I believe that 'consciousness,' when once it has evaporated to this estate of pure diaphaneity, is on the point of disappearing altogether. It is the name of a nonentity, and has no right to a place among first principles. Those who still cling to it are clinging to a mere echo, the faint rumor left behind by the disappearing 'soul' upon the air of philosophy.*
Contemporary views on embodiment and enactive views often make it possible for us to lose sight of the sentience of the other in the manner in which we have just mentioned.* This brings us to a discussion of intersubjectivity.
(For the present, we are not going to focus on the ethical implications of taking pure experience as our fundamental reality--as William James suggests in his Does Consciousness Exist? I hope to get there in the near future. I very much hope others will join in this endeavor.)
Those feelings serve to authenticate the movements of cognition thereby granting them the sense of being actual or real by their intimate association with those feelings plus consciousness. So, we might say that the visceral nature of all cognition instantiates or, better, incarnates knowing thereby giving the self-sense--implicit in all narratives--validity and solidity and the sense of selfness, the I-am. Hence we are embodied. I am. I am the knowing and am is the feeling. All this is made possible by the additional fact that consciousness is present and providing this movement of instantiation or incarnation that which turns it into experience. Consciousness is experience rendering. It gives sentience to phenomena, in this case, to narratives and feelings inclusive of the presuppositions of there being a thinker and a listener. Here is the moment that the role of consciousness is usurped. Since consciousness is diaphanous, a word carrying the Greek for phenomena as that which appears, it is that which phenomena can be seen through (dia-phanous). Again, it renders phenomena sentient, alive as experience. It is distinct from phenomena and yet implicit in all phenomena. There are no appearances without it. Its distinct nature may be exploited in at least two ways, one to our detriment and the other to our benefit. The detriment is found in our unexamined sense of self. Because of the Janus-like presence of diaphanous consciousness and meaningful phenomena, the presumed audience and thinker become the self-sense. This presumption--the exquisite usurpation, has no perceivable beginning. But, it does have an end.
More often than not, we in our narrative cultural movement, take mind to be an inhabitant of a flesh body in a physical or natural or material world. From our perspective, this narrative, this belief is and has been a terrible curse. How? It inclines us to ignore feeling the movement of narratives in the experiential feeling-body, or subtle body, and observing that it also conceals much of the movement of experience. It conceals the movement of the meaning-granting acts of situation creation. Each of our moment-to-moment experiential circumstances, inclusive of both self and what we call objective reality, is being granted life and significance through this sentient movement of narratives, or intentionality--as Husserl termed it. He saw that the transcendental ego was the underlying intentional agent of the constitution of experience.
Here you are, on a park bench, alone with your thoughts--and the silence in which they occur. As you realized from the preceding, this silent-sentience is not thematic, it is the presumed listener to and author of thoughts--if without much consideration you pause to reflect and take note of this underlying aspect of experience. Now, suddenly, a friend approaches and you, in an effort to capture her attention say, "Hello." Now please consider this carefully. You may even wish to experiment with this if it comes to mind in a similar situation. As you say hello, the sentient-silence has gone from your implicit experience of it and may now be considered to have disappeared. But, what if it did not disappear? What if it is now the presumed listener to your "Hello"? The sentient-silence has taken birth in the other. Is this your experience? Is this what happens? What can we then say about the SS? What conclusions can we draw? More importantly, is this what we actually experience just under the radar of reflection? There was once a popular saying. It went like this, "The eyes are the mirror of the soul." Now, I'm not sure what "soul" means, but the expression was usually taken to mean that when we look into another's eyes, we have some insight into their soul. Well, let's take a closer look at this expression. What about taking it to mean that when we look into another's eyes they are the mirror of our soul?
** Some in the sophisticated Tantric traditions of so-called "Hinduism" and Buddhism speak of this "body" in Sanskrit as the sūkṣma śarīra, pronounced (suk-shma-sha-ree-ra) in Sanskrit.