According to Mandukya Upanishad, consciousness operates in 4 states
- Waking state Vishwa Jagrat
- Dream state Taijasa Svapna
- Deep sleep state Prajna Susupti
- Transcendental consciousness state Turiya
Merriam Webster meaning
Definition of consciousness
The quality or state of being aware especially of something within oneself, the state or fact of being conscious of an external object, state, or fact, the state of being characterized by sensation, emotion, volition and thought, the totality of conscious states of an individual, the normal state of conscious life regained consciousness, the upper level of mental life of which the person is aware as contrasted with unconscious processes.
Definition of the Self
The set of someone’s characteristics, such as personality and ability, that are not physical and make that person different from other people.
“Consciously being conscious” are we really conscious about Self, are we really conscious about the environment, are we really conscious about what we talk, what we eat, where we are…..now let’s go little deeper and observe whether our Self comes to our mind at all times. Most of the times, the Self never comes to mind, (here I would like to quote Tufts University cognitive scientist, Daniel Dennett says: “We are all zombies. Nobody is conscious.” Dennett includes himself in this extraordinary claim, and he seems to be proud of it.) because the self is not aware of any factor that is influencing it or affecting it. When the Self comes to mind, we become conscious of what we talk, what we eat, where we are, how we express our feelings and emotions. When the Self comes to mind our consciousness starts expanding and merging into the transcendental consciousness. We become aware of everything within ourselves and the surrounding. Once the Self realises and the Self-analysis is on the process, the Self will be able to emerge from all emotions and feelings that affect the Self.
When there is a need for self-realisation and self-analysis?
As we further delve into the mysteries of consciousness, “the hard problem of consciousness”, the notion of David Chalmers, Australian philosopher and cognitive scientist.
Only when there is an internal reasoning to know the Self, then there is a need for self-realisation and self-analysis. Self – analysis is first to know yourself. To know you one should first know what the 6 temperaments are. They are kama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada and matsarya—lust, anger, greed, illusion, pride and envy. Is it an easy task to handle the Self when it is in anger state, lustful state, greedy state, etc.? If it was so easy to handle the Self under these mental conditions, then we will have only Buddhas and Christs everywhere in the world.
Yes out of my personal experiences, it’s a herculean task. Then how do I become consciously being conscious. Constantly and consistently practicing by bringing the Self to the mind is the only path to completeness. The reflective mind is established with such a practice. How is it possible? Every feeling and emotion experienced by the body and mind should be subject to analysis for knowing the Self. For e.g. Anger (here I mean an uncontrolled anger) is an emotion which when expressed the Self loses the tendency to an objective observation and self-monitoring capacity. When does one become a an objective observer, when one rises above one’s own self, and one’s own reason from the innate intellectual subjective self, like “Plato’s cave”. With a purpose, in the right environment and practical tools like meditation and introspection it is possible to achieve a Self which will merge into the transcendental consciousness; it is possible to emerge above the instinctive nature.
So now consciousness, no doubt at all, it’s a phenomenon, it’s an experience in itself. When the Self merges into the transcendental consciousness, definitely consciousness can operate beyond the brain, body, and the present and therefore its beyond time and space. One has to find the Self from all fear of loss and death.
It is a subjective perspective because it is surely based on personal feeling, emotion, and aesthetics. It’s an overall experience of my personal feelings, personal emotions, etc.
It is an objective perspective is one that is not influenced by emotions, opinions, or personal feelings – it is a perspective based in fact, in things quantifiable and measurable.
So, let’s go beyond subjective and objective perceptions, and merge ourselves into the higher consciousness, which will help us socially connect well to all the living beings of this wonderful universe without any prejudices, thereby establishing a divine network.
Physicist Freeman Dyson “God is what mind becomes when it has passed beyond the scale of our comprehension”