It’s like this if you have two identical sugar cubes, are they the same?
They look the same, weigh the same amount, feel the same and when dropped in your tea, they taste the same, so are they the same thing?
‘We’ll no,’ you’ll probably answer, that’s because the sugar cubes are made of different individual atoms and molecules and are separated by space. In other words they can be measured by their extensions the most important measure being the gap between them both.
What about the mind though? is it rational to say that we all have the same mind? Whether mind is an emergent property of matter or something separate is of no relevance to this discussion. Are we right to assume that every human being’s sense of ‘I,’ feels the same and having no extensions cannot be separated one from another, making all minds everywhere the same?
Think about it for a few moments, when you strip away the splashes of colour, sound, touch and sensation as well as the mental chatter of thoughts and feelings that run through our minds what is left? In short all that is left is your awareness of time passing or not, it all depends on how deeply you can meditate, but eventually, that too may dissipate. What’s left is the deep down experience of being a human being, your umwelt has long been left behind, there’s only you, a spark of consciousness in an eternal void. The watcher of your thoughts, feelings and sensations has now been revealed.
That consciousness has no characteristics whatsoever, it isn’t made of matter, can’t be measured by its extensions and can’t be separated by space, so I ask you, how many sugar cubes of consciousness are in existence, are there many, or are there one?
That’s mystic philosophy in a nutshell. When the penny drops the resultant philosophical revelations are staggering, truly transcendental.
Mind has no extensions, so cannot be separated one from another, the experience of having a mind is the same for everyone, so no mind varies in characteristics, all that varies is the activity of the body that it is currently watching. That’s what your sense of ‘I,’ really is, the watcher of material things.
A Buddhist might say that to attain such a deep state of meditation is a highly sought after and blissful experience of nothing? A realisation of true emptiness. A mystic would say that it’s union with the divine. It’s the same experience understood through two different lenses, both are transcendent beginning with that eerie feeling you get when you just push beyond the boundaries of what is physically possible for the briefest moment of time, I tend to get it when I look up at the cosmos on a moonless night to see the heavens aglow with endless spots of light, the neverending magnificence of being..
I know how Nietzsche felt when he talked about looking into the abyss for long enough that eventually, it looks into you. There’s no bigger abyss than reality, endless sprawling materiality ablaze in the heavens.
“He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster.
And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.”
Friedrich Nietzsche – Beyond Good and Evil.
Of course Nietzsche’s’ quote was about fighting monsters, but I have fought demons and found them all lacking, now I gaze into God, the originator of all things, the maker of the stars and the mountains, the endless unfurler of the heavens and do not mind that God gazes back into me because we’re all one.
I remember being a kid in infants school, four years old and standing in the playground on a cold and miserable winter day watching the other kids skipping and jumping and doing all sorts of highly energetic things that adults can only dream of.
My attention settled on one little girl dressed in a blue coat with the finest blond hair that’s typical of newly incarnated beings. I watched as she jumped and shouted with her friends, delightfully splashing in puddles all at the same time, a chorus of five or six girls holding hands and jumping in unison, bursts of water flying everywhere as they tried their best to empty the many puddles that crossed their path. Her feet were clothed by two tiny, plastic wellington boots, coloured blue with yellow stars on them. I was mesmerised.
This blue-eyed wonder was older than me by at least a few months or so and I hadn’t made any friends yet, besides I wasn’t allowed to play with girls so I just stood by the wall and watched before the strange thought came over me that I should be able to see myself standing, sad-faced, bored, cold and alone from her particular vantage point. Then I wondered why I couldn’t see myself through her eyes, a mere ten, twenty or thirty feet away, distances don’t scale like they should to very young children. That feeling of transcendence came over me, that sensation of pushing beyond the body for a fraction of the slimmest moment in time, the sensation of having something tangible within my grasp and then losing it as the arrow of time made its presence felt on my newly imprinted mind. I couldn’t do it, but I felt like I almost had. My self-awareness was already firmly anchored to my body and wouldn’t let go.