What is Consciousness?
To discuss the great mystery of gaps in consciousness and their meaning, we should define what is consciousness in the first place. Most of the scientific authorities agree it is a state of awareness of one’s environment and an ability to respond to various external stimuli. In a broader sense, we can even include awareness of self, which implies the state of being self-conscious.
From a spiritual point of view, consciousness is impersonal and inherently independent of mind, body, matter, energy, space and time. Related to that, consciousness can be unlimited, which is its true nature, or seemingly limited.
Unlimited consciousness is actually the Primordial Oneness, infinite, omnipresent, eternal, without any boundaries of mind, space and time.
On the other hand, limited consciousness is apparently constricted to the dynamic points of view. The word “dynamic” here indicates moving by the limitations of space and time. We, as conscious beings, or any other conscious entities, are examples of limited consciousness.
Indeed, during our wakeful time, our consciousness is severely confined by space-time. So, by the gaps in consciousness, we mean discontinuities in the stream of limited consciousness, with no memories of these periods whatsoever.
By the gaps in consciousness, we mean discontinuities in the stream of limited consciousness, with no memories of these periods whatsoever.
Continuity and Discontinuity of Consciousness
The discontinuous nature of our everyday consciousness is evident. Indeed, there are many gaps in our awareness. For example, we sleep regularly, and the state of deep sleep naturally interrupts our conscious presence. There are also other states of mind in which we are not aware at all – coma, vegetative state, anesthesia, etc.
Note that in our awake time there are many smaller and unnoticeable discontinuities of our awareness during so-called visual saccades (quick movements of eyes between phases of fixation in the same direction) when our conscious responsiveness is turned off. Nevertheless, these small but frequent blackouts are very hard to notice, and there is always a pretty firm notion of the continuity in awareness.
What happens with consciousness during all these discontinuities? Does it simply disappear, or something happens but we don’t retain any memory of that?
Windows to Oneness
Consciousness cannot be absent. It cannot disappear. It cannot be annihilated as it is present everywhere, in everything. It is impossible for us to become nothingness in the nihilistic sense if something conscious is already there. That’s why those continuity gaps are, in fact, windows to the higher levels of our existence or even to the Primordial Oneness. And those discontinuities are persistently repetitive.
From the point of view of our limited minds, during the continuity gaps such as deep sleep, there is no consciousness, no time, so we merely jump on to the next period of being conscious.
From a broader perspective, the gaps are only occurring from the vantage point of our limited consciousness, not within the unlimited consciousness. As said before, consciousness cannot ever be absent, anywhere. So, in these periods, our limited point of view shifts to its background consciousness, or “ancestral consciousness.” Our limited, individual consciousness becomes one with the much broader consciousness of our Soul, which is aware of many other lives or existences which we can consider as “ours,” and the continued conscious existence between these lives.
To be more precise, during our continuity gaps, we experience all other lives or continual points of view of our higher-level ancestral being, or our Soul. But there is no memory of that when we awaken to the normal state of consciousness.
During our continuity gaps, we experience all other lives or continual points of view of our higher-level ancestral being, or our Soul. But there is no memory of that when we awaken to the normal state of consciousness.
Beings at All Levels of Existence Also Experience Discontinuities
Our Higher Self, or Soul, despite its much broader vantage point, is also a limited entity. Therefore, it must have analogous gaps in their consciousness’ continuity.
Similar to our everyday life, from the point of view of our Higher Self, there are no discontinuities in consciousness at all. Our Soul merely skips the time of the gap.
But, from an even broader perspective, there are such periods of our Soul’s life. In those interruptions, the Infinite Consciousness experiences the conscious time of an even higher-level ancestral being (higher Soul). Still, there is no memory of these experiences.
How many higher levels of our existence are there? It’s a mystery. However, the Primordial Oneness is the highest level of consciousness, and it experiences all at once, outside of space-time continuum and has the knowledge of everything and everyone.
In those discontinuities of the stream of consciousness, our individual point of view, regardless its level, sometimes completely dissolves and our consciousness even merges with the Unlimited Consciousness, the Primordial Oneness. That consciousness experiences everything and anything instantly, in no time and no space. Therefore, it knows everything; it takes all possible points of view in all universes ever. This is the most natural state of Being. Hence, during the continuity gaps we are not staring the face of God – in fact, we are becoming God, or the Primordial Oneness.
During some of those gaps, the Unlimited Consciousness, or Primordial Oneness, experiences all the lives of all conscious entities, including their past and future span, within the entirety of Existence. In all of those lives, similar continuity gaps are also happening myriads of times, which also allow experiences of all other existences, including this one. Yet, there is no memory of that when we awaken.
During these discontinuities we are not staring the face of God – in fact, we are becoming God, or the Primordial Oneness.
The Memory as the Key to Individual Life
Our consciousness is constricted to this specific point of view of this concrete person. It depends on time and memory. Since there is no time during these gaps, there could be no memory of any experience within the gaps. The individual life continues as there are no memories of other points of view which were experienced. The only memory present in the normal state of consciousness is that of this particular individual existence. So, there is an absolute impression of our personal continuity.
We, as God, or the Primordial Oneness, are experiencing all other points of view in all universes during the continuity gaps. Every one of us, as a particular being, seemingly experiences a continuous lifetime because of the lack of memory of neither of those lifetimes.
That’s why the gaps in the apparent stream of our everyday consciousness are critical. From “time” to “time,” we return to our creator, become one with Him or Her, and deeply refresh and re-vitalize our illusionary existence. These discontinuities are not only inevitable; they are essential for our life and spiritual growth.
Take full responsibility for your own life. That’s one of the fundamental principles of the Reintegration System, and one of the direct implications of the so-called Holographic Principle.
Holographic point of view can sound bizarre to our rational mind. It depicts the phenomenon of any provisional part containing complete information about the bigger system which it belongs to. In other words, we, as parts of the Universe, have within us all information about the Universe. That also means that we are the Universe. We are the source. And this implicates that we are responsible for everything, as we are the source.
But what exactly does “taking full responsibility for our life” mean? It does not mean to take full control, nor it implicates blaming ourself for anything. It merely means to truly acknowledge and feel that we are the genuine source of all events in our life that are of any personal significance to us.
To be fully responsible for life can also have two meanings: one is responsible for their own individual reality (limited responsibility) or the entire Universe (Existence). These meanings stem from two interpretations of the Holographic Principle: limited and total view.
Two Points of View of the Holographic Principle
According to the Limited View of the Holographic Principle, all entities are symbolically volumes with their surfaces. Those surfaces have all information on the volumes.
On the other hand, the Total View of the Holographic Principle assumes that the entire Existence is inherently indivisible, so every entity has complete information on the Existence.
First, here are some thoughts on the “limited” interpretation.
The Holographic view of the universe has been relatively recently proposed by several renowned theoretical physicists (Leonard Susskind, Stanford University; Charles Thorn, University of Florida; Gerard 't Hooftand, Utrecht University; and several others) that were exploring string theory and an information paradox related to black holes. The outcome of their analysis was: the surface of any volume contains all the information about that very volume. In other words, all particles, structures, or events within a limited volume of space-time are mirrored on the surface of that volume, and vice versa.
Now, this leads us to a significant consequence to our everyday life. For us, if our being is a kind of the “volume,” what would be its “surface”?
It is the external world that we perceive.
 Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holographic_principle
All particles, structures, or events within a limited volume of space-time are mirrored on the surface of that volume, and vice versa.
The reality is being experienced through our senses, on the “surface” of our being. So, our individual experience of the outer reality is that surface! Therefore, the outer reality and our inner being must correspond to each other. Each has complete information on the other. Whatever is inside our being, is perfectly mirrored in our external world, although in a strange and symbolical way. Note that this relates to our individual reality only, not to the whole universe.
However, the Limited View of the Holographic Principle has an inevitable consequence: every human being is fully responsible for their individual life, in all its aspects.
The Limited View of the Holographic Principle has an inevitable consequence: every human being is fully responsible for their individual life, in all its aspects.
The second and much broader way of thinking about the Holographic Principle is the “total approach.” It originates from the idea of indivisibility of the Primordial Oneness (or the Source, God). As the Primordial Oneness is not prone to any division due to its very nature (oneness), any limited entity or structure is actually an illusion, and it still equals to the same Primordial Oneness.
This also means that any entity potentially has the entire information within itself on the whole Existence. Although it is hard to believe in this, there is a possibility to extract any information from any subject, as that subject is an illusion and there is only Oneness, which is independent of the space-time limitations.
Chief consequences of the “total approach” to the Holographic Principle are: We are one. Inherently, we are the Primordial Oneness, God. And yes, we are responsible for the whole of Existence.
Chief consequences of the “total approach” to the Holographic Principle are: We are one. Inherently, we are the Primordial Oneness, God. And yes, we are responsible for the whole of Existence.
Layers of Holographic Reality
From our individual point of view, there are several layers of reality. Their main differentiating characteristics is the level of apparent influence we usually exert on them.
Beyond our inner world, in the external world, first, there is our physical body. It is an intersection between inner and outer reality. It actually belongs to the external reality, but our mind is deeply attached to it. It represents the first and closest layer to our inner being. Seemingly, we have a robust, continuous, and decisive influence on this part of our reality.
Then there are people and circumstances we are surrounded with: family, home, friends, co-workers, various life events, accidents, etc. Typically, we exert occasional but considerable influence on these people and events.
Going further on, we experience our wider environment – neighborhood, broader organization/company we are working at, many acquittances, and so on. This environment is whatever we have some slight or rare influence on.
Then there are social and global events around us. We perceive almost zero influence by us on those people or events.
The layers are shown in the figure below.
Now, let's take a look at each layer from another angle. What exactly is mirrored in those layers? What is the practical value of recognizing them?
Here are some insights on each of the layers:
“Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.” ― Rumi
Can you remember how much you were afraid of the dark during your childhood? Can you still feel the fear of monsters that were lurking from that darkness?
Although those monsters do not exist, the fear still does. It is our fear of the Unknown. It is one of the greatest obstacles to our inner freedom. It forces us to contract into our well-known boundaries, to deny the opportunities that lie beyond our everyday life, to renounce our inherent, natural powers.
The Unknown is everything we are unconscious of. There is a vast field of reality that we are aware of, and that is known to us. The rest is the Unknown. At least it seems so.
The Unknown is everything we are unconscious of.
Every single time I had a difficult period in my life, it was before a significant change. The old structures were beginning to crumble and transform into something new. Understandably, they were trying to survive, and the result was always suffering. The old structures always have a lot of inertia which resists any change. But what is inertia whatsoever? It is our fear of the Unknown! And physical inertia (mass) is merely a material representation of that fear within our perceived world.
Every change leads to the Unknown. If we fear the Unknown, we fear the change; we perceive the Unknown as a threat. That’s why darkness is so menacing. But it’s only that which we are unconscious of, what is not lit up by our consciousness.
When we feel threatened by the Unknown, we limit our consciousness of expanding. We don’t allow ourselves to evolve.
The Unknown is not a threat - it’s an opportunity. It’s the only real possibility for expansion of consciousness.
When we feel threatened by the Unknown, we limit our consciousness of expanding.
We must open ourselves to the Unknown, completely. We must believe it. Only then we will unlock our full potential.
We have to embrace and accept the Unknown since it is our true necessity. We need it if we want to evolve. We need it if we want to live a happy, fulfilling life.
The Unknown has to become an integral part of our lives. We should accept everything with a sense of awe, with a sense of freshness and novelty, like we’ve known absolutely nothing about it.
When we say “I don’t know,” we enter Pure consciousness. Just Presence. Our mind does not “know,” but our consciousness is fully present. This proves that the Unknown is not a threat. On the contrary, it’s divine. It brings us into Presence, without thoughts.
However, the apparent boundary between the conscious and the unconscious, between the Known and the Unknown, is false. Ultimately, our consciousness is not “our” at all. It is present everywhere and anytime. But when we claim it for “ourselves,” we constrict it to our “boundaries.” Ultimately, that is an illusion.
How to Embrace the Unknown?
For this purpose, an ideal approach would be one of the basic Reintegration techniques, called the “Freshness & Acceptance” (FA). It is straightforward:
1. Freshness--perceive the content as though it is entirely new to you.
2. Acceptance--fully accept the content with all of your heart. You will know you’ve done so when you have neither adherence nor aversion toward it.
So, you notice something within yourself or outside of you, and observe it as an innocent child. Feel the awe of a kid seeing something entirely new. Accept the experience totally, be fine with it.
Then go even deeper. Open yourself to the Unknown completely. Have faith in the Unknown and the hidden forces behind it. Remember that everything happens ultimately for good. If you believe in God and angels, have faith in their guidance and love. If you don't, just be aware of an infinite consciousness which is behind the Unknown in the same way as it is behind the Known, and which ennobles anything beyond your sight.
Place yourself in a state of pure Not-knowing toward the experience. Just feel that you know nothing about that and be okay with that. Feel that you don't know anything about its possible outcomes, too. You know nothing about the future, and that’s absolutely fine. Accept your ignorance. Just feel at the moment that you literally know nothing and be OK with that. You will enter a state of pure consciousness. Practice this as an exercise as much as possible.
Meanwhile, do not underestimate the power of love and forgiveness. They will further weaken and diminish your fear of the Unknown. Forgive yourself. Love yourself. You deserve that. Forgive all other beings that were involved in the situation of your interest. Forgive them deeply and compassionately. Love them, like you love your child, brother, sister or pet, unconditionally and wholeheartedly.
Place yourself in a state of pure Not-knowing toward the experience. Just feel that you know nothing about that and be okay with that.
With love in your heart, you will easily open yourself to the vast fields of the Unknown. Love itself will lead you and will be an immense protective force as well. You will also unlock your creativity and deeply hidden virtues. You may uncover the inner powers, and even experience the Ultimate Truth within yourself. Eventually, you may become free from suffering.
We all want to be happy and to avoid suffering. These are the two tendencies that characterize the entire living world. Every life form will strive to satisfy its needs and thus be content, but also to avoid any form of suffering.
Although being self-aware and highly intelligent, we humans are also unable to avoid pain. Whether it be physical or emotional, pain is inevitable even to the most mature or spiritually developed people.
However, Buddhism claims that one can become entirely free from suffering. That final stage of human existence is being called Nirvana, or Enlightenment. It is not our topic here, at least directly. Still, if we cannot completely transcend suffering, at least we can diminish it.
I will describe here instructions for dealing with various difficulties. These guidelines are based on three stages related to the hardship:
Note that it’s essential for your inner work to accurately recognize at which stage you are at that point in time.
Here are the three-stage instructions:
1. Prevention - the crucial stage
In your normal, everyday life conditions, in which you don’t feel any pain or suffering, you must take some time for the work on yourself. It is not only the work on preventing the hardships; it is rather the work for achieving inner transformation in a positive sense.
In other words, we must face the negativities of our life, but it is not good to focus on them too often and too much. We could define it only as a preventive work, but that would imply avoiding something negative. Instead, to be more aimed at a positive transformation, we will also call it the happiness work.
It should include:
We must face the negativities of our life, but it is not good to focus on them too often and too much.
This work should be well organized and scheduled. It would be great if you could create an everyday habit of meditating twice a day, at least 15 minutes in the morning and the same duration in the evening. These sitting sessions should be scheduled for the same periods of the day, if possible. This regular practice should also include loving-kindness meditation.
It would be great if you could create an everyday habit of meditating twice a day, at least 15 minutes in the morning and the same duration in the evening.
There are countless types and variations of meditation out there. For example, you may practice vipassana, breath meditation, body awareness, walking meditation, pure awareness meditation, Kriya Yoga or something else. Or, you can concentrate your mind on something, e.g., on a single dot on the wall, on a figure of Buddha or another divine being, on a flame of a candle, etc.
However, the Reintegration System has several meditative practices to offer, too:
In all of these methods, you don’t ignore or suppress the emerging thoughts and emotions during the sitting. On the contrary, you reintegrate them entirely with your whole being. Check out the above links to learn how to meditate.
An essential part of your sitting practice should be the loving-kindness meditation. So, don’t forget to include at least 5 minutes of this practice into your regular meditation sittings, preferably at the end of each.
An essential part of your sitting practice should be the loving-kindness meditation.
Meditation brings you:
These are not claims; these are the facts. Scientific research has confirmed them, and you can check it out on the Internet and numerous scientific magazines.
What’s more important for some practitioners, meditation, together with mindfulness, will expand your consciousness and can ultimately lead you to spiritual liberation or enlightenment. The veils of ignorance and suffering will gradually (or even suddenly) lift up, and you will eventually experience Pure Consciousness as a permanent state of being.
Another vital part of your regular happiness work is mindfulness. It simply means to live in the present moment consciously. If you want to be mindful, you will have to do any activity in such a way that you are fully conscious of yourself and of the activity itself.
Although many people don’t consider mindfulness as strictly spiritual, it is indeed a spiritual practice. It leads you to your True nature while dissolving your inner conflicts softly and imperceptibly. Moreover, conscious moments in the Now will gradually accumulate and make your whole life easier.
When mindfulness becomes your natural way of living, you will enjoy every task; you will become light and, in a strange way, even transparent. You will start sensing some inexplicable joy and deep inner peace. You will feel love more and more, both for yourself and for people around you.
Mindfulness will abate or even prevent challenges.
Author: Brad Krause
"It’s my calling to help people. We all have the potential to be the best versions of ourselves we can possibly be, but it comes down to prioritizing our own wellness through self-care."
We often hear of self-care as a complement to other areas of our lives, such as supporting a fitness goal or reducing our work-related stress. Self-care can also be instrumental in helping us make personal growth decisions. Much more than pampering, self-care methods such as mindfulness, meditation, and yoga helps us see deep inside ourselves to find answers to important questions. Here are some of the benefits of mindfulness in personal development and ways to harness the power of meditation in your life.
Personal Development Challenges
There are many hurdles to growth and happiness in life. One of the biggest obstacles is indecisiveness. Because of our difficulty in making decisions, we often stay in situations or avoid changes in life that can provide us with more joy, income, and opportunities. There are several ways to seek guidance in personal development, including self-help books, discussion with mentors, scanning online forums and practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness is particularly helpful because it doesn’t return generic advice, but rather insights directly related to us. Mindfulness lets us know who we are, what we want, and what we need for happiness.
What Mindfulness Accomplishes
Introspection unlocks some under-utilized powers of the brain. It changes the way you handle stress by putting life’s challenges into perspective. Mindfulness helps people of all ages deal with life’s struggles, from a child having problems at school to a retiree struggling with senior life. It’s been effective in lowering anxiety, countering depression, aiding in addiction recovery, and dealing with eating disorders. Meditation has also been found to stimulate brain development, so your memory and cognition improves -- both of which help you make informed decisions in your quest for personal growth.
Meditation is also recognized for its ability to boost career growth. In addition to relieving stress -- which can kill productivity -- meditation improves focus, creativity, and emotional intelligence. This emotional intelligence helps people collaborate more effectively with others.
How to Meditate at Home
A home mindfulness retreat is easy to create. Ideally, the space should be separate from your work and living areas. A quiet room with minimal decoration is a good starting point. The area should be away from the noise and distraction of your home, too. If you do not have a room to spare, you can create a mindfulness zone in any room -- just make sure it is quiet and distraction-free. Meditation requires concentration and a low-stress environment, and we are profoundly negatively affected by disorganization and clutter. If you want to meditate in your home office, for example, it would be helpful to clear away papers and work materials that will draw you away from introspection and back into outside noise.
Meditation is Not the Only Path to Mindfulness
Although quiet contemplation and inner reflection is the easiest way to attain mindfulness, there are other methods for those who do not like meditation. The following are additional tools to tap into calm self-knowledge when you cannot (or don’t want to) meditate:
Mindfulness opens us to possibilities that are often closed off to us when we are scared and in the dark about ourselves. Meditation and other techniques help us find answers that propel personal advancement in all areas of our lives.
Photo Credit: Pixabay
Please note that most of the articles have a "Read More" break, which is sometimes hardly visible.
It is located at the bottom of visible part of the article, on the right side.
To continue reading the article, click on that link.
This page may contain affiliate links meaning we earn a commission if you use those links.
We only recommend pages we appreciate and trust.
Check out excellent meditation courses at LiveAndDare.com. We recommend them wholeheartedly!