When, through understanding, we realize that what we long for can never be found in an object, substance, activity, relationship or state, our longing loses its direction, flows back to its source, and is revealed as the love for which we were in search.

Sooner Or Later We Fall Silent

I just wish I could find a verb to better reflect that process, rather than rely on a word (Consciousness) which sounds like just one more object.

Rupert,

Thank you for your book.

Living in the moment without thoughts ‘about’ the moment, I was reading your work and completely related to the observation that objects appear in our thoughts and senses. However, when you refer to Consciousness, that too sounds an object, which did not resonate with me. Thoughts, a tree, my own body, or even a concept, are, at least to me, all objects (nouns).

It does appear (at least to me) that we are more the experience itself than we are what we think about those experiences. Furthermore, it seems to me, the experience is not ‘ours.’ It is that of Consciousness (as I believe you say).

Thus, if I understand your choice of words correctly, using the word, ‘Consciousness’ to refer to what/where “I” is, is just replacing one noun with another – one object with another, subjecting themselves to our understanding, analysis, quantification and qualification, and that, of course, immediately takes us out of the immediate experiential moment into one of reflection/anticipation etc.

Thus, it seems that a more accurate description of our experience would be something more along the lines of a ‘process’.

That ‘process’ appears to us howsoever it does in any given moment, but does not necessarily mean that our experience of it reflects what may ‘really’ be going on.

So, I just wish I could find a verb to better reflect that process, rather than rely on a word (Consciousness) which sounds like just one more object which I know is coming from my head.

Bob Polis

 

Dear Bob,

Thanks for your email.

It may seem that, due to the limitations of language, the word Consciousness (being a noun) may suggest that it is an object. However, Consciousness is not an object; it is that which is aware of all objects.

That would make it a subject.

However, even that is not true, because a subject distinct from its object, would also be some kind of an object.

Therefore Consciousness, or ‘I,’ is truly beyond the subject-object. The mind simply cannot go there, let alone adequately express it, because the mind is itself an object and has no access to that which is prior to itself.

So two alternatives are open to us: the first is to remain silent on the subject and just live one’s experiential understanding from moment to moment, expressing it in all one thinks, feels and does and secondly, to use the rather clumsy, abstract symbols of language as sensitively and creatively as possible in an attempt to express that which can never be truly expressed in words and yet is, strangely, the only ‘thing’ that is ever being expressed.

What is unique about the word Consciousness (and any of its synonyms such as peace, happiness, love etc) is that it points towards that which is not a noun or an object, towards that which truly is, in contrast to words such as ‘tree,’ ‘body’ or ‘concept’ which all point towards objects which are never actually experienced as such.

In this way it could be said that the word Consciousness (and any of its synonyms) is the only true noun because it indicates that which is real rather than that which is imagined.

Having said that, I am not advocating the use of the word ‘Consciousness.’ It is just one of many ways of trying to indicate the nature of reality which is beyond all words.

In that respect, to try to find a verb rather than a noun is very legitimate. We might say something like aware-ing, knowing (not conceptually), table-ing, chair-ing, laptop-ing, sky-ing, but even that is not really accurate…..sooner or later we fall silent!

With kind regards,

Rupert