What is consciousness? How does one become more conscious? Like many, I am curious and fascinated by these questions. Feel I'm deepening my self-awareness as I explore, peeling back layers to new consciousness and awareness. I have far more to go on this journey.
Deep and brilliant minds have explored 'consciousness' throughout history. How it relates to religion, soul, existence, awareness and presence. Now brain science, psychology, imaging, and neuroscience dig deeper with new technologies and equipment. Stirring things further, quantum physics and mechanics expand discussions and perspectives more, out into the cosmos.
Today western culture thought leaders and scientists explore and embrace eastern wisdoms and insights around consciousness with deep curiosity. Many of us feel a desire to live life more fully, more aware, more present, more conscious and with deeper purpose. Becoming a quest to thrive, savor or just be.
Consciousness, unconsciousness, being and well-being are relevant inquires today, explored by growing masses of diverse cultures, ages and organizations. These are complex times for individuals, organizations, humanity and our world.
Many of us are searching for a better way of sensing, being and doing. A model exploring this, Doug Silsbees' Nine Pane Model, reflects deeply on these meta competencies and their relation to levels of scale in Context, Identity and Soma. This work deeply impacts my emerging consciousness. More written later on this.
What's asking to be explored, and understood deeper, for you? What's needing to become more conscious in your life? Your personal and professional life is threaded together, connected.
How's your awareness of your conscious and unconscious motives and fears? Where do you get your first hints of these? (Hint: The body).
Many meanings and definitions of consciousness abound, and more constantly emerging through fields such as brain science, neuroplasticity, quantum physics and psychobiology. One basic definition of consciousness is a state or quality of awareness, or, of being aware of an external object or something within oneself.
In a recent 2017 'Big Think' article, writer David Hirschman summarized his takeaway definition of 'consciousness' after exploring current dialogue, thoughts and research findings from leading scientists.
"What we call consciousness is the fact of our having a subjective experience of the world—it is our sense that the world is separate from us, and that we exist independently. While it is unclear exactly how neural firings in specific parts of the brain result in this kind of subjective thought, it's believed that conscious thinking is related to the prefrontal cortex—and possibly extends down to a cellular level." (David Hirschman).
A different definition is offered by Dharma Master Hwansan Sunim in a 2017 HuffPost article.
" ... under the quantum theory of consciousness, it’s just as plausible to argue that consciousness exists before the formation of the brain and therefore can exist after the death of the brain." (Dharma Master Hwansan Sunim).
Various perspectives abound by thought leaders:
- Consciousness is not uniform among human beings. People may experience consciousness in different ways.
- Consciousness is a person's subjective perception of reality, and may have great detail including sensory and somatic awareness.
- Some leading scientists (Sir Roger Penrose) believe consciousness connects to quantum mechanics, and that's where the answer lies.
- According to quantum perspectives: the human mind, consciousness, creates and sustains what seems like a universe much vaster, older and independent of beings.
- Preceding conscious thoughts and acts, is the unconscious and unconsciousness.
- Consciousness is a key, and mystery, in the exploration journey of the 'known' and 'unknown' field around life and beings.
Some of my thoughts:
- Learn and explore openly and curiously, and consciousness deepens.
- An 'ah-ha' moment is a consciousness moment.
- Consciousness opens more with somatic (body and mind connection) experiences and pauses to reflect and recognize. Try this. Tighten a hand into a closed fist and let the other hand be a loose fist or open hand. The tight or closed fist (or closed mind) allows no air, movement, energy or space to enter. A relaxed loose fist or open hand (or open mind), allows air and energy to flow around the hand. Feel the difference as you pause? That's your consciousness going deeper with a pause.
- Which feels more spacious and able to receive (energy, input, senses), the tight fist or the relaxed hand? Open minds allow conscious flow.
Up next week is a deep dive into Conscious Capitalism as we (hubby Alan Minker and I) attend the 2018 annual conference. So looking forward to it! Talks and practicums by leading experts share knowledge and ideas on the four tenets of Conscious Capitalism: Higher Purpose, Stakeholder Orientation, Conscious Leadership and Conscious Culture.
More Conscious (Being, Leading, Collective, Culture, Organization...) sharing in my upcoming blogs.