Is there a spectrum of consciousness? In other words, do some identify more as a passively observing witness while others identify more as an active earth-bound creature?
Do some perceive life as an artificial role to play, going through the motions of existence while having an underlying sense of not being who they appear to be?
Do some not question what they are, but understand themselves to be solely the role they portray, perceiving life as the summation of sensory input?
Do those with a dominant consciousness have trouble acting out their part and attempt to remain on the sidelines? Are those with minimal consciousness flung about by stimuli and whim?
Late at night when I’ve been sitting for a couple of hours, disconnected from daily living, I oftentimes develop a hyper-awareness. No earthly entanglements distracting the mind, just pure consciousness, no body within its surroundings, just drifting thought.
And in this state, I sense a wisdom I’m not privy to during other times. If I was concerned or confused about something, I’m no longer concerned or confused. In the form of thought or written word, separated from the physical, answers appear as if from within.
In the daytime, while engaged with daily tasks, my mind is befuddled by life. I’m drawn far away from this inner self, influenced by impulses, no longer the essence of understanding. So many times, as the day begins and draws me in, I forget the wisdom and tranquility I discovered in the solitude of the quiet night.
Within our thoughts, we’re so often confused by life’s outcomes. And within our body, urges often drive us to do the undesirable. So reason or intuition, acting independently of the other, seems a poor strategy.
A compromise perhaps? Can the consciousness suggest guidelines for the body to live by? Yet is the consciousness an optimal adviser, or more of an uninformed spectator? At best, this character we play is a compromise.
The naive idealist witnessing this world and the instinct-driven brute plodding through the labyrinth of life — a bewildered observer whose vehicle is set on autopilot. No instructions provided, misconceptions abound, just an awareness of a mind within meat.
And why does life try so hard to hide such a distinct duality. Constant activity engages the body, keeping thoughts ever focused on dramatic surroundings. In the tumult, the mind is swept into a sense of solidity and control.
What brings about suffering is not the external itself, but the desire to alter it. Therefore, let life do as it will, simply follow along in the role provided. Within our self-driving vehicle, we the observers are to gaze appreciatively at the spectacle outside — attempting to steer sets up a struggle we cannot win.
For each ride, we must be who we are meant to be, forgetting what we were and ignoring who we’ll become. This life belongs to this character, he should have his due. As the consciousness, do not be swayed by the senses or distracted by delusion, let go of what “you” want, and let this creature work its way through the world utilizing the qualities it has been given.
It’s folly to think we can assist a creature so deeply rooted in this world. Do we will the heart to beat? We instigate nothing this creature does. To us, this life unfolds as a mysterious adventure, yet this creature follows a clear and simple path powered by impulses and intuition.
Pushed and pulled along, our character performs his role, bringing us through the attraction. As spectators, we can invest as much as we’d like in the storyline, minimizing fear and frustration when scenes prove too intense. Outcomes are interesting but ultimately not our concern. And without worry of what comes next, we find satisfaction in the simplicity of becoming a patient and appreciative passenger.
Oftentimes life feels like a dream — I sense I should be able to do something, yet I can’t, some unseen force holds me back. In a way, this restraint acts as an invisible fence, penning me to a particular path. My consciousness seems to have its own ideas of how to proceed, yet the fence forces me in a distinct direction.
Why should my consciousness, the part of my mind that observes life, have its own opinion of how to live life? And why is this opinion independent of reality? Satisfaction is easy when the two overlap, but when they stand in stark contrast, dissatisfaction comes readily. And it’s never life that compromises, but consciousness, finding acceptance in outcomes beyond its control.