On Consciousness of Self

Hello Judit.

No need to apologize. It’s always good to hear from you. 

I’m glad you find this dialogue inspiring. Me too. It’s like you said about how one integrates and reinterprets. It’s a key thing and one people forget. For a long time Negro discouraged people from reproducing meetings with him by reading from extensive notes, or playing recordings of him. He said that we should metabolize the content and then reproduce it in our words. Unfortunately, that required more “level” than that which we were collectively capable.It reminds me that  I heard him say on more than one occasion that in a real situation of teaching you can’t identify who is teaching and who is learning. I think you know that register; you are trying to explain something and as you are doin that you integrate it in a new way suddenly “understanding” it. It’s a fantastic and mysterious register than occurs not uncommonly in our lives and which (if you are like me) it’s one of the many things that too often we don’t examine more deeply.

I remember very well talking to you in that pizzeria. What a wonderful retreat that was (if I can call it that). There’s something I’d like to do again and I look forward to our next conversation in the non-virtual world!

Perhaps there’s a relationship between the problem of liberating sufficient charge, or finding that inspiration, and observing what’s happening in daily life. Speaking of consciousness of self you say…”And Strangely, although I feel very very but very far from raeching such state, or even aspiring to it, strangely I can relate to it, and these images create in me a great commotion”. Perhaps that is a clue worth investigating. Do you not aspire to it or is it that you continue to tell yourself you aren’t the person that could attain to that? Whatever, it seems you hear something calling you. 

Since we are friends and even confidants (I hope I’m not presuming too much), may I suggest you review that theme a bit). Consciousness of self is not something alien to us (in that sense it is not a transcendental state). It is a level of consciousness we touch on frequently. Experience however proves that the path to “permanence” in that level is both very elusive (as history and our own efforts prove) and very natural. I use the term natural intentionally. My experience is that as in many other things it is a question of accumulation of many kinds of things over time. In this case an accumulation of intention, of unitive acts, and attention. I know you have strived to live with internal unity. And when we speak of things like unitive acts I think we have to be careful to leave aside false humility here that’s just as bad as delusions of grandeur. As we were saying earlier in these things non-judgmental, internal honesty is necessary. No bull shit. No forcing. So what’s lacking? The intention? Or related to that the actual attentional effort that links to that level.

As for that last I will only add for the moment that works with attention are key but they can be very misleading. Did you ever learn the old ADMI exercises — they had nothing to do with the Admi sector but were a system of works with attention. Or perhaps in Psychophysics did some other attentional exercises? All those can be very useful for becoming familiar with registers. But when we apply them with tension they are distractions (at best). Negro explained that in the end (after reviewing all these approaches) the best exercise is being in theme. It’s like in Principle Seven where it tells us that if we liberate ourselves when everything we do is done as an end in itself, we make the effort to be in theme, to do what we are doing, nothing more is necessary (but other things can help). I am writing you this email, I don’t have to struggle to pay attention, I do it with attention because it’s the theme, it’s what I’m doing at the moment. I don’t have to worry about what I’ll do next, or who I have to call later, or anything. Thanks to the magic of the copresence (a very deep magic) those things will take care of themselves. When they push on my consciousness, distracting me from the theme at hand, I recognize them, let go, and focus back on this theme (of sharing ideas and experiences with my friend Judit). The copresence not only sorts out those other issues, but it is what transforms everything. So for example when I attend because my attention (act) is mechanically drawn by something (object) my attention remains a natural phenomena like my dog attending to me when I pick up her food. But if I have copresent my purpose of raising my level of consciousness then the copresent act turns the attention to an object and in that way transcends the previous situation.

Nonetheless, I’d say that this consciousness of self, so easy to experience, so difficult to maintain, is a part of our natural equipment. 

Gently and without any effort look at the computer screen, and continuing with effortless effort (doing without doing) simultaneously become aware that you are looking. For the moment you are conscious of self. 

Is that all it is? Yes…well, and no!

Of course like other levels of consciousness this one admits states degrees of intensity, and permanence. The fact is that many people find themselves in this level off and on through the day, but usually it goes unnoticed. Like someone waking from sleep to vigil and quickly falling back to sleep. But once one has accumulated enough of those registers, vigil and more importantly its absence become more increasingly present. Then gradually, “naturally”,  one drifts up towards vigil. That can happen because these levels are natural levels of work of the psychism. So is consciousness of self — despite its elusive nature and the difficulty of shifting the consciousness’ centre of gravity from vigil to this higher level in an increasingly permanent way. And then? Then we might conceive there are levels outside the range of the consciousness that transcend it and nonetheless interact with it. 

So forget about waking to consciousness of self. Notice instead its absence! That’s a much, much more frequent state. And realizing it, not as an idea, but profoundly as a lived reality, as a register, is a wonderful and great accomplishment. And how else would you know that you are not in that level? That is of course why so many people don’t know that there is that possibility. And of course others who do know the possibility exists deny themselves a deeper or more permanent experience of that level for other reasons.’

I await your further thoughts on this and other interesting matters.

With my warmest greetings.

Danny