Does consciousness have levels and does perception imply separation?

Magdi: For the one who know how to look, everything reveals the eternity and infinity of consciousness. For, what is not consciousness? What can be known if not via consciousness?
Aren’t all forms, all sensations, all experiences … forms of consciousness? Is there a reality apart from that of consciousness?


Questioner 1: Not to be controversial, I wonder what your interpretation on the following piece of text would be?

“Consciousness is the receptive mechanism, receiving messages from above or below; from the Holy Spirit or the ego. Consciousness has levels and awareness can shift quite dramatically, but it cannot transcend the perceptual realm. At its highest it becomes aware of the real world, and can be trained to do so increasingly. Yet the very fact that it has levels and can be trained demonstrates that it cannot reach knowledge.”

Magdi: I use the term consciousness to refer to aware presence and not to a mechanism of the mind. I refer to consciousness as the highest order that is the ultimate knowingness of all experiences. We might be using the term consciousness differently.

Presence is formless and is not a product of the mind. It is the mind that appears in presence and is the result of presence rather than the other way around. The experience of consciousness knowing itself in the presence or absence of objects, is the realization of the reality of consciousness, referred to as God realization.

In the quotation you shared with me, it is mentioned that consciousness is the receptive mechanism and that it has levels and cannot transcend the perceptual realm.

This use of the term consciousness refers to consciousness as a mind mechanism that is subject to a higher order. Mechanism of perception, whether physiological or mental, are in the worldly realm and are perceived tools that serve a function serving the higher order. I refer to consciousness as the highest order, the ultimate perceiving order. THAT is not  perceived and yet it conceives, creates and perceives out of itself.

There are no levels to THAT that perceives. The levels belong to the perceived realm, to the mind realm.

To repeat, I refer to consciousness as the aware presence that is formless, limitless, boundary less, undefined and unconceived, not of the mind, not in time and space, not in any realm, not a mechanism. Consciousness as the formless aware presence that conceives, creates and perceives… all along remaining untouched, unstained by the phenomenal realms, both gross and subtle.
In your quote, consciousness is referred to as a mechanism that serves a higher order. That is not what I imply by the term consciousness. I hope this helps in clarifying my post.

Questioner 1: Yes Magdi. Thank You for your clarification. It would make sense that in relative terms then, that it would seem as though the formless consciousness you refer to could equate quite nicely to that of the Realm of Pure Knowledge ?? I only have difficulty with the idea that there would be a perceptional aspect to it, as that would infer duality would it not?

Magdi: It does equate to the Realm of Pure Knowledge, but there is no duality in perception. Right now, you perceive the words and images on the screen and you do so without any duality. Perception does not imply ignorance. Perception is a dream aspect of consciousness, but the dream does not imply ignorance (duality). The dream is the play of universal consciousness that, out of its freedom and sense of play, conceives, creates and perceives dreams, all perceptions. Consider the night dream.

In the night dream, there is no duality between the perceived dream characters and you the dreamer (consciousness). The dream characters are made out of you and are one with the dreamer. The substance of the dream is the dreamer. The dream characters, images, events in the night dream are not separate from you, the dreamer.
That metaphor that might help you understand the waking state. All perceptions, thoughts and sensations are one as consciousness. No separation is implied in perception. Separation is imagined.

In wisdom, consciousness is aware that the dream (characters, events, images, thoughts, etc.) does not have a separate reality and that the only reality is that of universal consciousness. In wisdom, there is no impression of duality. In ignorance an external reality is attributed to the dream forms, and thus perception is dualistic. But that is only a dream duality since duality is not real as there is no reality to the imagined (and felt) external reality outside of the reality of consciousness.

Questioner 1: Thank You Dearest .. I will need to ponder this further, primarily because I cannot conceive as yet of Perception as being non dual. Pure Knowledge on the other hand would only be Aware of itself as ONE. Could be the words being symbols are simply getting in my way.

Magdi: That is possible. Again, what might help is to consider the night dream… in the night dream there are perceptions (pink flying elephants and yellow angels) but they are not apart from the dreamer. The substance of the dream characters and dream scenery is the dreamer. The perception and experiences of the pink flying elephant are made out of the dreamer, namely, consciousness.

Questioner 2:  Thank you both and thank you Magdi for the subsequent clarification.

//Both in wisdom and in ignorance, the dream goes on. But in wisdom, consciousness is aware that the dream is not the reality and that the reality is that of universal consciousness, while in ignorance reality is attributed to the dream//

In my experience, wisdom and ignorance are not two bipolar states and there are many stages in between as one makes the journey by evolving consciousness from ignorance to wisdom. I wonder is there something like perfect wisdom beyond which there is no state? Perhaps this question is coming from my own state of not being able to perceive reality completely in a non dual manner. Magdi, would love to have your thoughts and views. With lots of love and gratitude. .

Magdi: What we refer to as ignorance, that is the belief that consciousness is separate, limited and personal… is the play of Consciousness. It is consciousness choosing to forget its eternal and infinite nature and imagine itself to be limited to a mortal body mind.
From the relative perspective of the body mind, ignorance is bipolar of consciousness. Unhappiness and pursuit of happiness in worldly events, relationships and objects is the anthesis of causeless happiness and peace.
But from the absolute perspective, which is the only real perspective, there is one reality and that is the reality of universal consciousness, that is not a state. States are in time and space. Consciousness is not.

Wisdom is the end of unhappiness. The dream goes on with the waking, dreaming and deep sleep states but they are permeated with causeless and uninterrupted peace, equanimity, intelligence and happiness. There is complete absence of the me-feeling and I-thought. Only the Self remains void of the infection of separation.

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