Self-Awareness in All Beings

“Are we to think that a being knowing itself must contain diversity, that self-knowledge can be affirmed only when some one phase of the self perceives other phases, and that therefore an absolutely simplex entity would be equally incapable of introversion and of self-awareness?

“No. A being that has no parts or phases may have this consciousness; in fact there would be no real self-knowing in an entity presented as knowing itself in virtue of being a compound—some single element in it perceiving other elements—as we may know our own form and entire bodily organism by sense perception: such knowing does not cover the whole field; the knowing element has not had the required cognizance at once of its associates and of itself; this is not the self-knower asked for; it is merely something that knows something else.” ~Plotinus


Plotinus is asking a common question that plagues philosophers and other even today. That simple question is this: How do we know ourselves? The typical answer is that we have two “selves”, and one knows the other. Some say it is the soul that is looking at the mind. Others say it is the subconscious mind observing the conscious mind. Either way, it is one part of us looking at another part. Plotinus is saying that if that is correct, then we really don’t know ourselves at all. We know the self that is observed by the “other”, but what of this other that is observing? Is that our true self? Are both the one observing and the one being observed our self? It does get confusing. If one part is always the observer, and the other part, the observed, then only the part that is observed is ever known. That part which observes is never known.

Another theory is that the observer is universal consciousness, while the observed is the individual mind or ego. This theory makes the most sense to me. The universal consciousness would naturally be able to observe the individual, but the individual would not be able to observe the all. It is much like saying God can know us even though we don’t really know much about God.

A Singular Being

Plotinus says that a simple being with a simplex nature can’t have one nature that observes the other. This means, according to most, that such beings cannot have any self-awareness. Plotinus disagrees with this. He says that even a simple creature that doesn’t have those two “selves” that can look at each other, can still be self-aware. Until recently, science denied this.

Science has always said that animals cannot have any self-awareness. They can feel pain, they can react to the world around them, but they are no aware. But in the last few decades, we have learned a lot about animals that is surprising these scientists. In terms of self-awareness, there have been several cases that have shown that animals do have it. At least some of the more advanced ones do.

In one case, an elephant is seen reacting to its reflection in a mirror. We laugh at dogs and cats that do this and think it is another animal they see in the mirror. That, however, is exactly what the scientists expect. An understanding that is is a reflection of themselves implies a degree of understanding what “self” is. You have to have some self-awareness to understand that what is in the mirror is yourself. The elephant that was observed reacted as expected, at first. He thought it was a different animal. But after some experimental movements and gestures, the elephant became aware that the reflection in the mirror copied his movements. It was clear that he soon realized it was himself, and lost interest. That is self-awareness.

Having Fun

While I haven’t heard a scientific opinion on this, it is my personal belief that an animal that clearly likes to have fun must have a certain degree of self-awareness. An animal might find that activity brings it joy, but without awareness, it could not understand that repeating the same activity would have the same result. Yet many examples of animals having fun are available.

In one that amazed many, a crow is seen enjoying sliding on a roof. The crow carries a jar lid to the top of the roof, jumps in it, then slides down. He repeats that activity several times.


He is having fun, he is aware of it. This one was also amazing because it demonstrated a crow using a tool: the jar lid. Until recently, using tools was supposed to be one of the things that separated man from animals. Now we are finding examples of animals using tools, do that idea must be rethought as well.

Another popular example shows a dog sliding on a hill. She carries the sled to the top of the hill, jumps on it, and slides down. Repeating the activity several times and is clearly enjoying it. She is aware that the activity is giving her joy. That is self-awareness.


In a similar activity with a dog, we see one that is having great fun with a machine that throws a tennis ball. This dog not only chases the mechanically thrown ball, but carries it back, drops it back in the machine, and jumps around in anticipation waiting for the machine to throw it again. This dog is not only reacting with joy to what has happened, but he is also reacting with joy to what he is expecting to happen in the future! That is definitely self-awareness, even if somewhat more limited than human self-awareness.


Self-Awareness in Plants

I guess the question that remains now is do plants have any self-awareness? Obviously, plants have a much lower level of consciousness than animals. That would imply that if they do have any self-awareness, it is much less than animals. But I don’t think we can rule it out entirely. Since one theory of self-awareness is that it is the universal consciousness that is observing the individual consciousness, that universal consciousness must be observing plants as well as humans and animals. And there is evidence that such limited self-awareness does exist. Recent studies have shown that when a tree is attacked by plant disease, it sends out a chemical warning to other trees in the area so they can build up their protection and avoid getting the same illness. Now it can be argued that it is simply a reaction by the plant with no actual awareness involved. But we don’t really know for sure. And all life is part of that one Universal Consciousness.

music of the spheres

Music of the Spheres Singing to the Soul

“Many early instruments had seven strings, and it is generally conceded that Pythagoras was the one who added the eighth string to the lyre of Terpander. …

“The Pythagorans believed that everything which existed had a voice and that all creatures were eternally singing the praise of the creator. Man fails to hear these divine melodies because his soul is enmeshed in the illusion of material existence. When he liberates himself from the bondage of the lower world with its sense limitations, the music of the spheres will again be audible as it was in the Golden Age. Harmony recognizes harmony, and when the human soul regains its true estate it will not only hear the celestial choir but also join with it in an everlasting anthem of praise to that Eternal Good controlling the infinite number of parts and conditions of being.” ~Manly P. Hall

Seven or Eight Strings

Halls gives credit to Pythagoras for added the eighth string to a lyre that had always, like several other stringed instruments, had seven. He gives no reason for doing so, however. Permit me to do it for him.

Hall does say that seven was standard because of the popularity of seven in other things, especially spiritual ones. Seven colors in the rainbow, seven chakras, or energy centers, in the body, and so on. In fact, most people equate the frequent occurrence of seven in the Bible to those seven chakras. But Pythagoras was correct in adding an eighth. There are four energy centers in the spirit. Each is divided into two when the enter the physical body. That gives eight, not seven. So there are eight primary energy centers in the body, not seven. So why do so many believe it is seven? Because when asked to publicly reveal the hidden information in the mystery schools, the masters of those schools always supply incomplete information to those who are not official students.

A Singing All

There is, in a sense, singing everywhere. Singing is just rhythmic vibrations of the right frequencies to register on our ears. There are many sounds in the world that we don’t think of as music or singing. There are sounds that we ignore entirely. We are unaware that many of those sounds even exist. Birds and crickets chirping, tree leaves rustling in the wind and so many other sounds that we generally ignore. But there are other sounds, such as the vibrating of rocks, that happen at frequencies we can’t even hear. Yet they are sometimes rhythmic vibration and therefore singing.

Music of the Spheres

Not only is everything on Earth singing, in a way, but the planet itself sings (or vibrates) as it moves through space. It is accompanied by its brothers and sisters, the other planets of our solar system, to create a celestial choir. Then so must the sun and the other stars sing to themselves and to each other. The whole universe is singing. This is called the Music of the Spheres. Some say that the common chant of “Om” used in meditation and prayer is an imitation f the music of the spheres.

But even beyond these sounds of the physical universe, there must be sounds found only in the spiritual universe. They would be much different than those of the realm of matter. While everything in the spiritual world vibrates, as does matter, there is likely no tension or friction produced in that realm. Perhaps for that reason, the sound of the spiritual realm would be purer, clearer. It would truly be singing to our ears. This is the true music of the spheres.

Some people report that when they are engaging in certain spiritual development techniques to bring them closer to that realm, they can hear beautiful music with no physical source. Others may just sense a beautiful harmony or feel a pleasant vibration without hearing it. They are all lightly touching this true music of the spheres.

I say this is the true music of the spheres because the dimensions of reality are generally depicted as spheres within spheres like the layers of an onion or a nesting doll. I think it can be reasonably assumed that the music of the spheres is at its purest and most beautiful at the highest of the spheres—that which we call heaven—and gets weaker, or less pure, as it drops to lower and lower dimensions. We can assume that at the lowest dimension, where not even matter can exist, there is also no sound, no music of the spheres. So let’s rejoice that we live in the third dimension where is does exist, and we have the ability to slowly climb to higher dimensions, where it is pure.

portal of the sky

Portal of the Sky Opens to the Spiritual

“Ferry Me to the Sun Take me, firstborn. The path of light spreads before me from my own first city. I look for someone. The dissolving image of the savior comes to me. O first one, the light of the virgin touches me, the brightest picture of truth with her three angels who give grace. Firstborn, the portals of the sky fly open before me in the rays of my savior and his portrait of light. I left my garment on the earth. Senile diseases were mine. I dress in the deathless robe. Ferry me to the sun and the moon. Ferry of light at peace over three earths. Firstborn, I am a holy bride in her chamber of light, resting. I keep my victory gift. …

“O soul, sleeping. You who sleep, you who doze, wake. Sun rises on you. … The good man has come Jewel garland, you. Wandering sheep, your shepherd seeks you. Noble and despised, your king wants you. Where are your angelic cloths, robes that don’t age? Where are your cheerful wreathes and crowns that don’t fall? The clay mold of your kin, your father’s seal? When you were saved, your first jewel, your mind was collected, familiar, unfailing to you. How many of your blood has the world . . . for you? The humble you have loved and the great you have humbled. You were not yet ashamed. ” ~The Manichaean Song Book

Take Me to The Sun

Why would the singer ask Christ to carry him to the sun? Is he planning to fly in a spaceship? Is he trying to get burned up by the heat of the sun? No, that’s not what he wants. He wants the Christ Force within him to link him to the spiritual sun, not the physical one. It is the spiritual sun that awakens the dormant spirit and soul. The spiritual sun links the physical realm to the spiritual.

The path of light does spread before you when you turn to the spiritual sun. Part of what that sun does is show you the path. The one true path for a real spiritual awakening. There are many detours, many winding roads that can be followed forever, but only one direct path to the Light.

Portal of the Sky

The portal of the sky is that very same spiritual sun. It is a portal because it links the physical realm to the spiritual. When one enters this portal, he is exposed to great spiritual truths and ultimate knowledge. It is the truth and knowledge that the ancient Gnostics called Gnosis. We may not comprehend it on the first exposure, or even the second. Yet every time we expose ourselves to this spiritual light, it has an effect on us at many levels. Continued exposure awakens our spiritual faculties. After that, continues exposure nourishes the soul and helps it grow strong. Through this portal, we reach higher states of consciousness. We increase our frequencies which allows us to communicate with beings such as angels that life at much higher frequencies than we do on the level of matter.

Angelic Robes and Crowns

When you travel to the spiritual sun, you are doing it without the physical body. Obviously, the physical body can not travel to the sun. That’s what the singer means when he says he left his garment on earth. He calls the physical body a garment because he knows it is not his true self. The physical body is more of a garment or a tool we use when trapped in the material world. It is no more who we really are than is a Halloween costume. But the robes of an angel, the song says, do not age. This is another way of saying that they are made of spirit, not matter. Spirit does not age, get sick, or die. So this song is telling us we must go to the Portal of the Sky, the spiritual sun, in spirit form, not physical.

And what of the wreaths and crowns that don’t fall? These are references to that spiritual light that shines forth from one who is truly awakened and full of spiritual light. This is often depicted as a crown or halo of light or a wreath of spiritual energy around or above the head. When you enter the portal of the sky, your wreath and crown will glow with this light also. Yet most will not see it because they look for it with their physical eyes. In most cases, the physical eyes cannot see the subtle, yet brilliant light of spirit. We could say, in a scientific way, that the frequencies of the spiritual light fond in that portal of the sky are beyond the frequencies that can be seen by the physical eyes. Only an awakened soul can see these halos or crowns of light. Yet many who are not fully awakened can still feel something special when around a person who has gone through the portal of the sky and wears such a crown.

I have written before on how the gold crown of kings was originally intended to represent the light of the sun and to show that the king had been through the portal of the sky and was therefore worthy to rule. Such gold crowns originated with high priests and later become the kings. Of course, it didn’t take long for kings to demand the right to wear such crowns with no spiritual training at all and without ever entering the portal of the sky. Such is life in the material world.

random universe

Random Universe of Marcus Aurelius

“According to the nature of the universe all things particular are determined, not according to any other nature, either about compassing and containing; or within, dispersing and contained; or without, depending. Either this universe is a mere confused mass, and an intricate context of things, which shall in time be scattered and dispersed again; or it is an union consisting of order, and administered by Providence. If the first, why should I desire to continue any longer in this fortuit confusion and commixtion? Or why should I take for anything else, but that as soon as may be I may be earth again? And why should I trouble myself any more whilst I seek to please the Gods? Whatsoever I do, dispersion is my end, and will come upon me whether I will or no. But if the latter, then am not I religious in vain; then will I be quiet and patient, and put my trust in Him, who is the Governor of all.” ~Marcus Aurelius

A Random Universe?

This is a question that should be easy to answer. In fact, however, there is disagreement about it. Some people look around them and answer that the universe is indeed random. They see things happening that make no sense to them, and so they see randomness. They see people dying who don’t deserve to die, and they see randomness. They see horrid people having a rich and successful life, and good people having a difficult life. All this, they believe, proves the universe is random.

But simply because the reason for some things is unknown to you doesn’t mean there is no reason. Plus a little disorder mixed in with overall order is not randomness. In order to be truly random, all things must be random. The length of a day should not be predictable. One day would be twenty-four hours, the next day sixteen. One day the sun would be much bigger than Earth, the next day smaller. Consistency comes from a lack of randomness.

When a frog lays eggs, chickens never hatch from those eggs. When you throw down a rubber ball, it bounces back. It never turns into a turnip. It never grows wings and flies off. It is predictable. The behavior of nearly all objects is predictable in most circumstances. The behavior of animals is also predictable most of the time. That which is predictable is not random.

An Intelligent Universe?

If we conclude, therefore, that the universe is not truly random, then we must conclude that it is intelligent. Some falsely believe that to say the universe is intelligent means the same as saying it is perfect. No, it is not. Perfect is intelligent, but intelligent isn’t necessarily perfect. W consider ourselves intelligent, and correctly so, yet we are not perfect, we make mistakes. So the universe can be intelligent without being perfect. Continue reading “Random Universe of Marcus Aurelius”