This is the transcript of a spoken contemplation that I recorded early on the morning on 22nd November 2021. I have edited it for clarity and shown, with an ellipse (. . .) where I've left words out, and with square brackets where I've added words.
. . . Consciousness. Pure consciousness. That which knows without learning. That which knows and has always known and will always know. This is omniscience. It did not learn by trial and error. It does not change over the process of time. It is pure, unconditioned consciousness. It is outside of he dual state, yet the dual state arises from it. This is pure non-duality. This is that from which all things become. It is a state without beginning and without end from which everything that has a beginning and end arises. It is life itself. And is not life a conditioning of consciousness? Life involves an existence with a beginning and an end. So is life the first stage of conditioning? Perhaps not, because before that there is the conditioning of particles, of quanta, which become further conditioned into atoms, which become further conditioned into molecules and from there into cells. And life begins at the cellular level and yet it all arises from consciousness and in consciousness all things consist, hold together. Consciousness is the framework of order which brings together seemingly random events that produce all that exists.
But are these events [in fact] random? In a universe held together by consciousness every interaction does precisely what it is supposed to do because consciousness has already deemed what the outcome of every movement of every thing will be. I guess this is the philosophy of determinism.
There are certain principles at work here that are eternal. All this is so big, so complex, so complicated that we puny little creatures trying to put it all together in our minds become horribly unstuck—interpreting everything, conditioning everything, conditioning the unconditioned so that we have no sense of the unconditioned. We cannot see the pure. We can only see what our conditioned minds have made of it. We can only see what has arisen. We cannot see that from which it arose.
And yet that unconditioned consciousness is at the very heart of each one of us. This is the true Self of all. This is the source of unconditional love. We are not treated as separate from that. We are treated as perfect because that in which we consist is perfect. “In him we live and move and have our being.”1 [“He is before all things and] by him all things consist.”2 The Greek poet and Paul, caught up in duality could only speak of 'him', whereas in the Upanishads we read, “that is none other than you.”3 I am unconditioned consciousness. And, yes, I am conditioned consciousness as well but the conditioning nevertheless arises out of pure consciousness—[unconditioned consciousness.] The thoughts I have and the emotions I feel as a result, which condition who I think I am [in] my relationships with other people—good, bad and indifferent—arise from the same source and return to that source at the dissolution of this body. I am utterly held. Every breath, every heart beat arises out of that unconditioned consciousness as it flows through [me] and becomes conditioned in my body.
Who am I? Who are you? When we focus [our] conditioned minds on the awareness of this truth—this inevitable truth—this deduction which comes from looking at each step in the process—we realise that we come to the place of pure consciousness that exists without learning. That is existence. That is 'God'. The trouble is that that word 'God' is a conditioned concept and we have to get past that. It's a package and it's packaged differently by different cultures, but it's a package, it's a conditioning. Whether we call it 'God', the Tao, Brahman, Allah, Christ or the Great White Spirit, these are conditioned expressions. When the mind is turned with the senses to the heart there grows an awareness of that peace that passes all understanding. It is past all understanding because it is not a peace that is attached to the senses—it is not conditioned by the mind—it is the peace that comes from pure consciousness. [It is the state in which pure consciousness abides.] There is nothing to learn here. Pure consciousness does not need learning. Learning implies change. Pure consciousness is eternal. It has always known and it will always know. [We cannot think/learn our way to 'God.']
Our knowing is always conditioned. The conditioning process has a beginning and an end. It has levels of understanding. Pure consciousness is beyond all that. And if we think of it as 'God' who intervenes personally for specific purposes, it's a very romantic view and one that some people will want to cling to, and that's understandable, and there's no real reason why they shouldn't. But it is a conditioned view—a very conditioned view. It places 'God' firmly in the world of subject and object, of pairs of opposites, in the world of duality not the world of oneness. [Not in the Eternal.]
When the mind is stilled one may still have thoughts but underlying those thoughts is a felt-sense of resonance with pure consciousness and that . . . resonance is of the immortal, of the eternal. And as our bodies resonate in harmony with that in which all things consist then every cell, every molecule, every atom, every quantum particle is brought into harmony. This is wholeness. This is being in the conditioned self while sense-feeling the unconditioned Self—at the same time. While sitting in this chair talking into this microphone [it is] to be aware at the heart's centre of the peace that passes all understanding, of the presence of unconditional consciousness that holds my physical presence together, that enables my mind to think, enables me to speak these words. When we spend time in this precious place it is not a place with a condition—perhaps . . . [it is] a state of lowered conditioning—I am able to be who I truly am. It requires no effort. There's no struggling going on here. Everything is flowing. There is a sense of joy that is bliss. It's not high emotion. It's not using up any energy. There's no great energy going into brain power here. In fact I feel energised. This is the beginning, perhaps the very edge of [the experience of] pure consciousness.
1. Acts 17:28 (AV)
2. Colossians 1:17 (AV)
3. Kena Upanishard (i) 5ff (Eknath Easwaran)