- ☆The article is based on my studies, my concept, my thoughts on the subject. It is further supplemented with my experiences and self realization.
- ☆I found some link between modern science(Quantum mechanics) and teachings of ancient sages as mentioned in Vedanta, regarding Universe, Supreme Consciousness or the Ultimate truth , the Ultimate Reality whatever we say.
- ♡ Having gone through the Vedanta/ancient texts, commentaries, translated by different writers, translators, publishers on the same topic, I have tried my best to share the subject matter as I understood and convinced too. My intention is to reach to you with the topic that I found very useful for human lives. I am not good in English literature. Please give your valuable suggestions for the improvement and valuable inputs to make the text beneficial for mankind.
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In this article we will focus on the analysis of Pure Consciousness in the perspective of Modern Science and Advaita Vedanta. The article will be covered in three parts. First part is on a “General Perspective.”
There is no full proof scientific definition of Consciousness in general . However we can define on the basis of Eastern philosophy , ancient Indian philosophy and modern science this way:–
According to Advaita Vedanta philosophy, Reality is identified as “Brahman” . Brahman is identified as singular in nature, identical to the Self and known as Pure Being (Sat) , Awareness (Chit) and Bliss (Ananda). The visible world(Matter) is considered to be illusory (Maya~ Mithya). Bhagavad Gita says: Consciousness is one and undivided in all beings , but it appears to be divided, when shinning through many bodies and minds. [ include slokas: Ch-13: 16-18.]
What is Consciousness? : Consciousness is that, in which all experiences appear. It is that with which all experience is known and it is that out of which all experiences are made.
Any objective thoughts, memories, ideas, concepts, feelings, sensations, smells, sights, sounds etc. all of these appear in something that something we call Awareness or Consciousness.
The common name is “I ” or “Self”. According to Vedas (Sacred Texts of ancient India) , Brahman is Infinite being. All these refer to “THAT” in which experience appears. With which it is known and out of which it is made. Conventional view is that our thoughts and feelings appear in ourselves. The experience of sensations in the body appears in ourselves is also Consciousness. Perceptions also appear in same Consciousness. In the same field thoughts etc. also appears.
Please read the following Paragraph carefully. I am sure that You will get some intuitive knowledge :
If we observe carefully, we will see these thoughts appear in some kind of Field. They appear in that space. Consciousness is not though a space but say a field or space like. Now may we close our eyes and allow our thoughts to move freely wherever it goes according to previous experiences. Think for a moment. It can be observed minutely. Does my attention ever leave the field of consciousness or awareness? Thoughts inside “I AM” and sound outside “I AM” are not separate. They are linked. Allow our attention to go wherever it goes and have a single question. Does ever my attention leave the awareness? Try to leave the field out. Imagine out of box now, such as that experience which you have not experienced earlier. or remember that you landed on the Mars. New sets of perceptions appear. Now, are these new perceptions inside Consciousness or outside Consciousness? Is there any feeling, perceptions outside Consciousness? Can we leave our Consciousness where there is no feeling?
Simply and clearly nobody has ever come in contact with any experience outside of Consciousness or Awareness. Strangely our entire world culture is founded on a single belief . According to Science, there is a substance which exists outside Consciousness and that substance is Matter. Matter is the fundamental reality of all existence. Classical physics, reductionists and science at least believe this that Consciousness is derived from Matter. This is the primary assumption as a whole. Since the invention of matter, scientists are saying that Consciousness is product of Matter.
Now question arises. Q-1) What is the nature of Universe? Q-2) How Consciousness can be derived from matter? Both are contradictory. For question no. 1): Science do not ever acknowledge that we have answer. For question no. 2): How is Consciousness derived from Matter (from brain arises consciousness…but brain is matter). We presumed that the stuff called matter is Universe and then we ask how Consciousness derived from matter.
What is the Universe made of?
Is there any answer to the nature of Universe? So far, whatever we know about the Universe is based on perceptions. It is materialism. What is the Universe made of? We are trying to explore the Universe. All we know is perceptions and perceptions appear in Consciousness. Therefore until we know the nature of Consciousness, where perceptions appear, we are unable to know what is true about the perceptions. It is most important to know Consciousness because perceptions appear in it.
Awareness is our experience.
Now therefore, Awareness is our subject to be known, the field of study. We are aware of what we have experienced. What is the nature of that knowing that is more important. Until we know the nature of knowing with which our experience is known, or until we know the nature of the Consciousness where our experience appears we cannot know anything that is true about the body, mind and beyond.
We must first know what the nature of consciousness is?
Now if we ask ourselves ” Am I aware”? Then comes the answer “yes”. There is some gap between two thoughts. What happens is that after putting the first question “Am I aware” question makes some pause and ask the system to get the reply and there it collapses and reply the answer “yes”. During this gap of time, awareness tests itself momentarily. In the pause between the question, I am aware that I am aware. Consciousness knows itself. That is the pause and it is Consciousness itself who replies yes I am aware. I AM AWARE THAT I AM AWARE.
Think of that which is not objective and see.
Consciousness recognizes its own Being. Only Consciousness knows that it is Consciousness. The finite mind, thought can tell nothing, but it is the Consciousness. Finite mind knows that it is only objective. Only blankness is the answer. No mind is the answer. Although thought is made of Consciousness only, yet it cannot know the stuff it is made of. Consciousness is a field which is aware that it is a field adding a space like quality. Actually, it is not a field. It has no dimension. It is indescribable. Since we cannot imagine anything without dimension so to speak about it, we can relate only. So, we can say it as space like quality. Consciousness is space like where thoughts appear. It is empty from the point of view of objective. It is free from objective. It is like a screen of awareness where all the experiences appear. Thoughts, perceptions, sensations appear in it, but Consciousness is like a space. It is not empty, but it is empty of all objective contents. It has no finite quality. Being infinite, empty, not finite, it is indivisible. There is single Consciousness (NON DUAL). Consciousness is fundamental. We can say it is Universal consciousness. It has no border, it has no shape, no form, not distinguishable, the single infinite, indivisible entity(The whole, the ONE).
David Chalmers a famous Australian philosopher and Cognitive scientist has said that there are two problems with Consciousness: 1. Hard problem and 2. Easy Problem.
What is the hard problem of Consciousness?
The hard problem is: Why does consciousness feel the way it does? Why does it feel like anything?
What is the easy problem of consciousness?
The easy problem is :
- Finding the neural correlate of Consciousness.
- Explaining the ability to apply information to thinking and behaviour.
- Explaining the ability to focus attention, recall items from memory, integrate perceptions etc.
The article will continue….Next part will be published soon.
The knowing of consciousness with which we experience, cannot be divided into parts. Trace the “I” to its origin after removing all experiences to the essence of nature of our minds, we will land into same Consciousness. Our finite minds overlap, and we call that the outside world and part of minds which do not overlap, we call it that thoughts and feelings. Our minds are the elements of the Universal consciousness. We do share the world of same Consciousness. So, now the big question is ,how the matter appears from Consciousness. How is it possible to appear the world from Consciousness that is the interesting question? Next parts will be based on 1. Quantum Physics and 2. Vedanta(Upanishad)
List of Books : Recommended For Interested Readers:
- Thought As a System: By DAVID BOHM
- BIOCENTRISM:– How life and consciousness are the keys to Understanding the True Nature of The Universe: By Robert Lanza, MD with BOB BERMAN
- Beyond Biocentrism- Rethinking Time, Space, Consciousness and the illusion of Death. By Robert Lanza, MD with BOB BERMAN
- Entangled Minds- Extra Sensory Experiences in A Quantum Reality. By DEAN RADIN.
- Expand Your Consciousness through DAVID K MILLER
- QUANTUM ENIGMA -Physics Encounter Consciousness: By Bruce Rosen Blum and Fred Kuttner.
- Back to the Truth: 5000 years of ADVAITA by Dennis Waite.**
- THE TEN PRINCIPAL UPANISHADS: Translated by Shree Purohit** Swami and W.B.Yeats
- Brahma Sutra Bhasya of Sankaracharya: Translated by Swami Gambhirananda.**
- EIGHT UPANISADS -VOL-1 with commentary of Sankaracharya, Translated by SWAMI GAMBHIRANANDA.
- A-U-M Awakening to Reality : By Dennis Waite***
- Panchadasi: Swami Vidyaranya:
- Information available on internet.
[Unified field of consciousness backed up by modern science (tmhome.com)]
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9 thoughts on “What is Consciousness?: General Perspective”
Sir, your definition is elaborate and happy to have your acquaintance. The concept of consciousness has evolved over a period of time by many interpretations as it involves the subjectivity than objectification. I would like to share one of the spiritual teacher definition from the Arsha Vidya Gurukulam umbrella.
1. Consciousness is not a part, property or product of the body.
2. Consciousness is an independent entity which pervades and enlivens the body.
3. Consciousness is not limited by the boundaries of the body. It is all- pervading like space (vyōma-vat).
4. Consciousness continues to be even when the body has ceased to be.
5. Consciousness is eternal, nithya, and limitless, ananta.
so existence of an object depends upon it’s know-ability. Know-ability of an object depends upon a knower. Hence, objects have a dependent-existence and which is called mithya. To put it short just as a pot depends upon clay for its existence means clay alone is functioning as pot!
Thank you so much for sharing this definition of consciousness from Arsha Vidya Gurukulam.
I appreciate your contribution towards this philosophy.
In fact I get help to gain more knowledge.
At the same time other readers get the essence of the topic.
I am thankful for your comments which gives me more strength in reading and writing.
Best wishes 🙂🙏
2nd part of Consciousness has been published just now.😊😀
Wonderful post Arun, “The knowing of consciousness with which we experience, cannot be divided into parts.” ~ This speaks volumes. 🙏🏻
Exactly! My dear friend 😊
It is One and Only One Consciousness can’t be divided. It appears to be divided to us, but that is reflected consciousness. Like one Sun 🌞 is seen in the lakes, in the rivers, in the swimming pool and even in the pot filled with water, ocean and any water body when the Sun is seen up above the Sky 🌊💦
Similarly we in this body is reflected consciousness of the Supreme Consciousness.
I do believe that.💜❤️😊😀🌞
Thank you so much for your comments 😊
Thank you so much for your beautiful comments. I am learning and sharing my knowledge.
All of you are reading and giving your comments. That enhances my knowledge and my confidence in the topic.
My best regards to you 😊🙏