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Consciousness: The Cradle of Creation

Posted by on December 31st, 2011 with 0 Comments

What is the source of everything we experience? The material world that we live and work in is the result of specific causes and conditions. Natural elements compounded through the dynamics of physics, chemistry and the natural forces of heat, pressure and time produce the universe of mineral and biological formations.  But how do we actually experience this world?  Do we fully grasp the implication of the fact that everything we experience is the creation of consciousness?

All around us is the evidence of the power of creativity. Consider that everything we use to nourish, entertain, clothe and shelter ourselves is the expression of absolute consciousness. We can imagine a tool, and then shape it with our hands until it looks and works in just the way we intended. This is a most extraordinary thing. We marvel at the great feats of design and engineering, are moved by the beauty of art, music and dance, and are brought to tears of sadness, joy or humor by a poem, play, movie or a book.

The creative capacity of consciousness is boundless. It is the most creative power in the universe, and possibly the least recognized. It begins with the conscious experience of being human, this brief wink of existence that seems like an eternity. We create for ourselves anything we can imagine; better tools, abundant food of an infinite variety, faster farther transport, absolute peace and well-being or greater suffering and destruction. Our capacity to respond to a situation is without limit. Our ability to adapt and adjust to circumstance is infinite, however, the same creative ability to compose a symphony can also cause us to suffer by not recognizing the true source of what we experience.

How does this work? The natural result of using language, of expressing ourselves, putting our feelings into thought, is to rely upon words and comments that form themselves into concepts and then into stories. Everything we experience is referenced, labeled, put into a context… he is so this, she is so that…  The effect is to feel that words, concepts and stories are the limit and extent of existence. We believe that conceptual knowledge and understanding are the totality of how things are, of how we are.

Thoughts and feelings arise from perception. Prior to thought is awareness that is the display of mind. If we are not conscious of awareness, we default to the conceptual or conditional mind of language. The conditioned mind offers us the opportunity to dialog and to evaluate, consider and make a choice about what to do or say next. The conditioned mind can also cause us to have a sense of ourselves that is somehow unique or separate. We experience a self, as the subject with a name and an image, and anything that we perceive is an object. We believe that our subject/object concepts are reality.

The mistake or misunderstanding is not one of commission but of omission, the conditional path of conceptual learning and knowledge has left out the very existence of unconditional mind, consciousness, absolute or natural mind that exists prior to any thought or concept. I invite you to now consider that concepts, words and even thoughts are a fabrication of creative mind, and that our reactions or responses to these fabrications are conditioned mental habits.

Everything and everyone exists as the manifestation of consciousness in their own space beyond any label or concept. Nothing we think, feel, know or experience can change the spacious unconditioned purity of consciousness. Regardless of how dirty the surface of the mirror becomes, the natural clarity of the mirror remains unchanged. And, like objects in a mirror, the conditioned and unconditional both exist in the essential space of consciousness,

Does this imply that words, thoughts and concepts are not important? Absolutely not, these are the stuff of songs, poems, movies and all forms of art as the creative expression of consciousness. However, if we identify only with what impresses or moves us and don’t seek some understanding of the true source of their creation, we will remain indifferent, naïve and immature, subject to being swept away by the conditional waves of afflictive emotions. We risk being a victim who is willing to take credit for what brings praise, to blame what does not, and to continue to suffer from the effects of liking, disliking, judging and comparing, thinking that these alone define reality.

Our preoccupation and preconceptions of wealth, power, influence, acceptance and adulation has caused us to have a narrow, limited view of what is possible. By failing to recognize the conscious nature of being, we cannot discern what has true and lasting value.  We glorify self-grasping materialism and ignore the stainless purity and creative power of consciousness that remains as the ever-present and undiminished source of all experience.

Consider that fear, mistrust, suspicion, anxiety, isolation anger and resentment are attitudes and associations that are the product of habit. Or that kindness, affection, understanding, patience, tolerance, acceptance, generosity and compassion are the qualities of unconditional love. All of these states display as consciousness. What we choose to manifest is entirely up to us. The pervasiveness of human suffering is a big misunderstanding, the tragic oversight of something so near and so innate that it is easily overlooked.

Each of us live in our own dream, project our own reality, and set the parameters for the relationship we have with the world of our experience. We decide what to believe, what to trust, and which thoughts, feelings, images and concepts we’ll adopt to define ourselves. Our attitudes about what we like and don’t like, accept and reject are conditioned through habit and can cause us to react badly. Through mindfulness we dissolve these destructive judge-mental habits with the simple act of recognition.

Mad, bad, sad or glad all exist in the repertoire of the conditioned mind. Shame, guilt, joy and bliss are there as well.  In the purity of natural mind all things have equal value, none higher or lower. Why would we choose the lesser over the greater, suffering over happiness, fear over peace-of-mind? We do so because we don’t fully grasp that consciousness is what we are.

Any interpretation, concept, preference or meaning that arises in the mind is the display of conditioning. We struggle to get perceptions, thoughts, concepts and images to line up, to have integrity and feel whole. Yet conflict remains, the sense of connection is fleeting. Any uneasiness that comes from feeling disconnected is innate wisdom encouraging us to grow and to experience greater alignment in the essential space of being.

In the quiet stillness of meditation we recognize an accrued psychology of assumptions and reactive attitudes. We observe the tendency to project the expectations of a mind conditioned and reconditioned by a sense of dissatisfaction with how things are. By simply resting in awareness we offer ourselves the opportunity to recognize an assumption and to question its’ accuracy, or if the story we tell ourselves is true.

Thoughts, feelings, sensations and perceptions, like the breath, arise and dissolve in the space of conscious awareness. We experience the movement of whatever arises in the luminous display of awareness.  In conscious presence we see through the conditioned mind without focusing on anything at all.

Honor what you feel, noticing without reacting to the tendency to push away any thought or feeling. Discern awareness from the conditioned mind.  What an extraordinary freedom this is, to be aware of the display of mind without judgment or expectation. In the space of awareness old habits loose their vitality and fall way like leaves whose season is done.

All that obscures a fully integrated and joyful life are the conditional concepts we have of who we are and what is true. The creative source of our illusions is the very same source of insights and the realization of freedom.  Everything and everyone is blessed with the power of consciousness, and the fact that we do not fully appreciate this is the greatest tragedy. From conscious intention comes conscious awareness.  It begins with an expressed motivation, the desire to be more mindful and aware, to root out any negativity, to be less reactive and to make more compassionate choices about what we believe, what we trust, and what we’re going to do or say next.

May we all join our hearts in the celebration of being, to recognize ourselves and each other with the pure vision of consciousness. May we all be more aware of the joyous blessings that are always raining down upon us and be a benefactor to everyone we meet.

Bangor, Maine

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