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Q & A with Dr. Robert Saltzman

 

TOPIC: Awakening Never Ends

 

Comment/Question:

The universe exists within awareness.

It’s not ‘an’ awareness, but awareness. There is only one, not belonging to anyone or anything. A body with a living nervous system allows awareness to…create(?) the I AM and consciousness. The latter two die with the body.

Awareness is — at least that’s my understanding of all I’ve read.

Not that I understand it, [but I] can honestly say I ‘believe’ it, that’s the idea… I think?

Image credit: R. Jay Gabany

 

Dr. Robert Saltzman:

“Yes.

The “all,” if I can call it that, becomes translated or converted into “I AM” within a human nervous system. To see this from another angle (and, as I must point out again, words cannot do justice to these matters which exist prior to words—but we all love words, don’t we?), the human nervous system is evolved enough to allow questioning about “deeper” matters, including “who am I?”. My cat is here and alive as much as I am, but I doubt she wonders about any of this. Nevertheless, she exists as much as I do. Who can doubt that?

The point here is that human consciousness, while “real” enough, is not the standard or measure of anything. To think that it is some kind of standard or definition of anything is absurd, egocentric, and “speciesist.” There is a colony of mites living in your eyelashes at this very moment, and their existence is as “real” as yours.

The sense, I AM, is a human experience. But—obviously, at least I hope this is obvious—something exists prior to human experience. In other words, when “you” die, and your “I AMness” is no more, the universe will still be here. Only your version of it will have died, not the whole thing, which will continue being exactly what it is and always has been.

Try to understand this, including the first sentence. If you can, you may be able to see into this entire matter, and your question(s) so far may be seen to [not] have been rather empty after all.”

 

Dr. Robert Saltzman is a psychotherapist and [non-teacher] of non-duality who lives and works in Todos Santos, Baja California, Mexico. In addition to his therapy practice, he takes questions about psychology, spirituality, and problems of living from questioners world-wide on the Dr. Robert Forum.

The site is the home of ask Dr. Robert, a unique question and answer forum open to everyone worldwide, gratis. The forum is fairly active and has many forum regulars — many of whom bring intelligence, experience, and wisdom to these online conversations.

Robert checks in on the forum regularly and contributes if and when necessary.

 

5 responses

  1. Will have to come back — great you did this on WP — you are going to love! Hugs, Adrienne

    July 18, 2011 at 8:41 am

  2. Floris

    Hi Dr Robert.

    Just Googling around the web, I came across this site. Nice!

    I would like to know your reaction on these statements. If you have some time… Thanks a lot.

    When science is researching consciousness, it actually is researching the content of consciousness, not consciousness itself. Empirically, there is no such thing as consciousness. Consciousness is a concept, not an object.

    As consciousness does not exist as an object, the scientific data about the content of consciousness is only of medical/biological interest, it is not of importance for anything ‘beyond’ that (existential human matters…).

    Regarding evolution: Stating that consciousness has benefits for species, is implying that the laws of nature are overridable by something, overthrowing cause and effect chains.
    Stating that it has no benefits, leads to the question: so how did it evolve then?

    Scientific investigation of the human mind, is human minds looking at human minds. It is a system looking at itself. Any results from that are not to be regarded as scientific.

    June 15, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    • Hi, Floris–
      You say that, “Empirically, there is no such thing as consciousness. Consciousness is a concept, not an object.” I don’t see things that way at all. Consciousness is the space in which concepts, bodily awareness, and everything else that “you” are arises. “You” ARE consciousness, and the body and its autobiography are the contents of consciousness.

      Now you say that, “As consciousness does not exist as an object, the scientific data about the content of consciousness is only of medical/biological interest, it is not of importance for anything ‘beyond’ that.” As I see things,”beyondness” is the concept, not consciousness which is obvious and apparent without trying.

      Does this answer your question?

      Be well,
      RS

      June 19, 2012 at 8:25 am

  3. Floris

    Hi Dr. Robert, thank you for answering. I was on holiday the past week, but now I’m back behind the screen…
    Especially the notion that ‘we’ ARE the consciousness, the space in which everything arises, implies that consciousness does not exist IN this world as a distinguishable object. The opposite would be more accurate: the world exists in consciousness. If consciousness is not an empirically approachable object in this world, can scientific research regarding consciousness ever be meaningful? I would think it can not. On for example the Science and Nonduality Conference there seems to be a coming together of nondual and scientific views. To me, this seems odd. Science is part of ‘all that is’, not overseeing it. Or could science be ‘helpful’ because of some ‘rational pointers’ to ‘oneness’? I wonder what you think of this.

    Kind regards,
    Floris

    July 6, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    • Hello, again, Floris–

      You can contact me by email on my Website and we can continue this discussion.

      Be well,
      RS.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:06 am

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