Qualia, Consciousness, Christ, and Cosmos

4 thoughts on “Qualia, Consciousness, Christ, and Cosmos”

  1. I’m getting you up through “This glorifies the “Father” or Source of that energy, the One, the Singularity of the cosmos, the unified field in which we are all embedded and from which our finite body-minds emerge.” But I lost you after that. If it is true that the simplest explanation is usually the best, the simplest explanation might be that consciousness is that which is prior to everything, in which everything moves, and out of which everything derives its being. What we think of as ‘we’, or ‘qualia’, or anything else, exists in and as consciousness, without respect two sides, or inner and outer. Two sides, two anything, is the essence of duality, as opposed to not-twoness, or non-duality, it would seem. But I agree that “you are that Cosmos shining.” And that “body and spirit are one.” I would not make any distinction between body and spirit, or mind and matter.


    1. Hi Walt. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I too have thought that consciousness might be prior to everything, and even synonymous with God. And that may be. All mind and matter may derive from that consciousness, and be subordinate to it. And yet, we still have mind and matter, seemingly two different things, at least at this level of our experience in the world.

      Although I do think that God is a nondual One, I think God may manifest itself in duality and multiplicity. It’s a paradox, for sure, that nonduality may manifest itself in duality, but that seems to be what we see in the world, many dualities (or polarities). It’s related to the philosophical problem of “the one and the many,” as well as dialectical monism, or dual-aspect monism. In an ultimate sense, these dualities find union in a nonduality that is transrational and incomprehensible to our minds. We have to transcend the mind to know pure consciousness (i.e. God, or the One).

      What I was suggesting was that the dualities that we commonly see as spirit (mind) and body (matter) might be the inner and outer sides of the nondual One. In other words, they may not really be two separate things, but one and the same thing, which we see as two at this level of perception and reality. What we see as neuronal activity in the brain may be how things look on the outside, but the appearance of red is how it is experienced on the inside, of the same nondual One. We may see these as two different things, instead of one, because of our limited and dualistic perceptions. But in an ultimate sense, they are One.

      Alan Watts once wrote, “Really, the fundamental, ultimate mystery – the only thing you need to know to understand the deepest metaphysical secrets – is this: that for every outside there is an inside and for every inside there is an outside, and although they are different, they go together.”

      This also sounds similar to something Jesus says in the Gospel of Thomas, “When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like the lower… then you will enter [the kingdom].”

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      1. Thanks for your thoughtful response, Bryce. I think it’s fair to say that on a day to day, relative level, there does seem to be a distinction between mind and matter, but I’m also reminded of a another Alan Watts quote: “As you make more and more powerful microscopic instruments, the universe has to get smaller and smaller in order to escape the investigation. Just as when the telescopes become more and more powerful, the galaxies have to recede in order to get away from the telescopes. Because what is happening in all these investigations is this: Through us and through our eyes and senses, the universe is looking at itself.” I don’t think there is any real distinction between mind, body, matter, or spirit. An apparent one, yes, but this apparent distinction falls apart, or is seen through, in the light of non-dual knowing. And then the reality, that there is no distinction, becomes clear.

        I agree that God manifests in duality, and I would suggest that all duality is nothing more or less than the manifestation of God’s non-dual essence. An essence I would equate with Consciousness, or Brahman, or God, using all three words synonymously. In this understanding, the notion of God manifesting as Jesus, for example, who was fully human and fully divine, would not be unique to Jesus, only to the Christian conception of Jesus as being the only one granted (to borrow another Alan Watts expression) that special status.

        I agree that it’s trans-rational or incomprehensible, at least until we’ve seen that it’s true with a knowing that goes beyond what we’ve previously conceived of as knowing. In other words, if the rational or logical mind tries to apprehend this on its own, it is likely to reject it as absurd. But once the knowing has been received as clarity arising from a place beyond reason or intellect, then reason or intellect can be employed in an attempt to articulate it. When I said in my previous comment that consciousness-being-prior is the simplest explanation, I don’t feel able to articulate it well enough to convince anyone who doesn’t see it that way, but I would say that, having undergone a significant paradigm shift in how I view the world, I see it that way, and can no longer see it any other way, and the truth of it seems obvious to me now, whereas it would have seemed laughable before. So I certainly respect anyone who sees it differently, and recognize that I could be wrong, even if I’m convinced I’m not. I also recognize that this may come across as a little off-putting, but I feel okay saying it because it’s not an intellectual conclusion I arrived at that my ego is invested in. It feels more like a truth revealed.

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      2. Thank you for the comment. I agree with much of what you say. Great thoughts! I like that quote from Alan Watts: “Through us and through our eyes and senses the universe is looking at itself.” 

        It’s remarkable that Carl Sagan said almost the same thing: “we are a way for the cosmos to know itself.”

        It’s like the universe is a mirror and the universe is reflecting itself in us. Mirrors reflecting mirrors, which is an infinite reflection.

        I like your thoughts about duality and nonduality. It seems that it is our mind which constructs the dualism from the nondual, our minds break things apart, create boundaries, distinctions, differentiations, in order to separate this thing from another thing. But in their essence they are not two, but one. The dualism seems to only be a convention of mind, so that the mind may know things in the traditional sense.

        As you said, we have to transcend the intellectual or rational mind in order to see the nondual, we have to go beyond that part of the mind that wants to break all things into parts and pieces. Then we’ll know the Divine, beyond all words. Then we’ll know our Self, what we are in this cosmos, as this cosmos, and perhaps as Consciousness itself, beyond all mind.

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