All That Is

“Life is complex in its expression, involving more than percipience, namely desire, emotion, will, and feeling.”

Alfred North Whitehead

The more one researches what is meant by the term consciousness, the less it seems that there is any consensus of meaning. Most discussions I have come across seem to rather assume its meaning. Language, as useful as it is, also reminds us of the difficulty of articulating with precision any underlying nature of reality, especially as a seamless whole.  And yet, this vagueness itself perpetually leads us into the increasingly smaller wholes within the Whole that excite further, increasingly deeper explorations. Perhaps too, this difficulty helps us to understand why mapping reality through mathematics and calculations has come to dominate the scientific approach because of its efficacy in producing functionally practical results. But it is the imagination of the still unknown that precedes the scientific approach as that which makes manifest the very objects of our images. If it can be measured and display repetition, it is indeed, as Richard Grossinger calls it, a Thoughtform.

Dark matter – Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

As this post is a followup to a previous post about Richard Grossinger’s book, Bottoming Out the Universe, I want to go back and reconsider the very idea of consciousness itself. Here is a quote from a short article by Robert Van Gulick that provides a few examples of the variety of ways in which consciousness as an idea can be thought of.

The words “conscious” and “consciousness” are umbrella terms that cover a wide variety of mental phenomena. Both are used with a diversity of meanings, and the adjective “conscious” is heterogeneous in its range, being applied both to whole organisms—creature consciousness—and to particular mental states and processes—state consciousness (Rosenthal 1986, Gennaro 1995, Carruthers 2000).

Van Gulick, Robert, “Consciousness”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2018 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2018/entries/consciousness/>.

In short, the term can refer to reflective states of knowing, mainly as perceived through thinking, feeling, and more specifically in both the capacity and qualities for agency through particular qualities:

  1. Sentience
  2. Wakefulness
  3. Self-Consciousness
  4. Qualities or the nature of experience (what is it like)
  5. Subjectivity or identity
  6. Transitive, or being “conscious of something”

Although not exhaustive, all of the above definitions are useful, but specifically the ideas of awareness and perception articulate for me the more essential qualities of experience that are both prelingual and somatic ways to describe conscious states. They also acknowledge the need for expanding the idea of intelligence beyond human intellectual experience to include the underlying nature of the cosmos itself, or what Grossinger refers to as, “All That Is.”

The question that arises without this expansion is how would a greater, more aware, and self-reflective intelligence, such as we claim for ourselves, originate from an environment of a lesser intelligence? Are we mistakenly defining intelligence as a mental phenomena because we humans are overidentified with it? Does a measure comprehensive enough exist to step outside of our own ontological limits to make ample comparisons to All That Is? Human comprehension remains dependent upon the tools of its somatic experience subject to the limits of, not only bodily perception which includes mentation, but both the qualities and nature of the exclusive environment of this planet Earth that we find ourselves in. Can we acknowledge that there is such a thing as cosmic intelligence? By cosmos, or All That Is, we mean that which forms and orders by its very nature, hence the idea of Grossinger’s Thoughtforms to describe this underlying intelligence that permeates, or rather is the cosmos. To ascribe qualities to the cosmos is itself difficult and prone to both error and misuse. Both science and religion, or any belief system are only partially reflective of All That Is, and are perhaps forever subject to somatic limits, the more so to the degree that we are not aware of all that influences our perception. 

Even within the human realm, I try to remind myself of how limited my perceptual awareness is. I must remain continually open to the existence of the unknown. By comparison I can recognize and acknowledge something as newly perceived, or defer to collective cultural sources that make reference to someone’s expertise, but whose acceptance bears the weight of potentially coercive, blind acceptance. To accept without understanding, although sometimes necessary, can act as a devaluation of one’s own agency and may never take root as knowledge at the somatic level. 

Much of what qualifies as intelligence in the human realm is either intellectual or moral, both of which are insufficient for an open ended examination of cosmic intelligence, while their influence affects us in ways we may not comprehend. What is comprehended somatically is that which becomes incorporated as ritual and habit, with or without language or logic. Yet what the cell knows literally becomes us in ways that we don’t identify as within the purview of our agency and yet without this intelligence, we cease to be.

Grossinger suggests that ultimately, All That Is can be understood best as thoughtforms, which I understand as a descriptor for the undivided, analogical, organistic nature of reality, which in its wholeness is interactive, interdependent and relational:

Reality is a plasmalike matrix of thoughtforms, energy fields, and dimensionalities, creating and transforming information. The “starry vacuum” astrophysical universe is astrophysical at one frequency, Astral at another, Atmic at another, and so on. Countless other planes and tiers of planes, each of them subtler and more informationally complex, radiate through the field, shimmering, transmitting, converting. That sets the parameters of the universe we are in.

The reason the universe doesn’t read like a thoughtform is that so many entities, living and dead, are projecting it through the physics of its own manifestation. It’s impossible to see behind such a screen or ruffle its mirage. The conundrum is how consciousness in the form of individual personal identities, each known subjectively only to itself, gets inserted into a collective thoughtform such that the awareness of reality becomes identical to the physics of that reality.

Richard Grossinger

Why does our belief and understanding of consciousness matter, or does it? As the most primary aspect of not only our being, but every being, and that from which all else that we experience follows, the quality of our habituated experience acts as a filter from a more expansive potential consciousness. Both the nature of consciousness and a reflective awareness that seeks to know its nature precedes all somatic perception. Although it’s much more than that, consciousness is that which provides awareness at every level of our being, not merely mental function, but functionality right down to the marrow bone. From a functional perspective, the body appears mechanical in nature because to us, the ordering occurs through the exchange of information unbeknownst to our conscious awareness. In this sense it has everything to do with intelligence and integrity, not only of the individual, but of the entire human species and beyond. So intelligence, by definition, needn’t be limited, but rather a useful way to contextualize our subjective experience. We are perhaps over-identified with our subjective consciousness at the expense of any and all knowledge gained from what we think of as material nature. That knowledge might broaden the sense of identity beyond mentations, and allow us to not only see the bigger picture of who we are, but to experience and act from within organistic, cosmologic and analogically relational priorities.

Within the human realm as we know it, we experience very specific inherited, inherent and shared qualities as living beings. While we may postulate many ideas about life, there remains the primacy of the necessity of the environment in which planet Earth facilitates being as we know it. Within the experience of being we are subject to both life and death of a somatic existence that seems too personal to the extent that we are unable to incorporate the relational nature of our existence within the greater cosmos. We don’t seemingly choose this life, or the nature of the environment or the culture that feeds the psyche. We are prone to feel ourselves as subjects in a world we don’t fully comprehend. Strangers in a strange land. To ponder the greater reality is remarkably humbling, but I think also provides a way to place ourselves within the Whole through acceptance of the ordering principles of the cosmos that recognize ourselves as willing participants within this “ordering” of thoughtforms.

Look around; there are lots of demolished cities, panting fangs, and gluttons seeking requital and peace—in their hearts and our hearts. Leaving aside a science and species mind unable to solve the problems it has created, we have a depletion of meaning and context that itself is unsustainable. That there are no easy answers is the true depth of All That Is. Undumbing the universe begins with the nonrenouncability of our own situation.

Richard Grossinger

16 thoughts on “All That Is

  1. theburningheart

    Try to leave a long comment, but since I repeat myself in other answers akisimet believes I am spamming you, the problems of machines programed, but lacking consciousness to discriminate between spam and a real response.
    I guess need to take out some quotes, I sent to you before, but I will have to construct the whole argument again.

    Needless to say I enjoyed your post.
    Debra best wishes to you, for the New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. theburningheart

    Consciousness, a faculty so hard to define, due to our feelings of separation, as individuals, be sentient beings , or not sentient things we call objects.

    A deep Ontological question that regards not only our self, but Self or Existence.

    And one of the reasons quite some years ago (48 years ago) when for the first time I read Ibn Arabi words such as:

    “Know that you yourself are an imagination. And everything that you perceive and say to yourself, ‘this is not me’, is also an imagination. So that the whole world of existence is imagination within imagination.”

    Or:

    Ibn al-‘Arabi illustrates in The Bezels of Wisdom God’s reason for creating the Cosmos as a desire to witness and perceive Himself, and consequently, the duty of man to be the mirror, or the tool, for His perception. God created the world to encompass all of His Most Beautiful Names; existence itself would show God His own mystery. The role of man’s existence then, al-‘Arabi explains, is to be the means for this reflection – the mirror for God’s nature, and His Most Beautiful Names. Al-‘Arabi writes, “the [divine] Command required [by its very nature] the reflective characteristic of the mirror of the Cosmos, and Adam was the very principle of reflection for that mirror and the spirit of that form… Man’s role is to perceive aspects of God, which are embodied in His names – Beauty, Majesty, Mercy, Truth, Forgiveness, Patience, etc. However, to perceive these aspects of God, man must realize them in himself since he was created in the image of God, and also because he is meant to be the instrument of reflection by his very nature. This idea is further revealed in the ‘Hidden Treasure’ Hadith that relates God’s words, “ I was a hidden treasure, and I wished/loved to be known. I therefore created creation in order to be known.”

    Of course this view may be taken as Anthropocentric by some, or many, but until we be able to communicate with a Aliens, or other forms of consciousness within our World, so far Humans are the ones in possession of reasoning, beyond primary Instinctual behavior. Maybe the whole purpose to be Human is to realize there is not such a thing as me, you, or those. But the only Reality expressed on our own consciousness of Existence.

    Great reading by the way Debra.
    Best wishes for the New year! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love the quotes! Glad your comment did show up, Brigido!

      As you suggest, certainly there remains a mystery as to this beautiful and terrifying experience of being. I suppose if we knew everything, we might not feel the impulse to wonder and marvel at existence.

      Was pondering today the idea and possibility of reincarnation. If we are truly souls here to deepen our understanding of experience and to know and love God, we might think we have a head start on our purpose here, but if it were given too easily, we might just opt out of any circumstances deemed undesirable. This helps me to understand and accept the limits of knowledge and to look to a certain amount of faith in being itself, that it’s meaningful to the extent that we can experience meaning within oneself and through others.
      New Year’s blessings to you!

      Like

      1. theburningheart

        Well, for many years I was a believer of reincarnation, too many I am afraid, until start to understand there’s no difference, I was jut to say between, which it’s wrong.
        There’s only One Existence, and therefore ONE, and only Being, the idea of reincarnation presuppose the existence of an independent soul who needs to evolve, when in reality it’s just a illusion that we are two, or many, not One, And the reason we can only speak in the negative like the Advaita Vedanta: “There is not two.”
        Even modern Buddhist, like Stephen Batchelor for a while, he argued against reincarnation, and of lately I believe he now has become a total skeptic.
        And that is one of the contradictions in Hinduism and Vedanta, and there is also New Vedanta.
        The third school of Vedanta philosophy is the school of Advaita Vedanta. In this, the only reality that exists is Brahman. This does not mean that the world does not exist, but that it has a lower level of reality. In Advaita Vedanta philosophy, the world exists, but it exists with only ambiguous reality, and it exists with Brahman at its root. Hence the true reality of the world is Brahman and the reality that we see around us is a false reality, an ambiguous reality. So the world is really Brahman, that which is not Brahman has only relative reality and is to be disregarded.
        So New Vedanta states:

        Interpreting Advaita as starting from a realistic ontology/metaphysics as opposed to an idealist ontology/metaphysics
        Rejection of a soul or Atman as an independent entity apart from our individual consciousness
        Rejection of the Reincarnation theory
        Rejection of the law of Karma as a deciding factor in what happens on death ( if Moksha is promised on liberation, it must be for all or for nobody, there cannot be any law or mechanism to choose at the time of death).

        Later if you wish I can tell you the story of how, and what events made me abandon reincarnation over 25 years ago, a thing I believed for almost as many years before.

        Here a video of Stephen Batchelor:

        Thank you for your patience with me. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I understand that there is an underlying undivided whole, and that any perception of separation is a condition of limited circumstance that we find ourselves in. Reincarnation does make sense to me, as of now, although I’m not a true believer in it as an ultimate reality, but more as a functional myth. Not myth as a falsehood but more as what feels like, and resembles the situation we experience as embodied beings. We are as sparks to the flame.

        Yes, as time allows, I’d love to hear more!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. theburningheart

        Exactly! Just remember the spark it’s not different than the flame, or fire itself.

        A wise teacher of mine used to say what Ibn Arabi hinted when he talks that in Man he created a mirror to contemplate himself.
        My old Teacher simply said, “God through the Human form It’s Knowing Himself.”
        And that is a process each human has to understand individually in his life, but even that its not as important, as the One and only Knowing Himself through us, Muslims call themselves servants of God, and no, I am not a Muslim, or a Christian, Jewish, Hindu, or a Buddhist.
        But the sum of all of Us, and Existence Itself in totality, Is the only Real.
        In other words we are the embodiment of that Reality incarnated, not reincarnated, just like a leaf of a tree its not the reincarnation of another leaf, but part of the same tree, than when death, feeds the same tree, as a process.
        Of course analogies have limited value to explain it.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. That makes sense, incarnated, part of the same tree…yes, process.

        I was just thinking that yes, it’s likely that our understanding is limited because of the state of incarnation and… language is clumsy, itself limited to being representational, but hey, it’s better than nothing! 🙂🙌

        Liked by 1 person

      5. theburningheart

        Do not misunderstand me I respect belief, even if its not my belief, I am fine if you believe in reincarnation, I did for so many years, and have many close friends who still do, despite my input on the matter, just like there is people who believe in Trump, and that the election was stolen from him, they accuse Biden ignoring that people, like no election before, went on mass to vote, not for Biden, but against Trump, and their followers, Biden was the only other choice in the ballot beside Trump!
        And I will respect you no less, even if you tell me you are republican, and there was fraud.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I’m fairly apolitical, but I voted for Biden because I’m hoping he will help people out with the economical fallout from covid-19.

        I, too, do not base friendships on any particular affiliation, but accept people for who they are, or think they are, and am happy to engage anyone interested.

        As for belief, I just don’t feel a need to be attached to any set of beliefs. I accept that if I am to continue to open my awareness to the greater expanse of the eternal, I must proceed cautiously and be willing to entertain any and all ideas and possibilities. In other words, I accept my limited capacity to be absolutely sure about anything. Thank you for this generous exchange, Brigido! It’s much appreciated.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. theburningheart

        At one time I was an undisputed believer of reincarnation, possibly even in middle school, at a Catholic school run by St Javier missionaries, and offshoot of the Jesuits, used in countries where the Jesuits have been expelled because their political activities.
        I fancied myself a Buddhist, or a Hinduist with an affinity for Yoga and esoteric Wisdom of all kinds.
        Later living in Los Angeles used to frequent, and patronize many esoteric places as the Vedanta Society, the Gnostic Church, The Philosophical Research Society practiced Aikido, and Soto Zen at Little Tokyo, you name it I went and did, and meet all kind of people, Houston Smith, Robert Frager, Jeffrey Mishlove,, you name it, whoever would speak any type of New Age wisdom I was there, one of my favorite entertainments was to go to the bookstore named The Bodhi Tree, a real jewel, now lost, specialized in Esoteric books, where I spent a fortune on books, and met all kinds of celebrities , Tibetan Monks, Sufis, Hindu Yogis etc. I was there!
        At the bookstore would buy between many magazines and books a now defunct magazine named Gnosis, in one article I was incensed by Richard Smoley, writing against reincarnation, and wrote him a personal letter to which he responded, kindly pointing out the work of Rene Guenon, I already knew who Guenon was but have not read his opinion about reincarnation.

        And read the following: “The Spiritist Fallacy“

        I will save you buying the book, here Max Rudllinger page may help you.

        https://www.maxruedlinger.ch/index.php/guenon.html

        Anyway it was a blow to my belief in reincarnation, but as much as I am a friend of nice people, I am more friend of Truth, and changed my mind, ironically the last I heard of Richard Smoley he now works at the Theosophical Society!!

        Sorry if you think I got carried away.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. If I am understanding correctly, if the truer nature of the cosmos is eternal and timeless, there can’t be discrete, separate selves, and so, where there is no time, there isn’t a succession of selves.

        Because we are born and die through the body, the illusion of separateness persists.

        What this infers to me is that any sense of separateness, including reincarnation, is impossible in an eternal realm. What might be possible, phenomenologically at least, is that embodied states do have access to the eternal realm in which all possibility, all coming and going, exists within the One. We tap into what feels like the past, or the future, but we’re really tapping into the All, the eternal, timeless realm. In this sense, time is a substrate of the eternal created through thoughtforms of the One.

        Okay, it’s getting late here… hopefully these ideas make some sense to our discussion.

        Like

      9. …so my question would be, how can liberation not be an already existing, infinite, steady state if there’s only Brahman?

        If separation is an illusion, and it seems to be, there’s nothing else to achieve, no other state to reach.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. theburningheart

        It’s but the why of the anecdote of the mirror of Ibn Arabi, and what some Sages have called it the play of God, and the reason there always have existed unbelievers, and atheist, I myself not one if not because, how should I said this?

        My own mystical experiences.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Nicci

    I think how we define consciousness and intelligence matters because in the west we are quite an anthropocentric society and it has created disastrous results for ecology. I love how you’ve focused on sensory awareness. David Abram says that our ability to come to our senses is actually one of the most important forms of intelligence because here we make use of our embodied awareness. This is such an interesting post though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Nicci, thanks for the note, and yes, I very much agree that anthropocentrism is another way to describe the current cultural climate, especially as far as our economic structures and how disastrously it impacts the environment. I don’t think Grossinger would disagree with you either. Nice to hear from you. I hope you are doing well these days.
      Debra

      Like

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