What is the source of consciousness?
Prem Komal, consciousness is the source of all. Consciousness is the stuff existence is made of. But there is no source of consciousness itself. Consciousness is another name of God – a better name, more scientific, less mythological.
You never ask, what is the source of God? You know that that question is going to lead into an infinite regress. God is the source of existence, but you never ask what is the source of God. Those who have asked are thought to be atheists, and they are condemned: “You are asking an absurd question.” They are not asking an absurd question. They are simply making your God himself an absurdity.
The religions have been saying that existence cannot be without a creator; nothing can be without a creator – that has been the argument of all the religions for centuries. But then the question naturally arises to any intelligent mind that if everything needs a creator, then God must also need a creator.
But then there is no end. God number one is created by God number two. God number two is created by God number three … Where are you going to stop? There is no terminus. The train goes on and on. And finally you will become so tired.
People like Gautam Buddha, who had a greater clarity than anybody else ever had, say that bringing God in is in itself absurd. Existence has always been here. Nobody has created it, and nobody can destroy it. But that does not mean that Gautam Buddha is an atheist. It simply means he has a more scientific and less mythological approach.
He says existence consists of consciousness. Existence itself is made of consciousness. And consciousness has always been here, is here, will be here. It can be asleep, it can be awake, but it is consciousness all the same.
When it is asleep you work blindly, unconsciously. When it becomes awake you are enlightened.
But there is no source of consciousness, Prem Komal.
Consciousness itself is the very foundation of the whole existence. Nothing is deeper than that. You cannot go beyond consciousness.
An English couple wanted to have twins but also wanted them to be very polite and gentlemanly.
So they went to see the genetic specialist who reprogrammed two of the husband’s sperms and implanted them into the egg in the mother’s womb.
Very satisfied the English couple went home. After nine months, the woman was ready to give birth but nothing happened. After ten months there was still nothing. Then after a year she was still pregnant. This went on year after year.
After fifty years her husband died, and still she had not given birth. After seventy years the old lady felt that she might die soon, and so she went to the hospital and asked them to remove the babies surgically.
The woman was put on the operating table and the surgeon opened up her stomach. To the great surprise of all present, inside her stomach were two old English gentlemen, saying one to the other, “After you, I insist.”
“No, no. After you, I insist.”
Just remember one thing: don’t wait for such intellectual questions to be decided. They are never decided. But if you want to experience what is the source of all, go deeper into meditation, and you will find that there is nothing deeper than meditation. You will find that everything comes out of consciousness. Even matter is condensed consciousness, in deep sleep – perhaps in a coma. There are degrees of consciousness. Man is the only being whose unconsciousness has allowed a little bit of consciousness to arise and to be awake. Now this little piece, this little layer of consciousness is enough, if you use it rightly, to bring unconsciousness more and more into a state of consciousness.
Right now it is one tenth of your whole consciousness. The day it becomes all consciousness and no unconsciousness in you, a pure awareness from abc to xyz, from the beginning to the end – you will find all questions have disappeared, because you are in a state of knowing without questioning.
You are consciousness itself and you know that it is the source of everything; it does not need any source for itself.
While questioning a suspect, the police detective flipped through the man’s folder.
“I see here,” he said, “that you have a string of previous arrests. Here is one for armed robbery, one for breaking and entering, and another for sexual assault.”
“Yes sir,” replied the suspect modestly. “It took me a little while to find out what I do best.”
Even the criminal, even the worst criminal has a little consciousness. But he does not allow his consciousness to grow. On the contrary, he allows his unconsciousness to use his consciousness.
The unconscious remains the master and consciousness is being used as a servant.
The day you became an initiate, the day you entered into sannyas, you took a quantum leap: “From now on consciousness will be the master and unconsciousness will be the servant. I will not allow unconsciousness to infiltrate into my consciousness. Howsoever small my consciousness is, I have to work only consciously so that slowly, slowly it becomes stronger, more crystallized, and capable of making unconscious parts of me also join hands with it.”
Your unconscious will join hands with your consciousness only when consciousness is the master.
Who joins hands with servants? With a master the unconsciousness will certainly join hands, knowing that now it is reduced to a servant. And nobody wants to be a servant.
A firebrand women’s lib activist was invited to speak at a teamsters’ convention. Addressing the all-male audience, she declared that women were the foundation of the American republic.
“That may be so,” rumbled a voice from the back of the room, “but remember who laid the foundation!”
People use their consciousness once in a while, but it is not the active part of their being twenty-four hours a day.
A sannyasin has to be conscious twenty-four hours a day. At least he has to make the effort. Slowly, slowly consciousness goes on seeping into the unconscious layers of your being. And it is not just a philosophy or an imaginary idea, because thousands of people have become totally conscious. Those who have become totally conscious have been our highest flowering. In them is the argument for our evolution.
These people who have become fully conscious have all agreed on the point that consciousness is the stuff the universe is made of – different forms, different stages, but it is consciousness.
Asking a question, “What is the source of consciousness?” is simply an intellectual question. It is not existential. If you want to ask the question existentially, become fully conscious – and you will never ask it. The question will disappear. The question will look absurd.
From The New Dawn, Discourse #28
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