Richard Smoley is editor of Quest: The Journal of the Theosophical Society in America. He is also former editor of Gnosis Magazine. His books include Hidden Wisdom: The Guide to the Western Inner Traditions, Inner Christianity: The Guide to the Esoteric Tradition, Forbidden Faith: The Secret History of Gnosticism, The Essential Nostradamus, Conscious Love: Insights from Mystical Christianity, The Dice Game of Shiva: How Consciousness Creates the Universe, The Supernatural: Writings on an Unknown History, The Deal: A Guide to Radical and Complete Forgiveness, and How God Became God: What Scholars Are Really Saying About God and the Bible.
Here he proposes a simple definition for consciousness – an awareness of self and other. Essentially, all consciousness, then, involves a sense of relationship. He notes that this recognition of relationship can be observed even among molecules, atoms, and particles. This is a viewpoint akin to panpsychism. He acknowledges the mystical state of awareness sometimes referred to as “consciousness without an object”. He also maintains that our understanding of consciousness, and its limitations, is greatly influenced by cultural conditioning.
(Recorded on August 7, 2016)
Published on January 2, 2017