Before embarking on the task of raising consciousness, perhaps we should have a discussion of just what consciousness is. Part one of the following presentation by Peter Russel begins with a simple explanation of the nature of consciousness. Peter Russell is a fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, of The World Business Academy and of The Findhorn Foundation, and an Honorary Member of The Club of Budapest.
The remainder of the lecture (just over an hour long) manages a rare achievement. Russel arrives at a conclusion/position traditionally reserved for philosophy and religion by means of a purely secular, scientific analysis. The conclusion? The fundamental nature of reality is consciousness.
Taking his explanation and conclusion provisionally gives us a common framework to explore the nature of consciousness in greater depth. Consciousness is observation; pure awareness.
The question arises: if consciousness is awareness, pure observation, and everything is consciousness, then what is consciousness aware of? The answer is simple and intuitive: itself.
Consciousness, then, is more than observation and awareness; it is self-observation; self-awareness.
As a human imperative, self-observation means consciously observing all aspects of ourselves at all times, free of attachment, judgment and desire to change what we see. This description is deceptively simple; we’ll delve into and unpack it later.
Another question arises: if consciousness is self-observation; and one observes by receiving inputs (i.e. we see the world by virtue of reflected light), then what is there to observe? From where does that which we observe originate, if everything is only observing (receiving)? Put another way, if consciousness can only observes itself, because everything is consciousness, what is the stuff of consciousness; the source of consciousness itself?
Russel alludes to these questions in the final moments of his presentation when he mentions consciousness as “the path to God.”
We will inevitably come to a deeper discussion of that which lies beyond consciousness, but one step at a time. No doubt even this first intellectual step represents a huge leap for many: philosophically; perhaps more so psychologically. Taking nothing away from his logical, secular argument (insofar as known consciousness itself is concerned), Peter Russel’s primer on consciousness is as challenging as it is elegant.
And it is only the beginning.