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Consciousness

A Wisdom Archive on Consciousness

Consciousness

What is Consciousness? What raises us above other known sentient beings is our ability to be conscious of our own consciousness. But what does this mean, scientifically?

This archive will investigate the nature of consciousness, different levels of consciousness, cosmic consciousness, collective consciousness and spirituality and consciousness.

The ultimate questions is wether consciousness can be permanently altered and the nature of enlightenment.

We recommend this article: Consciousness - 1, and also this: Consciousness - 2.
More material related to Consciousness can be found here:
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consciousness, Consciousness, Consciousness - Cognitive neuroscience approaches, Consciousness - Consciousness and language, Consciousness - Etymology, Consciousness - Functions of consciousness, Consciousness - Philosophical approaches, Consciousness - Physical approaches, Consciousness - Spiritual approaches, Consciousness - Tests of consciousness, Consciousness - Access consciousness, Consciousness - Cognitive Neuroscience, Consciousness - Mirror test, Consciousness - Miscellaneous, Consciousness - People, Consciousness - Phenomenal and access consciousness, Consciousness - Philosophy, Consciousness - Physical Theories of Consciousness, Consciousness - The description and location of phenomenal consciousness, Consciousness - Turing Test, Attention, Binocular rivalry, Blindsight, Change blindness, Cognitive science, Iconic memory, Multistable perception, Neural correlate of consciousness, Neural Darwinism, Short term memory, Society of Mind, Unconscious mind, Visual short term memory, Yoga, Yoga Archives, , Anahata Yoga, Ananda Marga, Anusara, Ashtanga, Bikram Yoga, Chair Yoga, Chakra, Five Tibetan Rites, Hatha Yoga, Hindu Philosophy, Hinduism, Hindu idealism, Integral Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, Kriya yoga, Kundalini, Master Yoga, Meditation, Mudras, Naked yoga, Prana, Raja Yoga, Sahaja Yoga, Self-realization, Seven stages, Surat Shabda Yoga, Trul khor, Tibetan Yoga, Tummo, Yoga as exercise, Yogi, Yoga Philosophy, Sri Swami Sivananda, Patanjali, Affirmations, Affirmation, Law of Attraction, Law of Attraction for Success, Spirituality
Resources on Consciousness

Albert Einstein and consciousness

"A human being is a part of a whole, called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings 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."

- Albert Einstein

Spirituality and consciousness

�In many religious traditions God is seen as infinite, all powerful, perfect and beyond change and growth. In stark contrast the universe is evolving an ever expanding consciousness often through excruciatingly painful struggles. Our mathematical and scientific understanding suggests God is an unfolding creative process that may expand without limit. In that framework we are the eyes of God with the power to create the world. We are the evolution of consciousness becoming aware of itself and beginning to acquire the power to take conscious control of evolution.�

Paul P. Budnik Jr.

Levels of Consciousness

From the conscious awareness of an infant to its immediate environment, recognizing its mother as apart from others, for instance, levels of consciousness rise as we grow.

 

Colin Wilson suggests at least eight degrees of consciousness, from Level 0 to 7. They are: Level 0�deep sleep; Level 1�dreaming or hypnagogic; Level 2�mere awareness or unresponsive waking state; Level 3�self awareness that is dull and meaningless; Level 4�passive and reactive, normal consciousness that regards life 'as a grim battle'; Level 5�an active, spontaneous, happy consciousness in which life is exciting and interesting; Level 6�a transcendent level where time ceases to exist. Wilson does take note of further levels of consciousness as experienced by mystics but gives no details.

Cosmic Consciousness

Canadian psychologist Richard M. Bucke, in his book Cosmic Consciousness, coined this term. It is a transpersonal mode of consciousness, an awareness of the universal mind and one's unity with it. Its prime characteristic is a consciousness of the life and order in the universe. An individual who at attains this state is often described as 'Enlightened' and such a person is also said to have a sense of immortality, not of attaining it but of already having it. Burke saw this state of consciousness as the next stage in human evolution, very much as spiritualists have always seen it.

 

Indian yogis and mystics classify the seven states of consciousness differently. They point out that human beings normally experience only three states: sleeping, dreaming and waking. In meditation, fleetingly you experience turya, literally the fourth state, or transcendental consciousness, commonly known as samadhi. When this state coexists and stabilizes with the other three, that is the fifth state, where I-consciousness expands to become cosmic consciousness. The sixth state is God consciousness whereby you see God everywhere, in everything. The last is unity consciousness: what is within is also outside�pure consciousness, and nothing else is.

 

Spiritually, consciousness is as vast as the universe, both known and unknown. The potential power of this level of consciousness has been merely touched upon and that too by a few mystics. Consciousness at this level becomes capable of magical powers, defying accepted scientific physical laws and giving us a glimpse of probable future developments in, among other things, quantum physics.

Collective Consciousness

Historically, great movements in any area emerge from a collective consciousness. It is not surprising that in any given field of activity, great ideas do not occur in isolation. Despite an idea germinating in an individual mind, it is interesting to note that the same idea strikes two or more thinkers, geographically far apart, around the same time. Collective consciousness results from consensus. At any given time, collective consciousness is actively operational in a group as small as the family and as large as half the global population. The power of collective consciousness has not been fully explored or appreciated, except perhaps in times of great distress when 'prayers' are offered by a group of individuals for a particular reason and the prayers are answered.

The Paradox of Consciousness

Kierkegaard says: "The supreme paradox of all thought is the attempt to discover something that thought cannot think." A conscious human knows something and he knows that he knows it (ad infinitum). The paradox of consciousness is not that we are aware of ourselves but of other things as well, including those that do not constitute the 'real world'. Of course, when we 'conceive' or imagine something 'unreal' even our farthest imagination cannot transcend 'known' symbolism, which is why there are some things that defy definition. One of these is 'consciousness' itself.

ARTICLES RELATED TO Consciousness

Consciousness: Hindu - Hinduism Dictionary on Consciousness

consciousness: Chitta or chaitanya.

 

1)    A synonym for mind-stuff, chitta; or

2)    the condition or power of perception, awareness, apprehension.

 

There are myriad gradations of consciousness, from the simple sentience of inanimate matter to the consciousness of basic life forms, to the higher consciousness of human embodiment, to omniscient states of superconsciousness, leading to immersion in the One universal consciousness, Parashakti. Chaitanya and chitta can name both individual consciousness and universal consciousness.

 

Modifiers indicate the level of awareness, e.g.,

-       vyashti chaitanya, "individual consciousness;"

-       buddhi chitta, "intellectual consciousness;"

-       Sivachaitanya, "God consciousness."

 

Five classical "states" of awareness are discussed in scripture:

1)    wakefulness (jagrat),

2)    "dream" (svapna) or astral consciousness,

3)    "deep sleep" (sushupti) or subsuperconsciousness,

4)    the superconscious state beyond (turiya "fourth") and

5)    the utterly transcendent state called turiyatita ("beyond the fourth").

See: awareness, chitta, chaitanya, mind (all entries).

(See also: Consciousness , Hinduism, Body Mind and Soul)

 

For more dictionary entries, see Consciousness Dictionary

Consciousness: Encyclopedia - Consciousness

Consciousness is a quality of the mind generally regarded to comprise such key features as subjectivity, self-awareness, sentience, sapience, and the ability to perceive the relationship between oneself and one's environment. It is a subject of much research in philosophy of mind, psychology, neurology, and cognitive science. Some philosophers divide consciousness into phenomenal consciousness, which is experience itself, and access consciousness, which is the processing of the things in experience (Block 2004). Others consider ...

Including:

Read more here: Consciousness: Encyclopedia - Consciousness

Consciousness: Encyclopedia II - Consciousness - Cognitive neuroscience approaches

Modern investigations into and discoveries about consciousness are based on psychological statistical studies and case studies of consciousness states and the deficits caused by lesions, stroke, injury, or surgery that disrupt the normal functioning of human senses and cognition. These discoveries suggest that the mind is a complex structure derived from various localized functions that are bound together with a unitary awareness. Several studies point to common mechanisms in different clinical conditions that lead to loss of consciou ...

See also:

Consciousness, Consciousness - Etymology, Consciousness - Consciousness and language, Consciousness - Cognitive neuroscience approaches, Consciousness - Philosophical approaches, Consciousness - Phenomenal and access consciousness, Consciousness - The description and location of phenomenal consciousness, Consciousness - Access consciousness, Consciousness - Physical approaches, Consciousness - Spiritual approaches, Consciousness - Functions of consciousness, Consciousness - Tests of consciousness, Consciousness - Turing Test, Consciousness - Mirror test, Consciousness - Cognitive Neuroscience, Consciousness - Philosophy, Consciousness - Physical Theories of Consciousness, Consciousness - People, Consciousness - Miscellaneous

Read more here: Consciousness: Encyclopedia II - Consciousness - Cognitive neuroscience approaches

Consciousness: Break Your Mental Barriers

Break Your Mental Barriers

Most of us find ourselves trapped in our mortal ken because of our ingrained habit of linear and sequential thinking. We find it difficult to break this habit. The habit arises from our innate striving to discern patterns in our sensory perception of reality. Our mind interprets these perceptions by piecing together their constituent elements with other entities in our mental database of past experience. By systematically stringing these patterns together we have created the corpus of human knowledge.

 

Read more here: Cosmic Consciousness: Break Your Mental Barriers

Consciousness: He who cast the first stone probably didn't

Shiites seek revenge on Sunnis for the revenge they sought on Shiites; Irish Catholics retaliate against the Protestants who retaliated against them; Hezbollah and Hamas retaliate against Israel who in turn retaliates back.

 

In each of these instances, people on one side claim that they are merely responding to provocation and dismiss the other side's identical claim as disingenuous spin. But psychology research suggests that these claims reflect genuinely different perceptions of the same reality.

 

This article, by Daniel Gilbert professor of psychology at Harvard, gives an understanding to why the conflict in the Middle East can escalate into madness without the parties themselves being aware of their own role.

 

Read more here: Retaliation, retribution and revenge: He who cast the first stone probably didn't

Consciousness: I'm not guilty - but my brain is

A leading neuroscientist, Wolf Singer, caused a sensation by claiming crimes are the result of brain abnormalities. Laura Spinney investigates a slanging match between scientists and philosophers,

 

 

Read more here: Free Will: I'm not guilty - but my brain is

Consciousness: The Power Of Concentration and the Law of Attraction

Everything in creation is influenced by the law of magnetism (also called Law of Attraction). The law of magnetism teaches us that whatever we concentrate upon, we draw to ourselves. If we focus on goodness, our life can be a garden of happiness; if we concentrate on wealth, we will draw wealth to ourselves.

 

Success in life presupposes the power of concentration. Just as a magnet draws to itself iron filings and not rice grains, so too, the quality of our focused thoughts will create a dynamic but silent power within that will find us placed in situations akin to the nature of our thoughts. If we think ' good health ' and with faith and belief embed this deeply within our minds over a sustained period of time, we will gradually create for ourselves situations and an environment, which will be conducive to good health .

 

(See also: Law of Attraction , Meditation, Meditation for Beginners, Meditation Techniques)

 

Read more here: Law of Attraction: The Power Of Concentration and the Law of Attraction

Consciousness: The Pyramid of Consciousness

According to ancient Mayan beliefs the Cosmos was made up by Nine Underworlds. This fundamental idea was expressed very powerfully through their most important pyramids, the Pyramid of the Plumed Serpent in Chichen-Itza, the Pyramid of the Jaguar in Tikal and the Temple of the Inscriptions in Palenque, which were all built with Nine different stories.

Read more here: Mayan Calendar: The Pyramid of Consciousness

Consciousness: Understanding Concentration

Men of great success have been men of great concentration. Success does not come from outside. It is right within your brain. When a brilliant thought /idea strikes you, it needs to be nurtured and reared with patience, will, focus, and determined action. Only then will the tiny seed of an idea truly flower into a vibrant plant. The entire basis of the flowering is the mind and its powers.

 

Concentration involves a honing in of the attention so that one's entire field of attention is thrown into whatever it is that one is doing. Concentration entails a focusing of energy-the energy that influences all our actions in life.

 

(See also: Meditation and Concentration , Meditation, Meditation for Beginners, Meditation Techniques)

 

Read more here: Meditation and Concentration: Understanding Concentration

Consciousness: Visualisation

Visualisation is the process of focusing your concentration on an image of what you want and seeing it as already having manifested. It is a ritual of going in into the inner recesses of your mind, and with the power of the subconscious mind, causing the manifestation of the desired object, instance or circumstance.

 

Visualisation resembles our familiar habits of fantasies, daydreams, and imaginations but entwines a certain discipline into them. Visualisation is not imagination, though the dividing line is very subtle. Imagination is an outward projection of the mind and has its foundation in desires and emotions.

 

(See also: Meditation and Visualisation , Meditation, Meditation for Beginners, Meditation Techniques)

 

Read more here: Meditation and Visualisation: Visualisation

Consciousness: Visualisation - Visualising exercise

The best form of visualisation is when you try and affirm your oneness with the Divine Spirit. Sit, relaxed and comfortable, in a chair with your spine straight, or on a mattress in the meditative/cross-legged posture. Focus your gaze on the area of the third eye in between your eyebrows.

 

This in yogic terms is the seat of concentration and will power. Fill your heart and your mind with the joy of God or any other happy feeling that you are able to relate with. Know yourself to be a being of light. Forget the heaviness of the body. See yourself surrounded by this ball of light. It is immersing you in its warmth and permeates you into the space around. This light is the presence and consciousness of God.

 

(See also: Meditation and Visualisation , Meditation, Meditation for Beginners, Meditation Techniques)

 

Read more here: Meditation and Visualisation: Visualisation - Visualising exercise

Consciousness: New Age Spiritual Dictionary on Consciousness

consciousness

1.    State of the mind, the senses and physical awareness allowing a person to know of his existence, sensitivities and relationship to environment.

2.    Spirit communication with the developing medium ultimately registers on the consciousness for the medium to know the message content and to be able to use mind and physical faculties for transmitting on to the intended receiver.

 

Consciousness originates in the physical and once formed it becomes what is really you. It enters the subconscious where it may become the consciousness of the inner spirit body

 

(See also: Consciousness , Body Mind and Soul)

 

For more dictionary entries, see Consciousness Dictionary

Consciousness: Prosperity Consciousness and Manifesting Exercises

To begin today to develop greater prosperity consciousness, you can:

Determine those things you love spending money on and relish the experience. Linger in that feeling of joy as you count out the cash or write out the check. Ponder and examine this feeling, and keep it in the front of your memory. Before you write out checks for your bills or other expenses, draw this feeling up first.

Read more here: Manifesting: Prosperity Consciousness and Manifesting Exercises

Consciousness: What is Consciousness?

What raises us above other known sentient beings is our ability to be conscious of our own consciousness. But what does this mean, scientifically?

�It is now widely accepted that all knowledge, from the beginning of time, is available to each of us, an intelligence that is carried at the cellular, subatomic level. Highly evolved individuals who have touched the hem of the eternal and communed with the infinite through their higher consciousness, made that quantum leap but have been unable to transfer their understanding due to limitations imposed by language. Because language is incomplete and fragmentary, merely registering a stage in the average advance beyond the ape mentality. But all of us do have flashes of insight beyond meanings already stabilized in etymology and grammar.�

Read more here: Consciousness: What is Consciousness?

OTHER RELEVANT RESOURCES

Enlightenment - Spiritual Enlightenment

A wisdom archive for Spiritual Enlightenment with articles, interviews and personal experiences of enlightenment. Spiritual Enlightenment and Spiritual Awakening is the primary goal of almost all spiritual practices, traditions and religions and for any spiritual seeker. There are many names for this awakened state of Consciousness depending on what culture and tradition we belong to.

"A human being is a part of a whole, called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings 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."

- Albert Einstein


Sri Bhagavan about "What is enlightenment?
More related videos can be found here: Videos related to enlightenment

Read more here: Enlightenment - Spiritual Enlightenment

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