“… consciousness is regarded as the mark of a rational being, yet there is nothing lineal or sequential about the total field of awareness that exists in any moment of consciousness. Consciousness is not a verbal process.”
—Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media
Nor is consciousness a visual process. You understand it as visual, because we’ve come to so heavily lean on our perceptions. But it is when you are looking looking looking that you need to be reminded of the wise words of Obi-Wan Kenobi: “Your eyes can deceive you. Don’t trust them.”
So what, then, do you trust? Trusting your eyes or ears won’t help. And taste, smell, and touch don’t tell the whole story either. Consciousness is not verbal, visual, audible nor sensory: it is all of these and none of these at once. It is the mover and shaper of our senses, but is not defined by them. What, then, is consciousness? It is the deeper self, and one that can only be arrived at by means of sensory withdrawal.
By withdrawing the senses, you begin to make the separation between what is truly yours to own, and what lies outside of you. This is pratyahara. This is the process by which you begin to turn your attention inward. It takes practice; it takes work; it takes a willingness to let go of the desire to be easily distracted.
Because, let’s face it, we’re all so easily distracted.
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