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What Is Consciousness?

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

May 16
define consciousness

Are you puzzled about the subject of consciousness? Do friends and family keep telling you to be more conscious without giving you a clue how to begin, or even explaining what it means? You are not alone. Most of us are extremely challenged to put it all in words.

Even philosophers and scientists fail to come to agreement on it year after year. They have endless debates, although the universities offer an entire curriculum of Consciousness Studies. We all have a sense of what it means, but can’t quite get our hands on it.​

Simplified Consciousness Definition

Consciousness is the very air we breathe. Like fish, we are immersed in an ocean of consciousness. It is everywhere to such an extent that we can’t even see it, touch it or taste it. All we see or feel is what is contained in it. We feel the wind, but don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. It is the very medium or context of our life. We are made of it, and what appears to us, both “in here” and “out there,” is simply consciousness.

When gurus talk about enlightenment, they are referring to being conscious of consciousness, of having pure awareness, of becoming aware that we are aware. We are so accustomed to the ceaseless chatter in our heads that we rarely experience life without it.

When we actually do experience pure awareness, we begin to transcend, to merge with the Supreme Being, with the Self of the Universe. We are an individualized expression of that consciousness.

The Anglo-American philosopher, Alan Watts, referred to us as “an aperture (or hole) in the Universe” through which the Universe experiences itself as Universe. It is as though God needs each of us to be human, so that He can play through us in the playground of our world.

Take a look at this short video where Alan Watts describes consciousness in such a masterful way…​

You may also want to read:  Can The Human Brain Create Consciousness?

Why Consciousness Matters

To be conscious is be truly alive. As Jesus Christ put it, “I have come that you might have Life, and that more abundantly.” We are here to play all out, to ride the waves, to go up and down, to continue to grow and glow.

He blew people’s minds by opening their hearts to the transformative power of love. He taught them to go make a difference, to change the world. He pointed them to a peace and joy completely independent of circumstances. The Hindu rishis showed us that God is “Sat-Chit-Ananda” or Being, Consciousness and Bliss. The secret of life lies within this formula.​

Formula for Ultimate Fulfillment

To BE is to simply let whatever comes up simply be without messing with it. You need do nothing but be grateful for your birth and your life as a precious, divine gift. When you accept your animal and your human nature, you will discover that your divine nature is ineradicable, or as Dr. Deepak Chopra put it, “hardwired in brain.”

To be conscious is to experience thoughts as only thoughts, feelings as only feelings, sensations as only sensations, to let everything flow in an active meditation. You notice the words streaming through your mind, but you needn’t believe, merely be entertained, by them. As the mystics through the ages have continually reminded us, the truth cannot be told. When you eat, just eat. When you work, just work. When you play, just play. When you sleep, just sleep. Do everything with your whole being.

To feel Bliss is to relish the pleasure and joy in each moment quite apart from whatever material objects we accumulate, from whatever cash reserves and equity we may hold, from whatever social status we may have built up.

The French refer to this as the Joi de Vivre, the joy of just being alive. No matter how busy and stressful our lives have become, we can always take a moment to smell the roses, breathe the delicious aroma of the bakery down the street, to enjoy the bright colors of the ladies’ dresses. As Jesus also put it, “Life consists not in the abundance of what a man has.”​

expand consciousness

How to Expand Your Consciousness

We can take simple steps in our daily lives to expand our consciousness:

  • Take a moment just to breathe. Try four deep breaths in and out, through your nostrils into your lungs and all the way down to your belly.
  • Just sit in your chair for five minutes and do nothing. Don’t talk, read, watch TV or play with a computer. Just let your thoughts come and go.
  • Take a leisurely walk in your neighborhood, or in the woods or on the beach. Just stroll along without any great hurry to get anywhere. Open up to the sights, scents and sounds. Hear the music. Just observe and appreciate every little aspect. Eventually, you’ll experience inner peace and unexplainable satisfaction.
  • Do gentle stretches, as in yoga, Tai Chi or Qigong. Do a gentle routine without making it a serious exercise. Play at it. Have fun! Transform the energy within your body by inhaling supportive calmness and exhaling stress. Visualize the process while doing it.
  • Listen to quiet music (or any type of music that will help you open up to that deeper awareness… at that moment in time) and let it have its way with you. If you are a musician, go play an instrument and improvise.
  • Try prayer or meditation as a form of communion with our Source, without trying to get anything out it. Open up to new possibilities. You might surprise yourself with an advanced realization or revelation right out of the blue.

Whatever you experience is your experience. Nothing to be ashamed of. You are on the path of transcendence and already make a difference. By being more and more conscious, you will see how everything is orchestrated by the Infinite, and nothing really happens by chance.

Simply observe yourself.  Especially, when things don’t go your way. Then, switch your mind to a different awareness and approach your situation from there. You’ll notice a big difference in solving any challenges or puzzles of life. Claim your birthright of empowerment and enlightenment.​

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About the Author

One conscious owl to another... sharing what we learned over the years, and from many wise owls before us.