Glimpse Of Spirit – Science and Spirituality


If consciousness is not simply an emergent property of life, as science assumes, but is instead the initial glimpse, we have of Spirit, we ought to stop wasting our time trying to explain how it derives from matter and turn our attention to consciousness itself.


The image on a television screen provides an analogy for what we then find. The television lights up its screen, and the film in the video we are watching modifies that light so as to produce one of an infinite number of images. These images are like the perceptions, sensations, dreams, memories, thoughts, and feelings that we consciously experience – we might think of them as the contents of consciousness. The light itself, without which no images would be possible, corresponds to pure consciousness. We know that the images on the screen are composed of this light, but we are not usually aware of the light itself. Our attention is caught up in the images that appear and the stories they tell. In much the same way, we know we are conscious, but normally we are aware only of the many different experiences, thoughts, and feelings that consciousness presents us with. Consciousness proper-pure consciousness, consciousness with no images imposed upon it – is the common property of us all.

When (in introspection of meditation) we detect pure consciousness, we have every reason to think that what I experience is identical with what you experience in that same state.

And identical with what God too experiences, not in degree but in kind. For at that level, we are down to what consciousness is, namely infinite potential – receptive to any content that might be imposed on it. The infinitude of our consciousness is only potential whereas God’s consciousness is actual – God experiences every impossibility timelessly – but the point here is that our consciousness themselves, are in fact identical.

~ Huston Smith