Consciousness

In exploring consciousness, we are looking at a concept that is defined with clarity by the perennial philosophy and esotericism – but is one of confusion when looked at by conventional scientists and academics

Wikipedia gives the following definition of Consciousness

Consciousness, at its simplest, is sentience or awareness of internal and external existence.

 [1] Despite millennia of analyses, definitions, explanations and debates by philosophers and scientists, consciousness remains puzzling and controversial,

[2] being "at once the most familiar and [also the] most mysterious aspect of our lives".

[3] Perhaps the only widely agreed notion about the topic is the intuition that it exists.

[4] Opinions differ about what exactly needs to be studied and explained as consciousness. Sometimes, it is synonymous with the mind, and at other times, an aspect of it. In the past, it was one's "inner life", the world of introspection, of private thought, imagination and volition.

[5] Today, it often includes some kind of experience, cognition, feeling or perception. It may be awareness, awareness of awareness, or self-awareness either continuously changing or not.

[6] There might be different levels or orders of consciousness,

[7] or different kinds of consciousness, or just one kind with different features.

[8] Other questions include whether only humans are conscious, all animals, or even the whole universe. The disparate range of research, notions and speculations raises doubts about whether the right questions are being asked.

 A brief summary of two ways of looking at our subject is as follows:

Conventional

Consciousness is seen as having three broad aspects

Subconscious – the area where lurk the experiences that affect our day-to-day lives - but are not always available to our day-to-day awareness

Day-to-day consciousness – the awareness in which we live our daily life

Other aspects – the reality of intuition and the writer's 'muse' are accepted – but there is no clear definition of where these inspirations spring from.

Esoteric

Consciousness as seen by the ageless wisdom:

Lowest  Self - where are be found dark thoughts and negative thinking

Lower Self - working in the material world

Often seen with three aspects

The Physical body - awareness if bodily sensations

The Vital body - feelings and thoughts

The Mind body - working with practical every-day affairs

Higher Self - the part of the mind that is able to access higher levels of consciousness – non-material levels. This part of the mind is always present, but can only be developed by following some form of spiritual practice

In our drawdown pages -  Levels  and Aspects these levels in more detail.