Dimensions of Consciousness

Saying everything is caused by the physical brain appears sensible in our waking state, but it might appear untrue if there are higher dimensions of consciousness that subsume the waking dimension. In other words, even if we were absolutely convinced by observable evidence that our self-awareness arises out of matter, we could still be wrong. Plato’s allegory of the cave speaks to us about the idea of multi-dimensional consciousness, and the waking dimension of consciousness seems the most real until we fall asleep. Similarly, a lucid dream appears real until we wake up. So given that this is the case with these two dimensions of consciousness, it is not at all unreasonable to think that a higher state of consciousness, the mystic experience, would from its perspective, demonstrate the relativity of our present waking dimension.

The fact is that when one enters into the mystic dimension of consciousness, the experience is that the waking state derives from it and is but a shadow of itself. From that perspective it appears that neuroscience and physicalism are but logical extensions of Edwin Abbot’s Flatland thinking. The bottom line is that we know that higher dimensions of consciousness exist and can be accessed. They also offer great value to human society, giving rise to compassion, self-satisfaction, etc. The only thing that is not agreed upon is what these higher dimensions portend. Given their demonstrated value, it’s quite reasonable to pursue them wholeheartedly, without concern for what they “mean”–whether they constitute the transcendence of biological death or the plasticity of awareness located in the brain. At the same time, it is quite reasonable to maintain that those who have experienced these mystic dimensions of consciousness are in a better position to talk about their actual meaning, especially when we can observe that they have achieved a sense of satisfaction and meaning that everyone is arguably looking for. Indeed, what is holding one back from pursuing this other than the quest for satisfaction and meaning through experiences that we know objectively, upon having, will not bring the same sense of self-contentedness?

From Is There a Secular Meditation?