What is Consciousness?


This is a riddle that has been bugging the minds of great doctors and researchers since the beginning; Consciousness. We have a hard time finding the appropriate words to describe it. You ask this question to different people, you will get different answers, but all are slippery. So what is consciousness? The funny thing about this question is that science doesn’t have any answer and it’s not even clear that science will ever have an answer.

Simply speaking, it is the fundamental experience of all, defining our waking moments,and giving rise to although we think and feel. Consciousness is being aware of ourselves and our environment from our perspective. The awareness is what allows us to gather information from all the senses, process them and enables us to respond to that received information and no one else in the world will never seem process that information from that position. This awareness, the awareness that you are having thoughts, of your own experience is what we call consciousness.

You know about your consciousness from the first person point of view while other people don’t know about your consciousness very directly or in your point of view. Without consciousness we have no way of proving we or anything around us really exists.

Scientists and philosophers have been debating on this topic for millennia. One thing that both disciplines can agree on is the conscious as rises in the brain. Made up of roughly 85 billion neurons and other supporting cells, about which we know a little about, the brain consumes almost 20% of our energy despite comprising just two percent of our mass. Think about the neural networks and it’s kind of like a universe within. We are a long ways of understanding how it works. But if we could get down to figuring out how a single neuron work completely, we could solve the mystery.

Scientists have been studying Cerebral Cortex the enormous folded sheets of our brain which plays a crucial role in higher brain functions like memory, perception, thought and language. It’s part of the brain that gives eyes to consciousness and it also give rise to intelligence, reasoning and all the other things that we hold the up at what the human brain in the human mind. Rapid advances in our understanding of how the brain works might one day allow us to pinpoint the parts of the brain the generate consciousness.

States of Mind – Conscious, Subconscious and Unconscious

We can simply walk without thinking about balance. You can tie your show lace without wondering which hand goes where. These are all automatic. But it wasn’t like that at first, was it?

First you had to learn how they behave. You have to analyse, reason, try, test, and re try many times to get the behaviour correct and then you should repeat this correct behaviour many times to make it automatic when you analyse, reason, interpret, think, about the appropriate behaviour you are relying on your focus. When the behaviour becomes ‘learned’ when it becomes ‘stored’ inside you, you can then repeat that without even thinking about it. So, what is this ‘focus’? Where is this ‘information’ stored?

According world famous psychologist Sigmund Freud, Our mind have 3 parts – The Conscious, Subconscious and Unconscious. While talking about our mind, it would best if we compare our mind with an iceberg.

So, we have a conscious part, up and over the top, subconscious part, below the water level and an unconscious part deep below the subconscious level.

Conscious Mind

As you can see from the above image, portion above the see level is only a fraction of the total ice berg. In other words conscious mind is only a small part of the total mind in terms of its size and capabilities compared to what is below it. The conscious mind is what communicates with the outside world, taking logic thoughts, reasoning, perception, inner self dialogues, picturing, conscious movements, and thought. It is the processor that process all the input from our sense organs and giving out the result of logical processing. This is where you visualise things that are entirely different and completely unique – the creation.

Sub Conscious Mind

Just below the conscious mind is this Sub Conscious. This part of the mind that deals with recent memories and easily accessible stuff. If some one ask you your car’s registration number, you just think and the registration number just come up to your conscious mind. It is not in your conscious mind at all time, but at the right time, we can pull it up. The Subconscious mind can only pick up things from the memories but it cannot create new ones. However, it can still communicate with conscious and unconscious mind and pass the information between them. It passes the information to and fro in the form of feelings, emotion, imaginations, sensations, and dreams.

Unconscious Mind

Next part of the mind is the unconscious mind is way down deep. The most powerful director of your mind which controls every thing behind the curtain. It is your life experience and memory database. It is like a foundation of your beliefs, behaviours, patterns, attitudes and habits. This is where you store your past experiences and tragedies, which will be communicating with the subconscious that will interfere with the conscious mind giving negative or positive outcomes.

The process of Visualization

As mentioned earlier, our conscious mind has the ability to create stories and visualise those inside our mind. But the subconscious cannot distinguish between what the conscious mind imagines and what is real. So the thoughts (real or imagination) that is focused by the conscious mind brings up all the feelings and emotions that are linked to that thought.

For example, if you dream about marrying some one you love, you will really feel the emotions – joy and pleasure even though your conscious mind know it is actually not there. But your subconscious mind thinks that it has actually happened and deliver you with the emotions and feelings.