When he thinks that "I am neither German, neither American, nor this nor that. I am part and parcel of God," that is pure consciousness.
Professor Durckheim: But without this body, you wouldn't become conscious of what is beyond body.
Prabhupāda: I am conscious always. Just like in sleep, I am getting different body, but still I am conscious. And daytime, that sleeping body is gone; still, I am conscious. That consciousness is impure on account of our contact with this temporary body. So when you come to the pure consciousness, that is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Professor Durckheim: But as an experience, the pure consciousness as an experience, has to have a background which is not pure consciousness. Otherwise it could become...
Prabhupāda: No. Pure consciousness is actually you are. Just like water. Water is pure. When it is comes from the sky, it is clear crystal water. But as soon as it touches the ground, it becomes muddy. Similarly, we soul, spirit soul, we are pure. As soon as we come in contact with this matter, material existence, we become impure. And there are three stages of impurity: goodness, passion and ignorance. So all of them are impure. Unless one comes to the spiritual consciousness—he may be a very nice man—he is infected with the impurity of goodness. He is thinking, "I am very big man, I am very..." That is also impurity. And another man does not know what he is, just like animal, all the animals. That is also impurity. When both of them will come to the clear consciousness that "I am part and parcel of God; my duty is to serve God," that is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So long he identifies with this material consciousness, he is impure. Just like people are fighting: "I am German," "I am Englishman," "I am this," "I am that," "I am black," "I am white," "I am brāhmaṇa," "I am śūdra"—so many, designations. These designations are impurity. Just like sometimes the artists, they manufacture some statue naked. In France I saw, naked. They take it this naked statue is pure art, not dressed. Similarly, when you come to the nakedness of spirit soul without this designation of this body, "I am American," "I am German," "I am this," "I am that," that is purity.
Professor Durckheim: But the meaning of the impure is to be the background of the consciousness of the pure without any experiencing the suffering in the impure.
Prabhupāda: The consciousness is covered by impurity, just like your health is covered by disease, and the symptom is fever. But that is a covering. That is not your healthy state. Similarly, my consciousness, when I think that "I am American," "I am German," "I am this," "I am that," "I am that," that is impurity. And when he thinks that "I am neither German, neither American, nor this nor that. I am part and parcel of God," that is pure consciousness.