The question that scientists ask is how matter becomes conscious. The new idea is that everything has a “degree” of Consciousness. It’s called panpsychism. The conclusion of this way of thinking is that the universe is conscious. And this is considered to be equivalent to the non-dual understanding. But it is not. It’s a misunderstanding. It is a form of materialism. The mistake is right at the very beginning… The mistake is the idea “I, the body, am aware.” Once you start there, you’re building your house on sand. Everything you think after that initial thought is going to contain the original mistake within it.
If we think the body is conscious, then we’re going to think that dogs are conscious, cats are conscious, chickens, fish, plants etc., and eventually we’ll think the universe is conscious. The universe is not conscious. Dogs, cats and human beings are not conscious, and never will be. Only Consciousness is conscious. Only Awareness is aware.
So it is not the body that is aware. The body is not the subject of experience, but the object. It’s not the perceiver, it is perceived. It’s not the knower, it is known. That is a fact of experience.
We hear things like, “Everything is pervaded by Awareness.” A statement like that is a concession to the mind that believes in a multiplicity and diversity of things. As a concession to that belief, we can say that all those things are pervaded by Consciousness. But there are no things to be pervaded by Consciousness. No one would ever say that the landscape in the movie is pervaded by the screen. There is no such thing as a landscape to be pervaded by the screen. There is just the screen which is modulating itself as the landscape. So the universe is not conscious and it is not pervaded by Consciousness. There is just Consciousness, which appears to Itself as the universe.
About the Author:
Rupert Spira came across the poetry of Rumi at the age of fifteen, in 1975, and soon after this met his first teacher, Dr. Francis Roles, at Colet House in London. Dr. Roles was himself a student of Shantananda Saraswati, the Shankaracharya of the North of India. Under his guidance Rupert learnt mantra meditation and was introduced to the classical system of Advaita, or non-duality, which formed the foundation of his interest and practice for the next twenty-five years. Throughout these years Rupert also studied the teachings of Ramana Maharshi and Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj on a continuous basis.In the mid-1990s Rupert met Francis Lucille and over the next twelve years Rupert spent all the spare time that work and family commitments would allow with Francis, exploring the sense of separation as it appears in the mind in the form of beliefs and, more important, how it appears in the body as feelings of being located and limited. Francis also introduced Rupert to the Direct Path teachings of Atmananda Krishna Menon and the Tantric approach of Kashmir Shaivism, which he had received from his teacher, Jean Klein.
Information on Rupert’s retreats and webinars can be found here and his YouTube channel is a great source of inspiration as well. His new children’s book, I Am Always I is now available from his website, Amazon and all booksellers.