“Either death is a state of nothingness and utter consciousness, or, as men say, there is a change and migration of the soul from this world to another. Now if death be of such a nature, I say that to die is to gain; for eternity is then only a single night.” ~ Plato
“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” ~ Carl Jung
“The evolutionary impulse is towards disidentification from thinking and the arising of awareness or presence, but the gravitational pull of the old consciousness, or rather unconsciousness, is still quite heavy. It’s been around for thousands of years.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
“Consciousness creates our realty but what came first? Realty or Consciousness? Consciousness knows the answer, but realty will question it” Steve Hyne
Consciousness definition from the second edition (1989): Oxford English Dictionary
1.Joint or mutual knowledge.
2. (Also in early use, consciousness to oneself.) Internal knowledge or conviction; knowledge as to which one has the testimony within oneself; esp. of one’s own innocence, guilt, deficiencies, etc.
3.The State or fact of being mentally conscious or aware of anything.
4. The State or faculty of being conscious, as a condition and concomitant of all thought, feeling, and volition; ‘the recognition by the thinking subject of its own acts or affections’
The dictionary further explains consciousness in other aspects relating to human perception. The sheer array of peripheral knowledge will fill volumes of research from scientific , philosophical, religious and cultural resources that will blow the mind (pun intended). The objective of a person’s reality comes from their own consciousness, and it has limiting meanings from their knowledge , beliefs and experience are just few variables of a person interpretations.
You could say my own personal consciousness is like monster who wants to devour the knowledge of everything. It wants to explain why, where how etc. Through my limited knowledge and experience, probably confuse many readers. What drugs is he on you may say, hence I have not taken that route to experience consciousness at that level. I am aware of my ego is driving my thirst for knowledge, but I have the opportunity and fascination of a child who questions everything. On that point of the Ego Carl Jung says, the Ego is the centre of consciousness but that is for another discussion. What I am saying in simple terms : This is my perspective and like any scientific model it may be in fashion today ( probably sound crazy to some individuals) and tomorrow it be outdated and absurd, but that’s not important for me. Expression of ideas causes the expansion of global consciousness in a positive way towards evolution of it.
As a fan of Quantum , the nerd in me likes to go beyond the obvious and like a child, the imagination of my mind (Personal consciousness is in awe ). Quantum entanglement defies the rational mind of correlation on a purely obvious perspective, which I love. For example, electrons can influence other electrons in quantum entanglement. The Paradox, electrons in realty it can travel faster than the speed of light. Also, the observer can either influence the result of the two electrons. The Point of Quantum we still don’t fully understand how it works and why it breaks all conventional rules of science.
Many Eastern religions don’t identify with the concept of a lot of western religious traditions of a separate consciousness called God. Chinese philosophy is one of my passions, it has the idea that everything is connected. For example, reading Dao De Ching the first chapter says
“The Dao that can be spoken is not the eternal Dao.
The name that can be named is not the eternal name.
Nameless, the beginning of heaven and earth.
Named ,the mother of ten thousand things.”
It is very difficult to translate the original message to English because Chinese words or symbols are like the Arabic language a word or symbol can mean at least 4 different ideas. The expression Heaven and earth means everything NOT TWO SEPARATE IDEAS. Very often way the earlier eastern philosophers or sages used contrast to make the complete picture or idea universal for example yin and yang means the complete of the whole. It is very different concept from western philosophy of dualism of separateness and individualism. For example, of monotheist deity breeds idea of them and us of dualism. These concepts in Buddhism , Hinduism and other eastern religions say God consciousness is everywhere manifested in millions of worlds as deities etc. Reading a martial art book recently based in china and the story was embellishing concept of consciousness in everything , for example rocks, plants , frogs all talking to the Chinese warrior.
I believe that consciousness is not abstract realty constructed in the brain. I agree the brain is the tool to connected to consciousness. Consciousness is like the God equation where science and some religions tries to put the notion of God in a human box. That is absurd because the arguments that a greater force cannot be defined in human terms is irrational. Imagine the ant saying Australia doesn’t exist because it can’t measure or observe it. The ant lives in Iceland for example so how could it travel to Australia without knowledge or the means. The ant brain has been conditioned to survive in Iceland as its perspective. This illustrates scientific perspective is limited to the 5 senses and its present environment of binary thinking cause and effect. Rational mind is often hijacked by emotional perspectives based on unconscious biases. The ant mind could never discover Australia and explain all its diversity because of its limited form and mind with its instincts. Our reality of consciousness is from our port hole as tiny ant in the cosmos. Albert Einstein said “A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” Consciousness in my perspective is a multi-dimensional force that transcends everything we are in. The matrix is an amazing force moving continually throughout the universe.
Recently on my quest for greater understanding of many aspects of life I had interesting conversation with a scholar (a mentor) of many different fields. Learning ideas is like a jigsaw piecing the different shapes of the picture in my mind to have a new view. All knowledge must interrelate like a Jigsaw to see the depth, width, and detail of the whole. (KNOWLEDGE ISN’T JUST ACADEMIC BUT LIFE EXPERIENCE is also important to assimilate it). The concept of soul, spirit and after life has its origins in many cultures. This scholar has many degrees including anthropology. He said the soul from a biblical reference (explained the language of original Hebrew and Aramaic in biblical texts. He can read other languages including Arabic etc). The idea of the soul isn’t in the earlier biblical cannon it is a Greek concept from mythology added later especially in the Septuagint version. The original word used is spirit that basically means life force. In Chinese tradition, Indian tradition and other religions have simular idea. This spirit for me is consciousness in simplistic terms.Sacred texts used the word for the Hebrews, Chinese, Native Indians, and others to understand concept. The mechanism of life force as consciousness is also rooted in Hinduism. They believe as I have read in the Bhagavad Gita the Atman (spirit) is eternal. Connection of religious ideologies as the reference of breath as spirit. Even the Quran mentions Jesus was a spirit from Gods breathe.
Exploring breath from biological perspective is mind blowing. I remember learning a little about this about 15 years ago when I did A Level science in biology another passion of mine is the human body. I will simplify the complicated process but if you doubt an external force this might wake your conscousnes to another level. The body needs energy to survive, or it will die. From a cellular point of view every piece of the body is made of cells. (Quantum energy is another deeper level). The fuel or synthesis(production) of each cell is constructed by ATP. The construction of ATP has at least 17 different biological interactions to turn the raw materials into useable energy for the cell. One of the basic raw materials is Oxygen to build ATP collected from the respiration cycle or Breath. Even Carbon dioxide as a by product is not wasted it too can be recycled to make ATP. The science shows clearly that breath is intrinsic to life or consciousness. The average human body contains approximately 37.2 trillion cells. Now do the maths of producing energy in a homeostasis environment just from a cellular starting point. It makes the mind boggle even to comprehend existence of internal conscousnes in binary equation. The conclusion I come to : All consciousness is orchestrated by the universal consciousness of a higher source, but we can override it if we choose. For example, we can consciously stop breathing and the human body will cease to function.
In conclusion does it really matter about the essence of life? From the pages of history religion has tried to facilitate the unending questions of existence. Philosophy has peered into the great minds, but the Ego has dominated its quest. Science has ventured out to the hidden depths of uncertainty and models of perception are remodelled through history. Psychology has empowered society on how to think and why, but illusions still persist in the minds of many.
For a final question to reflect on especially if you do can some meditation or quiet reflection: Consciousness creates our realty but what came first? Realty or Consciousness? Consciousness knows the answer, but realty will question it” Steve Hyne