Mark Zegarelli
Mark Zegarelli

Insight 31:
Because consciousness is independent of space, it needs nothing; therefore, I need nothing.

I cannot be added to, diminished, or changed in any way. This is because I – as awareness, consciousness, love – am the field in which occurrences such as perceptions, bodily sensations, thoughts, and feelings arise and then subside in what appears to be temporal order.

To be sure, I’m not saying that this statement is true, in the sense of being objectively verifiable and, thus, if you don’t believe it, you’re wrong. I’m more saying that it’s a possible point of entry into a way of experiencing life more from the inherent goodness of what’s present than from the overwhelming disappointment of what’s missing.

It’s cliché to say that life is change, but of course it is – to the extent, that is, to which you focus your attention exclusively on the specific vibrations or perturbations that occur within the field of consciousness. But what is entirely unchanging is the field itself.

Check this claim with your own experience now by recalling a moment from your past – preferably in this particular case one that is relatively emotionally neutral – just as a little test. Whatever content happened to be present for you in the field of consciousness at that moment, stop to notice that this field itself stood at the ready, as it always does, simply containing whatever perceptions, bodily sensations, thoughts, or feelings you were having.

Rupert Spira compares consciousness to a screen onto which are projected a variety of images, or a room in which people gather and events happen. A screen freely and openly accommodates whatever images are projected onto it there with complete equanimity, neither changing them nor being changed by them; a room simply holds people and provides the space for them to interact. At the end of the night, when the film or meeting has ended, the screen is blank, the room empty, both ready to accommodate whatever, whenever.

These analogies only start to break down in that a screen or a room contains that which is arguably other than itself. Consciousness, however, is only made of one thing, which I’ve taken the liberty of calling love, so that everything occurring or vibrating within it is all also made of love. The changes we conventionally call life – these events, perturbations in the field of consciousness, or whatever word you choose to use – are an important part of the story. They just aren’t the whole story, as a materialist perspective would assume.

As I see it, a oneness perspective isn’t quite a prescription to see the world in a certain way that’s more correct than any other way. Rather, it’s an alternative, an opportunity to see things in a way that may, under certain circumstances, be more useful. The more I identify myself – Who I Am – as an animal with drives, a brain that’s been programmed, an individual with a psychological history, a system of stimulus and response mechanisms, a consumer and producer of goods – stories that have their virtues, but which all derive very much from an uncritiqued materialist perspective – the more I may forget to notice, question, and even defy that perspective.

There’s a certain radical freedom in a consciousness-centered view of life, provided that we don’t fabricate a new story in this telling, making out of it something to believe in, attempt, fall short of, abandon, and recommit to.

Even so, we will most likely do all that and more.

After all, isn’t that what we humans tend, out of habit, to do?