In matter far subtler than the physical—as mind-stuff—the creative power of consciousness is more readily seen than in the dense material of the physical plane. Matter becomes dense or rare, and changes its combinations and forms, according to the thoughts of a consciousness active therein. While the fundamental atoms—due to the Logic thought—remain unchanged, they can be combined or dissociated at will. Such experiences open the mind to the metaphysical conception of matter, and enable it to realise at once the borrowed reality and the nonentity of matter.
A word of warning may be useful with regard to the often repeated phrases of “Consciousness in a body”, “Consciousness ensouling a body”, and the like. The student is a little apt to figure consciousness as a kind of rarefied gas enclosed in a material receptacle, a kind of bottle. If he will think carefully he will realise that the resistant surface of the body is but a Logic thought-form, and it is there because thought there.
Consciousness appears as conscious entities, because the LOGOS thinks such separations, thinks the enclosing walls, makes such thought limitations. And these thoughts of the LOGOS are due to His unity with the Universal SELF, and are but a repetition within the area of a particular universe of the Will to multiply.
A careful dwelling in mind on the distinctions above traced between Absolute Consciousness, Universal Consciousness, and Individual Consciousness, will prevent the student from asking the question so often heard: Why is there any universe? Why does All-Consciousness limit itself? Why should the Perfect become the imperfect, All-Power become the powerless, God become the mineral, the brute, the man?
***Excerpt from Annie Wood Besant. A Study in Consciousness: A Contribution to the Science of Psychology