What is Meditation

Meditation Techniques

Spiritual Inspirators

 

 

 
CONSCIOUSNESS & AWARENESS

I. Consiousnes & Evolution

II. Defining Awareness & Consciousness
III. The Mystery of Awareness

IV. The Enigma of Consciousness
V. Consciousness in the East and the West
VI. What Can be Said About Consciousness
VII. The Ouroboros Consciousness
VIII.  Ouroboric Super-Awareness

IX. The Super-Awake Flow
X. Fields of Consciousness

XI. Group Meditation
 


THE INNER AND THE OUTER PERSON
The inner and the outer Person
Integral Suffering and Happiness
Modern Forms of Suffering
 

THE BUTTERFLY OF THE SOUL

The liberation from or of the Self
The Glue of Love
God wants to be Human

CIVILIZATION & CONSCIOUSNESS
Civilization and Consciousness 
Civilization and Consciousness Part II

 





 
۞

When Meister Eckhart
speaks of "God,"
I repeatedly
encourage readers
to move beyond
conventional notions
of divinity:

He is so quiet,
so free of any kind
of knowledge, that no idea
of God is alive in him.
Meister Eckhart

۞

My deepest insights
from his words
emerge when I
perceive Eckhart's "God"
as emblematic of
consciousness and
awareness:

God is simple
presence,
a stay-at-home
in himself.
Meister Eckhart

۞


Doctor Ecstaticus
(Meister Eckhart)















































 



















































































 


THE MYSTERY OF AWARENESS

Oh Friend! Understand
The body is like the ocean
Rich with hidden treasures.
Mirabai

During my time in India, I chanced upon an intriguing individual in a nondescript town called Hoshiarpur. This enigmatic figure sat in a dimly lit room, exuding mild annoyance at the occasional visitor who mustered the courage to knock. After a prolonged silence, he shared, "When I visit the toilet, God does too." Drawing me closer, he fixed his semi-blind gaze upon me, posing a question: "Do you recognize which sense organ is supremely vital, yet often overlooked?" He then revealed:

It's the skin.

SKIN SENSING AND CELL MEMBRANES
What is the oldest operating system in the human organism? Which sense first emerged from the ancient cellular organisms' evolutionary tree? My guess is that attentive skin sensing is, from an evolutionary biology standpoint, our oldest sense. Skin sensing is the most fundamental aspect of humans' interaction with the outside world. These ancient systems can be likened to the tactile properties of a cell membrane, which senses its immediate environment much like our skin senses touch.
 

A crucial characteristic of the deepest layer of the control system of awareness is the fundamental closeness that existed from the cell nucleus to the cell wall. Sensations of touch still carry this survival experience from their meeting with the ocean in their basic programming. As a result, the symbiotically sensing cell walls of human skin are, in all their superficiality, closest to our "soul core."
 
Cells in the primordial ocean did not see, hear, or smell anything, even after they formed the first types of symbiotic life. These cells did not see the sunlight, but they noticed the warmth from it in the form of close-sensed information from their cell walls. They sensed the world, and through responses to this sensing, they survived. The older a biological survival system is, the more it will be anchored in unmediated bodily close sensing.
  
Carried along from the cellular experince in the precambric ocean there is one fundamental message:
Everything that makes 'me' survive feels 'good'.
Everything that threatens my survival is sensed 'evil'.

  
The Ancient Sense of Touch
If a cell could understand and speak words, it would recognize the description of skin's sense of touch and might say: that's precisely how it feels out by my cell walls' protective ramparts! These single cells were small fortresses with protective walls around them, protecting even older forms of life, such as mitochondria. When these cells joined together in symbiotic alliances through an outer ring of sensory defense, they developed the beginnings of the extended hard skin that, through aeonic time in struggle, enabled them to survive as 'me'.

This type of close-range sensing is primarily related to the precambrian primal cells' defense against annihilation: the fortified cell wall. Later, when cells discovered how to join together in symbiotic alliances, they carried this earliest genetic memory with them and, based on it, created a common 'cosmotic' defense against chaos in the form of skin. In this sense, cells' osmotic membranes are the recycled ramparts of awareness from our original primordial home. From their biological palisades, skin sensing systems have defended pre-human and later human cell federations against attacks for billions of years.

The closer a threat comes to the body, the stronger the survival response will be. Skin sensing is in this sense more closely tied to the eternal question of survival: death... or life? Even very primitive animals possess a sense of touch. Poke a worm with a sharp stick and observe it. Then (gently) poke a human and observe the reaction. Both reactions are about simple survival. Above all, we have been aware to survive.

From the simplest earthworm to complex humans, the skin stands out as the body's most expansive sensory organ. While most senses are localized—eyes dedicated to vision, ears to sound—the skin is a universal sheath that covers every inch of us. The wise sage from Hoshiarpur put it aptly: "We are encased in a continuous stretch of skin from crown to sole." Beyond merely serving as a protective barrier, the skin is a dynamic medium, bursting with millions of nerve endings. These nerves translate myriad sensations, from the gentle caress of a breeze to the sting of a winter's chill, from the comfort of warmth to the distress of pain. In a metaphorical sense, the cell membrane, often dubbed the "first skin" of organisms, mirrors how our skin constantly interacts with the external environment.

THE AWARE SK-INSIDE

A human being has so many skins inside,
covering the depths of the heart.
We know so many things,
but we don't know ourselves!
 
Why, thirty or forty skins or hides,
as thick and hard as an ox's or bear's,
cover the soul.
Go into your own ground
and learn to know yourself there.
Meister Eckhart

The 'foretold' language
Our tenure as linguistic beings in the realm of waking consciousness is but a brief flicker, akin to a fleeting moment just before the stroke of midnight. Undoubtedly, 'The Word' wasn't present at the outset. It made its entrance much later. The vast expanse of our evolutionary journey was traversed in states of inanimate silence akin to inert stones, in dreamlike contemplations reminiscent of plants, and in exuberant vocalizations evocative of zealous monkeys.

Taste, smell, tactile sensations, and emotional perceptions are as our close-up senses evolutionarily older than sight and sound. Hence they inherently pose a challenge for us as conscious beings. Newertheless we have since the birth of the first words, tried the impossible task to understand these older ancestors still living in us.

Yet, in their relatively brief existence, words often possess wisdom that seems to elude those who utter them. At times, within the fabric of language lie dormant truths—truths so elementary and pure that we might not articulate them directly but can only allude to or 'foretell'.

 
The Skin: A Living Canvas of Our Sensations and Emotions
 
The skin is more than an extroverted sensory receptor; it's an emotional barometer. While it notifies us of a mosquito's prick or the brush of a feather, it also becomes an internal canvas upon which emotions like love, anxiety, or embarrassment are painted. Our skin is a bridge, connecting our tangible exterior with our intangible interior. Indeed, we 'sense' the internal workings of our body much in the same way we perceive our skin's interactions with the outside world. Our consciousness is like a pendulum, swaying between external stimuli and internal sensations, all regulated and narrated by the ever-sensitive, ever-responsive skin.
  
We see this confluence of the external and internal in the lexicon we use to describe our experiences. Just as our skin can be irritated, so can our temperament. Blushing exemplifies this synergy, linking strong internal emotions to visible skin responses.

  
Consider the nuances behind this commonplace query: "Do you 'feel' comfortable?" Our core existence is intrinsically bound to feelings. To exist is, above all, an act of feeling—a tactile experience spanning from the outer layer of our skin to the deepest caverns of our internal realm.

   
Narratives of the Introverted Skin: Linguistic Alchemy

Our language is rich with terms that metamorphose from the tactile to the emotional, co-opting the vocabulary of skin sensation to describe our internal states. These phrases—like feeling "touched," "weighed down," or "squeezed"—are more than just idiomatic expressions; they are testament to our conscious mind's thoughtful interpretation of bodily sensations. Terms like "thin-skinned" and "thick-skinned" eloquently express varying degrees of emotional sensitivity. Similarly, experiences or people can "get under our skin," or we may "wear our hearts on our sleeves." We express raw emotion in the terms of raw skin: Physical abrasions that make skin raw becomes a metaphor to the rawness of emotional upheaval. A seamless skin texture echoes life's smoother phases. Here we say, my life is 'smooth as silk' or it is all 'smooth sailing.'
  
Such examples unveil the multifaceted nature of language, where words evolve from tactile origins to encapsulate emotional nuances. It's also noteworthy that many, but not all, touch-derived idioms derive from a context of perceived threat or harm. Even the threat of being bitten has survived in the form of the biting chill that can pierce our skin. Grief can pierce our hearts. As we can get wounded, so can our emotions.

In our contemporary civilized world, direct physical confrontations have become more rare as compared to 10.000 years ago. However, we are still to some extend stone-age apes behind the suit and tie. In this new scenario subtle agressions or micro-agression have become a new way to show dominance.
As a consequence of that shift, imagery of pinpricks or needles have become metaphorically powerful, symbolizing subtle emotional wounds inflicted on others. Here are some examples of skin-derived metaphors we use to describe hurt feelings.

Death by a Thousand Cuts: This ancient punishment, which involved administering many small wounds, has come to symbolize the idea that many small hurts can accumulate to create significant harm. When applied to emotional contexts, it can refer to the cumulative damage from ongoing, minor negative comments or actions.
 
Needling Someone: The phrase "to needle someone" means to intentionally irritate or provoke them, similar to the slight but persistent annoyance a small needle can cause.

Pinprick Attacks: This term can be used to describe subtle, but consistent, gaslightning criticisms or passive-aggressive comments that wear someone down over time.

Walking on Pins and Needles: While the more common phrase is "walking on eggshells," this variant emphasizes the painful anxiety of trying to avoid provoking someone or fearing retribution.

Feeling Every Pinch: It can describe someone who is sensitive to criticism or negative comments, even if they are minor.

Like a Thorn in My Side: While this uses the imagery of a thorn rather than a needle, it conveys a similar idea. It speaks of a persistent irritant or source of pain.
 
Interestingly these pinprick skin attacks, due to their subtleness pass under the radar of the conscious mind. Often we are not even consious about the attack when it is happening. However, the next days we feel that our emotional skin-borders have been crossed. 
 
On the opposite end of the spectrum are the gentle sensations of soft caresses or embracing hugs. The sting of a slight is quite distinct from the warmth of being emotionally touched by someone.

The Theory of Organ-Specific Awareness Systems
It's intriguing to consider that our internal organs may possess a kind of self-awareness reminiscent of tactile sensations. Just as the heart might flutter with the excitement of an upcoming joyous event—mimicking the sensation of skin tingling in anticipation—each organ might operate as a unique system of awareness, each with its own sensory logic and protective barriers. Niklas Luhmann's writings on system theory in the context of societal structures intriguingly mirror this concept when we apply it to the body: envisioning it as a composite of individual organ awareness systems.

Consider the heart, for instance. Faced with profound beauty—whether a magnificent panorama or a soul-stirring melody—the heart might race, trying to match the emotional depth of our experience. Such moments can manifest as emotional harmonies deep within us. When forging a deep bond with another, our hearts may feel in sync, akin to tuning forks vibrating at identical frequencies, creating a shared pulse of comprehension. In the presence of overwhelming beauty, the heart might feel expansive, reflecting our own profound awe. This sensation can resonate with the adjacent lungs. Despite their primary physiological differences, the heart and lungs share both anatomical proximity and intertwined emotional reactions. For instance, just as the lungs exhale a sigh to express relief or grief, the heart, too, sends out its silent emotional echoes, mirroring our most profound sentiments. Such metaphors beautifully depict the synchronized dance of organ sensation. While it's beyond our scope to delve into every organ's emotional tapestry, we must nod to the gut, our "second brain" responsible for gut feelings, which arise from its vast sensory surfaces. These sensations are registered in layer upon layer of the wast surface of the inner skin of tubular elongated digestions systems. Intriguingly, organs less shielded by bone, like the stomach, seem more attuned to feelings compared to the brain, ensconced within the skull.
 
The Aware Interoceptive Skin
In summary, human awareness is first and foremost, being finely attuned through the skin as a sensory canvas that seamlessly blends external and internal sensations. Despite its prominence in shaping our awareness from the very onset of life, it's a narrative often relegated to the background by our waking consciousness. Strikingly, we allow our skin to narrate its loud stories in silence.

You might wonder about the origin of these insights and their scientific validation. While they aren't currently backed by established research, they emerged from my personal introspection and meditation. I'd encourage you to embark on a similar introspective journey.
 
Bridging Consciousness and Awareness with language
Our linguistic evolution represents a transformative endeavor to articulate awareness into consciousness. Discussing, reflecting upon, and coining terminology for sensory perceptions can aid in molding these intuitions into distinct thoughts. Such contemplation epitomizes an attempt to harness our instinctual internal responses via comprehension. By understanding cognitively, we've managed to sidestep both internal and external adversities.

The Multifaceted 'I'
Our understanding of "self" is multi-layered, perhaps best envisioned as a collective of distinct bio-entities. These individual entities might not be conscious of each other's existence or understand each other's modalities. While these myriad forms of non-verbal communication are abundant within us, they converge in the brain—a forum where they can unify. Recognizing and acknowledging these bio-entities in our conscious mind is pivotal. Thus far, our predominant shared language has been verbal. Meditation, however, offers a new horizon.

A central mission of Meditation.dk is to unveil a novel system, one capable of supervising—and at times superseding—the existing language-driven cognitive system. We've named this non-verbal system the "
Ouroboric Super-Awareness" But for a holistic understanding, I'd recommend perusing all preliminary chapters first.

 

EPILOGUE: SOME LOFTY THOUGHTS ON THE FUNDAMENTAL UNUNDERSTANDABILITY OF AWARENESS

All are seeing God always. But they don't know it.
Ramana Maharshi.

We are neck-deep in our body's sensed attention.
And we are not aware of it... It's simply mind-blowing!
How is it possible to be so aware and yet not conscious about it?
 
The Indian mystic Kabir says he laughs when he hears that the fish in the sea are thirsty for water. The sensing body's overwhelming and vital presence is to consciousness like the air we breathe. We take it for granted until the moment it becomes inaccessible.

The roaring world of awarenes is incomprehensibly simple and obvious. It is the dark matter in our galactic microcosm. The greatest mystery is that we are not conscious of awareness. We do to the largest extend possible not know ourselves.

Attention beyond Words

An enormous part of our mature experience cannot be expressed in words.
Alfred North Whitehead

In a way, Wittgenstein was right when he said: Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent. (Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus)
There is nothing beyond language. At least that's how it appears to the linguistic consciousness itself.  The paradox is that even though the simply sensed existence of attention is overwhelmingly fundamental, our intellectual minds float around like disembodied consciousness tiny balloons filled with word gas. Our Talking Heads are not aware of the extent to which they have grown out of the body's cellular sensory realm.

A SLEEPING GOD, BURRIED IN SKIN
As I hinted at earlier, the aim was to spotlight the omnipresent yet largely unconscious sensations experienced through our skin as a hidden sanctuary for humanity's most ethereal construct: GOD.

Here, my intent is not to suggest that the concept of God is as superficial as our skin but to emphasize that the poetic metaphors used by Meister Eckhart in describing God serve as signposts to a concealed gateway to the cosmos. This portal does not sidestep our human sensations and emotions in its transcendence; rather, it traverses them, guided by the focused light of conscious awareness in the hands of those willing to embark on an inward journey.

When such introspection turned the evolutionary family tree upside down, the following revelation unfolded: As sensing systems, we are both expansive interfaces and enclosed storage spaces for a colony of cells working together. The skin's tactile surface is the line of control. It has clothed the inner collective world with a protective, yet osmotic boundary that defines it in relation to an outer world.

The operational reality of attention unfolds as an eternal negotiated process, created at a crossroads where humans, seen as an inner universe, navigate for survival in an outer universe.

The undiscovered by consciousness, but infinitely massive micro-life is 'GOD'. No image in the outer world resembles this dark cellular life of God more than the sight of the universe's stellar smile on a starry night.

We are a cellular alliance connected via the sensory tunnel bridge from a cellular microcosm to a galactic macrocosm. Just as inner and outer sensing share language, the inner cellular world and the outer star world share the same mathematical algorithms. Everything consists of recycling the same sacred mathematical truths that repeat themselves from the infinitely large to the infinitely small.

As above, so below, as within, so without,
as the universe, so the soul.
Hermes Trismegistus


The insights garnered from these explorations will be elaborated upon in the forthcoming chapters.

In unknowing knowing shall we know God.
Meister Eckhart

As we will see in the later chapters, Meditation opens a door where we to a great extend can both by-pass words and coin new words in the transmutation of awareness into consciousness.