Consciousness is by nature consciousness-of something. It is not that consciousness is at liberty to have or not to have an object. There cannot be consciousness without it being consciousness-of something. This characteristic is not an attribute of consciousness; it is its essence. It is called Intentionality or the intentional structure of consciousness. This feature is also expressed in Hinduism by the phrase Satchidananda as the essence of the supreme reality; it translates into Existence-Knowledge-Bliss. The existence aspect implies the object or a being, while the knowledge aspect relates the consciousness’s fundamental entanglement with the being or that which exists as the intended object of consciousness. Thus, consciousness cannot be disentangled from its object, for consciousness is precisely defined as that which has an object.
Another important logical feature of consciousness is that its object cannot have been separate from it at any point, as if there existed a moment where consciousness came into contact with its object. The object of consciousness is always within consciousness and not something alien to it. It is not as if consciousness is simply holding its object; consciousness and its object are like the two sides of one coin. This follows from the intentional structure of consciousness: If we assume that the object is separate from consciousness, and hence there was a point at which consciousness came into contact with its object, then consciousness would have to object-less prior to the contact; this, however, violates the intentional structure of consciousness. Thus, the object of consciousness belongs to consciousnesses itself and it has to be of the nature of consciousness. If the object would not be of the nature of consciousness, then there is no way for consciousness to intend an object which is of another nature; when you stretch your hand which is an organ of tactile perception only tactile objects can become into contact with the hand; the hand can never touch a sound which is of a different nature than a tactile object. In short, the object of consciousness is not only always within consciousness and never separate from it, it also is of the same nature as consciousness, for otherwise there is not logical basis for consciousness to bear within itself an object that is not of its own nature. We can in a way say that consciousness is pregnant with the object, the object belonging to it from its very inception to its growth and apparent independence. Like a woman, being an organic complex, cannot become pregnant with an inorganic object, which is alien to her nature, the object of consciousness, too, cannot be of a different nature than consciousness since it has never been separate from it in the first place.
Thus, consciousness can become conscious of itself if and only if it makes itself an object of knowledge, that is, it objectifies itself. Without such objectification consciousness cannot become self-conscious. This self-objectification of consciousness is what we know as the World. Thus, consciousness can see itself only in the mirror of the world. However, in such objectification consciousness becomes hypnotized by its own projection and identifies itself with objects of the world; it forgets itself and thinks it is a subject inside the world, little knowing that it is the very ground and essence of the world. In fact, there is nothing but consciousness, the world being only an intentional object, much like a mirage, through which consciousness can get a glimpse of its own face.
The moment consciousness recognizes its own face in the mirror of the world it is liberated from the bondage of its own identification with the world. The principal cause of bondage is objectification which is the essential power of consciousness. This power which we mentioned above as the intentional essence of consciousness is also known as Maya; it is under the strong effect of this objectification that consciousness forgets itself as the very cause of the world, thus it assumes to be the object and not that which is pregnant with the object. Consciousness is pregnant with the world; how can a mother be deluded into thinking that she is the child and not the mother!? But this is precisely the mystery of existence and the force behind humans’ confusions about their origin, essence, and teleology.
The only way for the realization of the truth is to wake up from this self-hypnosis through which we have forgotten our true essence as the very cause of the world and not as that which is in the world, namely the human person. Our humanity is only a veil, a mask, the end product of objectification. In truth we ourselves are the very agent behind this objectification, being in reality one and united as one supreme consciousness. The same way that one person can see infinite reflections of itself in an all mirrored room, consciousness too since it is surrounded by its own self-objectification as the world it naturally sees many reflections of itself as the many subjects in the world, each taking a different form according to how clear and flat the mirror is.
We are pure consciousness and there has never been anything but us. How can we become frightened and weakened when there is nothing outside us to frighten and weaken us! In reality we have never been in bondage no more than a person in a dream is in danger. Everything that we think we are we have only accepted it to be the case. But we don’t have to accept anything that belittles us or makes us trivial or accidental, be it science or religion, for these too have authority over us because we have accepted their authority and their claims to truth; they are valid only so far as we accept their reign. How can science or religion which are our own products turn against us and make us sinners or trivial accidents of cosmos!? How can our own products belittle us and undermine the significance of our precious existence?! If we were that little and insignificant how on earth can our science and religion, along with all their conclusions, amount to anything?! How can the very science that makes us trivial have any objective value as the product of a trivial and insignificant agent?! A science that makes a whore out of its mother also makes itself a mother fucking science.
What is is what we have accepted it to be, for we are that which is behind the acceptance and the accepted. We are always what we consider ourselves to be.