Explaining consciousness is like trying to explain god or love. These are phenomena that can be experienced, but rarely have words adequately described them. I’m going to try to give this a go.
Ever seen a dead body? I have. Quite a few. It is as though the light has gone out. Whenever I see a body, I think, “Hm. They are not there. That’s not them. They are gone.”
We hear, “The light has gone out of their eyes”.
Ever seen the sparkle in a little kids eye, just before they are about to do something purposefully naughty?
The light in the eyes, the sparkle, that is energy.
Someone enters a party and for some reason, all present turn and look. That person has presence. What is presence? Energy.
People are attracted to vital people. Vitality is energy and we must have energy to be alive. We are like the blender on the counter. It can’t cut unless it is plugged in.
Joseph Campbell, the famed mythologist, described consciousness to his students by using a light bulb as an example. He explained that you can say that the light is on, meaning the vehicle, the body. Or you can say the light is on, meaning the illumination itself. Which are you? Are you the body (the vehicle) or are you the illumination, the energy itself?
Physics widely believes that all things, at their base element, their smallest division, are energy.
Our consciousness is energy. We are energy. So is everything else. All matter at its core is energy.
Let’s think about our senses, these tools through which we outwardly perceive the world.
They are marvelous. What’s a sense? Webster: “a faculty by which the body perceives an external stimulus”.
To “perceive” is to “become aware or conscious of something”.
Our senses are fragile. Hearing often fades over time. Some go blind. My parents had a virus recently that eliminated their sense of sense of smell and taste for nearly a year. People become paralyzed. Our senses are limited in design and function and as they change, so too does our perception of reality.
A bat can sense with sonar. A shark can smell a single drop of blood in a million gallons of water. Cats can see in the dark. Dogs can be trained to smell cancer. Can you imagine seeing through the perspective of a fly? As much as I lament, I cannot do any of these things. And neither can you.
We know there are other ways of perceiving reality, found here on earth, in animals. We must therefore assume that our perceived reality is limited. There is more that is capable of being perceived.
Buddhists use the term “maya” to describe reality. It means illusion.
The body dies.
Can energy ever die?
No. Not possible.