What is Consciousness?
One topic to which I keep returning is the question, "What is consciousness?" I am increasingly aware that more than anything, I am my consciousness. My consciousness is what experiences everything that I experience. I am aware that I cannot be anywhere but at center of my own consciousness. Yet what is this consciousness that I am? And more broadly what is this consciousness we all experience?
I am always here, at the center of my consciousness, and you are always there at the center of yours. Somehow we meet, we interact, and we affect each other's consciousness. Besides you and others I meet, there is a huge variety of stimuli from the outside world which interact with my consciousness every day. Yet no matter what happens, I always have choice in how I respond to these interactions and in where I focus my attention.
Then there is my whole internal world of thoughts, emotions, memories, and beliefs which somehow arise from places inside of me. These can affect or even dominate my consciousness, at times even when I don't want them to. Yet as with the external stimuli, I always have choice in how I respond to these internal impulses.
How I respond to both the internal and external stimuli has a huge impact on my experience of life. Though I have limited control over what happens to me, through conscious choice I can have considerable control over how my consciousness interprets everything that happens.
When I interact with another person, another consciousness, I'm increasingly aware of processes affecting our interactions which arise out of unconscious places inside each of us. There appear to be energetic fields which invisibly emanate out from each of us and interact in ways of which most people have little to no awareness. Yet by choosing to be more aware of these energetic fields and interactions, I'm finding I can increasingly bring these previously unconscious interactions into my conscious awareness and thus have greater choice in how I respond to and interact with others.
I'm also increasingly coming to see that everything that I perceive happening outside of me seems to be a reflection of what is going on somewhere deep inside me. My perceptions of the external world seem to be formed as a result of my conscious choices, my subconscious beliefs, my unconscious processes, or any combination of these. There seems to be a dance between my inner world and external world over which my consciousness clearly has some influence, yet always there is an element of the unknown, the mystery.
Exploring consciousness like this on a regular basis has given me a different perspective on life. I have what on one level feels like a detachment that allows me to see a bigger picture, yet on another level the ability to choose fuller engagement with both my internal and my external worlds as they interact with my consciousness. Fascinating! I am so enjoying this exploration ever deeper into both my internal and external landscapes and how they interact with my consciousness.
In the end I have to conclude that consciousness, like life, is a divine mystery. It is a sacred gift which allows each of us, as fragments of the divine, to explore ourselves, each other, our world, and All That Is. Yet I also am coming to see that the more I shine light into unconscious processes and bring them conscious, the more choice I have, and the more fun I can have in being a consciousness in this world.