What is consciousness?
The perennial question
That occupies so many, many minds — 
Though half of it is never mentioned!

To be aware, and to be a thing — 
Both are implicated,
And somehow cohere — 
For consciousness is to be aware of things!

But “things” are assumed — “awareness” is too.
And neither has ever been solidified, nor clewed.
The “hard” question then is vaporous at best.
For “What is consciousness?” will never be put to rest.

Any explanation of a systematic sort
Of what awareness is — assumes implicitly that first
(Or awareness is naught)
For nothing is added that is not already there.

But first we should investigate ourselves — 
That self of which we are,
For the most part, aware.
Could we be a self and be unaware?

But it’s never an awareness of,
Rather, it’s awareness as;
Because awareness “of” creates the impossible — 
Since some thing can’t be aware “of” no thing.

Notice awareness is a duration of knowing — 
Not awareness itself, for there is no thing there.
So what is added with conscious of self?
“Self” being just a duration of knowing itself!

And so goes the hard question
Revolving around the two halves of a verb — 
Both being nothing more than a duration of the other — 
And that is what time is only made of.

The hardest problem being:
How awareness and time and ‘being a self’
Cohere into something called “consciousness”
If they weren’t already not other than THAT!

If awareness is a duration of knowing
And time is duration in which knowing occurs
And self is something that notices itself enduring
Perhaps we should reduce it all into one.

And realize at once that none of them can be
Unless they are all at once free
Of encumbering conclusions that separately see
These three necessary aspects of what it is to be.

And to realize that our limited view of time
Is not distance; but relation — 
Duration related to duration — 
What this path is made of.

And degrees of separation
Is closer to the truth
Than that of adumbration
Which is only quantification.

For in the end,
To be is to be known
As a self that is nothing other than
Staying for a while — a path on which to wend.

What is, is what becomes — 
and that is not nothing.
Are we conscious then
When asking what consciousness is?

ཨེ་མ་ཧོ། ཕན་ནོ་ཕན་ནོ་སྭཱཧཱ།
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