Some more Maui meditations...following up on "Big waves, small waves: no difference?"
I enjoyed the comments on this post. I agree: splitting reality up into awareness and what we're aware of – how is this not another duality that the consciousness is all philosophy tries to get away from?
Reading further this morning into Peter Dziuban's book by the same name, my consciousness made clearer by Kona coffee, I'm struck by how Awareness (with a capital "A") can be made into an abstract divinity with pretty much the same characteristics as God.
I've never been aware of Pure Awareness, unsullied by anything I'm aware of. And I strongly suspect that neither Dziuban nor anyone else ever has either.
Yet somehow I'm supposed to consider this the really real reality, even though it is nowhere apparent. I'm supposed to view what my senses tell me as akin to images on a movie screen: passing, ephemeral, lacking unchanging being.
But where is this Being that Dziuban (and Plato, among many others) talk about? How can it be separated from my here and now awareness, which contains many beings, me included, naturally?
Methinks too much can be made of what most probably either is (1) so absolutely simple, we aren't recognizing it as such or (2) so absolutely different, we aren't looking in the right place.
I'm not interested in trading away the aliveness of the present moment for deadening promises that later, someday, tomorrow, after death, eventually, I'll be aware of something other than what I'm conscious of now.
Laurel and I went on a Pacific Whale Foundation sunset dinner cruise yesterday. It sure seemed real. But the whole time I was only aware of what my senses, thoughts, and emotions conveyed to me – not Awareness itself.
Which was good, because if I'd been in a state of Pure Awareness I would have missed the whales and dolphins that appeared next to the boat (against the odds, according to my experienced captain, given that only a couple of whales are still hanging around Maui).
I'm not denying the possibility that consciousness is separate from the body that each of us is (or at least, seems to be) at the moment.
But every time Dzuiban approaches the central question about consciousness that I raised earlier, it gets skirted. Here's an excerpt from a chapter I read today:
A question that may arise based on all of the preceding might go like the following:
"If the mind is not inside a body or brain, then why does the mind's activity stop when the body is anesthetized? How could anesthesia affect the mind if the mind is not there? And if the mind isn't in the brain, then why don't the mind and body function just as well when the brain is damaged or removed?"
Great questions. No good answer. This one leaves a lot to be desired.
So if it appears the state of a "body" is altered via chemical anesthesia or surgery, naturally the state of the "mind" will appear altered too, for it is all the same, one "stuff." It is not because a mind is inside a body…This book is not denying that such things seem to occur.
Well, as I said before I'm not big on relying on quotation marks to define reality. If I seem to be unaware when I'm anesthetized, a literary device – making it into "mind"—doesn't change the situation for me. Or anyone else.
Feeling alive. Isn't this what life should be about? When I'm catching a wave on my boogie board, soaring down a zipline, or watching a whale surface nearby, I'm absorbed in the moment.
I'm not anticipating the future or remembering the past. For me, this is where the feeling of increased aliveness comes from: being here and now, fully.
Positing some state of Being separate and distinct from what's present, this is the province of religion – whether it be a monotheistic creed or a philosophic exaltation of "consciousness is all."
Way back in the '60s I grooved over Be Here Now. I haven't moved much, if anywhere, since. How could I?