The Challenge Of Consciousness

Consciousness is the highest gift that has been bestowed upon us. However we spend very little time understanding it. This is because we are just too busy consuming consciousness rather than understanding it!

Does consciousness arise due to a special arrangement of atoms? Just like you can make a computer can we also assemble a brain that then gives rise to consciousness? In other words is consciousness “created” by the brain? If the brain does not exist does the conscious experience go out with it?

There is an alternate model for consciousness. Rather than being “created” by the brain it is merely “received” by it. Just like a radio receives a broadcast, we can imagine the brain “receiving” consciousness. Now instead of thinking of consciousness as an emerging phenomenon, we think of consciousness differently.

We can now think of consciousness as a deeper independent property of the universe that manifests in the brain. Just like our eyes are tools that manifest vision and sight, the brain becomes a tool that manifests consciousness.

When we disassemble the radio we do not find a band of musicians inside, similarly when we disassemble the brain we do not find anything that can create cognition and intelligence. All we find is a mechanism that can “catch” the “broadcast” of consciousness that is coming from elsewhere.

This turns the entire model inside out. We no longer see the brain as a critical component of the consciousness puzzle. We see the brain just as yet another organ that can make use of consciousness for its own purpose. Just as the eye makes use of the light reflected from it’s surrounding, the brain also makes use of consciousness that is available to it from a deeper source. Thousands of different species have different organs for making use of reflections of light and have different types of eyes. In the same way nature has created thousands of different organs that can make use of consciousness. In fact every single living cell is such an organ. In a living human brain when all the cells are wired together in a particular way it allows a richer and deeper conscious experience than anywhere else to emerge.

When the brain goes away, it takes away the ability of consciousness to manifest itself, but the deeper conscious source still continues. Just as when you destroy a given radio, it does no damage to the radio station.

We now see evolution with a whole new perspective. We now see evolution as the progressive unfolding of higher levels of consciousness. This is because higher levels of consciousness provide a competitive advantage in the race for survival. From this perspective consciousness is not the by-product of evolution but the cause of it.

Once we understand consciousness better we can have reason to change the way we live. Rather than being blind consumers of consciousness through the mechanism of the ego, we become spiritual participants in the evolutionary journey of consciousness. Rather than seeing species in competition we now see species co-evolving to generate higher conscious experience of which we are the end product.

Today we find ourselves as the end product of billions of years of evolutionary history. The result of this is that we have access to consciousness at a level no other species on earth has. We have to choose how we express our consciousness going forward. Are we going to allow our egos to hijack our conscious energy? If this happens evolution will find better mechanism to express conscious energy and our species will head into the evolutionary dustbin. On the other hand we can seize the moment and rise up to bring forth the highest and the deepest of what conscious energy has to offer.

Credits:This has been written by Raj Shah and edited by Ketna Shah.

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One Response to The Challenge Of Consciousness

  1. Durgadas says:

    Consciousness itself has manifested this ‘brain’ along with all the other supporting structures, cells, atoms, particles and so on. There is no ‘out there’ out there. Everything is within us, sharing this consciousness which only appears to be separate.

    The brain does not use consciousness, it is made of consciousness. The brain is secondary- by this I mean more gross in nature- to the mind, and the mind is a part of consciousness itself, which feels the emotion of bliss or love and it’s truly infinite Self, and that has always existed.

    If we were talking about consciousness, then we must speak of that in a way that can describe the apparent-ness of it’s forms, all of which come from formless-ness. There is a rough continuum of subtle to gross which can be described, yet there is much more to what could be called noumenonological as opposed to phenomenological. It’s turtles all the way up and down.

    I find this article interesting because Vedanta would disagree with the premise. Nothing is happening. Should we choose to act in this dualistic world, we’ll be partaking more fully of the one-ness that is our very substratum: consciousness. Yet, it’s existence requires little from us, and we shall shortly return to it also, even when in complete ignorance.

    This partaking and participation has many benefits, yet is not compulsory in any way. However we consider ourselves, we shall be reunited again and again with our fundamental nature. Through our eyes, that consciousness is experiencing itself, apparently subjectively.

    We are no more ‘here’ than a moire pattern which appears from the intersection of two other patterned objects, up and down the symmetry, scaling, rotation, mirroring and general transformation which occurs in all patterns.

    In our case we’re said to ‘have’ consciousness, because unlike a mathematical formula, we’re aware of ourselves independently of our form. There is a singularity of ‘us’-ness that is easily understood by the experience of our unique nature regardless of how our body has appeared over time. An awareness not dependent upon external objects,

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