Life grants living beings options. Those options are organized into values. Those values allow living beings to act intelligently (or unintelligibly) in the world. Intelligent action in the world gives living beings meaning.
Life → Options → Values → Intelligent Action → Meaning.
The big question in the life of a conscious living being is not illusion versus reality. Reality will always be derived from illusion, and the reverse. The big question is about which values the highly conscious being will select. Once an hierarchy of values is selected by the conscious being, then the intelligent alignment of that being’s actions with respect to the goals set by its values system can meaningfully begin. Alignment of actions to goals require practice and patience. This alignment creates an intelligent consciousness acting meaningfully in the world.
When you say, “Without the existence of consciousness…,” you are making a statement that can only be understood in terms of absolute negation. In my philosophy consciousness is a cascade of broken symmetries forming a complex fractal pattern. Consciousness observes this complex fractal as the entire Universe, and the pattern is indeed itself.
When you say, “Without the existence of consciousness…,” you are referring to an absolute symmetry which can be expressed mathematically as:
Where σ is a given state, and n is the state at any given time. All you get is the same over and over.The absolute symmetry is pure existence and we understand that to be Nothingness.
So, without consciousness there is no “now” as there are no distinctions to be made between a “past,” a “future,” and the indeterminate boundary between the two which we call “now”. All is ONE!
“Let there be light!”
mass : time+space
time+space : experience
experience : consciousness
No mass, no time+space
No time+space, no experiences
No experiences, no conciousness
Since light has no mass: it has no time, and no space.
Then light must be the conserved symmetric partner of consciousness.
In other words, consciousness can know what it knows because
light knows nothing. The anti-particle of the photon is consciousness. But according to physicists, the photon is its own anti-particle. This means that light through its self-interaction knows nothing and seeks to know everything.
Mind makes everything from nothing, but the nothingness shows through.
Nothingness Is a Perfect Symmetry. It is an experience where no matter how Mind examines, rotates, or transforms an experience, the experience is exactly the same. The interesting thing about a perfect symmetry is that while Mind perceives it as Nothing, it is still Something. It is ONE thing. Many others thinkers in response to this question have stated as such. So Nothing is the purest Existence and the most fundamental object of Mind. If Mind could describe say the colour of Nothing it would answer that it is ALL Black, or ALL White, or ALL Blue, …, to Infinity. In this way Nothingness is also the ALL. Any particular colour (or category of description) can be expressed by Mind. As long as it is perfectly symmetrical it will be described first as ONE thing; and then as Nothing else; and then as Everything. So Nothing is the (O)NE, the (N)ONE and the (E)VERY. The ONE.
Dignity is the way one manages ones actions in relation with the community. The opposite of dignity is degradation (and humiliation). Pride is a feeling that one has about oneself. The opposite of pride is shame.
In the manner of all those who struggle for equality, it is possible to feel pride even as others are acting to degrade you. In the manner of one who accepts responsibility for ones mistakes, it is possible to have dignity even though you are not proud of what you have done.