What is Consciousness?
When you google the definition of consciousness, you receive “the state of being awake and aware of one’s surroundings“. Relative to our everyday experience, this is accurate relative to a certain set of given variables/assumptions. The key assumption that holds this definition together is the idea that “I exist as me”. The inevitable question that arises if one dives down the rabbit hole is, “What am I?“.
What am I? Surface Analysis of the Individual
This may sound like a preposterous question, but bear with me for a moment. What can you objectively point to within your experience that you can without a doubt say is you? Surface level analysis draws the conclusion that “you” is a collection of thoughts and ideas; a web of experiences strung together under an image. It’s an image created given several variables. Once we break down said variables, we have a much clearer understanding on the fact that we understand nothing at all! When we look into our objective experience of reality, we see that we have several sensational experiences; the fundamental ones being sight, touch, hearing, and smell. Take a look at your body right now. I want you to take your hand, look at it and think “how would I address this flesh and bone ligament”? Would you say “I am hand” or “This is my hand“. Given that we say “This is my hand”, this proves that you are not your hand. The next logical step of inquiry would be “well if i’m not my hand, am I the rest of my body?”. Ask the same question! The answer is no you’re not.
Well if I’m not my body, then what am I?
The further down the line of inquiry we go, you gain a clearer understanding of the fact that we understand nothing. It is impossible to objectively point to something and claim it is “you”, because “you” don’t exist! (I’ll dive into this in future posts). It’s important to understand what we are not to get closer to what we truly are.