Admittedly, I don’t have much of a background in philosophy, but I do find the problem of consciousness fascinating, and I have thought about it a great deal.

I do, however, have a lot of trouble wrapping my mind around some of the ideas you discuss here. I think I have a vague understanding, but I’m not entirely sure — or maybe I do understand, and I just find the ideas flawed.

Perhaps you could help steer me in the right direction.

The fundamental nature of reality is an indescribable absolute in which there is no separation, what some call nonduality.

That strikes me as a claim rather than an established fact.

My concept of nonduality (and please correct me if I mischaracterize anything here) is the idea that all of reality is connected, that we are all just parts of a single metaphysical “organism” — and I put organism in quotes because I suppose I am using it in a metaphorical rather than a scientific sense.

Perhaps an easier analogy is that all of existence is like a giant clock, and we are all cogs within it.

What trips me up is this talk of illusions.

I can understand the claim that separateness is an illusion: the illusion is that there is no clock.

It’s this idea of the self as an illusion that I struggle to get behind.

Because, supposing I accept the premise of the clock’s existence, and I accept that I am just a cog within it— well, the cogs do still exist, don’t they?

And if I do exist as a cog, then we can easily see that my subjective experience of being a cog is different from that of other cogs.

And if that’s the case, then how is my sense of self an illusion?

How does the existence of the clock, and the fact of my role in it, preclude me, a cog, from being conscious, or from having legitimate awareness (as opposed to illusory awareness)?


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