The Elephant In the Room

by Michael Colantoni

Some things are just plain obvious. Our denial of them is simply ludicrous, and this ludicrousness  is the hint that we must examine our belief.

Nothing in the Universe, so far discovered, does not have a source.

Why then do we insist on denying that there is a source from which we have originated – an ultimate source? Is it because we cannot explain it with our intellect? Can the clay understand the potter whose hands form it into a vase? Do we really expect that our limited, conditioned intellects will be able to grasp and describe that from which it has sprung? This surely is hubris at its best!

We may HAVE a form – we call it body. We may have IDENTITY – we call it me. But life is experienced by us by virtue of our being conscious. We are not our forms – we EXPERIENCE our forms. We cannot testify to the independent existence of any thing. We can only testify that we are CONSCIOUS of it. So, in the final analysis, all we can truly, reliably affirm is that we are conscious – nothing else can be independently proven. But that we are conscious does not have to be proven. It is self-evident, by definition. Hence “I AM” is the only reliably true statement that can be made. All other presumed truths rely on this as their foundation. All other truths can be contested, but not the fact of our own individual consciousness.

But what is the source of this consciousness? Surely, we will not continue to deny that the one thing that is incontrovertibly true also has a source. Everything our consciousness observes has proven to have some source. What evidence do we have upon which to base an assumption that our consciousness, then, does not also spring from a source?

A clay pot is made of clay. A river is made of water. A flower comes from a seed which came from a flower. A lemon comes from a lemon tree, not from an apple tree. There is a self-similarity between the thing and its source. So what is the substance that underlies the source from which individual consciousness springs?

The answer is the elephant in the room.

Whatever it is, it must be primal, elementary, self-sustaining and creative. It must also have the characteristics of intelligence, energy and will. There is no point in naming it – that will distort, limit and condition its essential nature. To name something, we must define it. To name something, we must limit it. To name something, we must be saying, “It is this, and not more.” We can name ourselves, but how can we name our source?

The elephant is in the room. Let’s at least acknowledge it is.