El blog de 道

Más de consciencia
01/03/2012, 10:19 am
Filed under: Fragments

The first or the lowest state of consciousness is sleep. Man is surrounded by dreams. Purely subjective pictures — either reflections of former experiences or reflections of vague perceptions of the moment, such as sounds reaching the sleeping man, sensations coming from the body, slight pains, sensations of tension — fly through the mind, leaving only a very slight trace on the memory and often leaving no trace at all.

The second degree of consciousness comes when man awakes. This second state — the state in which we are now; the state in which we work, talk, imagine ourselves
conscious beings and so forth — we ordinarily call ‘waking consciousness’ or ‘clear consciousness’, but really it should be called ‘waking sleep’ or ‘relative consciousness’. In the state of sleep we can have glimpses of relative consciousness. In the state of relative consciousness we can have glimpses of self-consciousness. But if we want to have more prolonged periods of self-consciousness and not merely glimpses, we must understand that they cannot come by themselves. They need will action. This means that frequency and duration of moments of self- consciousness depend on the command one has over oneself. So it means too that consciousness and will are almost one and the same thing, or in any case, aspects of the same thing.

At this point it must be understood that the first obstacle in the way of the development of self- consciousness in man is his conviction that he already possesses self-consciousness, or at any rate that he can have it at any time he likes. It is very difficult to persuade a man that he is not conscious, and cannot be conscious, at will. It is particularly difficult because here nature plays a very funny trick. If you ask a man if he is conscious, or if you say to him that he is not conscious, he will answer that he is conscious and that it is absurd to say that he is not, because he hears and understands you. And he will be quite right, although at the same time quite wrong. This is nature’s trick. He will be quite right because your question or your remark has made him vaguely conscious for a moment. Next moment consciousness will disappear. But he will remember what you said and what he answered, and he will certainly consider himself conscious. In reality, acquiring self-consciousness means long and hard work. How can a man agree to this work if he thinks he already possesses the very thing which is promised him as the result of long and hard work? Naturally a man will not begin this work and will not consider it necessary until he becomes convinced that he possesses neither self-consciousness nor all that is connected with it, that is to say, unity or individuality, permanent ‘I’ and will.

– Ouspensky

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