Consciousness of Consciousness

One of the goals of my life has been to know my higher self. This project is by some estimations an impossible task. Some contemplative texts such as \”The Cloud of Unknowing\” posit that you can\’t know. Other writers describe knowing this higher consciousness but only after a phenomenal incongruity, like a near death experience, like an LSD trip, like some other experiential extreme, including visits by supernatural beings. None of these things have ever happened to me and I have frequently been pissed off about it.

Because I wanted the experience. I wanted to know. 



I am reading a difficult book. The book started off so difficult that I almost gave up. But starting on page 11, I ran into a series of ideas which I actually understood. The series of ideas lead me to a consciousness of my deeper consciousness. This knowing, this ability to know, is what I have been seeking. What I know is that inner pre-reflective non-self-conscious consciousness; my vibrational beingness, pre-manifested existence. 

I will show here the series of ideas. Each could be contemplated and possible you can achieve knowing that you know, perceiving the non-reflective.

“…consciousness is the knowing being in his capacity as being and not as being known” (Being and Nothingness page 10).
“All consciousness … is consciousness of something … there is no consciousness that has no content” (Being and Nothingness, page 11).
“…the necessary and sufficient condition for a knowing consciousness to be knowledge of its object, is that it be consciousness of itself as being that knowledge” (Being and Nothingness 11).
“…reflection or positional consciousness of consciousness, or better yet knowledge of consciousness. This would be a complete consciousness directed toward something which is not it; that is, toward consciousness as object of reflection” (Being and Nothingness, 12).
“…the known, the knower known, the knower known by the knower, etc…the totality always falls into the unknown; that is, we always bump up against a non-self-conscious reflection…” (Being and Nothingness 12).
“…there must be an immediate, non-cognitive relation of the self to itself” (Being and Nothingness 12).
“…every positional consciousness of an object is at the same time a non-positional consciousness of itself” (Being and Nothingness 13).
“…those fleeting consciousnesses which have passed by without being reflected on.” (Being and Nothingness13).
“…it is the non-reflective consciousness which renders the reflection possible; there is a pre-reflective cogito…” (Being and Nothingness 13).
Every conscious existence exists as consciousness of existing.” (Being and Nothingness 13).
It is from following this difficult trail, including ideas previously contemplated, that my mind became conscious of itself; that is, the higher consciousness and the lower ego consciousness somehow perceived each other. They knew of each other’s existence but also that they were one being. The higher consciousness which does not speak in words was aware, and felt in this world by the lower consciousness which does think in words.
In my words: Behind the existing consciousness is a non-existent consciousness which is conscious of existing. 

The book is Being and Nothingness by Jean-Paul Sartre. Nearly 800 pages, written in 1943, I don\’t recommend it to anyone. But I enjoy chewing on ideas. And this book does provide that. 

In other news, I am 432 miles into my virtual race across Tennessee. More than two thirds done. 


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