The Truth - Illusion of Consciousness
Previously, it was mentioned that humans have five forms of consciousness: visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, and tactile, but in addition to these, there's another form of consciousness that doesn't require real-time external stimuli to arise. This is inner consciousness, arising from thoughts generated within the mind (the brain). Here, we will temporarily refer to it as "awareness." Therefore, there are a total of six forms of consciousness (visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, tactile, and awareness), each generated by six different senses (eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and inner consciousness) and corresponding to six different phenomena (light, sound, odors, tastes, touch, and thoughts).
Let's start again with the principles of a television. As mentioned earlier, the light on the television screen is jointly created by the television and electromagnetic waves. Thus, when light appears, it indicates that the television and electromagnetic waves have successfully interacted. Clearly, it's not that the light is actively illuminating the television and electromagnetic waves; rather, the presence of light depends on them. The television and electromagnetic waves are prerequisites and reasons for the generation of light, and light is the product, the result, of the television and electromagnetic waves.
The same applies to vision: the eyes and light create visual perception. It's not that visual perception sees the eyes and light, nor that the eyes observe the light. Instead, visual perception relies on the eyes and light to come into being. The eyes and light are the prerequisites and reasons for the emergence of visual perception, and visual perception is the product, the result, of the eyes and light.
This holds true for hearing, olfaction, gustation, tactile sensations, and awareness as well. It's not that consciousness actively perceives the senses and phenomena; it's not that the senses actively perceive phenomena. Rather, consciousness arises dependent upon the senses and phenomena. The senses and phenomena are the prerequisites and reasons for the emergence of consciousness, and consciousness is the product, the result, of the senses and phenomena.
Yet, people can understand that light cannot actively illuminate electromagnetic waves but still often believe that consciousness can actively perceive phenomena. However, through previous analysis, we clearly recognize that when consciousness arises from the interaction of the senses and phenomena, it is only the result of their interaction—a new, independent, non-autonomous, lifeless, passively arising natural product. By the time consciousness arises, the fact of perceiving has already been established. At this point, the senses and phenomena have already interacted, and the consciousness does not need to return to perceive these phenomena or, furthermore, other phenomena. Because when other consciousness arises, it is also due to the conditions involving other senses and phenomena.
The generation of these consciousness forms doesn't require an active perceiver or an object of perception. The entire process is simply A + B = C. Whether people like it or not, when the conditions of both senses and phenomena exist simultaneously, this process naturally occurs, and there is no need to add anything extra to actively see, hear, smell, taste, touch, or think, just as in the case of fuel and oxygen combustion, producing a flame. When a flame appears, it signifies that the combustion phenomenon has already arisen. No need for an additional active burner; the flame is simply the result of the interaction between fuel and oxygen, and the whole combustion phenomenon is the process of fuel + oxygen = flame.
Thus, whether it is in consciousness or within or outside the body, there is nothing that has the function of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, or thinking. These consciousness forms are all produced by the mutual interaction of the senses and phenomena, being new, independent, non-autonomous, lifeless, passively arising natural products. When these consciousness forms arise, it is already the act of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, or thinking.
The relationship within this is like that of a television or movie: when light appears, the content of the program arises simultaneously. They are two sides of the same coin. Consciousness is the same: when visual consciousness arises, it is the rise of what is seen; when auditory consciousness arises, it is the rise of what is heard; when other consciousness forms arise, it is the rise of other perceptions. They are two sides of the same coin.
However, people remain ignorant of this and erroneously divide consciousness into two parts, believing that consciousness is one thing and content is another, linked by the function of perception. On the basis of this illusion, most people consider what they perceive to be real, while others believe that what they perceive is false, illusory, and so on. Regardless of whether they believe the perceived phenomena are true or false, these viewpoints are based on the illusion that consciousness or something can actively perceive phenomena.