Thought divides knowing into a knower and the known, loving into a lover and the beloved, and perceiving into a perceiver and the perceived. As such, it is thought alone that abstracts a subject and an object from the seamless, unnamable intimacy of pure Knowing or Experiencing.

Conceptualising Consciousness

This "Consciousness" is only verbalizabled as "Consciousness" only as long as a being is situated who can observe it and name it. To Itself, so to speak, there isn't any naming, because no other being to give it a name. Would you agree with me on this point?

Hi Rupert,
 
Thank you for your response.  I appreciate it, and what you say speaks quite clearly to me.
 
I find a strong resonance with what you’ve said.  The only point I would wish to clarify is the following, which seems difficult to go into verbally.  Yet, if you’ll bear with me, I’d be interested to hear how you see this issue:
 
What you seem to be referencing as “Consciousness” seems to me to be quite simply unnameable.
 
This “Consciousness” is only verbalizabled as “Consciousness” only as long as a being is situated who can observe it and name it. To Itself, so to speak, there isn’t any naming, because no other being to give it a name. Would you agree with me on this point?
 
If so, being what you are calling “Consciousness” - actually, the being of this, is to have no other, is not to be communicating anything, and is therefore not to have a name nor an experience, nor a quality, nor any sense of being in a state.
 
Thus, the ultimate “healing” and “love” is not to recognize anything or anyone as a thing or a someone, and not to have anything to communicate.
 
And I’m not saying this because I’m against communicating, or wouldn’t respond if my name is called.  I’ve enjoyed communicating with you a lot and thank you for what you’ve shared.
 
Love,
 
Dan

 

Dear Dan,

Dan: What you seem to be referencing as “Consciousness” seems to me to be quite simply unnameable.

Rupert: It is quite true that what I refer to as ‘Consciousness’ cannot be conceived or perceived. The word ‘Consciousness’ is simply an abstract symbol that points towards the reality of our experience, that is, it points towards something that is not abstract. There is a reality to our experience and whatever that is, is referred to by the term ‘Consciousness.’

Dan: This “Consciousness” is only verbalizable as “Consciousness” only as long as a being is situated who can observe it and name it.

Rupert: No, that is not the case. It is quite possible to refer to the reality of our experience in abstract terms (such as the word ‘Consciousness’) without there being any sense of being a separate entity apart from Consciousness, observing and naming it from a distance. In fact that is exactly what is happening here.

Dan: To Itself, so to speak, there isn’t any naming, because no other being to give it a name. Would you agree with me on this point?

Rupert: No. whilst I understand very well what you are saying, it is not in line with my understanding. The argument you use is almost unassailable intellectually. However, it is flawed simply by virtue of the fact that it uses abstract symbols, words, to indicate that reality cannot be expressed in words. It uses the word ‘Consciousness’ (or one of its synonyms) to invalidate the use of the word ‘Consciousness.’ Thus, it contradicts itself. If what you are saying is truly your position and not just an intellectual point, you should refrain from using words.

The implication of what you are saying is that objects are conceivable and perceivable and can therefore legitimately be named, whereas ‘Consciousness’ is beyond the mind and therefore cannot. However, an object as such is, like Consciousness, not perceivable and, to use your argument, should not therefore be conceptualised. It is true that Consciousness is beyond the mind, but that does not invalidate speaking of it, in just the same way that objects are never actually experienced as such but likewise that does not invalidate speaking of them.

In other words, if we truly believe that concepts should not be used for something that cannot be perceived we should cease using words altogether, because neither an object nor a world has ever been perceived as such. That is, all the concepts we use, such as car, house, chair, person etc., refer to things that are imagined but not experienced.

The word ‘Consciousness’ is equally abstract. However, the difference between the word ‘Consciousness’ and all other words, such as car, house, chair, person etc., is that it at least refers to ‘something’ that is real, unlike all the other words which refer only to something that is imagined.

In other words, neither objects or Consciousness are ever perceived as such. All words such as car, house, chair, person etc., refer to other concepts. They are concepts that refer to concepts. Whereas the concept ‘Consciousness’ (and all its synonyms) refers to reality, whatever that is, and is therefore the only thing that is truly worth conceptualising, because it is the only thing that IS.

However, having understood that, we simultaneously understand that ALL concepts and perceptions in fact refer only to the one ‘thing’ that truly IS, and at this point we are again free to use all words as such.

Dan: If so, being what you are calling “Consciousness” - actually, the being of this, is to have no other, is not to be communicating anything, and is therefore not to have a name nor an experience, nor a quality, nor any sense of being in a state.

Rupert: If you deeply feel (as well as think) that the reality of experience has no other and that therefore there is nothing to communicate and no other to be communicated with, why are you writing this email? Whilst your position is theoretically correct from the absolute point of view, the fact that you are using abstract words to communicate it undermines the very point you are trying to make. Your writing this email proves that you too value the use of abstract concepts to discuss or point towards that which cannot be named.

So, either cease thinking, speaking and writing instantly (because all require abstract concepts), or agree to use the abstract symbols of the mind, in spite of their limitations, to point towards, evoke or give a taste of that which is truly unnameable and yet which IS.

Dan: Thus, the ultimate “healing” and “love” is not to recognize anything or anyone as a thing or a someone, and not to have anything to communicate.

Rupert: Yes, the ultimate healing is simply to be. However, this ‘Being’ has the capacity to refract itself into a multiplicity of forms, including abstract words, in response to a given situation. To deny this is, ironically, to take oneself apart, to separate oneself from the totality as an apparent entity, to lock oneself up in an ivory tower of intellectual perfection. Fundamentalism is born from this position. True non-duality is infinitely more subtle than that and freely uses the very illusion it sees through in order to reveal itself to itself.

The word ‘communicate’ comes from a Latin word that means ‘shared’ or ‘common.’ In other words, it refers to that which is common to or shared by all experience. In other words, to communicate is simply the sharing of Being, or shared Being or only Being. ‘Consciousness’ is another name for ‘that.’

Dan: And I’m not saying this because I’m against communicating, or wouldn’t respond if my name is called. I’ve enjoyed communicating with you a lot and thank you for what you’ve shared.

Rupert: I also enjoy our communication and hope that it will survive this rather vigorous response!

Did you ever see the film ‘The Illusionist?’ It is a beautiful play on this very subject.


With love,

Rupert