The definition of conscious awareness as being the “inner precinct of mindfulness,” is simple, yet composite. This is because its frame of reference depends on where you’d want to place yourself than just being conscious of what you think, or sense you are aware of. Any which way you look at it, our canvas of consciousness includes what we are conscious of, or responsive to, including our experience in the measure of our conscious, or unconscious, thought processes and states. This envelops  our emotions, feelings, images, and body sensations too — aside from “holding” the rejection slip, or upsetting others’ applecart. As philosopher Plato articulated, “There’s no chance of one having a conscious glimpse of the truth as long as they refuse to disturb the things they take for granted and remain incapable of explaining them. For, if your starting-point is unknown, and your end-point and intermediate stages are woven together out of unknown material, there may be coherence, but knowledge is completely out of the question.”

Most philosophers contend that consciousness is practically the same as our mind. You’d also think and argue that this delineation is far too generalised, too broad, or too narrow — subject to your own description of consciousness. As the poet William Blake said, “To generalise is to be an idiot,” or human he might have just as well verbalised, in retrospection, without missing the context for the perspective. In terms of modern psychology, the mind is much more than its conscious processes — conscious or unconscious — because mindful, or sentient responsiveness, is as much a part of self-consciousness as harmony is to the spheres.

To cut a long story short, we’d think of consciousness as a part of our receptive attentiveness — a state of openness, or access, for our mind, body, and spirit. This holds good when we are in a state of sleep, no less, because we continue to absorb visual and auditory patterns by way of dreams, or reveries. When we are fully awake, the outcome is obvious — although there would be a number of things that we may not comprehend at all, primarily because of our bias, not predisposition. The most palpable thing is we are sometimes, in our wakeful state, unmindful of ourselves. You’d call it a state of voluntary isolation — a result of our inseparable existence with the mobile phone, or any other gizmo, and not just the stresses at the workplace, or elsewhere.

Yet, the idea that everything will be hunky-dory, once our problems are resolved, may not always be the best prescription. This is primarily a belief entity rooted in the emotional context — one that also detects any internal conflict caused by a past disquieting event. It is a clichéd perspective that acquiesces to the notion that every conflict is the artefact of two incomplete opposite pieces of belief too. The best part, however, is the whole precept is changeable, also workable, provided you are open, and free, to look at issues that are troubling you. This seamlessly quantifies your readiness to taking the stressful “bulls” of life by the horn, from the inside out, and breaking their stranglehold with qualified equanimity and purpose.

It is precisely this accommodating outlook that brings us new hope and helps us to become as much a witness as a participant. It puts us on the path of a “holistic” healing experience, primarily because we are subjectively committed and objectively inclined to embrace the context of not just our beliefs, but also conviction. It sets the tone towards a wholesome therapeutic journey to surmount our stresses and also illnesses — small, or big.

 (The writer is a wellness physician, independent researcher and author)

Rajgopal Nidamboor