For many people, the debate as to the ultimate reality of the universe is an academic one, far removed from the concerns and demands of everyday life. After all, life happens independently of our models of it. However, The Nature of Consciousness will clearly show that the materialist paradigm is a philosophy of despair and, as such, the root cause of unhappiness in individuals. It is a philosophy of conflict and, as such, the root cause of hostilities between families, communities, and nations. Far from being abstract and philosophical, its implications touch each one of us directly and intimately.
An exploration of the nature of consciousness has the power to reveal the peace and happiness that truly lie at the heart of experience. Our experience never ceases to change, but the knowing element in all experience—consciousness, or what we call “I”—itself never changes. The knowing with which all experience is known is always the same knowing. Being the common, unchanging element in all experience, consciousness does not share the qualities of any particular experience: it is not qualified, conditioned, or limited by experience. The knowing with which a feeling of loneliness or sorrow is known is the same knowing with which the thought of a friend, the sight of a sunset, or the taste of ice cream is known. Just as a screen is never disturbed by the action in a movie, so consciousness is never disturbed by experience; thus it is inherently peaceful. The peace that is inherent in us—indeed that is us—is not dependent on the situations or conditions we find ourselves in.
In a series of essays that draw you, through your own direct experience, into an exploration of the nature of this knowing element that each of us calls “I,” The Nature of Consciousness posits that consciousness is the fundamental reality of the apparent duality of mind and matter. It shows that the overlooking or ignoring of this reality is the root cause of the existential unhappiness that pervades and motivates most people’s lives, as well as the wider conflicts that exist between communities and nations. Conversely, the book suggests that the recognition of the fundamental reality of consciousness is the first step in the quest for lasting happiness and the foundation for world peace.
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|Publisher:||New Harbinger Publications|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Table of Contents
Foreword Deepak Chopra ix
Introduction: The Hard Problem of Consciousness 1
Chapter 1 The Nature of Mind 7
Chapter 2 Only Awareness Is Aware 19
Chapter 5 Panpsychism and the Consciousness-Only Model 29
Chapter 4 The Inward-Facing Path: The Distinction between Consciousness and Objects 35
Chapter 5 The Direct Path to Enlightenment 43
Chapter 6 Self-Enquiry and Self-Remembering 55
Chapter 7 The Experience of Being Aware 67
Chapter 8 The Essence of Meditation 79
Chapter 9 The Outward-Facing Path: Collapsing the Distinction between Consciousness and Objects 87
Chapter 10 Existence Is Identical to Awareness 97
Chapter 11 The White Radiance of Eternity 105
Chapter 12 The Focusing of Consciousness 109
Chapter 13 There Are No States of Consciousness 119
Chapter 14 Wordsworth and the Longing for God 129
Chapter 15 The Shared Medium of Mind 139
Chapter 16 The Memory of Our Eternity 151
Chapter 17 Consciousness's Dream 167
Chapter 18 The Search for Happiness 183
Afterword Bernardo Kastrup 197
Spira resides in Oxford, UK.