Recently a research project asked me for my definition of consciousness.
Answering this enquiry philosophers, psychologists and neuroscientists usually disappear down a rabbit hole of complexity. But I like a simple answer. I encountered it first in Vedic philosophy and the books of Alice Bailey.
I summarise it:
Consciousness is the innate capacity to respond to stimulation.
It is the capacity in everything to respond to stimulation.
Every time we see something responding to stimulation we are witnessing consciousness in action.
This applies to everything. I really mean everything — electron, atom, rock, plant, animal, human, planet, solar system, galaxy, cosmos, space . . .
Here are examples:
A rock responds to pressure and temperature. That response is an indication of the rock’s consciousness.
A plant may respond to temperature, gravity, sunlight, moisture and nutrients.
Animals may respond to many stimulations.
Humans respond to even more stimulations. Humans can respond to their own thoughts.
So the difference between a rock and a human is this. Human consciousness is more complex, more responsive to multiple stimulations.
Based in this interpretation we can suggest that consciousness is woven into the essential fabric of life and cosmos.
Expanding their awareness beyond the human realm mystics suggest that planets, our sun, stars, galaxies and the cosmos also have consciousness.
Space is consciousness.
This possibility can be a focus of enquiry in metaphysical meditation as human consciousness expands and experiences altered states. Sitting quietly it is the empty mind, like a receptive radar dish, that can garner insights. These insights are found in what one of the fathers of yoga, Patanjali, called ‘the raincloud of knowable things.’
Some meditators may reject the idea of any activity when sitting in silence. Others are very happy to explore inner realities, possibilities and dimensions.
I have been building on this understanding of consciousness. In meditation I have been contemplating these seed thoughts and exploring their mysteries:
— Space is an infinite ocean of consciousness with an innate capacity to respond to stimulation
— Empty space is filled with matter, energy, electricity, vibrations, beings, ideas, plasma . . . some miniscule, some galactic
Like all mystics and meditators my consciousness expands further when I am in a soft mindful state of love and bliss
Let me now add a thread that may help us address our current global crisis.
Ultimately our galaxy and all the dense matter we know will disappear. It will be sucked into the mystery of a black hole.
This event is billions of years away, but it is inevitable.
So here is an interesting possibility:
When all the matter of our galaxy disappears into that black hole, will human consciousness also disappear?
Perhaps only dense matter is sucked into the black hole. And the more subtle matter of our consciousness continues.
This kind of enquiry posed in meditation is profoundly relevant to how we manage the current global crisis.
We can only conduct these contemplative enquiries if we are deeply calm, centred in our hearts and awake.
In that state we can truly see the bigger picture.
Waves and cycles of human history come and go.
There have been many plagues and demagogues. They pass.
Calm compassionate equanimity radiates.
It can balance, stabilise and heal the suffering, distress and anxiety of our times.
Humanity’s destiny is to be loving, conscious and connected.
A MEN ONLY DAY LED BY NICK CLEMENTS with William Bloom and Kenny Mammarella-D’Cruz
Saturday 8 July 10:00 – 4:00 – London
Larches House, 1 Rectory Lane, Edgware HA8 7LF Five minutes from Edgware Station on the Northern Line
We are creating a safe space for a gathering of men of all ages and orientations. We warmly invite you to join us, to listen, inspire and explore. The day will be full of opportunities to play, be serious, share and encounter.
The theme will be our gender’s tendency towards exaggeration in our stories and descriptions. This may be seen as unhelpful (especially by women), but in these exaggerations there is also value, entertainment and hope. These dreams, fantasies and embellishments point towards new possibilities. The storyteller, stands confident and centre stage. The stories are not all ‘cock and bull’.
This day together will give us a chance to explore being a man, respecting our diversity and masculinity — aware too of insecurity and the importance of supporting each other in our confusion. We wish to honour men, lads and boys, the importance of these present times and the vital roles we all need to play.
The theme for the day is the telling of stories. What is your present story? Who are you? How do other people see you? How can we bridge the gap between the two?How can you tell your story and create legacy? Also we are being sold a very apocalyptic story for the future of mankind and the planet. We urgently need to counter this with wild, beautiful, enchanting stories of the future.
The workshop will be led by Nick Clements, and he will be assisted by William Bloom and Kenny Mammarella-D’Cruz.
Nick Clements is one if the leading lights in the mens’ movement in the UK. He has been creating workshops and rites of passage for boys and men since the early 1980’s. He recently completed a trilogy of books on modern masculinity and rites. www.nick-clements.com
William Bloom is an educator, group facilitator and author specialising in spirituality and health. His many books include ‘The Endorphin Effect’ and ‘The Power of Modern Spirituality’. As a young man he was an honorary member of the the Hells Angels. www.williambloom.com
Kenny Mammarella-D’Cruz is the “Man Whisperer” (Newsweek) who helps men meet personal goals, at work and in their personal relationships. Through one-on-one consultations and men’s groups, in London and worldwide. “Consultant, coach, and guru of all things men” (Daily Express) Kenny can help you get unstuck and bring your best self to meet all of life’s challenges.
Kenny is unique in using his powers as a “Man Whisperer” to help men get what they want in life. “I take men from ‘Am I?’ to ‘I am.'” (www.kennydcruz.com/how-to-be-free/)