Recently, having been sent a TED talk regarding consciousness I revisited my study of the topic and have been trying to gather my thoughts and collect what I have learned over the years. I thought others may want to join me in this effort and therefore I have started this thread, hoping that anyone who wishes will join me in the effort.
I would like to begin here:
Source: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... esses.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;The consciousness of living beings with bodies isn't our consciousness. The consciousness of living beings without bodies isn't our consciousness. Our consciousness, which is aware of these things, isn't us. These things get let go, in line with their nature. That's when we can be said to know the five aggregates, the six sense media. We gain release from the world and can open our eyes. Our eyes will be able to see far, as when we slide away the walls on our home and can see for hundreds of yards. When our eyes aren't stuck on forms, we can gain clairvoyant powers and see far. When our ears aren't stuck on sounds, we can hear distant sounds. When our nose isn't stuck on smells, we can sniff the smell of the devas, instead of irritating our nose with the smell of human beings. When flavors don't get stuck on the tongue we can taste heavenly medicine and food. When the mind isn't stuck on tactile sensations, we can live in comfort. Wherever we sit, we can be at our ease: at ease when it's cold, at ease when it's hot, at ease in a soft seat, at ease in a hard seat. Even if the sun burns us up, we can be at our ease. The body can fall apart, and we can be at our ease. This is called spitting out tactile sensations. As for the heart, it spits out ideas. It's a heart released: released from the five aggregates, released from the three sorts of consciousness. They can't ever fool it again. The heart is released from stress and suffering, and will reach the highest, most ultimate happiness: nibbana.
Here I've been talking on the topic of consciousness. Take it to heart and train yourself to give rise to knowledge within. That's when you can be said to know the worlds. The consciousnesses that have bodies inhabit the worlds of sensuality, from the levels of hell on up to heaven. The consciousnesses with no bodies inhabit the world of the formless Brahmas. Our own consciousness is what will take us to nibbana. When you know these three kinds of consciousness you can be said to be vijja-carana-sampanno: consummate in knowledge and conduct. Sugato: You'll go well and come well and wherever you stay, you'll stay well. All the beings of the world can then get some relief. In what way? We hand everything over to them. Any animals who want to eat away in our body can go ahead and do so. We're no longer possessive. Whatever they want, whatever they like to eat, they can go ahead and have it: We don't give a damn. That's how we really feel. We're not attached. If they want to eat our intestines, they can go ahead. If they want to eat our excrement, they can have it. If they want to eat our blood, they can eat all they like. We're not possessive. Whatever any type of consciousness wants, they're welcome to it. We give them their independence, so they can govern themselves, without our trying to snitch anything away from them. As a result, they gain a share of our goodness. The same for the bodiless consciousnesses in our body: They gain their independence. And we gain our independence, too. Everybody gets to live in his or her own house, eat his or her own food, sleep in his or her own bed. Everyone lives separately, so everyone can be at his or her own ease.
This is called "bhagava": The eye gets separated from forms, forms get separated from the eye, and consciousness gets separated from self.
The ear gets separated from sounds, sounds get separated from the ear, and consciousness gets separated from self.
The nose gets separated from smells, smells get separated from the nose, and consciousness gets separated from self.
The tongue gets separated from flavors, flavors get separated from the tongue, and consciousness gets separated from self.
The body gets separated from tactile sensations, tactile sensations get separated from the body, and consciousness gets separated from the body.
The mind gets separated from ideas, ideas get separated from the mind, and consciousness gets separated from the mind.
There's no sense that this is our self or that's our self. This is called "Sabbe dhamma anatta," all phenomena are not-self. We don't claim rights over anything at all. Whoever can do this will gain release from the world, from the cycle of death and rebirth. This is asavakkhaya-ñana — the knowledge of the ending of mental fermentation — arising in the heart.