Monday, June 25, 2012

What is consciousness

I've written many posts describing our reality as being formed by consciousness.  I want to discuss what consciousness is and why it is an important tool that we must learn to use to the best of our ability.  Consciousness is not what we are, but rather what we use to experience.

For most of us, our daily waking life begins the moment we awaken from our sleep until we go back to sleep.  If you ever stop to notice what is going on at any given moment, you'll see that you are actively using your consciousness to focus on one or many sensory data to analyze it.  For example, you may get up and look at the clock next to your bed.  You may listen to the sound of the cars outside.  You may feel the ache of your body as you get out of bed.  Try this simple experiment:  Look ahead and focus on a single object or point.  Notice that nothing around that focus point is recognized, but the moment you think about this, you recognize the surrounding because your visual focus changes or expands to see.  It was conscious thought that focused your eyes on a point and it was conscious thought that automatically changed your focus to view the surrounding.  All of these things require you to focus your consciousness on a particular aspect of sensory input.  Otherwise, it comes and goes mostly without notice.  This is an interesting phenomenon because it shows you that without consciousness, you would not be aware of things in the physical world around you.  Even mentally, you use your consciousness to examine your thoughts, your feelings, and your state of being.  It is your consciousness that is used to recognize and experience yourself.

Consciousness is an aspect of your whole self (your soul or entity).  You as an immortal entity simply exists.  But without consciousness, you would not recognize your existence at all.  Consciousness lets you examine what is outside of you by focusing on an aspect of experience.  You use it to examine what is inside of you as well, but it is not "you".  Consciousness is what you use to experience "you" and "not you".  Therefore, the consciousness is an aspect of the whole you, which is like an eye (and hand, ear, etc.), to be used like a tool or instrument.  It can "see" away from you, as well as towards you.  In this manner, you as an entity can create experiences outside for consciousness to "see" and experience.  You also focus consciousness towards and inside you so that you can examine yourself psychologically.  It is a directed aspect of your whole self, which you learn to utilize.

In the physical world, we learn how to use consciousness the moment we are born.  Before that, the focus of consciousness is directed inward.  At death, the focus of consciousness is again directed inward, to examine the self.  During our life in this reality, we spend the majority of our time focusing the consciousness towards the physical sensory data.  We utilize this aspect solely for the purpose of living life in this reality.  Many people never consider to use their consciousness inwards towards themselves, to examine themselves or even their conscious mind.  When they do examine themselves, they only seek the surface aspects, which is related to their current life.  Consciousness is capable of perceiving much greater knowledge and information than that which is limited by the flesh.  The body is only a small portion of information that is available to consciousness, but most people are not aware of how to access their inner knowledge.  This is because we have programmed ourselves to forget anything beyond this "real" world.  But we know how to use it for inner understanding as well.  We use it all the time when we are thinking or day dreaming or imagining.  We just don't consider those "non-real" thoughts as being real.

When most people wake up from sleep, they typically do not remember their dreams or are confused by their dreams.  Consciousness is not "lost" during this time, but rather focused in another direction, towards the inner self.  By "extinguishing" the outside sensory data (sight, sound, etc.) during sleep, it is able to access the inner knowledge by changing its focus inward.  But upon waking from sleep, the focus returns outward, and because the inner world is not limited or hindered by the laws of the physical world, the experiences during sleep are translated into imagery that the personality can recognize.  This interpretation creates what appears to be a confusing mishmash of imagery that is constantly changing.  But if you were to examine the contents of your dream more thoroughly, you would find deep personal meaning to the dreams, as your experience through your consciousness of the inner reality is no different than experiencing the events of the physical reality.

The physical world exists as an agreement by all of the consciousness focused in this reality on how energy is converted into matter (laws of this reality).  There are living and non-living structures: the living are those structures that are able to reproduce, while those that are non-living are structures that do not reproduce.  Examples of living structures are cells, while examples of non-living are minerals that make up things like bone or rock.  All energy is conscious, but the type of consciousness differs, and this creates different types of matter structures.  Non-living structures are held together and remain in structure regardless of life because the energy that make up the non-living structures are held together by the collective consciousnesses, thus when an individual living animal (including humans) dies, its skeleton (non-living structure) remains in the world.  But living structures such as tissue return to non-living structures because the individual's higher consciousness that exists to hold the living structure together return to the source of origin (its entity or soul).  Thus flesh decay and return as minerals and water.

It is consciousness that creates form.  The living tissue is created and held together by consciousness, and together make up each individual's consciousness.  The cells "know" how to behave as cells (where's it's brain?).  The organs "know" how to behave as an organ through the collective knowledge of the cell consciousnesses that make up the organ.  The individual "knows" how to behave (such as thinking) as an individual through the collective knowledge of the body's consciousness.  It is this same consciousness that is used to examine, experience, and live in this world.  So it can be said that the individual consciousnesses of each cell together make up a portion of our "single" consciousness we identify as the "I".  In the same way, each of our "lives" (the many incarnations) are like the cell consciousnesses that together make up a portion of our whole entity/soul's consciousness.  Going further, it can be said that all of the entity/soul consciousnesses together make up a portion of the "God" consciousness.

Consciousness is the creation that allows focus upon data.  Without consciousness, one would not be "alive" because nothing would be experienced.  Having memory is not enough.  Consciousness must exist to examine and analyze even memories.  Memory is also a misnomer.  A memory is really a reliving of a moment by focusing consciousness in that direction.  We just don't see memory recall that way because the experience isn't as vivid as when we focus consciousness in physical reality.  But that is because our ego being a part of the physical reality is specifically tailored towards physical senses.  Also, because we are living in a world which experiences time (moment by moment), we call past experiences as memories.  But to consciousness, there is no difference.  It is our ability to examine with clarity that differentiates "now" from a memory while consciousness is in the body (you can see clearly at this moment, but thinking of the past is a hazy experience because our ability to focus the consciousness is insufficient while in the body).  Similarly, when we imagine a probable future, we actually create that future, though not necessarily in this reality.  Once you choose to follow a probable future path, then it becomes an actuality, and thus your consciousness is focused on the new "now" that you chose to create.  All imagined futures are the choices you can make into a reality, but it isn't just some fantasy that doesn't exist.  Those imaged futures are actualized in their own probable realities.  This is also true of imagined pasts.  Again, it is only because our consciousness, while awake in the body, ignores these other realities as being "real", that we do not consider them anything more than a fantasy.  When someone has a "lucid" dream, they feel as if the experience is "real".  That is because the focus of their consciousness is well attuned while asleep, no different than while they are awake.

If you think anything outside of the physical reality is metaphysical mumbo-jumbo, I highly recommend you read up on cognitive studies or anything dealing with the mind (not to mention the quantum mechanical theories).  You'll quickly find that there are many questions related to how we are even capable of cognitive activities, which is why consciousness is such an interesting subject.  Proof for any of this information can be found within you (I may be completely wrong about my descriptions, but then again, I am describing my current understanding and my proof, which will change as I gain more understanding), or if you prefer consensus for proof, then there are a few different groups that would agree, though you may not find them agreeable as a source of authority.  This just goes to show that only personal experience will provide any real proof for anything, but this requires personal motivation to find that proof.

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