Continuity of Consciousness begins with the understanding that consciousness-Awareness already is and is being experienced in this moment as it is. The key to continuity of consciousness-awareness is learning to recognize it as it is in this very moment. Doing so, one can then choose to sustain awareness, or not interrupt awareness, or distract oneself from the qualities of consciousness-awareness as it is. In order to recognize consciousness-awareness as it is right now, we acknowledge that awareness has three qualities. These qualities are inseparable – where one is the others are as well. This is because, though human senses and mind register this or that as distinct, these qualities are the qualities of one whole. A simile is water which is wet, clear, and naturally flows. These qualities describe water but water is more than these words and the qualities recognized and named. The three qualities of consciousness-awareness mentioned in Post 1 are luminosity, dynamism, and being continuous. It is imperative, however, to cognize the range of each of these qualities and not be limited by literality. Luminosity (luminous) = brilliance, brightness, radiance.
- Brilliance = clarity, lucidity, genius, focus.
- Brightness = joy, happy demeanor, lightness of being, creative insight, inspiration, kindness, obvious, apparent.
- Radiance (radiant) = sheer, transparent, translucent, warm, emanating, emitting.
Dynamism (dynamic) = active, changeable, impermanent, vital, vibrant, scintillating. Continuous (continuity) = flowing, wave-like, uninterrupted, undisturbed, unceasing, limitless, perpetual, self-perpetuating, stable, peace, harmony.
All synonyms and derivations of these qualities would be qualities of awareness-consciousness. Thus, a moment that we feel clarity is a moment of awareness. A moment we experience peace is a moment of continuity and light or lightness of being. If we drop into the moment more fully, we will experience that peace and its lightness of being are rich and vibrant. Peace, for example, is a dynamic state and the moment is vitally alive. As we cultivate this noticing,* we will discover that “yes, awareness already is” and is presenting in quite common ways. Power lies in a further recognition: all the ways that we derail, disrupt, interrupt, or are oblivious to the amount of perfect awareness that is most moments of our day.
The question arises then, “How does one begin to notice the natural qualities of awareness that are in a moment?” “What is the technique to use?” The answer is neutrality, simply pause. Hold any moment in neutrality. For instance, right now. Stop reading, don’t think, just be present.
If you actually stopped reading, and simply sat for a moment non-distracted from the present moment, the moment would have been dynamic, full, contented, and neutral all at the same time. But …. only holding the moment in the neutrality of itself provides that experience. So, if not reading was also not neutral, but fidgety in the mind, or distracted in any way, then the moment was not being lived. An inner state of disquiet was being experienced, which unto itself is an excellent experience to give oneself. Restlessness is an expression of discontent.
Therefore, what is continuity of consciousness? It is to truly engage the fully present moment as the awareness that it already is – awareness experienced in any of it full range of qualities. Clear, bright, lucid, focused, light-hearted, kind-hearted, patient, pure. Flowing, vibrant, harmonious, powerful. Expansive, limitless, beautiful, neutral, content, just-as-it-is.
Is continuity of consciousness also a particular state of awareness, or a specific afterlife state called one of the bardos, or a process of establishing one’s rebirth? Yes, all of them. Yet each of these is simply an extension of what has been presented in these posts, and in order to engage meditative states and sustain them or understand about afterlife states and their presentations in various spiritual cultures or have less fear about death or reincarnation, one must first understand that – factually – all of these are extensions of how present and aware one is to the present moment.
* “Notice the usually not noticed,” is what is encouraged in The Practice of Living Awareness.
You can experience The Continuity of Consciousness retreat at Spirit Fire Meditative Retreat Center in Leyden, MA. January 7-10, 2015. Details and register.
Graphic: Rays of Light from DeviantART