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Consciousness Has No Location
Devon: So I’m reading your book as suggested and I’m writing my thoughts down to clarify, and I have no one except you to bounce these thoughts off…
When I see a tree out there, where do I experience the tree? In consciousness, not out by the tree, but in consciousness, in awareness. All objects, trees, dogs, houses, beliefs, thoughts, emotions, are located inside my head somewhere, behind my eyes, it feels like – but that’s in consciousness, right? All experience, which is just my brain’s interpretation of an interaction with an object, is located in consciousness too. To my brain/mind it feels like it’s out there and I’m interacting with it, yet it’s just all happening in consciousness. It’s not out there at all. It’s in here. And it can’t even be pointed at even though I’m pointing at my chest, saying, “It’s in here!” My experience, my brain, my mind, my finger pointing to my chest, my chest: they’re all just objects. The “MY” I use to distinguish me is also just an object. Everything is located in this same place called “consciousness.” The idea of self feels like it is separate from objects… the whole “subject-object” thing… yet even this self, this idea I have of self, is also located in the same place. An idea is a thought. A fictional thought. All thoughts are fiction.
Sundari: Hi, Devon, I am replying on behalf of James, who is sick at the moment. Everything you say above is basically correct, your discrimination is good, except for the last sentence: “Thoughts are objects. There is no subject, hence there is no self. Everything is located in consciousness. Everything is consciousness.”
Thoughts are objects, true. Everything is consciousness, true. There is always a subject though and that subject is you, consciousness, the knower of all objects, gross and subtle – the Self with a capital “S.” All objects are made up of consciousness, arise in consciousness and dissolve in consciousness, i.e. all objects have a dependent existence on consciousness, but consciousness exists independently and prior to all objects.
Consciousness cannot be pointed at, because there is nowhere that it is not; it has no location. There is only one consciousness, so there cannot be an “in” or an “out” of consciousness. Thus, as you say, the object pointed at, the finger pointing, the mind instructing the finger to point and the knower of all of it are all you, the self, consciousness.
Keep up the great work. James says, “Well done!”
~ Namaste, Sundari