Being conscious of ourselves and others is as simple as our everyday chores — if only we are receptive to hear the echo and experience of things around us. However this may be, we tend to drift to a different level when we are aloof of our own self, or side-step our experience. This leads to a state of not being conscious of things around us. It is an unpretentious equation. The more we embrace consciousness, the more quickly we connect with the present. On the other hand, when we repel the inner realm of our consciousness, it heightens our ambiguity. It elevates our uncertainty and depletes our natural language of living in the present-moment too.

Conscious awareness is synonymous with mindfulness. It has got nothing to do with what one would think of consciousness in a given context, including a plethora of states we are conscious of, or responsive to, or understand them through our thought processes, feelings, images, dreams, and physical, or other, sensations — all of it beneath and above our psyche, including our corporeal and spiritual perception of being consciously embraced by the spiritual light that resides in us.

You’d think of consciousness as being equivalent to our mind’s compass and radar. Agreed that this metaphor is far too broad, extensive, and also narrow — subject to our own perimeter of thought and delineation of contexts and their different, also (in)tangible, hues and shades. This is not all. When you equate your mind with its processes, conscious or not conscious, it becomes a part of your self-consciousness — just as musical rhythms and their subtleties are to the harmony of the spheres.

For philosophers, and their ilk, consciousness is part of our attentive awareness — a state with ease of access to our mind, body, spirit, or soul. It is not restricted to being wakeful, or awake, where everything emerges like a “slagheap” roll-call of mental pictures and experiences — visual and auditory. It is also a fact that when we are awake, there are, at times, a number of things that we don’t experience at all, even when we are mindful of oneself and our surroundings. The crux of the matter is we are heedless of ourselves and our backdrops. Put simply, we are in a state of intentional seclusion — far not only from the madding crowd, but also oneself.

Socrates taught Plato that the sure-fire path to wisdom related to sound contemplation, while being a “lover of wisdom,” or philosopher, was the highest form of life. Plato, likewise, taught his pupils that each of us wants to be a part of something higher, a transcendent reality, of which the world we perceive is but a small fragment, although it unites everything into a single harmonious whole. What this simply means is that each of us wants to scuttle out of the cavern of darkness and ignorance and walk with the torchlight of truth. His great protégé, Aristotle, exemplified that our path to knowledge is the rational, systematic discovery of the world around us, alongside facts that embellish its framework.

What does this connote? That it is only when we begin to grasp the “core” of our spiritual mindfulness would we know why a thing — good, or bad — ensued, or why it did not. Or, that every situation that we are challenged with is a new learning, enriching experience, or understanding, that provides us with the competence to grow, act, and not retort, at the “drop” of a conversation. This also exemplifies the divine reality that each of us is endowed with — the ability to embrace the whole quintessence of mysticism.

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

Columnist: 
Rajgopal Nidamboor