Don't you beg the question, though, when you speak of the importance of realizing "who" is actually seeing through our eyes? Once the "human shell" is discarded as a host of something more unifying and fundamental, namely of the form of consciousness, how are we entitled to re-personify that form and give it a personal identity?

We may indeed all have the form of consciousness in common, just as there are commonalities in all rocks or in all toes, clouds, and peanut butter jars. That would be a trivial kind of abstract foundation.

But you want to say we can realize, rather, that there's a distinct act (rather than just a type) of consciousness within each mind. Even if that were so, the question would remain as to the best explanation of that experience. Is it the brain that generates different degrees of intelligence, the narrative self, for example, being separate from the parts of the brain that are responsible for attention or for emotion? Or is the brain an illusion compared to the more fundamental reality of consciousness?

Even if the experience of stripped-down, impersonal consciousness were compelling or ecstatic, the fact is that lots of people have been badly misled by religious experiences. The nature of those experiences is evidently ambiguous. As compelling as they may be, they may also verge on mental illness, delusion, or misunderstanding.

Therefore, the philosophical or scientific questions of worldviews and explanations aren't obviated by the religious experience in question. Is the experience self-authenticating or is it a neural trick of some kind? Just having the experience won't fully answer that question.

Knowledge condemns. Art redeems. I learned that as an artistic writer who did a doctorate in philosophy. We should try to see the dark comedy in all things.

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