Consciousness is just physical

Acharya Prashant
6 min readAug 29, 2020

Following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

Question: Acharya Ji, what is consciousness? Is it possible to purify consciousness? How to bring about a change in consciousness? Is consciousness an object?

Acharya Prashant(AP): Show me consciousness devoid of content. Thought is consciousness. Show me thought devoid of content. Tell me that you are thinking about nothing. When you think, don’t you think about an object? So, is there thought without object? Try thinking object-lessly.

So, consciousness is nothing but it’s own content. Consciousness is nothing, but it’s own content. (Holding a glass of water) Once I was talking to an audience, so I showed this glass of water. I said, “You see, these are the contents of your consciousness, and these have been poured into the consciousness from outside.”

So a wise girl got up from the audience, and said, “If all the content can be poured out, would I have a clean and empty consciousness?” I said, “No. To have a clean and empty consciousness, you have to throw away the glass as well.”

You cannot have the glass and not have anything in it. So when the water goes out, the air rushes in.

You cannot have anything called ’empty consciousness’.

‘Empty consciousness’ is — ‘no-consciousness’.

Consciousness does not like a vacuum.

Because consciousness is objective, therefore like the objective world, it abhors vacuum.

Whenever you have a very low pressure area, you know what happens. It tries to suck in anything and everything, from everywhere, and it does not differentiate. Whatsoever can be sucked in, would be sucked in.

If there is a very low pressure zone, and you go close to it, you too would be sucked in. That is consciousness. Consciousness and it’s contents are inseparable. I know, some Teachers have talked of consciousness without content; that is a euphemism. That’s a way of addressing ‘zero consciousness’, or ‘no-consciousness’.

There is no point talking so much about consciousness, because consciousness is conditioned. Even if you bathe, teach, and decorate a slave, he won’t become the master. Why are you so