What is consciousness?

In my previous post I stated that the Power which helps us tame our mind and strengthen our will is our Heart. Using some other names, we can also call this Power Spirit, Soul, Love, Grace, Truth, or God. Our access to this Power is determined by the level of our individual consciousness. The higher the level of our consciousness – the freer our access to our Heart.

What is consciousness? How can we recognize, assess and develop it? In this post, I will just give a few definitions of consciousness and in the subsequent ones – talk about the ways of assessing and developing it.

Simply stated, consciousness is the innate ability of a life organism to reflect its internal and external worlds. Based on this definition, we can conclude that not only humans, but also all life forms have consciousness. There is even a belief shared by people of some cultures that inanimate objects have consciousness. I will not argue for or against this belief because it is outside of the scope of my main interest, which is human consciousness.

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Human consciousness is an individual’s innate ability to reflect (or experience) his or her external and internal worlds. Consciousness is often compared to a mirror. Similarly to a mirror, which, depending on its quality, reflects objects with a different degree of accuracy, consciousnesses of an individual, depending on its level of development, reflects the individual’s inner and outer realities with different degrees of precision. The higher one’s level of individual consciousness – the more accurately one reflects the Absolute Truth.

Philosophers have argued for millennia whether there is one Absolute Truth or a multitude of individual (or subjective) truths. The assumption that I will use here and in all my subsequent posts is this: There is One Truth, the Only Truth, the Absolute Truth. A wide array of individual “truths” (or perceptions) represents a multitude of degrees of precision, with which each of us reflects the Absolute Truth.

Using a crude analogy, we can state that our consciousness is both that very “mirror” that reflects our external and internal worlds and the picture of these worlds reflected by and in this “mirror.” The higher the level of our individual consciousness is, the more precisely it reflects the world and the more our perception of the world corresponds with the Absolute Truth.

In my next post, I will discuss several ways of assessing our individual level of consciousness.

Please stay tuned. [/ulplocker]

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