Nothing is more amazing than a realization of the Self, itself. The Self is the center of your world; without the Self nothing whatsoever can exist. With the Self, what is within the sphere of the Self exists, and what is not within the sphere of the Self does not.
Through observation of other such “selves” we know that our world, this world, will continue to exist upon our exit from it. But subjectively, without you, there is no anything. So who is this “I” of whom is us, and of whom nobody but “us” can experience?
The number of living entities in our subjective world (our sphere) is staggering; not just people and animals, but insects, plants, microbes, all presumably having some form of consciousness. Is this a same form of consciousness germane to all living beings? Do each of these various entities possess a consciousness similarly to that which we enjoy, albeit having varying degrees of awareness? Could a living entity not have such consciousness? And why us? Why do we exist as awareness? More, how many worlds exist of which we have no knowledge of? And what are dreams? Are the actors in our dreams, too, entities having consciousness? Can there be so many – seemingly infinite – entities having such awareness, and who is each of them? Can there be beings having as yet no consciousness, beings not yet in existence, beings yet to be born or never to be born?
Attempting to understand “life”, as we call the conscious being, man goes to great lengths researching the nature of this living organism, bringing it into institutions of education for students to learn about and build upon. He observes, categorizes, studies, dissects, making much effort to comprehend what life is, but the great mystery of our own consciousness cannot be so understood. We can dance around it and make various claims, but the mystery remains. By outward observance we can understand neither the nature of what life is or why it exists.
What “being” is so special to have been granted this conscious awareness; life as an individual solitary in nature? Had we not been handed such a great precious gift we would not be wondering about anything, for we would not ever have existed, we would not be an identity and would have no cognizance. Can we imagine what non-existence even is?
Science avoided the mystery of the “aware being” for many centuries. Not until the rise of Quantum Physics did the observer come into the equation, happening when it became apparent that the observer himself was affecting the outcome of research, such as the “double-slit” experiment where light behaved sometimes as a particle and other times as a wave, the light particle or wave again changing in nature when an observer was added to the experiment and actually changed the outcome rather than just record what was happening. At this juncture, Science has no answer but to reconsider everything previously known about the nature of the world. The world behaves predictably when viewed from within an environment seen from man’s eye, life demonstrating a foreseeable and logical progression, but when the study is reduced to the very tiny, as in atoms and light particles and beyond, or the very large, as in universes and galaxies, the normal rules no longer apply.
Science being unable to unravel the mystery of consciousness, Psychology, man’s great mental discipline, opens the way for further answering what such awareness is. Famed psychoanalyst Carl Jung researched this considerably, having had his own other-worldly experience early in his life. From his research and that of his mentor Sigmund Freud, Jung concluded that a “collective unconscious” speaks to us, borrowing primarily images that we experienced in waking on the day prior to our nighttime dreams, using our known images and sounds and other of the five physical senses for communicating with us. But Jung’s professional work focused on developing of an understanding of the health of the entity, to learn its emotional troubles, and essentially to make it well. Yet his belief in reincarnation is unmistakable, as well as his interest in what are the greater element of what life is and what we will become. In his Gnostic treatise “Seven Sermons to the Dead” Jung’s final thought on the subject was of the one bright star in the heavens becoming a little brighter with each round of activity, that is, with life lived.
That great star is, of course, us, our awareness, shining a little brighter with each experiential incarnation of joys, sorrows, hardships and such. Yet why does the star shine? Why is there even a star? The mystery cannot be answered here, today.
Arthur Telling has written numerous stories and articles on religion, philosophy and metaphysics. His article, "A Different Jesus Message" appeared in the Nov. 2011 AMORC Rosicrucian Digest. Telling is author of “Johann’s Awakening” (a parody of Jonathon Livingston Seagull), and three novels including “Kaitlin’s Message” exploring the secret sayings of the Gospel of Thomas, and a story collection.