Experimenting with Consciousness

A place for anything that doesn't fit into the existing forums
shappy
Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 5:21 pm
Location: Toronto

Experimenting with Consciousness

Post by shappy » Fri Nov 09, 2007 8:35 am

I'm not sure if I'm placing this in the most appropriate forum so, mods, feel free to move it elsewhere.

The purpose of this thread is to try out some practical "experiments" that attempt to lead us to a better understanding of spiritual ideas such as consciousness and awareness. I invite everyone to add their own experiments or practical realizations.

Here is the first experiment. It is quite clumsy and clunky but I think it does have some value...

Imagine a world within your mind that is very similar to this one. Within this imagined world, a person very much like you lives a life very similar to yours (let's call this character "mini-me"). As you imagine this world within your mind, try to view it from a detached perspective... as if you were watching a movie. Anyway, this mini-me within your mind is going through life with problems very similar to yours. It goes to work, it goes to school... whatever you do. It runs into the same people that you run into and the same conflicts arise. It suffers just as you do.

Now imagine that one day mini-me starts to question its existence and its place in the world. You are watching all this unfold (since this is all taking place in your mind). You are watching mini-me encouter very similar struggles to yours and you are watching as mini-me gets caught up in its story. It compares itself to mini-others. It thinks it is special and better than mini-others. It gets disappointed when life doesn't go the way it wants. Sometimes mini-me's life is fine and most other times it's awful.

So back to mini-me questioning its existence... Mini-me starts to read mini-Eckhart and is fascinated by the now and the serenity found in the practice. Mini-me starts to realize many fascinating things about consciousness and awareness.

One day, after some time has gone by, and after mini-me has relinquished the need to control its existence, it suddenly realizes its true nature. It knows that it is consciousness. It knows that it is an actor in this movie that you have been watching/imagining. It knows that it is free and that the struggles that it has gone through were due to an identification with content. Many profound things start to make sense to mini-me. It understands intuition. It understands how others struggle and sometimes even feels compassion towards mini-others. Mini-me's mind is almost always silent. It settles into a calm that it did not know was possible before. It realizes that life is actually a simple affair. But mini-me's spiritual journey has still only just begun.

Some more time goes by and mini-me has another breakthrough. Something clicks and mini-me's existance comes into complete focus. It has experienced what it actually means to be consciousness. It has embodied it's existance. What does this mean? Mini-me has realized that it is you, the silent witness... the watcher. The one imagining mini-me's existence. The watcher that has always been there; watching mini-me live its life and suffer and struggle. Mini-me has actually understood and experienced that you are there and that you are watching it go through this imagined life within your mind. This figment of your imagination has realized that it is a figment of your imagination. Try to understand what this means... it's quite an odd thing to think about. Basically, something that you have imagined knows itself to be something imagined. At that point, mini-me has no choice but to see the reality of its existence. Since it is you (the imaginator), it is also everything that you are imagining. It becomes aware of the space around the content that mini-Eckhart kept talking about. After settling into this reality, mini-me begins to see things in a completely new light. Vision is clear and originates from the heart. Mini-me sees god everywhere it turns. It sees the world as it was meant to be seen. Mini-me is love. Mini-me is consciousness. The experience of life takes on a completely different meaning.

Mini-me has realized itself. It has embodied itself. It has transcended it's imagined reality. It has aligned itself with you. It's as if you and mini-me are looking through the same lens.

------------------------------

Ok, first of all, please be clear that I am not implying that your existence and mini-me's existence is the same in the sense that there is some person imagining your existence. This is not what I am implying. What I am implying is that the relationship between mini-me and you the imaginator, and you and consciousness, are similar. The real you is the (conceptualized) witness. The real you has witnessed this ego life of yours that you are caught up in... right this very moment.

The point of this experiment is to see what the embodiment of your true nature is about (not what it is... but what it's about). What truth is about. It is actually a pretty good description of what actually happens when one experiences their true nature... the focus and alignment that takes place when you realize that you are the watcher that has watched your whole existance unravel within consciousness.

The reality of our situations right now, are no different from mini-me and its reality before it embodied itself. There is a watcher that is silently witnessing you (the ego-based you) play out its existence within this fabricated structure of society; within the fabricated structure of your thoughts and emotions.

The reality of what you are is very different from what all of us imagine. It is simple... but even that is a terrible description. The thing is, (as we've all heard a million times), the real you is beyond description. The real you is simply the detached witness.

However, we can always ask questions that point in the general direction... For example, when you are looking through your eyes, who is looking? When you notice all the objects in front of you, how is noticing? Who is feeling your fingers as they type away on the keyboard? Who is noticing your breathe as you inhale and exhale?

User avatar
heidi
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 2703
Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2004 12:37 am
Location: 42nd parallel, Massachusetts, USA
Contact:

Re: Experimenting with Consciousness

Post by heidi » Fri Nov 09, 2007 3:50 pm

The imaginator, I love it.
Just who is that imaginator? :lol:
Heidi
http://www.heidimayo.com
wonderment on the third wave

User avatar
summer
Posts: 466
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2004 12:42 am
Location: California

Re: Experimenting with Consciousness

Post by summer » Fri Nov 09, 2007 5:51 pm

What a great experiment, Shappy,

Yes, who is the imaginator?
The mind can't answer that question, can it?

And that is just fine, to the One who dances freely in the unknown. :lol:

User avatar
kiki
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 4591
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2004 8:55 pm
Location: Wherever "here" happens to be

Re: Experimenting with Consciousness

Post by kiki » Fri Nov 09, 2007 10:08 pm

Thank you shappy for a very good post. My "mini-me" thinks it has a lot of value and will help people stand back, if just a bit, from their own story.
"Miss Kelly, perhaps you'd like this flower. I seem to have misplaced my buttonhole ... Miss Kelly, you know, when you wear my flower you make it look beautiful." Elwood P. Dowd
---

shappy
Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 5:21 pm
Location: Toronto

Re: Experimenting with Consciousness

Post by shappy » Sat Nov 10, 2007 1:47 am

Thanks for the replies. Did you guys understand the experiment?

I understand that it may be difficult because it's not very clear. Basically, the experiment is asking you to imagine yourself being realized. Essentially, it's asking you to create your current reality in your head and guiding you through an imagined (but based on a realistic) process of awakening. Of course, you won't awaken by doing the experiment (that's not the intention anyway). The (very ambitious) intention is to see what the awakening process is about. By recasting the roles of your ego and awareness to mini-me and you (the imaginator or the conductor of this experiment), respectively, you are able to visualize and imagine what the relationship between you (ego) and you (awareness) is actually like. I hope that clears things up a bit?

User avatar
summer
Posts: 466
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2004 12:42 am
Location: California

Re: Experimenting with Consciousness

Post by summer » Sat Nov 10, 2007 5:00 am

Hi Shappy,

I think that you may be correct, and I didn't understand the experiment at all.

Who is the Imaginator? Are you speaking of God? Or whom or whatever designed this universe? I think that you may be calling this consciousness. And making a distinction between consciousness, and mini-me being awareness, and imagination.

How could mini-me imagine, what is beyond imagination itself?

Are you wondering how consciousness views creation?

shappy
Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 5:21 pm
Location: Toronto

Re: Experimenting with Consciousness

Post by shappy » Sat Nov 10, 2007 6:32 am

Hey summer, thanks for pointing out your confusion. Hopefully this will clear some of it up:

This is a practical experiment intended for you to actually sit there and think about this world in your head and follow mini-me through it. It's not just theoretical mumbo jumbo. Try to follow and visualize what is written.

The imaginator is simply you, the you sitting there imagining this. You are imagining this... therefore I have called you the imaginator (there is no spiritual meaning here).

Basically, the very short version would go something like this...

Imagine a version of yourself in your mind. Visualize yourself standing in a field or something. Again, lets call this imagined version of you "mini-me". Now imagine that somehow mini-me realizes that it is being imagined. This figment of your imagination knows that it is a figment of your imagination. This imagined version of you knows itself to be imagined. Mini-me has realized itself. It realizes that it is imagined within your mind. Mini-me is imagined by you and it realizes that it is imagined by you!

Can you visualize this? What happens to mini-me when it realizes that it is being imagined?

User avatar
Kutso
Posts: 884
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 6:27 pm
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden

Re: Experimenting with Consciousness

Post by Kutso » Sat Nov 10, 2007 9:36 am

It is a good experiment. Kinda makes you wonder though. Is there someone imagining us? Maybe I'm just in the imagination of someone else.
And that's exactly what Sri Nisargadatta talks about when he says that you cannot be sure of anything. Anything but the sense "I am". This is all just a dream. An illusion. It's not real, and never was.

Anyways, thanks shappy. The experiment really made the mind spin.

Kutso
Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that.

shappy
Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 5:21 pm
Location: Toronto

Re: Experimenting with Consciousness

Post by shappy » Wed Nov 14, 2007 7:44 am

What happens to mini-me when it realizes that it is being imagined?
No one attempted to answer this so I'll give it a go. Basically, mini-me disappeared... or rather, because it was imagined and it realized that it was imagined, it became imagination itself. Similarly, "you" will disappear into consciousness. There will no longer be separateness.

----------------------------

Hey Kutso,

I'm not familiar with Sri Nisargadatta but I think the illusion he is talking about is the illusion of separateness. To write-off one's entire existence as an illusion is kind of pointless.

----------------------------

Here is another experiment:
http://www.ontariosatsang.com/art-percy ... trans.html

User avatar
Kutso
Posts: 884
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 6:27 pm
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden

Re: Experimenting with Consciousness

Post by Kutso » Wed Nov 14, 2007 9:10 pm

shappy wrote: Hey Kutso,

I'm not familiar with Sri Nisargadatta but I think the illusion he is talking about is the illusion of separateness. To write-off one's entire existence as an illusion is kind of pointless.
Actually he is talking about everything being an illusion. Everything you perceive is illusory. Only the perceiver is real.
It's kinda lika going to a movie theater. You sit there and watch the movie. And for a moment you are caught up in it. You're a part of it, or so you think. But then the movie ends, and still there you are.
So, life's kinda just a movie which will end. Or an illusion. Whatever you want to call it is fine. The only real is you. The supreme reality.

Kutso
Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that.

shappy
Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 5:21 pm
Location: Toronto

Re: Experimenting with Consciousness

Post by shappy » Thu Nov 15, 2007 1:02 am

kutso wrote:It's kinda lika going to a movie theater. You sit there and watch the movie. And for a moment you are caught up in it. You're a part of it, or so you think. But then the movie ends, and still there you are.
I agree that the movie is an illusion but what happens when the movie ends? Isn't the watcher still sitting in the movie theatre? Is the movie theatre an illusion as well?

When you embody your true nature, you continue to function... but as consciousness in human form. And you continue to function within this world. In actuality, what you perceive while being fully conscious is consciousness itself. There is no separateness. The illusion only comes from separateness. So to say that what you perceive is illusory (while embodying your true nature) is pointless. Because no matter what you say about it, you are still it.

User avatar
Suzanne
Posts: 148
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 11:26 pm
Location: Norwalk, Ct

Re: Experimenting with Consciousness

Post by Suzanne » Thu Nov 15, 2007 2:43 am

shappy wrote:
What happens to mini-me when it realizes that it is being imagined?
No one attempted to answer this so I'll give it a go.
I think of her as one of several girls/women who used to be co-dependent with me, and controlled my life. She was often confused, and wanted to understand why a few people were always so lost and others were always so angry and others were so calm and sure and peaceful.

She said and did small things that were an attempt to make herself seem real but no one else believed her except me. I gradually caught on and replaaced her with a newer, wiser model from time to time. It wasn't one person, it was several. Each one more grown up and living fewer myths than the last.

Then, when I finally got my freedom from my marriage, she fell away overnight and I started to emerge, slowly. But I told everyone I met: "It's so easy to be happy. You just get up in the morning." I thought it was my divorce, but now I know it was much bigger than that. And I also know I won't attempt to partner with another the ways the others did. I have yet to find out what it's like to partner as this new person, but I'll enjoy the process, like I enjoy everything. And it doesn't matter all that much to me anymore. I've already found what I wanted: My connection to everyone and everything. This new existance is a gift, and it's now.

Hope that helps.

User avatar
Kutso
Posts: 884
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 6:27 pm
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden

Re: Experimenting with Consciousness

Post by Kutso » Thu Nov 15, 2007 11:49 am

shappy wrote:When you embody your true nature, you continue to function... but as consciousness in human form. And you continue to function within this world. In actuality, what you perceive while being fully conscious is consciousness itself. There is no separateness. The illusion only comes from separateness. So to say that what you perceive is illusory (while embodying your true nature) is pointless. Because no matter what you say about it, you are still it.
It's funny, because I totally agree with you. But at the same time I find that the very opposite is also true. I guess it's just because words can never tell the whole truth, and therefor both standpoints are correct. And yet they're both incorrect.

Oh well. What is pointless though is arguing about this, for we will never come to an satisfying end of it.

Kutso
Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that.

shappy
Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 5:21 pm
Location: Toronto

Re: Experimenting with Consciousness

Post by shappy » Thu Nov 22, 2007 9:16 am

Another experiment...

I like this one very much because it is very simple and can be very effective. Try to be as present as possible before you try this (meditate or whatever you do).

Look at some part of your room. Don't focus on any object or get caught up in the content of what you're looking at. Try to observe it as a whole... or, phrased differently, just let the content be. Now close your eyes and do the same. That is, don't focus on the blackness that you see, instead just let the content be. Alternate between these two states (eyes open/closed) with only a couple seconds for each state (or longer if you feel it necessary).

Is there anything about what you perceive that remains constant throughout?

User avatar
Webwanderer
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6831
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 12:03 am

Re: Experimenting with Consciousness

Post by Webwanderer » Thu Nov 22, 2007 4:21 pm

Suzanne,

I truly loved your post. Thanks for sharing. :D

Post Reply