How Can We See, Hear, Smell, Taste, and Touch in a World Made of Consciousness?
Seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching all happen in the Mind, not in the body experience. The body experience is senseless. As a result, we can have sensory experiences in a waking state, in dreams, in hypnotic trance, and in memories, all with no objects. The sensory experiences are independent of anything outside of us.
We have the experiences of the five senses: sight, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching. We also have bodily experiences, such as pain, pleasure, movement, emotion, balance, and other bodily sensations. The experiences don’t give rise to the senses. The experiences are the senses. We smell a rose, see its red color, smell its fragrance, feel its soft petals, and are pricked by a thorn and feel pain. Each of these is an experience in the Mind. But there is no rose outside of us. There is only the set of experiences in our Mind that we identify as a rose, just as when we remember a rose we see it vividly in our Mind, feel its texture, and recall its odor; but there is no rose in our Mind, only the experience of the rose.
The experiences arise from Our Universal Intelligence in the same way that when we intend to recall the memory of a rose, a rose comes into our Awareness. “Recall,” “remember,” “bring to mind,” “relive,” “remind,” and “reminisce” are all words describing the action of willing an image or thought to come into Awareness when we want it. We don’t have to construct the image or put in a catalog code when we bring it to Mind. We just intend to have the rose in our Mind and it comes into Awareness from Our Universal Intelligence, with all its sight, smell, and texture details. But there is no physical rose there. We don’t need a physical rose outside of us to have the experience of a rose.
Experiencing a rose in our daily life happens in the same way. We look at a table and on it see a single rose. At that moment we are having the rose experience in Awareness from Our Universal Intelligence, just as we have the rose experience come to us in our Minds when we recall the sight of a rose or dream of a rose. In all three cases there is no rose object, just the sensory experiences we identify as a rose.
If Experiences Are in Our Minds, Why Does Everyone Have the Experiences of the Same World?
We have experiences that arise in Our Universal Intelligence and are shared among everyone having the experience together. We are one Mind experiencing the one set of sensory experiences, then taking from them our individual perspectives, understanding, and memories.
You might wonder how, if there’s no chair out there in the world apart from us, we can all have the experience of the same chair. The answer is that we are attuned to the same realm of experiences as everyone else now in Earth School, rather like being tuned to the same channel on a television. We spent our childhoods learning to experience this realm of experiences being experienced by others in Earth School. We learned the contents of the same dream everyone else is having with us. Our Universal Intelligence continues to have us experience the same world so our experiences are predictable, stable, and commonly held. We stay tuned to this realm of experiences. We know what this life is like and what to expect. We can then act in it to learn our life lessons, love others, and enjoy the experiences. However, there is no world outside of us that we’re learning to navigate. There are only the experiences we are accessing at the same time together from Our Universal Intelligence.
To help you understand how we experience reality, imagine you share the same Mind with five other people. When you look at a sunset, all six of you are having the one sight experience of the sunset as one Mind as though you had one pair of eyes. When you hear a bird singing, all six of you are having the sound experience of the bird as if you had one pair of ears. You are one Mind. You aren’t six Minds seeing six sunsets or hearing six birds. You are having one experience at the same time in your one Mind. Your bodies are separate, but your Minds are one.
Our world is just like that. When we are experiencing our day-to-day world together, our intention to act in the world brings to each of us the people, scenery, and actions Our Universal Intelligence has as the reality we are in now, just as our intention to remember an event comes to the one Mind with six individuals immediately. Because we are all one Mind in Our Universal Intelligence, we are all having the same experiences in this world. There is no objective world outside of us that we are experiencing. There are only the experiences our one Universal Intelligence is bringing into our collective Awareness.
The distinction is that each of us is an individual in our reception and interpretation of the experience. One person may notice the birds flying by while another notices the squirrels in the trees. One may be frightened at seeing a snake while another, who loves reptiles, is excited and happy at the sight of a snake. From the one experience, our individual selves take what is meaningful to us. We then also have our unique interpretations of the experiences. The memories we recall later are what each of us noticed that was meaningful to us. An experience might be made up of thousands of accessible details, but our limited Minds would only process five or ten. However, the entire set of all possible experiences is are accessible in our one Mind, Our Universal Intelligence, as one set of experiences.
Why Do the Experiences Stay the Same?
We receive the experiences we expect to receive because we all grew up with Earth School experiences. They are like memories in Our Universal Intelligence that take form as we encounter them. They are the same each time we experience them because Our Universal Intelligence provides experiences with stability and continuity that fit our expectations from past experiences.
Our Minds, which are individuated members of Our Universal Intelligence, have the same experiences because we are perpetuating them together. When we grew up, we became familiar with the experiences those around us had been experiencing in our one Mind, as though we were all in one dream. The reason the experiences are consistent and stable is that Our Universal Intelligence was providing what we expected and needed to happen based on what we experienced in life. All of us have the one common Mind that underlies reality so our understanding and expectations perpetuate this reality. We learned the experiences others before us were perpetuating, so we expect this reality to be as it is. This reality is what we experience only because everyone is receiving what we expect from Our Universal Intelligence. We are creating this reality. If everyone suddenly believed we have two moons, a second moon would appear instantly in our common experience. If we all believed elephants could fly, immediately our skies would be filled with trumpeting pachyderms. We perpetuate the world we believe to be real. You will read more about how the Mind can instantly change reality on pages 16-17.
Experiences are common to everyone who has contact with the same world in which we are having experiences. We expect this world because we grew up participating in the experiences with others who are also attuned to this world in Our Universal Intelligence. Because we are all attuned to it and expect it to be as it has been since we were children, we are creating and maintaining this reality. If we had other expectations we had all learned, we would all live in another reality together. When we graduate from Earth School, we will simply change the focus of the experiences accessible in Our Universal Intelligence. We’ll change dreams. We’ll share experiences in the next world of experiences given to us by Our Universal Intelligence, just as we share experiences in this world. Our life after this life will still be our one Mind in Our Universal Intelligence, just with a different attunement.
The reason for the common experiences in Earth School is that our Souls decided to attune us to this world in Our Universal Intelligence so we could learn the lessons we set out to learn, love others and grow in compassion, and enjoy the rich experiences. We must have experiences of the same people, scenery, and events so we can have experiences together. We planned the experiences before our births. We created the framework of the reality we would experience. This realm is our personal playground.
If Everything Is in the Consciousness of Our Universal Intelligence, What Exists?
It is better to say all experiences are “accessible” than they “exist.” When we access sights, sounds, odors, tastes, and textures as we live our daily lives, they are provided for us in Our Universal Intelligence. Nothing exists outside of our experiences. We have sensory experiences that change from moment to moment.
When you think of a person you grew up with, immediately memories come into your Mind: that person’s face, mannerisms, body structure, and personality. Where were those memories before they came into your Mind? Did they exist? No. They were simply accessible. Instead of believing there is a world of things outside of us or memories stored on a cosmic hard drive, we must conceive of them only as “accessible.”
Everything in Our Universal Intelligence that is now given to us has been discovered or observed by people at some time. When they are discovered or observed, they become part of the world of experiences Our Universal Intelligence gives to us. We have found everything there because we were looking for it.
When the Hubble Telescope peered into a vast, dark area of the cosmos called the “deep field,” the researchers had the sight experience of 3,000 galaxies no one had seen before. They did not become accessible until someone observed them. They never “existed” in the sense of being in a world outside of us. Now there is the potential for researchers to experience them if they look for them. The researchers didn’t create them so now there are 3,000 more galaxies in the universe. They became accessible because now we know when we look at that patch of sky with powerful telescopes we will see what we expect to see. The experiences are accessible.
That doesn’t diminish the fact that our experiences are real. We see, hear, feel, taste, smell, and touch real objects in a real world. We just have to think differently about where it all comes from and its underlying substance. Understanding that consciousness is the basis of reality is no stranger than believing the notions that everything in the universe is energy in some form; atoms are 99.99999% empty space; only 12 fundamental atomic particles make up everything but miraculously arrange themselves into trees, mountains, and people; when someone is looking at a light beam it changes from a wave to particles; and the vacuum of empty space is saturated with a quantum foam in which virtual particles of matter and anti-matter are continually being created and destroyed. Compared to those notions, consciousness as the basis of reality is a straightforward, parsimonious concept.