Francis Answers - 233- How does consciousness perceive itself?

Francis Lucille

I believe I have heard you say that the mind cannot perceive consciousness, but that consciousness can perceive itself. I am confused about this. If consciousness can perceive itself, then this seems to imply that a part of my experience is the perception of consciousness. If this is so, which part of my experience is it? Also, I have had “glimpses” where apparently I was perceiving consciousness, or where I appeared to “know myself”. In these glimpses (if I remember correctly) there was still a focal point from which I appeared to “view” the qualities of myself, which was consciousness. Was this an instance of consciousness perceiving itself? Would you please expound or clarify this for me?

I don’t think so. Consciousness perceiving itself is experienced as peace, happiness, clarity, love, beauty, humour. Sometimes just a brief glimpse of it, which eventually “bleeds” during the presence of thoughts and sense perceptions. There is no focal point in the glimpse, there is only Eternal Presence.

I believe I have heard you say that witnessing is not an effort. At the same time I often find myself wanting to investigate resistances that I perceive in my body-mind. Sometimes I do this by directing my attention towards the resistance. The attention I am directing towards the resistance seems to come from my head, where there is something like a “spotlight” of attention which I can direct at various inner and outer objects. This spotlight is also the place where thoughts seem to come from. At other times when I notice a resistance I ask myself “who knows this?” and I direct my attention towards that in which the entire perception appears. Would you please speak about this, and let me know if one or both of these methods are correct? And should I direct my attention deeper and deeper into a resistance? When is that efforting itself a resistance, and when is it useful?

The latter is better, provided we know that the mind has no access to consciousness. It leaves us in a state of not knowing. Regarding the former, the resistances that appear shouldn’t be resisted against, they should be ascertained for what they truly are, bodily sensations and concepts, and, immediately thereafter, let go of. Don’t spend too much time with them.

The spotlight that seems to generate and perceive the thoughts is itself a bodily sensation. A bodily sensation doesn’t think or perceive. It is perceived.

With Love,