What is the definition of Consciousness?


We all talk about conscious and subconscious mind, Intuition and sixth sense and we use these words in our every day life. Consciousness is an awareness which varies from person to person in terms of thoughts, memories, sensations, feelings and environment. The experiences of your conscious are always changing and are never stable. At one moment you could be thinking about the news you are reading in the newspaper, and the very next moment your attention gets attracted to the film running on the television and immediately the next instant your mind can wander into your childhood memories. They say, nothing can travel faster than the mind. So your consciousness can shift from one experience to another in an instant and all within an instant.


What is  consciousness? 

Structuralists have always used the process of introspection for analyzing and reporting the various thoughts, sensations and experiences. William James, an American psychologist thought that the consciousness resembled a stream which runs continuously without any break even though it goes through different turnings of changes. Although observable behaviors were the main focus of psychologists in the early twentieth century, study on the consciousness of human has evolved to a great extent after the 1950s.


How does  consciousness work?

The researchers mostly study the topics like dreams, hypnosis, dreams, the response of the patients to various psychoactive drugs and more. But even today science has not been able to put forth a definite explanation or theory of consciousness. This word always has been limitless and to restrict it in a definition has yet not been possible. Many times if we observe, the physical and the psychological activities are not at all in harmony with each other. For example you can see a person looking here and there as you see that his eye balls are moving. This is muscular activity and by external visible observation it suggests the person is viewing the something. But the things present outside may not register in the mind of that person if his mind is focused on another subject. So physical activities and the activities of the consciousness can be different and many times work at different levels.


How can we explain consciousness better by comparing it to unconsciousness?

We all know that we have conscious because consciousness is a feeling about self thoughts, dreams and experiences. But since this subject has so many degrees and modes, it cannot be confined to a certain definition. It has been used since ancient times for expressing about self by many writers and to introduce their inner self or sense. It can be said that just as vision and hearing are the external senses, consciousness is an inner sense. According to Professor Baldwin, the most common state of understanding consciousness is to understand the categorization between mind and notmind. Going to sleep and sinking in deep slumber can be a temporary stage of unconsciousness while waking up in the bright sunlight after darkness is consciousness. Wood or the metal which are in no-mind situation or unconsciousness do not think, act or decide and dream. Their existence is rather dependent upon some other conscious being.



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