Jill Bolte Taylor’s talk brought to mind a phrase Maharish was quite fond of:
Knowledge is structured in Consciousness.
(i.e. what you know depends upon whether you are asleep or awake or dreaming, your state of consciousness.)
And there is a corollary:
Every state of consciousness is supported by a unique physiology.
(i.e. observe the body’s behavior during waking, sleeping, and dreaming states. Or view the physiological parameters elegantly diagramed by dream researcher, J. Allan Hobson.)
By contrast, Adyashanti chooses to emphasize a very different point.
Adya says enlightenment is not a state of consciousness.
Which I think is his way of emphasizing that the Consciousness experienced in Enlightenment is the Pure Consciousness of Non-Changing and Ever-Present Wholeness.
Pure Consciousness is not generated by the brain.
Pure Consciousness is the ground, the clay – from which the universe, all brains and all brain-states arise.
(And, personally, given as I am to physiology, I still think one of these brain-states supports the behavior we think of as “enlightened.” That is to say, a specific brain state supports Consciousness becoming conscious.)
It is all very circular -
like some kind of möbius strip, or better yet
M.C. Escher’s, “Drawing Hands.”
Maharishi used to tell us,
The range of Creative Intelligence (Consciousness) is from smaller than the smallest to larger than the largest.
As I tried to understand this - just what could be smaller than the smallest
and also larger than the largest -
I used to contemplate a hierarchy of academic disciplines that ran something along these lines:
When describing the smallest things
quantum physics begins with the vacuum and QED (quantum electro-dynamics)
which is the basis of all chemistry
which is the basis of all biology
which leads to needing sociology
and geology for studies of the World
which leads to planets and astronomy
which leads to galaxies and spiral nebulae, space-time and gravity,
and of course the big-bang (where everything comes out of nothing)
which must be understood in terms of astrophysics
which loops us back to QED and the vacuum.
Can you picture what this means?
I could never quite swallow that the vacuum was actually Pure Consciousness.
But years later when I re-read my notes I found that Maharishi believed they were identical.
So yesterday, I went looking one more time.
I found these words online, those of a physicist, regarding QED:
To be sure, we are electromagnetic creatures in an electromagnetic world, existing at the intersection between light and electricity.
If you haven’t done so already, do listen to Jill Bolte Taylor’s talk at the TED conference.
You’ll find this is pretty much what she discovered for her self.