As aware as logs in the marsh.
August 9, 2012 § Leave a comment
I was walking in an isolated area and so took the opportunity to direct my awareness away from the usual parade of thoughts in the direction of the Observer. It was still necessary to navigate through the obstacles in my path but I noted this was being done automatically by a part of my brain engaged in that process. It then occurred to me that had I not directed my attention back to the observer, I would have thought this automatic neural processing was something I was consciously doing. But in fact it was just as devoid of real consciousness as a knee jerking in response to a doctor checking my reflexes.
My observation is in line with the notion that the brain is not the source of consciousness. The brain engages in neural processing of sensory information, it generates neural connections that the scientist correlates with consciousness, but it does not produce consciousness. It is the awareness of the Observer lighting up thoughts as a flashlight illuminates objects in the dark that give the brain the appearance of consciousness. But that appearance is no more than a reflection of the consciousness to which we are all identical.
This points to something about people and how they behave that has always puzzled me. I’ve noticed seemingly normal people, rational people, figuratively beating their heads against the proverbial brick wall, engaging in the same self-defeating strategies that didn’t work last year, didn’t work last week, aren’t working today and won’t work tomorrow. Yet they persist, even when it’s pointed out how futile it is; or, if they stop, it’s only a momentary pause as they soon regress to the old unworkable techniques.
One unfortunate example of this behavior is the abused woman who continually seeks solutions to her partner’s behavior by blaming herself, as if self-recrimination will change his abusiveness. Another is the soldier who suffers Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, behaving as if she were still on active duty when the war she fought ended long ago. More common examples are family members who continue to behave as if their aging parents aren’t suffering cognitive decline, then end up frustrated when the parent behaves irrationally. Or a person believing a former lover, now well established in new relationship, still feels the same.
The list of examples is endless but each is of a behavioral pattern that an individual seems conscious of, yet is simultaneously oblivious to as well. But this confusing behavior becomes clear if it’s assumed these “blind spots” are neural pathways in a state of continuous repetitive activity that only reflect consciousness, but are not conscious activity at all.
No unenlightened person is free of these blind spots; the most significant being the belief that the ego itself is conscious. But ego-consciousness is reflected consciousness only. It is no more “you” than any other neural process going on in your brain. Recognizing this will take you a long way along the path to recognizing your true nature.