“I think therefore I am” is a poor verification of one’s existence. The inner monologue of an individual human being is not consciousness. It is simply this: an emergent jumble of reasonings (shifting minute by minute), derived from a conglomeration of earthly voices and encounters. The monologue is not definite. It lies to and contradicts itself. Given time (moments will do), the dominant voice(s) of a monologue will change, retiring or replacing antecedent reasonings. These competing voices may be derived from anyone or anywhere: educators, peer groups, family members, your new and progressive social sciences textbook, television programs, the admonitions of a pastor, general politics, or (God forbid) advertisements. Do not misunderstand me. I am not even hinting at the suggestion we should refuse to listen to others (that would only render the monologue more destructive). The inner monologue will compose itself of subjective reasonings whether we like it or not. What I am saying is this: so long as we passively believe ourselves to be the monologue, It cannot be sorted out. The monologue itself is a hopeless quagmire, so we must remove ourselves from it (I do not speak figuratively) before we can return and find the truth therein.
To what end do we remove ourselves from the monologue, and what do we seek in its place? We seek ourselves, our true identity in its freedom from the egoistic encumbrance of an earthly being. For an individual who yet identifies with the monologue, truth will be dependent on his mood; but in seeking to contact our true Selves, we will shed this individualistic division which plasters itself over truth and unity. So yes, good, this is all very lofty and profound, I’m sure; but how is it accomplished, and what is this “true Self”? As a creature who began his journey as a very over-proud monologue, I will tell you this: It is accomplished only in faith (reasoning will never do), and faith itself is the very foundation upon which the true identity is discovered. Faith is the absence of all presumption, religious or otherwise; and in that surrender, truth will liberate us. Once the transformation process has begun, I call the newly discovered Identity “Spirit”. It is in Spirit that we will be able to revisit our monologue, discerning its truths and falsehoods. If through faith and discipline we remain in the Spirit daily, the lies of our ever-present monologue will be known, and we can dispense of them. This, rather, is consciousnesses. It is a purpose produced by Spirit.
To conclude this topic, read An Image of God.