There is no consciousness without object.
Nor is there any consciousness devoid of objects; for nothing of this kind is ever known. Moreover, the self-luminousness of consciousness has, by our opponent himself, been proved on the ground that its essential nature consists in illumining (revealing) objects; the self-luminousness of consciousness not admitting of proof apart from its essential nature which consists in the lighting up of objects. And as moreover, according to our opponent, consciousness cannot be the object of another consciousness, it would follow that (having neither an object nor itself being an object) it is something altogether unreal, imaginary.
Nor are you justified in maintaining that in deep sleep, swoon, senselessness and similar states, pure consciousness, devoid of any object, manifests itself. This view is negatived
by 'valid non-perception' (see above, p. 52). If consciousness were present in those states also, there would be remembrance of it at the time of waking from sleep or recovery from swoon; but as a matter of fact there is no such remembrance.--But it is not an absolute rule that something of which we were conscious must be remembered; how then can the absence of remembrance prove the absence of previous consciousness?--Unless, we reply, there be some cause of overpowering strength which quite obliterates all impressions--as e.g. the dissolution of the body--the absence of remembrance does necessarily prove the absence of previous consciousness. And, moreover, in the present case the absence of consciousness does not only follow from absence of remembrance; it is also proved by the thought presenting itself to the person risen from sleep, 'For so long a time I was not conscious of anything.'--Nor may it be said that even if there was consciousness, absence of remembrance would necessarily follow from the absence (during deep sleep) of the distinction of objects, and from the extinction of the consciousness of the 'I'; for the non-consciousness of some one thing, and the absence of some one thing cannot be the cause of the non-remembrance of some other thing, of which there had been consciousness. And that in the states in question the consciousness of the 'I' does persist, will moreover be shown further on.
But, our opponent urges, have you not said yourself that even in deep sleep and similar states there is consciousness marked by difference?--True, we have said so. But that consciousness is consciousness of the Self, and that this is affected by difference will be proved further on. At present we are only interested in denying the existence of your pure consciousness, devoid of all objects and without a substrate. Nor can we admit that your pure consciousness could constitute what we call the consciousness of the Self; for we shall prove that the latter has a substrate.
It thus cannot be maintained that the antecedent non-existence of consciousness does not admit of being proved, because consciousness itself does not prove it. And as we have shown that consciousness itself may be an object of
consciousness, we have thereby disproved the alleged impossibility of antecedent non-existence being proved by other means. Herewith falls the assertion that the non-origination of consciousness can be proved.