Subject: Is Consciouness Formless?
Date: 04 Dec 2002 12:44:20 -0400
I have also learnt that consciouness is formless. What happens if I hear footsteps of a deceased within 49 days?
There are many answers to your question since the situation is theoretical.
Even if the event really occurred, we can only conjecture what
actually happened since only the truly enlightened mind knows the right
answers here. Even then when the enlightened mind explains
something to us, it may take us a long while before we understand what it
So here are some answers from an unenlighted mind, which should be easier
to understand. Again do not be misled by its simplicity, and the answers
need your personal reflection so that they becomes your own. Only then you
have understood by yourself. I'm just making some sounds pointing in a
Now to directly answer your question. "Consciousness is formless." This is
true, but if it takes some sort of physical form (which it can), then it
would be able to make some kind of sound (like walking on the floor, etc.)
If the consciousness remains formless, its thought could be powerful enough
to make things happen. That is, if it has reached some high level of divine
On the other hand, because of your close connection to your loved one, your
memories could replay itself, as it were, and you "think" you heard those
sounds. What actually happened is that you had probably associated those
sounds (which you do not understand or do not know its source) to the deceased.
Whichever way, to ease your own mind (if it needs to) or simply to be in
harmony with all beings, you can cultivate a mind of lovingkindness and
wish that being well and happy, like saying, "By the power of all the good
deeds I have done, may you be well and happy!"
To know more about the "antarabhava" or the time between births, please
refer to my own question to Ajahn Brahmavamso.