Dr. Antonio Damasio, a neuroscientist from the University of Southern California who has studied the neurological basis of consciousness for years said, that being conscious is a "special quality of mind" that permits us to know both that we exist and that the things around us exist.
the state of being awake and aware of one's surroundings.
"she failed to regain consciousness and died two days later"
synonyms: awareness, wakefulness, alertness, responsiveness, sentience
"she failed to regain consciousness"
the awareness or perception of something by a person.
plural noun: consciousnesses
"her acute consciousness of Mike's presence"
synonyms: awareness of, knowledge of the existence of, alertness to, sensitivity to, realization of, cognizance of, mindfulness of, perception of, apprehension of, recognition of
"her acute consciousness of Luke's presence"
the fact of awareness by the mind of itself and the world.
"consciousness emerges from the operations of the brain"
Consciousness refers to your individual awareness of your unique thoughts, memories, feelings, sensations, and environment.
Your conscious experiences are constantly shifting and changing. For example, in one moment you may be focused on reading this article. Your consciousness may then shift to the memory of a conversation you had earlier with a co-worker. Next, you might notice how uncomfortable your chair is, or maybe you are mentally planning dinner.
This ever-shifting stream of thoughts can change dramatically from one moment to the next, but your experience of it seems smooth and effortless.
What aspects of consciousness to researchers study? Topics such as sleep, dreams, hypnosis, hallucinations, meditation and the effects of psychoactive drugs are just a few of the major topics related to consciousness that psychologists study.
Some people will try to tell you they are their brains. But consider this: you cannot be your brain because you have a brain. You see, logically you cannot be something that is a possession of yours. And you are not your emotions because you have emotions. And you are not your body because you have a body. If you can observe anything that is ‘over there’ and you are ‘over here’ then that thing over there cannot be you because you’re over here. So your true identity, if it is to be found, must be distinguished from anything you can observe. And your are not your DNA or your genes. And taking it further, the true you is not your nationality, race, nor your gender. You could even have gender reassignment surgery but afterwards you would still be you. You might feel more comfortable and natural with your new gender but those are conditions of your environment that can be changed and observed, so they are not you. They are not the deeper you that never changes.
You are Not Your Thoughts
Consciousness Is Not Thinking
And there is another problem with the conventional scientific assumption that consciousness originates in our brains. And many scientists make the same fatal mistake in their reasoning. They equate consciousness to thinking. That should be a tip-off right there that something is wrong because it’s an unexamined assumption.
Consciousness is not the same as thinking and you can verify this for yourself by sitting in a chair and choosing to not think as you sit there. If you can do it, you will be conscious of not thinking without having to formulate any thought about not thinking. You’re just sitting there consciously without having to think. Just as you can be conscious of the lovely scent of a rose without the necessity of formulating any thought about it. You’re just conscious of the lovely scent.
Here’s another way you can experience consciousness without thinking. It’s one that is used in meditation. Sit quietly and breath normally and focus all of your attention on your breathing. You will notice that it is impossible to focus 100% of your attention on your breathing and think at the same time.
If you are able to do it, this experiment will show you that thinking and consciousness, though clearly related, are basically independent. You see, consciousness is not the act of thinking. Consciousness is what enables you to be aware that you are thinking. For you cannot think without consciousness but you can be conscious without thinking.
Is Consciousness Outside of Us?
Now all of this could be frightening to some people to learn that there is no one at home inside, but here is the kicker: Through all of this searching, you—the real you, was there all along doing the looking. Because you are the consciousness, you are the awareness that makes looking for yourself possible. That’s the true picture of you. The only thing about yourself that you can verify for certain is that you are conscious. Or better yet, you are consciousness. And that fact can be known because you can experience it first-hand. You are the consciousness that knows your body, emotions, thinking and perceptions.
We are a Part of The Infinite Consciousness of The Universe.
The old thinking is that we are skin encapsulated identities. But the new awareness is more fluid and more relational. Long ago humans were shocked to learn that they were not at the center of the universe. And now we come to a time of realizing that we are not isolated skin encapsulated identities. Philosopher Alan Watts also said “You are something the whole universe is doing in the same way a wave is something the whole ocean is doing.” And he is right. You are the consciousness that flows through everything. And at this very moment you are flowing through your unique human form.
This Consciousness that flows through everything, Is the One Infinite Creator, It is the Energy that flows through ALL Things. This is the “God” that we are all a part of. Our True Purpose is to experience this Grand Plan, as an individual piece of the Whole of Creation.
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