There Is Only Pure IntimacyWhen do objects become solid?
Nothing is solid because what is seen, heard etc. is only the perception of it occurring in Consciousness.
However, when do objects become solid? I think you will say: When the perceiving Consciousness contracts and becomes a thinking subject, a separate I-person. In that case there is a thinking subject (that which sees) separate from the object (that which is seen) but not yet solid objects.
However, when I touch a chair I feel a chair and, even when it is not named, it is different from my hand; it has a structure, texture and solidness. So that part is not completely clear to me.
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Janneke: However, when do objects become solid? I think you will say: When the perceiving Consciousness contracts and becomes a thinking subject, a separate I-person. In that case there is a thinking subject (that which sees) separate from the object (that which is seen) but not yet solid objects.
Rupert: I would not say, “ When the perceiving Consciousness contracts and becomes a thinking subject, a separate I-person,” because Consciousness never contracts (or indeed expands).
However, you are on the right track. Rather I would say, “When dualising thought arises and exclusively identifies Consciousness with a fragment, with a body, and seems as a result to contract Consciousness into a personal, limited ‘I’ but in fact does not.”
You go on to say, “In that case there is a thinking subject (that which sees) separate from the object (that which is seen) but not yet solid objects.” However, the physical objects that seem to result from this separation of experience into a perceiving subject and a perceiving object are, by definition, solid.
However, objects are never really solid precisely because in reality there are no objects.
The apparent objectivity (and the inevitable sense of solidity that accompanies it) of the world, others and objects, is the natural counterpart of the apparent subjectivity of the personal ‘I.’
In other words the apparently separate subject and the apparently separate object always appear and dissolve together. It is their appearance, that is, the appearance of dualising thought, that seems to obscure or veil Consciousness, resulting in the apparent reality of objectivity and solidity.
And likewise it is their dissolution that restores the experience of objects as they are – modulations of Consciousness.
Consciousness is the simple ‘Knowing of Being,’ so this apparent veiling of Consciousness could be said to be the ‘Knowing of something-apparently-other-than-Being.’
This ‘something-apparently-other-than-Being’ is what is known as the separate ‘I’ and the separate ‘world, other or object.’
So objects seem to become real and solid at the moment dualising thought seems to veil the Knowing of Being.
Therefore, ‘objectness’ and ‘solidity’ are simply ideas that are superimposed by thought onto the reality of our experience.
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Let us explore this experientially. How does the idea and apparent feeling of ‘objectness’ and ‘solidity’ arise?
There is Consciousness, colourless, formless, full only of the ‘Knowing ofItself’ and the ‘Isness or Amness of Itself’ - pure Knowing/Being.
This Consciousness, having no form, has the capacity to take the shape of all forms.
Consciousness ‘gives itself’ to all apparent forms but loses itself to none of them.
In order to appear as an apparent form Consciousness takes the shape of what we call ‘mind,’ in the broadest sense of the word. That is, Consciousness takes the shape of sensing/perceiving and thinking.
This is meant in the same sense as it could be said that a screen ‘takes the shape of’ the image that appears on it, such as a landscape. The screen doesn’t actually become anything other than itself, such as a landscape, but only seems to.
So, now imagine Consciousness taking the shape of sensing/perceiving, like the ocean takes the shape of a current flowing within it. Water within water.
Sensing/perceiving is made only of Consciousness and it is Consciousness that knows itself as such. Sensing/perceiving could be said to be a modulation of Consciousness.
There is no division or difference in Consciousness being sensing/perceiving and its knowing sensing/perceiving. Or we could say that being sensing/perceiving and knowing sensing/perceiving is one single experience, not two.
At this stage the entire sensation/perception is known to be made of one single substance, Consciousness. That is, Consciousness knows itself, as it were, as sensing/perceiving. ‘Mind’ and ‘matter’ are not yet ‘experiences.’ Consciousness simply knows itself in and as sensing/perceiving.
Consciousness is both the existence of the sensation/perception and simultaneously the knowing of it.
Now ‘at a certain point’ Consciousness takes the shape of thinking, which is, as it were, another current within the ocean. It is another modulation of Consciousness within Consciousness.
Now because thinking is made only of Consciousness it has the possibility of assuming the form of an infinite variety of thoughts. As William Blake said, “All things possible to be believed are an image of truth.”
And one such thought is the thought that identifies Consciousness, which in reality pervades all sensing/perceiving, with just one little part of it, that is, with the little part of it called ‘the body.’
In other words this dualising thought splits the seamless totality of sensing/perceiving into two parts – a ‘body’ part and a ‘not-the-body’ part.
With this dualising thought Consciousness, which in reality is the substance of all of sensing/perceiving equally, is imagined to pervade only the body part and not the ‘not-the-body’ part.
In other words the ‘I’ of Consciousness, which once knew itself as the substance all of sensing/perceiving, now seems to know itself only as the body.
However, Consciousness in fact always only knows itself, so to affect this apparent veiling of itself it first has to take the shape of the dualising mind.
However, this dualising mind is made only of Consciousness and therefore does not truly veil Consciousness, any more than the arising of an image on the screen veils the screen. It only seems to.
That is, with this dualising thought, Consciousness is identified with the body. However, this identification is apparent only. It never actually happens. It is only believed to have happened. It is imagined. The identification is for thought, not for Consciousness. This believe is the ‘separate-I-entity,’ the ‘ego,’ and its corollary, the ‘world.’ It is the ‘forgetting of Presence.’
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So with this dualising thought we have moved from a position in which Consciousness is known and felt to be the substance of all experience equally, to a position in which it is believed and felt to be the substance of only the body.
So, if Consciousness is believed and felt to be the substance of the body – in other words, if ‘I’ am believed and felt to be the body – what is the ‘not-the-body’ made of? That is, what are ‘objects,’ ‘others’ and the ‘world’ made of?
As a corollary to the belief that Consciousness is located in and as the body, a new belief is created to account for everything that is now considered to be ‘other-than-Consciousness.’ This new entity is called ‘the world.’ In other words, the ‘world’ is a concept that is believed to be ‘everything-I-am-not.’
In other words, the ‘separate-I-entity’ and the ‘world’ are in fact two aspects of the same idea. That idea is the belief that Consciousness is veiled or not present.
Now this imagined ‘world’ must be made of something. Thought has already split our experience in two and assigned Consciousness to the body, so the world must be made of ‘something-other-than-Consciousness.’ This ‘something-other-than-Consciousness’ is what we call ‘matter.’
This ‘matter’ is considered to be solid, inert, dense, dense, the opposite of everything we consider Consciousness to be.
As a result, when we touch a chair we feel that ‘I’ (this alive being inside the body) is touching the chair (that dead, inert thing outside the body). That is, the chair is experienced as being solid, dense, inert.
However, the experience of the chair is in fact the experience of one new sensation/perception. This new sensation/perception is made only of sensing/perceiving and as we have seen, sensing/perceiving is made only of Consciousness. It is a modulation of Consciousness.
There is nothing solid, dense or inert about sensing/perceiving.
Sensing/perceiving is vibrant, alive – alive with the knowingbeingness of Consciousness. It is the light of Consciousness that makes the experience knowable. In fact there is no other substance to the experience of the chair other than the light of Consciousness. It is the aliveness of Consciousness that makes the experience living, vibrant, intimate, real.
If we go deeply into the experience of sensing/perceiving that we call the ‘chair,’ we find this alive, vibrating sensing/perceiving made only of the knowingbeingness of Consciousness. We find nothing dense, solid or inert there.
Density, inertia and solidity are simply concepts superimposed onto the reality of our experience by the dualising mind. These concepts dull the living, sensitive, vibrating, intimate quality of all experience, which is naturally infused with enjoyment, enthusiasm and love, and reduce it to ‘matter,’ ‘objects’ and ‘other.’
In other words ‘matter’ or ‘solidity’ is only a seeming reality for the ‘mind.’ It is not a reality for Consciousness. For Consciousness, Consciousness itself is the only reality and all experience is the knowingbeing of its own Self.
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Janneke: However, when I touch a chair I feel a chair and, even when it is not named, it is different from my hand; it has a structure, texture and solidness. So that part is not completely clear to me.
Rupert: No! Without the naming, there is no difference. In fact without thenaming there is no hand or chair to be different from one another.
Does the hand know that it is a hand? Does the chair know that it is a chair? No! It is thinking/naming that says so. So, in the absence of thinking, where is the hand and the chair. They are nowhere to be found.
In fact, even in the presence of thinking they are nowhere to be found. They are not present although they are considered to be so. It is only thinking that makes them seem to be present in their own right.
In the absence of thinking their seeming presence belongs to Consciousness. In fact, even when thinking is present, their seeming presence belongs only toConsciousness.
Consciousness is all that is ever truly present and all seeming things borrow their apparent presence from Consciousness.
In fact, it is not that Consciousness is present. It is rather that Consciousness is Presence itself.
Only Consciousness is ever truly present, knowingbeing itself eternally, taking the shape of sensing/perceiving/thinking but never being or becoming anything other than itself.
The presence of all seeming things properly belongs to Consciousness alone.
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Place your hand on the chair and see that one new sensation/perception appears. In fact it is not even a sensation/perception. It is sensing/perceiving – a modulation of Consciousness. A breeze in the air.
See clearly that both the apparent hand and the apparent chair are experienced in this one new sensation/perception. But it is only one sensation/perception. As such, is it hand or chair? As hand it is ‘me;’ as ‘chair’ it is ‘not me.’ But it cannot be ‘me’ and ‘not me’ simultaneously.
See clearly that ‘hand’ and ‘chair,’ ‘me’ and ‘not me’ are labels superimposed by thinking onto the reality of our experience. The experience itself, sensing/perceiving, comes with no label attached.
In fact in the absence of thinking, it is not even sensing/perceiving. It is simply ‘experiencing.’
In fact, even to call it ‘experience’ is too much. To call it ‘experience’ we first have to step back, as it were, and see it, name it. But experience is too close, too immediate, too intimate to be seen or named.
It is already and only the knowingbeing of itself. There is no time present in experience itself in which to step back and look from a distance and nowhere we could step back to, from where we might look.
The fish does not know when it is in the water. The fish only knows when it is out of the water. In fact fishes don’t have a word for water!
There is just raw, seamless, indivisible, ever-present experiencing.
There is only pure intimacy.