The following is an edited text sent by Sunil, a member of our Sat. meditation group.
At our meetings we keep coming back to consciousness. I feel its important to clear some confusions. Here is a short explanation that may help.
Consciousness is an common attribute, property and quality received by all living things rather than an independent thing in itself. If we start looking for it or try to understand it like an entity to be found through meditation or pilgrimage, we may find something very different. Consciousness of emptiness makes emptiness a reality.
Consciousness or awareness does not perform an act or control anything directly but through an object such as a human body or mind. The human body- mind acts as a receiver and processor of global consciousness the same way that TV, radio, cell phone and computer receive and process electromagnetic waves.
In fact all functions of any living beings can be attributed to its only property: their consciousness.
Eyes do not see, they funnel light through a lens onto a detector whose signals are processed into images in the optical areas of the brain then our consciousness allows us to see. Even with a perfect optical system from eye to brain, we cannot see without being conscious. Same with all other senses.
Thoughts and feelings are also just electromagnetic and biological signals produced in the brain and only consciousness make us aware of them with the ability to make an intelligent thought.
Let us take another example: Just like the red of a rose allows us to see it, fragrance of it allows us to smell it but neither is the rose. Similarly consciousness makes us aware or conscious of everything else thru our perceptions but it is not the outside trigger. Consciousness is the genuine property of all beings.
In that sense it could also be the genuine property of anything things including non-living beings. Maybe they but they express their consciousness in a different, inanimate way.
Perhaps it is the consciousness of an electron that allows it to be entangled with its twin, billions of light years away.
This doesn't mean that consciousness isn't the all pervasive god, brahma or rigpa scriptures speak of .It just means that looking for consciousness as an object or as just the biological product of the brain will always lead to disappointment because its just not there.
It is the attribute of everything in the universe; it makes us humans as humans, roses as flowers, earth as planet, sun as star and space as space. Consciousness has no space-time. It is a non-local entity.
You may read also the following blogs:
What is consciousness #131 Consciousness vs. thinking