The 3 Frames of Consciousness (Alan Watts)
I have been listening to the “out of your mind” lectures by Alan Watts and recently I came across a concept he explained that I felt was so awesome I had to share it =)
So here it goes:
There is this belief somewhere within ancient (Hindu?) philosophy that what we come to experience through our consciousness, takes places within three time segments, each consisting roughly of 14 million years.
The three segments are represented as “god” slowly removing the “mask” and exposing what is really going on:
3. COMPLETE ISOLATION: the absolute furthest “experience” of oneness from the Universe, the absolute belief that you are a lone individual completely separate from the world around you. The furthest within this “game” that “god” finds himself in. Having “played” the role as a human being so long, the supreme consciousness has actually come to believe in the façade it had originally created to experience itself. The façade being that he/she/it/you has actually convinced itself that it is a separate entity from everything around it. (Alan Watts sees this as the supreme conscious successfully tricking itself into a false belief system).
2. AWAKENING-the realization that “something” is going on here that is bigger than your body and your mind. This is the stage where the god consciousness is beginning to remember where it has originated, getting closer and closer to the ultimate awareness of the life process and its workings.
1. THE MASK IS TAKEN OFF: Complete oneness-total awakening, represented by the realization that we are one and the same as every single thing within our known universe. This is the stage of complete awareness of how everything works, where every single one of our questions are answered (the same place we “experience” upon “dying”). Explained by Alan Watts as the time when “god” takes off the mask and exposes that he/she/it is actually YOU.
The order of this process seems to oscillate every 14 million years (holy crap I guess time must really not exist) starting with the mask already off. From this point the god conscious slowly enters the “game” going from stages 1 to 3, until it has successfully convinced itself that stage 3 is the complete reality. And then BAM, the god conscious is like “just kidding, I actually run this b*tch” and you get to play with god powers until you get bored and re enter the game once again starting at stage 1 with the goal to reach stage 3.
This entire process assumes the possibility of ridiculous amounts of reincarnations throughout this 42 million year game.
Sorry that was so long, if you managed to successfully follow this concept I’m trying to share, what are your thoughts/reactions?
It’s a very well-written way to describe it. I like the examples used and words like “god conscious” (though I think he means “consciousness”). It’s basically all metaphorical, another way to describe ones’ awakening. But still very cool. Here’s another article that puts it a different way, yet equally beautiful in my opinion:
The 5 stages of awareness: http://www.paulchefurka.ca/LadderOfAwareness.html
@justinr, Jesus titty-fucking christ that was awesome. I fucking love Watts. Fucking shit man. Haha.
I’d like to point out that when Watt’s says reincarnation and describes it, he always refers to you being all points of view, all 7 billion human and all “perspectives”. So it’s not like you’re on your own timeline of single different reincarnations, you are all that Is, you are IT; you’re just simultaneously peeking out through different viewpoints.
@justinr , We are God? That is ridiculuos. If we are God and we forgotten that we are God, that means illusion is bigger than God. That philosophy has a name, it’s called Mayavada philosophy, and it is bogus branch of Vedic philosophy. Nowhere in the Vedic scriptures will you find such ideas.
Also, nowhere in the vedic scriptures will you find word “Hindu.”
@blankey, yeah i agree with that, we are all one ocean of consciousness acting out different patterns, reincarnation is changing the pattern on any level (i.e. when someone has an experience that leads to a radical change in one`s psychological pattern, we might say that the person was born anew). Interesting fact: Person comes from the Greek “persona”(= the mask used by actors in ancient Greece).
@blankey, It just makes sense to me in a literal sense that we are everything. People think they’re so unique and individual because the set of factors and experiences that have made them the way they are. Of course you’re different from everyone else. It would be hard to duplicate every single little detail that has made you. Even past experiences can cause two beings to perceive and take different things from the “same” experience. Take away someone’s memory and they’re not quite the person they’re known to be.
That’s why I’d rather push for a better experience of existence than just trying to survive amidst bullshit. I can do whatever as this being. Death only means my particles become something else. I don’t really believe in souls except in a rather metaphorical sense. There’s one. But I don’t really know shit; just enjoy the ride.
I think that both transcendental and material are part of the same spectrum.
I finally finished Alan Watt’s book, The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are today and I’d say that is the main thing I learned from it. Language and science create separateness. We divide one thing that “wiggles” (Watts’ term, not mine…) from another.
We categorize this… from over there. When in fact, all just is. You cannot exist without your environment, your “background”. When studying a creature, you don’t just study the creature, you study its environment as well. The universe is your body extended. That’s what people mean when they say “all is one”. It’s not some metaphorical crazy inter-dimensional spacetime traveling fucking thing, it’s just a fact. Everything needs everything to exist and also…well “not-exist.”
Edit: There are two types of consciousness. Floodlight consciousness and spotlight consciousness. This current, Western, society tends to favor spotlight.
@seeker, spiritual means different energy from matter. So consciousness is for example non dividable, non-destructable, it’s not possible to merge two units of consciousness into one.
See Bhagavad Gita for details, especially verses from 23 onwards: http://vedabase.net/bg/2/en
Or read my blog entries on difference between matter and spirit: http://humanpurpose.org/category/matter-vs-spirit/
I feel like this doesn’t take 14 million years. I don’t think anyone is born into stage one. I almost thing people go through these stages in their own life, some don’t make it past the 3rd one but you have to go through the others within a life first in order to make it to the 1st. So it’s like your soul is going through long-term existential growth but there is a mini-growth during each life period in which you come to your full potential, then you die and it the cycle repeats. Thoughts?
I absolutely love Watts’s theory of life as a game, a dance, music. That life is completely playful and exists just for the sake of it. The point is itself. LOVE IT.
@emmaclaire, Yeah but think about evolution and how we used to be monkeys and other creatures throughout time. I don’t think we were unmasking ourselves and realizing that we were “god” back then. We only just recently became self aware. Self awareness is the first BIG step in this unmasking process. The ability to ask why and who am I are huge in this, especially the latter.
Once we realize that the Universe is not separate but a part ourselves and that it is you, and you are it, it is one, then the unmasking I think really begins. Even though, there doesn’t even need to be an unmasking, which is the whole trickery to this whole thing. People try and “attain” enlightenment. It is nothing you attain, that is to say by working towards something in the future; which, of course, does not even exist in this moment. The future, right now, is currently “over there”. When the time comes, that “there” will now be “here”.
Enlightenment is undefinable for it is everything, life in constant flow and deep within its spontaneity. It is simply living your life as it IS and not fighting what IS, which when fought, is your ego, karma, repeating the cyclical nature of thought upon thought; the grasping of life, which of course, cannot be grasped. It seems to almost jet-lag the present moment and keep you from your full potential. The final process, to me, is faith, letting go into the moment and letting everything move together for it IS together.
@blankey, I agree with you. No one had the capacity to get beyond stage 3, or perhaps even to be in stage 3 when we were monkeys. I’m saying no one is really born enlightened. Some people are born with the capacity for enlightenment and some aren’t, but we do all start out as babies who don’t know anything, and people ascend from stage 3 to 2 to 1 within a lifetime. Or some from 3 to 2, and some just stay in 3. But there is a mini-realization within a lifetime.