Everything known is known through Consciousness

Rupert Spira

Whatever it is that is seeing and understanding these words, is what is referred to here as ‘Consciousness.’ It is what we know ourselves to be, what we refer to as ‘I.’
Everything that is known is known through Consciousness. Therefore, whatever is known is only as good as our knowledge of Consciousness.
The mind has built a powerful edifice of concepts about Reality that bears little relation to actual experience and, as a result, Consciousness has veiled itself from itself. These concepts are built out of mind and therefore their deconstruction is one of the ways through which Consciousness comes to recognise itself again – that is, to know itself again.
Consciousness is in fact always knowing itself. However, through this deconstruction of concepts, Consciousness comes to recognize itself, not through the reflected veil of apparent objects, but knowingly and directly.
Concepts are not destroyed in this process. They are still available for use when needed.
The purpose of reasoning is not to frame or apprehend Reality. However, it is also acknowledged that the mind has constructed complex and persuasive ideas that have posited an image of ourselves and of the world that is very far from the facts of our experience.
These ideas have convinced us that there is a world that exists separate from and independent of Consciousness. They have persuaded us to believe that ‘I,’ the Consciousness that is seeing these words, is an entity that resides inside the body, that it was born and will die, and that it is the subject of experience whilst everything else, the world, ‘other,’ is the object.
Although this is never our actual experience, the mind is so persuasive and convincing, that we have duped ourselves into believing that we actually experience these two elements, that we experience the world separate and apart from our Self, and that we experience our own Self as a separate and independent Consciousness.
In the disinterested contemplation of our experience we measure the facts of experience itself against these beliefs.
The falsity of the ideas that the mind entertains about the nature of Reality, about the nature of experience, is exposed in this disinterested contemplation.
All spiritual traditions acknowledge that Reality cannot be apprehended with the mind. As a result of this understanding some teachings have denied the use of the mind as a valid tool of enquiry or exploration.
It is true that Consciousness is beyond the mind and cannot therefore be framed within its abstract concepts. However this does not invalidate the use of the mind to explore the nature of Consciousness and Reality.
Ignorance is composed of beliefs and belief is already an activity of mind. If we deny the validity of mind, why use it in the first place to harbor beliefs?
By reading these words, we are, consciously or unconsciously, agreeing to accept the validity and, by the same token, the limitations of the mind.
We are giving the mind credibility in spite of its limitations. We are acknowledging its ability to play a part in drawing attention to that which is beyond itself or outside the sphere of its knowledge.
It would be disingenuous to use the mind to deny its own validity. Our very use of the mind asserts its validity. However, it is a different matter to use the mind to understand its own limits.
It may well be that at the end of a process of exploring the nature of experience, using the full capacity of its powers of conceptual thinking, the mind will come to understand the limits of its ability to apprehend the truth of the matter and, as a result, will spontaneously come to an end. It will collapse from within, so to speak.
Excerpted from The Transparency of Things: Contemplating the Nature of Experience
Rupert Spira

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