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The Nature of Consciousness and Liberation Consciousness has three essential components: awareness as a transparent and na ked knowing,

the luminosity of cognitive presence in a dimension of potential ex perience, and the forms, textures, information and shapes experienced or the mom entary structures of apparent appearances. More concisely we could say the thre e aspects of consciousness are: empty knowing, cognitive alertness and the form s of consciousness expressed. There is a definite gradient of solidification im plied as conscious experience emerges. It arises from an empty awareness as a s ource, it manifests some degree of pregnant vibrancy and finally appears as an o bject of experience fully defined. This is a workable example of how consciousn ess gives birth to experience, all experience. This then allows us the ability to cognitively reverse the process with all experience as well. Since all exper ience arises from empty awareness, those same experiences always retire into the ir point of origin again and actually never have become separate from their tran sparent emptiness in any phase of emergence. You can notice this by examining t he arising, the persistence and the dissolution of a thought, any thought. We c ould call this on-going presence of emptiness throughout cognitive experience, t he natural liberation within all experience. Once we understand that all experie nce or conditions we find ourselves within, are manifestations within consciousn ess alone and that these manifestations are essentially self-liberating gestures of emptiness, we can find an essential freedom and release within and during al l experience. Isn't this what the seeker is seeking in the effort of becoming fre e from all sense of bondage? Let's now examine how this inherent liberation of ex perience applies to both our inner world as well as to our outer world of all sens ory perception. We first need to recognize that all experience is consciousness occurring only w ithin consciousness. What that means is that everything we experience, whether as our inner world of thoughts, emotions, feelings, sense of self, various stories and imagination as well as sensory perceptions of our outer world are all contained within conscious ness. All experiences always only occur in consciousness or we wouldn't know of t he experience. Thoughts are easy to see in this way. If you examine a thought as it arises you may notice that it appears within consciousness and dissolves w ithin consciousness. We actually can't separate the thought from consciousness it self. There is no dividing line at all. So we can use this example as a basis for understanding the nature of all experience. Thought is consciousness appear ing as thought. When we dream at night our consciousness is appearing as a drea m. What is the fabric of the trees, sky, scenery, people and the topic of the s tory line in our dream if not consciousness itself? The dream is consciousness appearing as the dream and all its interesting characters and identities as well . Our imagination is the same. What is the substance of our imagined images ot her than consciousness? By investigating all mental phenomena in the same fashi on we will come to the conclusion that all activities of the mind are consciousn ess appearing as those activities without exception. It is important to note th at our sense of individual identity is also just consciousness appearing as that sense of individuality, no more real than the identity we appear to have in a dre am at night. Both are equally projections of consciousness, one not more real t han the other. Now what about sensory perceptions, our sense of there being an independently ex isting external world of objects and things as experienced through the five sens es? If we investigate closely we will notice that all that we know about the ext ernal world only occurs in our consciousness. The five senses feed their informa tion to consciousness. All we ever know of the outer world is information and inf ormation is meaningless without consciousness. Perhaps that information is itsel f consciousness. The only place we can experience an outer world is within our ow n mind or consciousness. No one has ever experienced any phenomena that lie out

side of consciousness. We think we see objects out there. We think we can percei ve space and a dimension of depth, out there. We think we hear sounds happening ou t there. But again upon careful investigation, we will find all of those experie nces occur in here, in consciousness. The eyes can't see objects nor can the eyes see an exterior world. The eyes don't look out and perceive what's out there, like a han d reaching out and touching something. The eyes are passive receptors of light photons that stimulate the nerve cells in the retina. A neural signal travels b ack along the optic nerve from the eyes to the optic processing center in the br ain, where the signal is turned into a picture and is combined with all the othe r sensory input and instantly becomes the 3D image we call the outer world. This 3D image only occurs within our brain, but the brain also creates the feeling fo r us that what we are seeing, like a dream in our head, is actually out there, but its not. This 3D movie only appears in consciousness and is indistinguishable from consciousness itself. This is of course true of our sense of space or dept h perception. The eyes can't see space or depth. The brain approximates what it thinks the spatial aspects of depth perception are and then creates the sense of s pace and depth. That creation of depth or space that we experience in our dream s, is the same. The sense of space created by the mind when we dream is the exa ct same sense of space that the mind creates in regard to the outer world. All of this is created by and only exists in consciousness. Our inner world and our ou ter world both only exist in consciousness. No one has ever experienced somethin g other than what's in our mind or consciousness. Once we realize that all mental events, emotions, feelings and perceptions are i nseparable from consciousness, we can notice the oneness of everything in our expe rience. There are no separate things, only consciousness is appearing as separate t hings just like there appear to be separate things in our dreams. Their separate ness is purely an illusion created by the mind. Do we really think that there ar e separate objective things and persons existing in our dreams? But we do think that separate and inherently existing things and persons exist in the outer wor ld. Why? What is our proof? What we know about external objects only occurs i n our consciousness or mind, just like dreams. The illusion of a world of separ ate things and individuals only occurs in our minds as a conceptual construction of the mind itself. Perhaps we are getting close to buying into the fact that all of our experiences occur and exist only in our consciousness. If so, the liberation we seek is al ready ours.