Consciousness and Mind as Equals


Consciousness

The relationship between consciousness and mind is a complex and debated topic in philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience. While some may equate consciousness with the mind, others argue they are distinct concepts. Consciousness generally refers to being aware of and able to perceive one’s surroundings, thoughts, emotions, and experiences. On the other hand, spiritual awareness is the subject or energy force that creates a field of consciousness.

As a result, consciousness becomes the objective of the subject of awareness, which, after emerging from the nondual primordial awareness, the mind becomes conscious of the dualities of this or that. Hence, awareness is primary, and consciousness, being secondary, is dependent on awareness. So, the mind must first become aware and mindful of what it is conscious of.

The mind is an energetic flow of bioelectric processes produced by chemical activity in the brain, transferring information through neural pathways via neurons from one section to another primarily to become conscious – external and internal. The mind is often described as the cognitive faculties that enable consciousness, perception, feelings, thinking, judgment, language, memory, and imagination. It’s that aspect of a person that permits a human mind to be aware and conscious of the world for its outer and inner experiences.

The highest consciousness level encompasses pure or super consciousness, the nondual soul, which is choiceless and spontaneous. It is the reflective section of the mind, which can read and become aware of its inner thoughts. This awareness section is the absolute potential intelligence we call “That art Thou.” It is the decoder of all information observed and computed through which the mind pulls to combine with other sections to comprehend along with the intellect of what it perceives.

Next is the conscious mind, which involves everything you think about in the present moment. It occurs when the mind is centred and focused, linked to short-term memory, and has limited capacity. Because of awareness, the conscious mind detects and demonstrates what the mind perceives through cognition. So, when the mind is observant or alert, it becomes aware; if it is attentive to what it focuses on, it is conscious.

Thirdly, a large section of the mind functions in auto-mode, lower or subconsciously from its past awareness through memory and intellect. Once the mind knows something consciously, the memory takes over and goes into autopilot. Lastly, the unconscious mind comprises unaware thoughts and feelings like impulses, compulsive behaviours, and tongue slips. Impulsivity is a natural part of the brain that functions with feelings, thoughts, and actions to act on a notion or urge without considering its consequences, forethought, or reflection.

While some scientists and philosophers argue that consciousness emerges from complex brain functions, others propose that consciousness might be one of the universe’s essential components. The relationship between consciousness and the mind still needs to be fully understood, and different theories exist regarding whether they are related or are essentially one unified field. Science requires verification of its claims, but philosophy is always open to speculative theorization, after which science takes over.

The brain is the receiver and transmitter, capturing information from outside, detecting and determining through mental faculties to decode what it cognitively captures. Consciousness is the aliveness responsible for creating unique individuality through various cognitive and aware, conscious abilities available through your mind to the brain. Consciousness also culminates all mental processes, including paying attention, thinking, feeling, remembering, reasoning, and judging. It includes a diverse range of cognitive, emotional, social, and unconscious factors that, when combined, mould our behaviour and objective experiences into every individual’s unique identity.

On the other hand, awareness arises only when the mind is alert; consciousness results from its cumulative attention to what the mind has observed. The mind uses intellect (past knowledge borrowed from various sources) and intelligence (new, spontaneous comprehension) to experience and realize after selecting what it wishes to procure for what it desires. Mind and consciousness are synonymous since they are mutually interactive with each other. The mind cannot exist without consciousness since we are only considered awake when conscious; otherwise, we are in a coma.

Consciousness

All studies begin and agree with the assumption that consciousness arises from brain activity, but opinions differ on how consciousness is produced and how to address the issue effectively. The initial state of pure consciousness is choiceless and spontaneous, without any other brain faculty interfering with its operation. It is entirely nondual and natural and equivalent to the intensity of individual awareness. Suppose the mind is attentive after becoming aware of the present moment. In that case, it will attach itself to cognitive faculties and become conscious either of this or that in duality relatively opposite of, say, positive/negative, happiness/sadness, divine/devil, etc.

The mind, after that, uses its memories to operate in auto-mode from past awareness, dissipating into lower or subconscious past awareness, negating the need for fresh aware inputs. Say, if you have consciously learnt how to drive a car, the subconscious takes over in auto mode, and the actions of the mind quickens.

The subconscious is the storehouse of past awareness in our memory. It utilizes approximately 95% of the mind, processing millions of bits of information thousands of times faster than the conscious section. So, the subconscious runs our material life, but not the spiritual. Material life consumes over 99% of our mental activity. Hence, the Earth is in a disaster today, where we, the potentially divine creatures, are destroying more than we create. We create to destroy.

Energy, the substance of all existences, characterizes itself by cyclically vibrating in different frequencies—the process involves the creation, preservation, and destruction of all that exists for it to recreate again. In our case, the powerful subconscious in lower consciousness is responsible for gradually destroying land, sea, and air ecosystems. The fabric of life we depend on is being destroyed by wars and polluted by excessive exploitation, causing life on Earth to disappear. Due to the imbalance between the material and the spiritual, the Second Law of Thermodynamics rightly emphasizes that energy moves in entropy, which means disorderly.

Likewise, our subconscious thoughts move randomly, recklessly, and repeatedly in a disorderly manner, multitasking to accumulate quickly more and more selfishly. We, the most superior species amongst all living creatures, are the biggest destroyers. To balance the same, we desperately need spiritual clarity, contentment, and comprehension to preserve, experience, and realize our required stability.

Thus, the human mind is either spiritually conscious or exceedingly subconscious while awake; otherwise, it is inactive in deep sleep and partially active in dream sleep. I reiterate that the conscious mind awakens the soul to reason, focus, and concentrate on the present moment. Hence, it is slow but qualitative, forming a unique individuality. The subconscious is the part of the mind that processes information fastest and retrieves data from the memory bank. It is the master programme designed for your material needs to make you ‘what you are’ – quantitatively controlled by your emotional desires to form your personality (persona- a false mask in Greek).

In Indic scriptures, we have two more states. ‘Turiya’ is a state in which consciousness transcends beyond the needs of the body and mind in selflessness in its purest spiritual form, where all dualities vanish. The illusion of separateness unites into its wholesomeness of nothing – ‘Shunyata’, from which everything appears to disappear back into its fold. Mahatma Gandhi is a shining example of a person who rigorously practised this procedure through selfless deeds.

Beyond that, we have the ‘Turiyatitta’ state where the individual soul immerses into the total universal awareness as the spirit, a heightened state of interconnectedness with the universe, through which the Rishis of prehistoric years were able to telepathically receive information from the cosmos on which Vedic science today establishes itself.

Therefore, there are various theories relating to the nature of the mind. These range from philosophical to scientific theories trying to unravel the neural mechanisms underlying mental processes carrying what we consider as information or knowledge. No one seems to know clearly where the mind acquires all the initial information it receives from its observatory power to evaluate and enumerate.

The foundation for mental activity begins in the womb. The brain starts forming neural connections with the sense organs to capture sensory experiences of touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound. The mind begins by perceiving one’s surroundings and internal mental state since these provide the raw material for perception and cognition to make sense of the world around them. The mind then captures aware energy from the outside, deciphers, reasons, understands and experiences sensory information through neural connections via neurons. All this requires the mind first to become aware and, after that, conscious, followed by the subconscious, for that totality of which the mind revolves in every living creature; otherwise, it can neither operate nor exist.

Consciousness

Therefore, the mind and consciousness are synonymous. It is that flow of psychic energy-carrying aware information that the brain perceives from the outside and the inside, depending on the intensity of how alert any individual mind is in every living creature. The suffix “ness” signifies the intensity of awareness, consciousness, and uniqueness, creating distinct characteristics in all living beings. Hence, consciousness is the supreme faculty of the mind, which forms the mind to configure “what you are – quantitatively” to build upon the growth of your body and mind.

However, the mind nor its thoughts are who you are since you claim the body, mind, and its thoughts – conscious or otherwise, as ‘yours’, meaning they belong to you. You can observe, read, and introspect your mind through your super-conscious mind at any moment, for you are the spirit in spiritual beingness going through human experiences but are generally unaware of the same. The subconscious mind in lower consciousness will not agree in the same way unless the individual mind transcends and balances the material and the spiritual life to fulfil its life in wholesomeness.

This lower state of mind is what we spiritually refer to as lower or sub-conscious. It occurs when the mind is subconsciously aware of the past through its five sense organs, forming its memories, desires, and thoughts to make decisions through the brain after analyzing and evaluating the database for its self-interest. However, when the individual mind is aware and conscious, it is in the moment. The mind is calm, quiet, centred, composed, relaxed, observant, and attentive. Hence, the mind can be said to be simultaneously present and alert when conscious, but it needs to be aware first.

So, in conclusion, consciousness is the culmination of mental acumen that can focus on one task at a time, centred and balanced in the present moment. Subconscious lower awareness, on the other hand, can operate on multiple tasks simultaneously, particularly when material desires exceed spiritual ones, and your wants are more selfish than selfless. Unfortunately, the subconscious mind generally consumes over 90% of the mind, for which human behaviour today is greedier to get more out of life than to give what it owes to Mother Nature.

Therefore, for mental peace and harmony, the mind must balance its material and spiritual life equally to maintain its sanity and the well-being of future generations. NAMASTE

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