The ultimate subject: Consciousness

Nothing can be said about consciousness. As soon as we speak or think about something, we create a distance, a separation. Consciousness is what we are, our true nature and the source of the whole. The mind cannot apprehend it or explain it, because the ultimate Subject cannot be thought. It is beyond formulations. Therefore, it is impossible to think about, meditate on, or imagine the consciousness. We can use only evocative words to say that which cannot be qualified: energy, light, silence, emptiness. Here, we only discuss about a mental representation of the consciousness.

We are consciousness. Because we think that the consciousness should be experimented, we try to reach that reality. However, the consciousness cannot be experimented. Only the world and the phenomena can be experimented, not the consciousness which contains them. We believe we know ourselves through the objects of perception of consciousness that are the ego, the thought, the feeling. We are continuously aware of something. However, the objects have no reality without a subject that observe them. That subject, the ultimate “I”, cannot be perceived. We can never objectify it. We search for it in vain in the thoughts, emotions, sensations that are only its reflections, its temporal expressions. The consciousness cannot be associated with anything apparent, it is not perceptible with the senses, and it cannot be grasped by thought. It is manifested by them but remains detached. If we forget it, it is still there. We cannot get away from ourselves. So let the consciousness be present to itself. Although it cannot be an object of perception, the consciousness knows how to recognize itself… We should accept that we cannot find ourselves in the projection, in the bodily sensation, in the understanding or the mental perception. The consciousness is what we are beyond the movements that come and go. It is an attention, a welcoming. Because of identification to the body, the I, which is an object of perception as the other objects, sees itself as an acting and autonomous subject. When the sudden realization puts an end to the belief that there is an individuality which seeks and acts, remain only a neutral witness, an observation. The realization that we are consciousness is not an experience actually done by someone. It occurs when all experiments stop, at the moment when the subject recognizes itself as the space in which everything appears. The consciousness is then self-consciousness, pure, empty, and not awareness of something. When I experienced “death”, my consciousness realized itself as infinite space, universal consciousness. I was alive, and well alive. Even when we are not aware of something, what we really are does not cease to be. Because we have not realized our true nature, we believe that we die when the body disappears or thoughts stop. The consciousness is not a state. It is the essence of life and it is eternal.

It is through consciousness that all is perceived. The consciousness sees the unfolding of the world manifested by itself, in a space wich is no other than itself. This does not mean that this unfolding is unreal, but it is wrong to consider it as an absolute reality, i.e., a reality that exists by itself. All perceptions, all objects cannot exist without the light-energy that illuminates them: the consciousness. The entire manifested life is an appearance in consciousness . Anything that is perceived, seen, appears inside the consciousness. Each thought, each event is a movement in the consciousness, caused by it. Everything is an object for the consciousness, the ultimate Subject which cannot be known.

Human being is a part of the manifested life. The world was not created for human beings. Animals, plants, Earth are not different from us, even if they do not live in the same way. All is a part of the same expression. The consciousness is one and all encompassing. The differences are only in the mind. When the mental activity stops, there is only peace, silence and pure perception remaining because only the consciousness is. It is pure presence. The energy of the consciousness can work freely when our whole being is a clear expression of that pure presence. The consciousness is omnipresent, in each creature, in the nature and the earth. When we understand that everything is consciousness, the burden of questioning and suffering is immediately abandoned. All movements of life are seen for what they are, appearances at a given time and in a given place. We see that everything that is born and dies is a reflection of our true and immutable nature. We are the whole. The question of differentiation between right and wrong, limited and infinite, servitude and liberation does not arise. It becomes clear that the universe is made of one and same substance and that we are inseparable from it. When we meet someone, when we see something, we meet ourselves and we see ourselves. It is the same reality, the same empty space. The consciousness is that empty space. Because of the existence of various forms, the inner space seems different. However, when forms disappear, the inner space becomes one with the universal space. As it has always been…

In our earthly dimension, we let our consciousness to function as an entity conditioned by what it manifests. In each experiment, this space of perception identifies with the body and generates the impression of a separate self. Ceaselessly, our mind makes judgments about the multitude of phenomena that appear, even though they are originally neutral. Our life becomes a succession of desires and fears, a battle to be fought. However, all that appears is the life, pure in its essence, which is offered to us by and in the consciousness. Everything emerges from that space and unfolds there. It needs to be understood that nothing depends on external matters created by the mind. Each phenomenon is within us, as an expression of the reality, which is one. Destiny, which is an unfolding of circumstances connected to time, comes from this empty space. Thus, each event is precious and should be considered as a blessing. We must welcome everything in the silence of our timeless consciousness. All emerges from there and returns there, in a perfect movement.

Our individuality is a reflection in the light-energy. I am not the reflection. I am the consciousness. It is not the consciousness which considers itself as a subject, because in itself there is no separation. It is the whole, the substance of manifested life. There is no fundamental distinction between the absolute and the manifested world. The ultimate reality and its expressions are one. All that exist is the consciousness, in which all emerges. When the manifested life is perceived as an apparition inside the consciousness, the mind does not search anymore outside. Outside what? The mind itself and the objects it pursues are all encompassed. “I” is present in all, and all is in It.

Nothing is separated from the consciousness. For that reason, we cannot objectify it. All that can be experimented, or observed, is not consciousness itself. Even when silence is perceived, it is not what we are. It is only a reflection, an emanation. What we really are is perception itself, attention itself, in the absence of an observer and that is observed. The consciousness is attention and it is not involved in anything. It is never altered, whatever happens, whatever event we are experimenting, whatever suffering we endure. We are that immutable observation, and not that continuous show to which we identify ourselves. The world may disappear now. The consciousness is. It is not linked to the world, and is not concerned by the end of phenomena or forms of life. It is never affected by changes, disappearances, by all it reflects. It always retains its undifferentiated nature, even through its limited expressions. It is that which contains all the manifested and the non-manifested. When it is without object, it is infinite consciousness, impersonal, formless, without a cause. It can also be called emptiness, wholeness, silence. That is what we are for ever.

We are, at this very moment, this receptacle without limitation, luminous, timeless, this silent emptiness in which everything happens. We are in essence in all things within the same cosmic substance. There is nothing to reach from which we would be separated. When the inner space has get rid of the dividing mind, when it is at peace, wide open, the consciousness is there, and we can perceive the ultimate reality in the multitude of manifested phenomena. That eternal part reveals itself when we fully surrender to what is proposed to us. It has no link with our personality, does not depend on our thoughts or our actions. It is not concerned by our suffering, nor by our expectations of happiness. It is the uninterrupted flow present in all forms, the witness who is silently watching everything that appears and disappears. We have nothing else to do that to discover in us this silent source that radiates infinitely in the universe and to be absorbed in it.

Ô you who seek the path, come back in yourself because it is in you that the secret lies.” Ibn Arabî