The notes presented in this week’s collection are all about the nature of consciousness, as well as its connection to our environment.
These are ideas and concepts that resonate with me deeply, but that I have yet to understand and incorporate fully. I believe that our consciousness is a space that far extends beyond the boundaries of our own minds, and that this space is shared with everything that lives. We are not separate from our environment, if we harm our environment, we harm ourselves. This is not only true in the sense that we inhabit said environment, but rather that we are our environment, we share the same space of consciousness.
I can feel this every time I go out and spend time in nature. That sense of wellbeing when your body touches the grass, the colors of the flowers, the myriad of living organisms surrounding you. This is a connection that we can experience and yet dismiss all too easily. Western society has gone to great lengths to separate ourselves from our environment, to distinguish ourselves from nature, from animals, from everything that is natural. But at our core, we are a part of nature. Everything about our most inner organisms and processes is natural.
This idea of fluid boundaries challenges our understanding of the self – if our consciousness is shared with everything else, then our idea of the self as a separate entity is just an illusion, right? This is easily misunderstood. It’s not to say we don’t exist, but rather, our sense of self as we experience it is not the last frontier. There is a layer beneath, a vast expanse, a void of awareness that we can feel, a space where everything else emerges, including the self.
At this point, the question of reality or illusion becomes superfluous, it does not matter whether it is real or not. What matters is that it is not the last frontier, it is not what we thought it was. There is another layer to explore where we can feel our sense of self emerge, fade, and emerge again.
These thoughts are like paper scraps that feel at times like they are beyond human comprehension. And yet, thinking unthinkable thoughts, the kind of thoughts that make our head spin, that make you feel excited, but also a bit uneasy, these are the thoughts that will broaden our perspectives and help us better understand ourselves as part of a larger interconnected system. This perspective can promote a sense of empathy with other living beings, a greater appreciation for the natural world, as well as a deeper understanding of our place in the universe.