Mark Zegarelli
Mark Zegarelli

Insight 28: 
Everything that arises in consciousness is a vibration made out of consciousness.

I was six when I saw that everything was God... My sister was a tiny child then, and she was drinking her milk, and all of a sudden I saw that she was God and the milk was God. I mean, all she was doing was pouring God into God, if you know what I mean.

            JD Salinger, "Teddy"


The next insight follows almost without a pause for breath from the analogy about sound: Given that sound arises as perturbations in the medium of air, what, then, is it made of? Air, of course.


And what, then, are perceptions, bodily sensations, thoughts, and feelings made of, given that they are perturbations in the field of consciousness?


Clearly, they’re made of what the field is made of, which is consciousness.


It’s at this point that I’d like to switch out the word perturbations for vibrations. I’m not sure that I really like either word, but they’re the best ones I can think of to describe what we’re uncovering.


I want to stop using perturbations, not only because it’s awkward, but more because it gives the impression of something wrong that shouldn’t be there.


At the same time, in picking up the word vibrations, I’m aware that I may well lose at least a few of you scientifically-minded people still hanging in there who’ve made a solemn vow never to use this word in any context that’s more or less dripping of California (except, perhaps, in the context of a Beach Boys’ song).


You know, like totally good vibes.


Obviously, the word vibrations makes complete sense in the context of sound waves vibrating within the medium of air. But is it defensible as a descriptor of the unifying phenomena within consciousness, from which all experience arises?


In sitting with this question, I find that other words begin to suggest themselves. For example, we could speak of more or less individual arisings from the field of consciousness, or occurrences in that field, or disturbances of that field.


The problem with all of these words is that they’re too easy to mistake for something other than consciousness: something happening in consciousness but not of it, to borrow a bit of religious language.


And, yet, the very insight we’re here to understand and incorporate is that everything that arises in consciousness is consciousness itself. Indeed, what else could it be?


And I think that the word vibrations strikes that precise chord, so to speak.


So, if you can bear with any unfortunate associations you may have with the free-and-easy use of the word vibrations, I’d like to stay with that word, at least until a better one makes itself known.