So there’s the pure energy of awareness (i.e. pure attention), and there’s energy in the form of consciousness. The energy of consciousness is a limited or trapped form of awareness.
This limited or trapped form of awareness is what K calls our common consciousness.
When the contents of this common consciousness are removed or emptied (which can happen, according to K, through insight) there is a transformation at the very basis of our consciousness.
There is then the complete perception that consciousness is whole, undivided, unitary.
Does this sound right? I feel it is on the right lines.
So when the contents of consciousness are removed through insight, there come into being what was, perhaps, already there - an immaculate consciousness or pure consciousness that K calls awareness, silence, intelligence, love, total attention, etc.
By “quasi-necessary suffering” I just meant that our experience feels like the hard unavoidable truth as it is - feels like the ultimate authority. Things couldn’t be any other way than the way it seems. I just added “quasi” because I don’t think thats actually so. Experience actually changes at the drop of a hat all the time. for example due to a change in one’s own attitude.
I feel uncomfortable speaking of things I know nothing about - I know nothing about purity.
Maybe pure electricity (again sorry) cannot actually exist without the proximity of the dirt and the sky - maybe it is the proximity, the messy relationship that is itself electricity?
Maybe we can only speak of death because life is soo messy?
I think this is right. Understanding all this through observation of oneself can lead to a weakening of the contents (the past’s) hold on the brain? This weakening would allow partial insights, light into the darkness?
In Yogacara Buddhism they talk about ordinary human consciousness as ‘substratum consciousness’, which is both personal as well as interpersonal (though not ‘self’, in the Buddhist sense); which continues the residue of one’s conditioning throughout life, and which also continues after death.
By ‘substratum consciousness’ they mean
an ever-changing stream which underlies the experience of [ordinary] existence. It is said to be ‘perfumed’ by phenomenal acts ([these being] impressions, or tendencies), and the seeds which are said to be the result of this perfuming reach fruition at certain times to manifest as experiences of good, bad or indifferent phenomena…
This inter-subjective world is the product of seeds which are common to all relevant substratum consciousnesses, the results of appropriate common previous experiences stretching back through beginningless time…
The substratum consciousness is said to be the actual level of consciousness that trans-migrates, carrying with it all its karmic seeds and producing the linkage between one life and the next…
It ‘ceases’ at enlightenment… [That is, there is] the cessation of the personal, individual, falsifying constructions of consciousness, but not of the common, inter-subjective world, which becomes the object of a purified vision for the enlightened [person].
(Paul Williams in Mahayana Buddhism)
When I read this it reminded me of what Krishnamurti calls our common consciousness, which is not personal to ourselves alone but belongs to the whole of mankind; which continues even after we die, and is reborn, re-incarnated, in babies as they are born (K talks about this in the Transformation of Man discussions with Bohm and Shainberg).
Only when this consciousness comes to an end is there true freedom (according to Krishnamurti and the Buddhists).
The freedom that comes with the ending of first personhood sounds horrifying(ly dull)!
In the Paul Williams book the extract continues:
What happens at the point when the substratum consciousness ‘ceases’ was, however, the subject of an intense debate… According to… Paramartha… when the substratum consciousness ceases there remains, shining in its own purity [what he called] the ‘immaculate consciousness’ (amala-vijnana).
In terms of its meaning I understand this to be essentially what we have been referring to elsewhere as ‘mind’ (in Krishnamurti’s sense). The ‘mind that is outside the brain’. A ‘mind’ that is synonymous with love and intelligence (in Krishnamurti’s sense of those words).
In thinking about this substratum consciousness and what happens when it ends, I remembered this 57 second clip where Bohm asks Krishnamurti what happens to consciousness - which is made up of its content - when there is no more content:
People feel that, if I have Intelligence, I may live a Compassionate life and even have impact on others and can show true Love. But, what about the freedom of action in a selfish way? I can’t go for something what I need now - like Power, Wealth, Recognition, etc., Though thought pollutes, it gives a push for that freedom to act whatever one wants (as don’t have to consider “others”). But Action out of Love is not that way, as it always consider the Well Being of others.
So, Love and Intelligence blocks many action which born out of selfish freedom. Even that Love, not just blocks one’s own selfish free action, but also blocks of those who are around them. Though it is purely Good, what pleasure is there in curbing the freedom of selfish acts?
So, considering this point, what’s one observation and inquiry leads to?
Both by those that imagine and want libertarian freedom of action; and by those that imagine freedom from form/content/suffering.
Although insight into our relationship to form/content is preferable.
Because delusion leads to conflict and confusion (eg. harm)
Because freeedom (to see the bigger picture) increases the potential for wellbeing.
Empty spaciousness is only precious because of suffering.