the sensations? Or the imagination or memories of sensations? Or images of a past situation? Or any other associations? Can I find the sense of solidity anywhere in any of these?

Through this, I get to see how my mind creates a sense of solidity for itself. It’s created through a combination of imagination (images, words, memories of sensory experiences), perhaps some sensory experiences, and sensations in my body. In general, these sensations lend a sense of solidity to the thoughts, and the thoughts lend meaning to the sensations.

And more specifically, certain sensations in my body are associated with my memory of a rock, or my image of the floor my feet are resting on, or even how I sense my body. These sensations create a sense of solidity to my ideas about a rock or the floor or my body. They make them all seem solid, substantial, and real in a physical sense. And these sensations may be anywhere in the body. For me, right now, I notice them mostly in the mouth and head area.

After these explorations, the mind may say to itself “yes, I didn’t find the solidity there but I know it’s there”. So then we can explore that knowing. Is there a sensations that tells us we know the solidity is there? Where is it? Is that sensation the solidity we are looking for?

This doesn’t mean that the physical world doesn’t exist. It clearly does, in a conventional sense. We need to live our lives as if it does exist as it appears. At the same time, exploring how our minds create a sense of solidity can be very helpful. It opens it up. It gives us a different context for our physical lives in a physical world. It allows us to hold it all a little lighter.

Read More