The felt moment of immediate experience exists suspended on two seemingly contradictory anchor points. The first is consciousness. Consciousness is the simple awareness of the variations present in any given moment of experience. Ego starts as the notion of “I”, as contrasted to “not-I” arising from the uniqueness of any particular viewpoint. The tension between these two poles defines, in part, our existential conundrum.
Consciousness can take the full view, in space-time, and relationship.
Ego is constricted to the very near horizon.
Ego is implanted by inculturation.
Consciousness is inherent.
Ego sees things as separate and clicking together in a great tick-tock clockwork reality.
Consciousness sees the distinctions available in the interconnected, interdependent, interpenetrating holon of reality.
Consciousness is an inborn capacity. To us human beings, consciousness is to us what water is to fish. We breathe it and move through it. It’s the medium which holds us together and gives us ongoing life. The invisible and ever present substrate of our lives. It is what allows us to see what we are, and all that could be.
Ego is the artificial boundary that we are wrapped in by our society and cultural environment. It is the conformity which shows us what we “should be.” Ego constricts us down to a sub-set of the available information and our available potential.
Consciousness sub-divides reality in appearance only by flowing along the topography created by distinctiveness.
Ego creates artificial boundaries between things, putting forth the false idea that they are separate.
Consciousness unites even while revealing ever more fine striations of appearance. In consciousness, no two things are ever the same. No two things ever reveal themselves identically to consciousness at the same time.
Oddly enough, ego makes things appear identical. To ego two identically crafted chairs are seen as interchangeable, their unique life path reduced to insignificance.
The whole point of considering all of these distinctions is simply to help us embrace the full richness of the felt moment of immediate experience so that we don’t restrict ourselves in what we admit as reality. I don’t know about you, but I find that when I can let more of reality get at me, I have more options in life. It also seems to make the world more beautiful.