The idea of being conscious and having sensory qualities are independent of each other. This is autonomous of the sensory qualities that we all know too — physical stimulus, physiological response, communication, psychological or emotional experience. What does this signify? That our sensory qualities, whatever their character or essence, are distinctive of the types of sensation they represent — something which we all can, but not necessarily, always be conscious, more so, in a suitably direct, or instant, manner.
The big question is — what are the factors that quantify the conventional impression of any sensory quality? There is just no single answer to this. The best thing, as most philosophers and mind scientists would “prescribe,” is to ask whether sensory contexts, in a given or not given situation, address the idea of being truly qualitative. There is, of course, more to the complexity than what meets the eye or the mind. This is simply because having a clear idea is not everything, although the basis of it all is essentially the mode through which our consciousness, including our conscious awareness, is revealed.
Let us bring home the point through a simple hypothesis: The colour properties of physical objects. All of us know the qualitative expression of colours — even when they are appreciated by way of our perceptual consciousness. Whatever the appearance or shape of the object, one can, without difficulty, attribute the character of its qualitative colours to its physical presence. We can, by the same token, decipher the clear qualitative character of the physical colour inside the object from the deep precincts of our mind. This is what that takes us into and also leads us to revel and express our visual sensations, whose properties are as distinctive as the colours we see. This is also the principle through which nature helps us to conserve the idea that colour is qualitative. It is all right for one to sometimes reject the idea of qualitative colour to physical objects because they have anyway accepted that their qualitative character is apparent. You could call it everyone’s rational intuition — the ability to hold on to the colour patterns in our mind and, in so doing, safeguard the component of reality so long as we are convinced that our rational intuition reflects how things appear, rather than how they really are, in the best manner possible.
It is our logic, along with our rational intuition, that tells us the essence of our sensory qualities and our sensory states. It is also this fine quality of perception and balance that all of us are endowed with that helps us to distinguish our innumerable sensations, from the most important and significant to the most trivial, such as an itchy feeling somewhere. This is how we become instantaneously conscious of them.
It is our knowing, in the first instance, through our conscious state, that “taps” our sensations within our conscious framework. The common argument is that our sensory contexts cannot be derived non-consciously. They cannot also be sustained without conscious involvement. The big point is we do not have the scientific support to refute that our sensory qualities cannot occur non-consciously. New research suggests that non-conscious sensory states not only resemble, but also disagree in the same manner in which our conscious sensory states do. What’s more, new studies show that they differ when one conscious activity is “mindful” and the other is not too.

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