The difference between consciousness and awareness ~ from Total Freedom : The Essential Krishnamurti

“This perception is entirely different from seeing an object without an observer, because in the perception of meditation there is no object and therefore no experience. What meaning has such meditation? There is no meaning; there is no utility. But in that meditation there is a movement of great ecstasy. It is the ecstasy which gives to the eye, to the brain, and to the heart the quality of innocency. Without seeing life as something totally new, it is a routine, a boredom, a meaningless affair. So meditation is of the greatest importance. It opens the door to the incalculable, to the measureless.” This ecstatic pointer of Krishnamurti’s so escapes our contemporary mind-set as to be practically unintelligible. Yet it is supremely intelligent. How so? Because it implies a radical distinction between consciousness and awareness. In our time, philosophy and depth psychology have virtually absolutized consciousness. They fail to discern that consciousness is not self-correcting. How can it be so since consciousness is ever tied to change? It is only as awareness has an object that consciousness comes into play. In itself awareness is both independent of objects and changeless. On that account it is the door to the incalculable and measureless. Krishnamurti invites us to begin the most radical self-inquiry since it opens out upon the infinite space of awareness. Self-inquiry begins by asking not what am I but what am I not? Such a no-nonsense question has no need of theoretical structures, the conceptual paraphernalia of our depth psychologies, philosophies, and theologies and belief systems. The question is astonishingly yet frighteningly simple; frightening because it entails the deepest sense of aloneness, since none but oneself can ask the question nor answer it. Yet, with the patience, courage, and radical trust to hang in there without bolting from it one discovers the unlonely aloneness of that “meditation which is absolutely no effort, no achievement, no thinking, the brain is quiet, not made quiet by will, by intention, by conclusion and all that nonsense; it is quiet. And, being quiet, it has infinite space.”

Exerpt from Total Freedom : The Essential Krishnamurti