Thursday, September 4, 2008

Through the Looking Glass

A woman whom I have come to know somewhat over the months, posed an interesting question to me today- how do you know what is 'you' and what is 'conditioning'? A seemingly simple question, but with a maddeningly difficult answer to come to. How do I know what is what? If I do manage to identify it, then what do I do?

Life hands us a lot of things to process along the way. Some of the lessons leave more deeply ingrained scars than others. Somewhere along the line we learn that it is impolite to interrupt, that crooked teeth should be hidden behind hands or close lipped grimaces, that certain music is bad, that brussel sprouts are gross... We learn how to swim through the stream of life, along with the current, trying to make as few waves as possible. Then BLAMMO! It turns out to all be wrong. Where do you go with that?

For myself, it is interesting. I am a rebel. Not in the sense that I need to appear, outwardly, much different from anyone else. Inwardly, though, I am very much my own person, at least in my own mind. The reading I have been doing lately is on the nature of inter-dependence and how the true nature of all things is one of non-difference and inter-being (a lot of hyphenation in this new world I am finding!). This is a great departure from my normal line of thought. These teachings propose that our base consciousness is derived from many sources, and while we each have our own basic (store) consciousness, it is only a part of the collective consciousness of all beings. Without the collective store, I would not have my conscious, nor would you. Further, without my conscious, the collective conscious would not exist.

This is big stuff. It changes the whole game. Now comes the point past which there is truly no return. And there is no choice but to continue, because the door is open and it is sucking me through. I am Alice, and I have drunk the potion.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

hey adrienne, that is food for thought, who am i found in the stillness for sure

Kalsee said...

****These teachings propose that our base consciousness is derived from many sources, and while we each have our own basic (store) consciousness, it is only a part of the collective consciousness of all beings. Without the collective store, I would not have my conscious, nor would you. Further, without my conscious, the collective conscious would not exist.****

Our “basic consciousness” as you say is for me the universes’ survival determinant that’s instinctive and resides deep within ever cell in our bodies and is shared with all of nature in general.

The “basic (store) consciousness” as you refer, is for me that which resides within the egoic mind of mostly humans, except on an animal level in a rudimentary way.

Without the “collective store” or the universal determinants of organization and subsequent survival, consciousness would not exist…true.

“Further, without my consciousness, the collective consciousness” (world of form) “would not exist.”…true as well…bill

Adrienne Johnson said...

They are quite similar. The concept is a Buddhist one that varies from your a bit, I think. The term is 'store consciousness' because it is where the 'seeds' of consciousness are stored. There are a number of sites with info (I have been reading 'Understanding Our Minds' by Hanh)-

http://www.thebuddhadharma.com/issues/2006/summer/consciousness.html
http://www.mindfulnessbell.org/articles/Consciousness%20and%20Quantum%20Physics.htm

The second article is by Hanh, himself and is pretty good. I really get the way he speaks. Maybe because he has done it for so many years, he is very clear and precise in a way that just rings in my head like a bell. I wish I could go and study with him, especially as he is 82 and won't be teaching much longer.

Adrienne Johnson said...

I just posted the TNH article in the links box on the main page. It didn't come out in full in my response. Sorry about that. Check it out. It is pretty good.