"I bow to that Consciousness (saṁvid) which shines in the three-fold ways of its energies—supreme, medium, and inferior—and in all the three states of Consciousness. That Consciousness is the heart of Lord Śiva.
The supreme Energy (śakti) is that Energy beyond limitation. It is non-dual (advaita), monistic. Medium (parāparā) energy is both non-dual (advaita) and dual (dvaita). Inferior (aparā) energy is only dual (dvaita). These three energies correspond to subjective consciousness, conceptual consciousness, and objective consciousness. I bow to that Consciousness which shines in these three ways. That Consciousness is the heart of Lord Śiva. It is both one with the universe and above the universe.
Now the essence.
In the world of Śaivite philosophy Lord Śiva is seen as being filled with light. But more than this, Lord Śiva is the embodiment of light and this light is different than the light of the sun, of the moon, or of fire.
It is light (prakaśa) with Consciousness (vimarśa); and this light with Consciousness is the nature of that Supreme Consciousness, Lord Śiva.
What is Consciousness? The light of Consciousness is not only pure Consciousness, it is filled with the understanding that I am the creator, I am the protector, and I am the destroyer of every- thing. Just to know that I am the creator, I am the protector, and I am the destroyer is Consciousness. If Consciousness was not attached to the light of Consciousness, we would have to admit that the light of the sun or the light of the moon or the light of a fire is also Lord Śiva. But this is not the case.
The light of Consciousness (vimarśa) is given various names. It is called cit-caitanya, which means the strength of consciousness; parā vāk, the supreme word; svātantrya, perfect independence; aiśvarya, the predominant glory of supreme Śiva; kartṛitva, the power of acting; sphurattā, the power of existing; sāra, the complete essence of everything; hṛidaya, the universal heart; and spanda, universal movement. All these are names in the Tantras, which are attributed to this Consciousness.
This I-Consciousness, which is the reality of Lord Śiva, is a natural (akṛitrima), not a contrived, “I.” It is not adjusted I-Consciousness. Limited human beings have adjusted I-Consciousness. Lord Śiva has natural or pure I-Consciousness. There is a difference between adjusted Consciousness and natural Consciousness. Adjusted or artificial Consciousness exists when this I-Consciousness is attributed to your body, to your mind, to your intellect, and to your ego. Natural Consciousness is that consciousness that is attributed to the reality of the Self, which is all Consciousness. Natural Consciousness is the pure embodiment of Consciousness. It is Śiva. All of the thirty-six elements, from Śiva to earth, are created by that natural I-Consciousness. And not only are they created by that Consciousness, they also shine in that Consciousness. His creation is not outside of His nature, it exists in His own Self. He has created this whole universe in the cycle of His Consciousness. So, everything that exists resides in that Consciousness.
This must be your understanding. The creative energy which is attributed to Lord Śiva is not that energy of Lord Śiva that creates the universe outside of His Consciousness as we create outside of our consciousness. His creation is not insentient (jaḍa) as our creations are.
This universe, which is created in His Consciousness, is dependent on that Consciousness. It is always dependent on that Consciousness. It cannot move outside of that Consciousness. It exists only when it is residing in His Consciousness. This is the way the creation of His universe takes place.
You must understand that this universe, which is created by the Lord of Consciousness, is one with that Creator Who is wholly prakāśa-vimarśa, self-luminous light with Consciousness.
The Consciousness of Lord Śiva is not overshadowed by this created world. The world cannot obscure Consciousness. On the contrary, Consciousness gives rise to the existence of this world.
This world is existing on the surface of Consciousness. So how could this world cover or conceal the nature of Consciousness? The truth is, this world gets its life from Consciousness. It is filled with the light of Consciousness. The universe can not conceal its life, which is Consciousness. If this universe could conceal the Consciousness of Lord Śiva, how would it exist? It would not—it would disappear.”
~ Self Realization in Kashmir Shaivism, The Oral Teachings of Swami Lakshmanjoo ~