Tertium Organum, Chapter 6 (Reality)


The following is a summary as well as a commentary on Chapter 6 of Tertium Organum by P D Ouspensky.

In this chapter Ouspensky sets out to determine the relationship between lower and higher dimensions. He ends up concluding that it requires a leap of faith to be able to perceive higher dimensions.

When consciousness is limited to a fewer number of dimensions, its focus becomes narrow. It is unable to look at reality as a whole. So it looks at part of reality one moment at a time. This creates the illusion of motion.

A phenomenon basically consists of “appearance, existence, and disappearance.” Because the consciousness is limited to fewer dimensions, the contribution from higher dimensions is not perceived in its totality. Instead, the aspects of higher dimensions appear, exist and disappear. Thus there is phenomena having the characteristic of time.

The higher dimensions appear as subjective. We only have an inkling of them. We do see associations but with lots of gaps among them. We do not have the whole picture. We see motion but not the ultimate source of it. We then succumb to speculations.

What appears and disappears in awareness is assigned to the dimension of time, but it may belong to a dimension that is yet to be identified. Things appear and disappear because a limited consciousness is scanning the landscape of reality. This is the genus of time.

Separation in space and time does not necessarily mean that the phenomena are not connected. There may be associations that are not visible. Predictions are a matter of becoming aware of associations.

There can be an eternal landscape, which can be divided into past, present and future based on the narrowness of the span of consciousness. If the span of consciousness can be increased to encompass the whole landscape altogether then we shall just have an eternal present.

Motion seems to arise when consciousness assumes a narrow focus, and passes over the landscape of reality one moment at a time.

All that is needed is the expansion of the consciousness to encompass the whole reality. The illusion of motion will then disappear, and one would eternally be conscious of all dimensions.

Expanding the focus of attention would mean getting rid of all conditioning. It would mean that one should closely look at all those things that do not make sense and clarify them.

It is then just a matter of faith that this process would eventually lead to the consciousness of whole reality and all its dimensions.

The reality is what it is. We simply need to become conscious of it.


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