defining awareness and consciousness


Awareness and Consciousness – these two words are often used interchangeably.  But my teachers were sticklers for using the right word in the right place and I’m a bit of a pedant as well.  So I’ve been inquiring into what I mean when I use these terms.

Consciousness is its content – or, all that is consciously known.  (Krishnamurti, Bohm)  There’s no access to perception’s data – or memory of it – without consciousness. And we can now observe it and measure it with awesome scientific instruments.

And here’s the key point:  If it can be observed and measured, influenced and affected, consciousness must be a type of object.  It has a host of functions, but they aren’t static ‘things’ so much as processes.  However, even as processes, functioning, there’s still (you must look very closely) an awareness of such processes.  Something silent and changeless watches the computer’s analysis without analysing, witnesses all the experiments and research without opinion or conclusion.  Something that cannot be objectified.

We have never yet succeeded in observing or measuring or affecting that fundamental, primordial Awareness in any way via any technology.  That’s the difference between Awareness and Consciousness as far as I’m concerned.  I equate primordial Awareness with Emptiness, and view IT as the source and substance of all the functions of consciousness.

Primordial awareness is the Beloved.
Consciousness creates ITs dream.


But don’t be deceived:
they are not two.


waking up to wild wideawakeness


Waking up to wild wideawakeness, like creativity, is radical discontinuity in a default pattern of thinking.

If it’s confusing to family and friends that’s no fault of the awakened, for whom it might be totally disorienting, especially in the early aftermath.

Disorientation might leave one dazed.  Yet there’s no confusion present.  There’s awareness that both these states have occurred unwilled, and that’s a marvel.

Radical: radius, radiate, revolve, spiral . . .

Discontinue: stop

Consciousness shudders to a halt
takes a 180 degree turn
re-turns to ITself
IT knows IT


who or what witnesses?


if myself-me is this mind
thinking its endless stream of thoughts

then who or what witnesses?


if myself-me is these feelings
of pain or rejection, satisfaction or joy

then who or what witnesses?


if myself-me is this timeline of
experiences – the good the bad and the ugly

then who or what witnesses?


thinking self, feeling self, historical self
– all are creations of consciousness
think-ing, feel-ing, experience-ing


try a little thought experiment:
suspend the myself-me concept
just for a moment –
just to see for yourself
(it won’t go away, you can
adopt it again, or not)

what remains?









you’re IT!


Without sentience to create space and time, nothing can become or unfold,
and the only thing we can know for sure
– if we’ve looked very closely –
is that we are sentience,

The concept of evolving consciousness is a money-spinning myth.
However, the tools consciousness uses to manifest appearance –
perception, cognition – can evolve
according to Life’s grand designs.

Consciousness needs nothing, for IT is all;
experience is the game IT plays
for no reason whatsoever.

Remember those games we played as kids
where you’d be told: “You’re IT!”?

In the big game of Life
you never stop being IT.


may I never cease to be amazed


a world-premier concert this pre-dawn hour:

kookaburra yodels, hoots and cackles the still-dark overture
a distant butcher bird strikes up a string of notes at first hint of light
fat green frogs on the pond gurgle a throaty chorus
and on the roof, the unpatterned patter of rain

then – as the eastern sky lightens
an orchestra of unseen players takes its timely cue

the whole world seems joined in a symphony of dawn rapture
blessed by the gentle earth-revivng showers

a sublime symphony –
never heard before in the long history of consciousness
and never again to be repeated

I fold my hands and bow deeply:
Beloved Life, may I never cease to be amazed …


suchness at sunrise


lozenges of sunlight shimmer on the bare brick wall

this little sanctuary receives the first probing fingers of the rising sun
and opens itself to them in delight

it’s a relentless tropical sun
emerging from behind the eucalypts,
passing behind the lillypilly,
climbing into the palm tops and then breaking free
into a cloud-speckled cerulean sky

the wonder of it!
one rises, emerges, climbs, breaks free…
and never leaves the cushion!


tickety-tock or wakey-wakey?


the big hand is on the XII
the little hand is on the VII

“seven o’clock,” says thought #1
“running late!” says thought #2
“relax!” says thought #3
“find that thinker!” says thought #4

the machinery of consciousness is ever-active and inescapable

and just like the hands on the clock
everything points to a possibility:


tickety-tock or wakey-wakey?