Each being contains in itself the whole intelligible world. PLOTINUS
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Walt Whitman, in his famous poem Song of Myself - described all kinds of things occurring around him, as if they were a part of him and contained within him - and so far as we understand consciousness - they are!!
If we could roll out some kind of map or representation of all that is contained within the consciousness of a single individual - it would display much of the physical world (albeit with individual emphases and distortions) and an infinite amount of thought, feeling, imagination and individual perspective. It would be HUGE in every dimension possible, and anything but finite or static.
If we were to map out the combined consciousness of every living being on this planet - we would have mapped out as many universes, and more. Within those combined maps, would be countless iterations of the scientifically "known" universe.
This line of thinking leaves me with more questions than answers... but I find it absolutely fascinating. How many iterations of "spiritual" understandings would correlate strongly and suggest a shared reality? What would our combined representation of what we tend to think of as "spiritual" look like? Would they map completely onto accepted understandings of the physical world, in some way - or not?
I guess when we are open to exploring one another's understandings - whether or not they differ from our own, we are informally engaged in exactly that kind of research.
And what about "shared realities"? I'm one of those people who feels most satisfied, after really deep sharing with friends (I guess that is the main reason I blog) ... For me, gaining understanding of another, and feeling understood, is more satisfying that a good meal! I suspect that when we share our internal worlds with others, we create something larger again - Our combined understanding is larger than the sum of any individual consciousness (if that sentence makes sense...) We add to one another's internal worlds, and enlarge our own when we share our "selves". We grow in sharing - in knowing, and in being known.
Incidentally, Peter Rollins has been blogging about something along these lines, here and here. His emphasis is on the way that he believes love "enlarges" the other... I think it does - and this is even more food for thought!
Is human consciousness limited and imperfect? Of course!! Is it also infinite and limitless? Absolutely!!