Existence exists—and the act of grasping that statement implies two corollary
axioms: that something exists which one perceives and that one exists
possessing consciousness, consciousness being the faculty of perceiving that
If nothing exists, there can be no consciousness: a consciousness with nothing
to be conscious of is a contradiction in terms. A consciousness conscious of
nothing but itself is a contradiction in terms: before it could identify itself
as consciousness, it had to be conscious of something. If that which you claim
to perceive does not exist, what you possess is not consciousness.
Whatever the degree of your knowledge, these two—existence and
consciousness—are axioms you cannot escape, these two are the irreducible
primaries implied in any action you undertake, in any part of your knowledge
and in its sum, from the first ray of light you perceive at the start of your
life to the widest erudition you might acquire at its end. Whether you know the
shape of a pebble or the structure of a solar system, the axioms remain the
same: that it exists and that you know it . . . Existence is Identity,
Consciousness is Identification.