Man is not Conscious

by Michael Colantoni

All study, all thinking and investigation must have one aim, one purpose in view, and this aim must be attaining consciousness. It is useless to study oneself without this purpose. There are reasons to study oneself only if one has already realized that one does not have consciousness and one wishes to attain it. Otherwise it becomes just futile. Attaining consciousness is connected with the gradual liberation from mechanicalness, for man, as he is, is fully and completely under mechanical laws. The more a man attains consciousness, the more he leaves mechanicalness, which means he becomes more free from accidental mechanical laws.
The first step in acquiring consciousness is the realization that we are not conscious. But this illusion cannot be changed alone, for there are many others. As I said earlier, the worst of them is the illusion that we can ‘do’. All our life is based on this illusion. We always think that we are doing when, in reality, we are not doing anything— everything happens.
Another illusion is that we are awake. When we realize that we are asleep we will see that all history is made by people who are asleep. Sleeping people fight, make laws; sleeping people obey or disobey them. The worst of our illusions are the wrong ideas among which we live and which govern our lives. If we could change our attitude towards these wrong ideas and understand what they are, this in itself would be a great change and would immediately change other things.

P. D. Ouspensky