Last week I was talking to Ash, a new acquaintance I met as part of my interest in permaculture.
We got talking about the plants and the way nature really does take care of itself to provide for us the best fruit and veg when we let nature do the work.
It was a garden, correction, food forest, that had so many buzzing bees and lovely flowers, huge pumpkins and the air felt humid and warm. The space was amazing.
When I was about to leave we got to talk about the way the world appears and how our consciousness is shared amongst us… Don’t click off just yet, I have a theory!
Ash asked the simple question, where does your consciousness go when you pass on. I tried to explain that I thought that our consciousness was merely a collection of experiences that act as a filter for the world and for this very moment we live in.
So consciousness, really is me understanding the world from a perspective I created!
In that case when I move on, I cannot take that consciousness any further that my cells that exist within my body, and when they return to be nutrients for the ground they retain very little of what my ‘consciousness’ was.
As we discussed this back and forth, Ash saying that we are all connected to a greater consciousness that exists in the world, and I proposing that our consciousness is a result of cause and effect, I got to wondering if we were on the same ‘mountain’ but coming at it from different sides!
Consciousness is merely a collection of experiences
You see, from my perspective, the actions, even non-actions I make today, essentially cause ripples in the world around me. Just like a stone in the pond. To explain:
First there is the stone! There is also the water remember, and both are tangible objects that exist. The stone is a collection of materials from minerals and nutrients to other formed particles and lumps.
The water already holds stones and sand and has plenty of objects within its mass. Some break the surface of the water, others are covered by the water.
Then there is the energy required to throw the stone into the water, for which this brief post will merely allude to and not explain further.
As the stone hits the water with a ‘sploosh’ it causes a depression in the surface as molecules begin to move and finally open to accept the new stone.
The depression begins to now fill back with water and cover the stone and the ripples begin to move away from the center point from where the stone entered the water.
The ripples, at first large, begin to move out in rings in ALL directions. As they move they hit other objects in other areas of the pond and those begin to cause their own ripples.
As ripples move they also begin to lose their force so that they end up getting smaller and smaller.
This is the ripple effect, a movement of energy though a mass.
Incredibly, this example has so many complex ideas that to fully appreciate the intricacy of life we would need a bit more time.
There is the fact that the water has absorbed the stone into its mass, but it has not become a part of it.
There is the rising of the water level as something new has entered it and displaced it a little.
There is evaporation as some of the water disappears or flows out of the area.
There is more water flowing into the area.
So many ideas that we will need to examine later on, but for now I want to focus on the ripples.
Returning to Ash and our consciousness, it became clear that we were approaching the same mountain from different sides.
I still think that we are a result of energy that moves and changes as it reacts to other energy. Just like the stone causing the ripples, the “sploosh” sound, the inevitable collision with the bottom, so to are we affecting and being affected by the energy of those around us.
As I say something, do something, do nothing, so I am like that stone!
I cause ripples of energy around me. Actions and reactions to everything I do. Some are very small and some are large. Some of the energy (ripples) that wash against me cause further ripples in the world I am apart of.
My consciousness is, for me, the stone from which all ripples are created around me. My collection of experiences cause me to interpret the world and react or act in a way to whatever is coming my way.
As I then use my consciousness to react to something else, so it also creates new experiences for me and for others.
By way of one final example, if I learn to chop a piece of wood with an axe, I begin to change the world around me to the shape of wood I will cut. I also cut down trees, I stack the logs and I also burn them for warmth. (All those ripples…)
If someone sees me chopping wood and learns how to chop wood too, they may perceive a new way of increasing the handle length to get a more steady chopping motion. They may shorten it and decide to make a canoe.
This one act of learned experience is my consciousness and that consciousness allows others to develop and mould their own consciousness, as an evolution of ideas.
Just as Ash would argue that we have a collective consciousness, I would have to agree our collective consciousness is the rippling of the pond we all exist in, and my thoughts and experiences today are a result of the ripples of experiences of time.
This post and this sentence is the final ripple for me today, and hopefully it continues to inspire you to ‘act anyway’ to develop yourself, being considerate, and making the most of this life.