This is an excellent topic for discussion. Have you ever felt a gap between thoughts or a moment when there is a void, an absence of thought?
Yes. I’d say that ‘feeling it’ is due to thought trying to reassert itself.
I see it differently. Thought can be present and absent at the same time as two sides of a coin, meaning illusory on one side and appears real on the other side.
Above I was struggling to describe this movement of thought dissolving into the past, and questioning myself if it can be described, or grasped by thought at all. As soon as one looks for the space between thought it is not there. But Dan, in another thread, has provided the key. He wrote:
“Thought without that illusion dies or dissolves each moment”
The illusion being the apparent division of the mind into thinker and thought, observer and observed.
Yes, only when that illusion is seen through is thought free to dissolve each moment, with all its problems, conflicts, contradictions, confusion. And the dissolving is the only ‘answer’ those problems. The answer certainly does not lie in more thought!
When the illusion of thinker and thought is operating, the notion of a thinker provides, or is constantly trying to provide, continuity to thought in the form of the “I”. It is actively trying, struggling, to prevent the dying of thought. And that is the problem.
When the illusion is not operating, thought/feeling flows on like a river, leaving no trace of its passage, constantly renewing.
“When the illusion is not operating, thought/feeling flows on like a river, leaving no trace of its passage, constantly renewing.”
Loved the analogy of the river.
I live not too far from a wide river, and often walk along its banks. Apart from the endless flow, the ceaseless movement, one can notice something very interesting. Eddies. Do you know what I mean? Vortices. Little whirls in the water, whirls of nothingness really, that apart from their own swirling movements are being swept along in the flow of the river.
For a time they seem to have existence, substance even. But in a way they are only an absence of the water of the river (I am trying to avoid any words that suggest the existence of something static, nothing is). But he eddies seem to have an existence, in the flow of the river, they are part of the flow. Until they just end, disappear, according to the laws of the universe. And I often ponder how like our existence is to those eddies. We materialise, or seem to, out of the Universe itself. We exist, or appear to, for an unpredictable period of time. And then we are absorbed back into the flow of the Universe.
Perhaps all material things are like this.
Would you compare the river to the human consciousness? I am wondering if death/ending make any difference to the human consciousness and especially in the current context of a whopping number of COVID deaths.
Although analogies, metaphors, can be very attractive, they all have their limits of usefulness. Perhaps ultimately they can be misleading, as the word is never the thing.
Scarlett, the dying that I have been referring to above is psychological dying, the ending, in the moment, of thought/self. I did not mean the final, biological death of the organism (although also I am not saying the two are not connected).
But in answer to your question, does not all human experience have its effect on human consciousness? In fact is that not what human consciousness IS, the accumulation of all human experiences, thoughts, feelings, actions, since time immemorial? Isn’t everything that has ever happened in there - the world wars, the words of the Buddha, Krishnamurti?, Freud, Stalin, everyone, all human violence and hatred, fear, the touches of affection, caring?