All of us epitomise a multiplicity of conscious thoughts. This relates to our essence of awareness, sleep patterns, dreams and attentiveness, aside from our essential needs or wants, as we deem them fit from our personal point-of-view. Such essentialities work at two levels — primary consciousness and secondary consciousness. The duo functions with computerised efficiency and also finesse — in areas such as organising, planning, reasoning, and resolving issues, or problems. The two in unison lead to a sense of optimal health and wellness too. However, when there is a lack of synchrony between them, the obvious outcome, as you’d guess, is emotional dissonance, or dysfunction.
It is rightly and systematically evidenced that our mind is the seat, the sum total of our conscious experience. It not only unifies and synthesises every activity of our consciousness, it also corresponds to a vast and diverse range of thoughts and feelings that we emote, or don’t express, at shifting levels. This is what mind researchers call as our ‘conscious workspace’ — it represents our delicate state of alertness and attention that we all need to carry out everyday tasks, or overcome boredom, when we don’t feel like doing any activity.
Life is consciousness and vice versa. This is simply because every process inherent to our mind and body are regulated and controlled by set patterns of activity — be it chemical synapses, or neurons in our brain, or physiological processes that function with precise refinement. You may also relate such processes of our conscious state to our bio-clocks — the resident timepieces, or ‘neural oscillators’ that run us all — from chemical function to sleep-wakeful cycles and emotional patterns, among other functions. Our bio-clocks not only typify our mind-body relationship, but also the signals that emanate from our thinking brains.
The word conscious awareness relates to things connected to our mindful responsiveness — it includes and also envelops areas that we are conscious of, and responsive to, or experience in the perimeter of our conscious and unconscious thought processes. This, as you’d visualise, encompasses our feelings, images, dreams, and bodily sensations, including the small muscular twitches, the rush of adrenaline, or being calm in meditation, among other things. Put simply, it corresponds to our psyche or the temple of our conscious processes.
In straightforward terms, consciousness is nothing but awakened knowledge — a state of openness of our mind, body, and spirit. Consciousness is up and about, and kicking, even when we are asleep. Here’s why: do we not continue to experience visual and auditory occurrences by way of dreams, or other happenings — as we repose through a well-deserved goodnight’s sleep? When we are fully awake, likewise, there are a number of things that we experience, or don’t experience at all. This fluctuates from one extreme to the other — either we are fully aware, or in a state of voluntary isolation, or suspended animation.
For some spiritual thinkers, consciousness is familiarity — even when it is non-conscious, or implied. To accept is to acknowledge — to clasp at straws or float on gossamers. In other words, manage and live a happy life. What does this represent? That when we infuse mindful responsiveness into life, in any which way we can, we begin to live in the present-moment, while elevating our mind-body-spirit to a whole, new level of heightened awareness.
(The writer is a physician and a doctorate in philosophical literature)
Rajgopal Nidamboor