Is this the most profound question one could ever ask? It's certainly bigger than just asking "Who am I?" which is a big enough question in itself. It does sound very complicated. Could it really be So Simple?
Let's start with the points that we will cover:
- What’s a much simpler name for Consciousness?
- How close does Science come to ‘measuring it’?
- What is a ‘spiritual’ definition of Consciousness?
- What’s a more scientific or lay-person definition?
- Why should we raise our human consciousness?
- What’s our deepest or ‘Existential’ motivation?
- What’s the ‘True definition’ of Consciousness?
- Why is no one ‘wrong’ within Consciousness?
- How does Free-will affect Consciousness?
- Will you raise your consciousness level?
How many of these questions can you answer now?
This article is an Editor’s humble attempt to answer this spontaneously or ‘off the cuff’ in response to a reader’s question:
What is Consciousness?
Consciousness is simply another name for Awareness. We all know how it feels to be “aware” of things, or to be “conscious” of an experience. But we’re just not aware of THAT INNER PROCESS itself & how it all works.
Medically we can tell whether a person is conscious or unconscious. Doctors know that according to how patients behave & what their EEG (brain wave) test shows. For more accuracy they can use real-time PET or MRI scans (brain activity tests) . But Scientists don’t know what CONSCIOUSNESS itself is! They as yet, have no scientific ‘method’ or fancy equipment available to measure that.
At present the best ‘conceptual answer’ to this dilemma probably comes from a Metaphysical or Spiritual perspective….but that is only because Science has not quite ‘caught up’ in this area. Quantum Physics however gives us the closest ‘look at this’ this from within conventional Science. You’ve probably heard just how ‘weird and wondrous’ that quantum realm is!
Eventually the answer will be the same for both Science and Spirituality. Consciousness is the Pinnacle or Peak where Science and Spirituality both converge! To fully understand Consciousness will be the ultimate goal of both Science and Spirituality. Not to mention Art and all fields of Creative expression & Investigation! The highest expectation of these fields and many more will be to express PURE Consciousness, each in their own way.
A ‘So Simple’ spiritual definition of Consciousness might be:
Consciousness (with a “big C” or Universal Consciousness)… is the TOTAL awareness of “All That Is” by ITSELF!
Human consciousness (with a “little c”)… is the human CONNECTION to ALL THAT IS… through all our SOUL-LEVEL interactions.
Our human connection to SOURCE ‘works’ (in spiritual terms) primarily through ‘our Soul’. THIS connects through all the many different ‘soul levels’ & ‘soul-groups’ that we interface with. Each is a holographic fractal or ‘tiny image’ of the whole, with ‘a cruder’ recall or appreciation of what The Whole is experiencing. The ‘closer’ the soul or soul-group is to Source the better the appreciation of ‘All That Is’.
But a ‘science based’ person might not quite understand (or be at ease with) terms such as ‘Soul’, ‘soul-groups’ or ‘All That Is’ as a spiritual scholar might.
So what’s a ‘So Simple’ lay definition of Consciousness?
Consciousness (in the Universal sense)… is the TOTAL Awareness that permeates ALL of Creation. (Creation includes the physical & nonphysical plus every dimension & realm of existence and non-existence.)
Human consciousness… is THAT COMPONENT of Universal Consciousness that WE are able to ‘appreciate in some way’ or interact with. We have alluded in previous articles, to the benefit of raising our consciousness or awareness. But why is this intrinsically so important?
By raising our ‘level of human consciousness’ we DO significantly increase our ability to interact more with The Whole. That’s why we’re ‘innately’ or existentially driven to do so! We somehow feel empty, incomplete or unfulfilled without it! This ‘Whole’ or ‘Source’ or ‘Oneness’ is what WE really are! WE have cut ourselves of in part, to a greater or lesser degree purposely, just to experience DIFFERENCE. The aim is eventually to merge fully with that ‘Complete Self’…with that ULTIMATE Universal Whole. To really come ‘Home’ with that extra EXPERIENCE that will benefit the Whole!
That is what really ‘drives us’ at the very deepest level! It’s ‘a yearning’ for Completion, Fulfilment and Oneness with ALL THAT IS.
That’s how ‘All That Is’ gets to Experience Itself! It creates different modalities, realms or dimensions, such as our Physicality and then sends smaller fractal parts of its Consciousness to ‘explore this’ from every possible perspective, and to ‘report back’ to the Whole. So ALL can then benefit from each single unique experience! It’s somewhat like an Universal ‘internet search engine’ collecting all possible data sources, so then all can have access to that knowledge.
When each such soul-fractal has ‘explored’ all it reasonably can ‘learn’… it gets to come ‘back’ one level or one dimension closer to Home. Back one stage closer to Unity Consciousness in that Particular Realm and so on…right back to Source. All eventually ‘move back’ to Oneness which then appreciates itself even more, for all that IT has experienced! The whole process then repeats all over again, infinitely! Each time it’s Modifying, Creating a new & Evolving from what previously was “Experienced”.
Can we simplify the definition of Consciousness even further…and yet make it more accurate & comprehensive?
Try this: The complete definition of Consciousness… can only ever be known by Source or Consciousness itself! That’s the very short answer & probably the one closest to Truth!
We’re looking forward to more challenging questions. Nothing could be quite as tough to comprehensively cover & still simplify…could it?
All the above is of course just an Editor’s unique personal human perspective, at this present moment!
It may not be what you might personally believe, or what some scholar, guru or ‘expert’ might say or write. But that’s the beauty of Consciousness. Every viewpoint is intrinsically valuable… We get to choose what we wish to believe & to ‘Be’ that!
No one is ever right or wrong in Consciousness! Each is just a unique perspective, from that current individual vantage point and unique past experience. Each contributes to the composite WHOLE. Each has the right to utilize the resources of ALL THAT IS AVAILABLE, to the degree that they are able.
It’s our unalienable right as sovereign soul-beings to express our viewpoint (but not to enforce it in any way).
We can then choose how to live from that perspective, in the best way we know how. We might not even believe that, but that too is our right!
The Ultimate Purpose of life might indeed be to ‘grow our Consciousnesses’ through Joy & Love. But we DO have free-will HERE. So we can instead choose Fear & Suffering to ‘grow’ or develop. Most unknowingly or unwittingly choose that! The ongoing expansion of Universal Consciousness is inevitable. However RAISING our consciousness ‘up’ to the ‘next level’ is PURELY OPTIONAL!
That’s however what REAL PROGRESS is about… at least from A HIGHER PERSPECTIVE!
But that’s a whole new story… for another time perhaps. If understanding Consciousness is just about ‘as difficult as it gets’ …then maybe that subject too can be made SO simple.