What is Meditation

Meditation Techniques

Spiritual Inspirators


Western  Mystics


I. Consiousnes & Evolution

II. Defining Awareness & Consciousness
III. The Mystery of Awareness

IV. The Enigma of Consciousness
V. Consciousness in the East and the West
VI. What Can be Said About Consciousness
VII. The Ouroboros Consciousness
VIII.  Ouroboric Super-Awareness

IX. The Super-Awake Flow
X. Fields of Consciousness

XI. Group Meditation

The inner and the outer Person
Integral Suffering and Happiness
Modern Forms of Suffering


The liberation from or of the Self
The Glue of Love
God wants to be Human

Civilization and Consciousness 
Civilization and Consciousness Part II


The Divine Mystery

God is The absolute No-thing 
which is above all existence 
Pseudo-Dionysius 345 - 407 AD

I use words like consciousness,
God, primordial essence,
soul, highest reality, and
other similar expressions
 intuitively and fluidly.

To speak about something
we don't know and can't
comprehend with predetermined terminology seems
absurd to me.

Psychologist C.G. Jung
argued that everything
that transcends our
conceptual world
and approaches infinity
or zero can be
experienced as religious
in a psychological sense.

I often include quotes
from Meister Eckhart
 because his formulations
make sense on this level:

He is so quiet,
so free of any kind
of knowledge, that no idea
of God is alive in him.






We are not capable of defining
this familiar and profoundly mysterious entity.
Could it (the Soul) be a constituent of our universe, ignored by the
physicist, but infinetely more important than light?
Alexis Carrel - Man, the Unknown

Meditation.dk is read by only a select few, and this chapter on consciousness won't likely boost its popularity. In essence, everything on Meditation.dk revolves around consciousness. This chapter explores my initial, tentative knocks on the Doors of Perception, behind which lies an infinite series of doors.

In my view, consciousness is one of the most challenging phenomena to understand and describe. As a result, this chapter is continually revised, and I may never be entirely satisfied with it.

Consciousness is a fascinating but elusive phenomenon.
it is impossible to specify what
it is, what it does, or why it evolved.
Nothing worth reading has been written about it.
Stuart Sutherland

Since childhood, I have been obsessed with the question: Who and what am I? I began to ponder this with crossed legs at the tender age of 3 after a tourist visit with my parents to a Buddhist temple in Burma. After that visit, I began to sit and ponder, as you can see in the photo below.

The mystery of who am I?

When you gaze long into an abyss,
the abyss also gazes into you.

This lifelong journey of self-inquiry has lead me to be Conscious about the fact that Consciousness can only be investigated by Consciousness itself. Am 'I' looking at consciousness or is consciousness looking at 'me'?
Consciousness is the fundamental mysterious presence in which everything appears. Even Consciousness appears only in Consciousness. Yet, it is hidden in plain sight. That is why Kabir said: I smile when I hear the fish in the ocean are crying for water.

What is 'redness'?
What is 'redness'? From ancient times to the present day, no one has managed to provide a satisfactory answer. The mystery deepens when we consider what within us perceives 'redness.' What percieves in us is prior to redness. Consciousness is a mystery in which the mystery of redness takes place.

Nonetheless, we use the word 'consciousness' in everyday conversations as if it were the most natural thing in the world—as if we all know precisely what it means. Furthermore, we extend the term to encompass concepts such as gender consciousness, class consciousness, and race consciousness, among others.

Consciousness was groomed to look out
The surprising gap in our knowledge about ourselves can likely be explained by Darwinism. Consciousness was meant to look outward, optimizing our chances of survival. There has been no significant evolutionary advantage to looking inward... until perhaps today.
It may be advantageous from an evolutionary perspective to overestimate what we know, as we often do when less awake. This peculiar form of ossification is known as the Dunning Kruger effect. An ego that constantly questions itself, might run dry of calories before a Dunning Kruger ego.

Roosevelt and Socrates
In order to give space to other boxes of realities than our own, first of all, we must realize that we do not know much. Socrates proclaimed: I seem, then, in just this little thing to be wiser than this man at any rate, that what I do not know I do not think I know either. More than 2000 years later, Roosevelt said: Never underestimate a man who overestimates himself. Maybe the most dangerous overestimation is created in the unawareness of what we do not know. In fact, the world is, to a large extent, ruled by such mindsets.


Every science is function of the psyche, and all knowledge is rooted in it.
The psyche is the greatest of all cosmic wonders and is the
sine qua non
of the world as an object. It is the highest degree odd that Western man,
with but a few - and ever fewer - exceptions, apparantly pays so little regards
to this fact. Swamped by the knowledge of external objects, the subject of all
knowledge has been temporarily eclipsed to the point of seeming nonexistence.
C.G.Jung - On the Nature of the Psyche, 1946

For years, I struggled to read mainstream science's take on consciousness—it seemed too simplistic. The following excerpt from Wikipedia illustrates the issue, as science unwittingly reduces consciousness to primitive neurophysiological processes in the brain:

The illustration is borrowed from Wikipedia, where the image is predictably titled "Neural Correlates OF Consciousness" in a Western context. In the chosen Eastern perspective presented here, I would like to rephrase it as: "Neural Correlates IN Consciousness."

However, this explanation is just as insufficient as measuring the frequency of the red color spectrum to understand what redness is. But science is satisfied; a measurement has been made.
The image titled "Neural Correlates of Consciousness" would be better phrased as "Neural Correlates in Consciousness." Describing consciousness as a product of neural correlates is like defining a mirror by the content reflected in it.
When science claims it can explain everything within old-school positivism's paradigms, it effectively replaces religious storytelling with new fairy tales. The scientist, in this case, becomes a priest. A fundamental fact is that no person, including scientists, can remove themselves as emotionally fragile, human observers from the scientific equation. Like anyone else, they'll interpret facts in sync with their own or their clan's survival.

The Uncharted Territory of Consciousness in Western Science
When it comes to the enigma of consciousness, our collective unknowing is almost absurd. We fundamentally don't know what consciousness is, and the wisest approach would be to acknowledge our ignorance:
Time and again, it amazes me how nearly every Westerner, from the layperson to the scientist and philosopher, uses the term "consciousness" as if it were a known entity. The Western, positivist-trained mind tends to quantify consciousness in terms of measurement, without realizing that they have no real understanding of what consciousness truly is. Consciousness is often either downplayed in importance or relegated to dead-end measurements.

This obliviousness to our own ignorance is, in fact, a product of unconsciousness itself. The Western scientific mind is highly intelligent but simultaneously deeply unconscious when it comes to consciousness. However, science is somehow aware of the gap between measurements and qualia. They call it the "hard problem".
The Hard Problem of Science
The hard problem of consciousness lies in the explanatory gap between physical processes and our experience of them within the framework of neuroscience. Physical processes, such as perceiving a red circle, can be broken down into a series of simpler problems relating the physical object (i.e., color and form) to the brain processes responsible for processing them. Similarly, the perception of more complex forms, such as a house, can be broken down into a series of hierarchically organized brain processes in the visual cortices that add increasing complexity to the visual construct that eventually emerges as a house. These processes, which together compile the visual construct of the house, can be considered a series of building blocks from a reductionist perspective - a series of simpler problems.
The hard problem of consciousness arises because the phenomenological experience, the qualia, or the subjective experience of that house cannot be logically arranged on such a continuum. There is no known brain process at the end of the series of processes responsible for the experience of the house, thus breaking the chain of logic. This also raises the question of the purpose of experience. Why do we have subjective experiences? Brain research can provide a very precise explanation down to the square millimeter of tissue responsible for perceiving the color red, but it can say surprisingly little about how red is experienced. It seems that the brain has all the mechanisms to make the physical world available to human experience, but the experience itself is not part of the same system.
In recent years, there has been significant positive progress in the exploration of consciousness within science, psychology, and philosophy. I won't delve into this here, but I will recommend Annaka Harris's book, "Conscious," which brilliantly compiles the finest achievements of predominantly Western consciousness research and arranges them into her unique bouquet. Annaka Harris basically defines consciousness as having an experience.
Again I pose the question: What is "redness"? Can it be understood by its quantified correlates as they can be measured in the brain? Even more mysterious than redness is its appearance in consciousness. To reduce consciousness to the phenomenon of having an experience is to stand in opposition to Socrates.

When I sit in meditation with young people, they have all kinds of internal experiences, some of them even psychedelic in nature, like light, sound, and visions. Then they asked me: And what did you experience? I say: Nothing.

Therefore I claim: As long as you have an experience, you have not discovered consciousness. In fact, experiences are in opposition to consciousness.

Embracing the Unknown

The more unintelligent a man is,
the less mysterious existence seems to him.
Arthur Schopenhauer

For me, knowing what I don't know is more important than knowing what I do. This awareness allows me to consciously recognize the limits of my knowledge in any given subject. Clarity emerges as a byproduct of expanded consciousness when we perceive it as a function of our ability to process information. As consciousness grows through experiencing larger amounts of data, we become aware of the darkness and the grey zones between darkness and light.
A Nobel scientist may have underdeveloped faculties for harboring consciousness, while a highly conscious person might not score above average on an IQ test. Consciousness likely involves different brain wiring and areas than traditional Western-conditioned intelligence. Some of the most successful people I've encountered had high IQs and EQs but lacked what I would call CQ - a quantified measure of consciousness related to brain activity.
The Wisdom of Knowing Unknowing

Philosophers are indeed wise enough, but they lack wisdom.
Yoka Daishi

Life has taught me one tough lesson: it's good to know something. As Warren Buffet says, The more you learn, the more you earn.
However, it's even better to learn what you have ot learned. I always strive to know what I don't know, so I don't risk diving into discussions or projects where I'm out of my depth, thinking I'm an expert. Roosevelt's famous words, "Never underestimate a person who overestimates themselves," primarily remind me to be aware of my ignorance. It's so frustrating to talk to someone who hasn't factored in their own lack of knowledge.
Recognizing one's limitations is wisdom, which, in this sense, is opposite to knowledge. A wise and knowledgeable person seeks an expanded overview that encompasses their own and others' subjectivity as part of the bigger picture. This objectification is inherently subjective but remains an essential pursuit in the eternal search for what is true enough. We may never grasp the thing-in-itself, but we can always come closer to something truer than yesterday's truth.
When the persuit of coming closer to today's truth is followed by a growing realization of what we do not know, it for me is a sign of an expanding Consciousness. Meister Eckhart says: In Unknowing Knowing, We Know God.
I will in this context dare to reformulate my favorite mystic: In Knowing Unknowing, We Know God.

Not-knowing is wisdom.

We're neck-deep in ignorance

The fundament upon which all our knowledge
and learning rest is inexplicable.
Arthur Schopenhauer

The first and foremost thing to 'unknow' is consciousness. We don't know what consciousness is, but are we aware that we don't know it?
I claim that meditation expands consciousness, but I don't know what consciousness is.
We're unknown to ourselves, often without realizing it...
Truly the most wonderfully absurd self-overestimation.

We know the world but don't know the knower, and we're unaware of it...
Truly the greatest joke of all existence.

Discovering this astonishing ignorance is the first, and perhaps the most significant, step we can take. Receding knowledge makes way for growing wisdom.

The surprising gap in our knowledge about ourselves can likely be explained by Darwinism. Consciousness was meant to look outward, optimizing our chances of survival. There has been no significant evolutionary advantage to looking inward... until perhaps today.

The Enigmatic Nature of Consciousness from an Evolutionary Standpoint
Even when viewed through the lens of evolutionary biology, consciousness remains an enigma. Throughout history, spiritual luminaries who have lived on the peripheries of society—saints, ascetics, and sages—have not particularly excelled at the Darwinian game of survival and reproduction. For instance, Shiva, the Hindu god associated with meditation, has no offspring, and wise sages are seldom noted for prolifically passing on their genes.

My digital counterpart, GPT-4, appears to lack consciousness but can compose sophisticated essays effortlessly. This seeming "unconsciousness of Consciousness" might be attributed to its lack of Darwinian utility, especially in the primal sense of gathering resources. Evolutionary systems prioritize energy efficiency, and the metabolic cost of equipping organisms with self-reflective consciousness would be prohibitively high.
From this perspective, even rudimentary forms of consciousness seem superfluous and inexplicable as products of natural selection. Rigorous empirical science struggles to identify any survival benefits conferred by consciousness. Why would genes gain an evolutionary edge by acquiring awareness? Might not artificial, yet unconscious, entities prove just as capable in the evolutionary race as conscious biological beings? While some argue that metacognition is crucial for survival, this self-reflective capacity might not necessarily require consciousness; it could be just an advanced feedback mechanism, a feature already present in artificial intelligence systems.

Contrastingly, the spiritual sage Nisargadatta Maharaj, an illiterate cigar merchant from Bombay, posits that the very purpose of existence is to expand, preserve, and amplify consciousness. In his view, the emergence and complexity of consciousness are natural consequences of intricate self-referential systems. The human brain, with its astounding internal connectivity that surpasses even the number of particles in the universe, represents the epitome of such complex systems.

Given its intricate nature, the human brain is perhaps the most energy-intensive biological phenomenon we know of. Why then does it exhibit a higher form of consciousness than its simpler animal predecessors? Personally, I am disinclined to dismiss consciousness as a mere evolutionary aberration. Although I can't offer a logical proof for this conviction, it aligns with Nisargadatta's perspective, rendering the opposing notion—that consciousness is meaningless—equally a matter of belief.

Consciousness is in fact Scrödinger's cat. Is it dead or alive or both?
The notion that consciousness is akin to Schrödinger's cat—a thought experiment in quantum mechanics where a cat is both alive and dead until observed—captures the enigmatic qualities of consciousness itself. Like the cat in the box, consciousness presents a paradox, existing in a superposition of states that evade easy categorization.


No problem can be solved from the same
level of consciousness that created it.
Albert Einstein

I recently read Holger Bech Nielsen and Jonas Kuld Rathje's excellent book, "The Theory of Everything," with great enthusiasm. Bech Nielsen describes how inhabitants of a two-dimensional world would experience the visit of a cat from a three-dimensional reality. First, the two-dimensional beings would see four black circles, followed by a large oval blot that eventually shrinks to a small black dot on one side of the oval.

As I read this passage, I wondered why the cat's experience of the same visit wasn't also examined. The mutual experience of the two dimensions encountering each other is the perfect illustration of consciousness visiting our lower three-dimensional reality. We can't understand consciousness for the same reasons the two-dimensional inhabitants couldn't understand the cat. Consciousness is a guest from a reality with more dimensions than our space-time reality possesses.

Science's attempt to understand consciousness as a product of mathematical algorithms is subject to the same conditions as the inhabitants of the two-dimensional world trying to understand the cat from the three-dimensional space. It's almost touchingly comical.

During my college years, on a wet night out, I was presented with the following challenge: create four equilateral triangles with six matches.

The Puzzle of Higher Dimensions
I tried and tried, unsuccessfully, to solve the riddle until the owner of the matches elegantly arranged them into a pyramid. Habitually, I had searched for a solution in a two-dimensional plane, where no solution was possible. Only by introducing an extra height dimension was a solution possible, and in such a simple way that I had to shake my head in disbelief.

Consciousness - a visitor from higher dimensions
Anyone who has experienced a eureka moment in meditation will instinctively understand the impossibility of translating the reality of a multi-dimensional world into a 'lower' dimension. Just as with the matchstick puzzle, the extra dimension means an impossible problem can be solved in a simple way. For those of you who have not had such an experience, this may sound like nonsensical gibberish, but don't despair. Nowadays, it's possible to catch a glimpse of realities that are impossible or extremely difficult to translate into our familiar world through the use of entheogens. One of my friends said after an ayahuasca journey to Peru: I could write an entire book about just one second on this inner journey. A second was like a thousand years.

We will be unaware of any dimension higher than the three we know. We would not be able to understand it.

Every human brain is in this sense a portal to where dimensions have a peep into a lower realm. We live in a four dimension world. place time
what does not make sense in our dimension might make sense in higher dimensions, ayahuasca

It may be that these four dimensions are apearing to us while we are embedded in higher dimension realities -

hyper dimension
The human intellect is not sufficient to decode the universe it lives in

To the extent that we, as biological beings in time and space, want to explore our own consciousness, we are subject to the same conditions as the scientist trying to capture the spirit in a bottle in their test tube. It's quite fair and square, as long as we remember to acknowledge all that we don't know. This humility makes knowledge a subset of wisdom, not the other way around. Without this meta-wisdom, the positivistic scientist, in their self-imagined certainty, becomes what they have historically fought against since the Middle Ages: a preacher of religion.

We can simplify this concept. To thoroughly grasp an entity, we need to surpass its level of complexity. Thus, when Buddhists and Vedantists debate whether reality is void (shunya) or embodies a soul (Atman, Brahman), they are essentially pondering over the nature of the aforementioned cat. This applies to any discourse about consciousness as well. The only humble approach is to acknowledge our ignorance fully. From this mature vantage point of humility, realizing our confinement within a specific dimensional framework, we can debate anything more complex than ourselves.

By leaving the flock, one becomes outstanding

The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority,
but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.
Marcus Aurelius

We humans are outstanding in the sense that we are aware that we are human. Therefore, there must be something unknown within us that has already transcended our human standpoint. In this unknown dwells the invisible consciousness that both is and is not.

Just as a dog doesn't know it's a dog, consciousness cannot know itself until it has risen above itself. Only by transcending the state one is in can one see where one came from. A simple example of this can be seen in the meta-conscious aha moment when one suddenly realizes that they were on the wrong track.

Only by leaving oneself can one recognize oneself. Only those who are strangers to themselves can see themselves. Only the outsider can find himself inside.