This paper was presented at
Psychology: The Indian Contribution
National Conference on
Indian Psychology, Yoga and Consciousness
organised by the Indian Council of Philosophical Research
at the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education
Pondicherry, India, 10-13 December 2004

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Self and consciousness

Mukesh Srivastava — Bhopal.

An examination into the nature of individual self reveals that the core of subjectivity, inspite of varied and discrete layers of linguistic, socio-psychological and material formations, remains untouched by any of these. This untouched core or pure consciousness, as I have designated it, defies commonly known cognitive modes of knowing and needs to be sharply differentiated from functional processes of sensation, perception and thought. This paper develops the thesis that consciousness per se is not constructed or shaped by the material process of cognition or perception triggered by the brain, and further that in the ultimate sense, the nature of consciousness may appear to be like that of an energy field transcending the boundaries of individual brains and all external objects. Supporting this thesis from the evidence available so far from the fields of cognition, psycho-physics and phenomenology, the paper suggests a new way of thinking about the role of the physical body, namely that the brain cells may only receive, guide, arbitrate or channelize pure consciousness which is transcendental to them.

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