A guide to scientific definition of consciousness and ways to expand yourself beyond the horizon
Consciousness is the ability to be aware of your existence, sensations, and thoughts. For example, if you are reading this post, you are aware that you are thinking about this question, and you are aware of yourself thinking about it. This level of awareness is called cognitive consciousness. Sometimes people refer to this as just consciousness. Consciousness can be divided into different subcomponents, including working memory and long-term memory. The consciousness of your dog is much different than that of a person — it does not have the ability to have thoughts about being a dog, or being a dog in a house, or being a dog in a house behind a fence, or being a dog in the back yard.
The whole idea of spirituality is around consciousness as human beings are the most self-conscious organisms on our planet but we will have to understand one particular thing here and that is consciousness is not binary but it is a spectrum on which we can decide the level of consciousness of the living organisms around us. There are scientific ways and conventional spiritual ways as well to determine the levels of consciousness in different organisms.
For example, in scientific literature, we come across a test which is called mirror test that determines which animals are self-conscious. There are many animals who have successfully passed this test such as pigeons, apes, dolphins, etc. Then what makes a human being different? The answer is that human beings can expand their consciousness and they have been successfully doing so. Let us understand why and how do they expand their consciousness and what we can learn about consciousness through these experiences.
Why do we need to expand our consciousness?
I think, waking up to an expanded consciousness is a very personal thing. For me, it has opened up a new view of the world, new possibilities that I was not aware of. It has given me a new sense of belonging. It has made me feel more connected and happier. Being more conscious has made me feel more in control of my life. I feel that the world is a better place to live in, less stressful and not so depressing, and a lot more wonderful. Inevitably I have become more sensitive and more empathetic to my fellow human beings. I personally feel that “waking up” is a very worthwhile venture.
Have you ever been dreaming and suddenly felt that you were out of your body? We are expanding our consciousness when we are in the dream state. The level of our consciousness during the dream state is higher than our normal consciousness during the day. The body is unconscious or asleep and the mind is active and conscious. In fact, a little higher level of consciousness is all we need to travel to higher dimensions of reality. If a person travels to the higher dimensions for a few days a month and brings knowledge about the higher dimensions back, then that person can teach others about higher dimensions and all kinds of practices that can be used to raise the consciousness. It is a fact that expanding our consciousness is very highly important and that is what I describe as my purpose.
Interestingly, we all have the ability to expand our consciousness and grow our awareness, but it takes commitment. We must make a conscious effort to break down our limits and construct new ones. Also, we must prepare ourselves for the possibility of learning things about ourselves that we don’t want to learn. We all have our private fears, weaknesses, and insecurities. Most of us don’t want to be told that we are not perfect the way we are, but in order to be truly happy and successful, we need to listen to that voice inside of us that tells us we need to make changes.
How can we expand our consciousness?
First of all, you need to understand yourself before you start your journey in this field. How do you get to understand yourself? By asking yourself the right questions! Life is a journey of discovery, and the most rewarding discovery of all is who you are and what you are. Your identity is constantly changing, so you need to learn to embrace yourself as a person. Then comes various practices. One of the most effective ways is to meditate. You can also try yoga, learning a new language, dancing, learning new art forms. These will expand your awareness and your consciousness.
Consciousness and Psychedelics
Psychedelics are a huge topic. Everything from the pineal gland being activated to the possibility of inter-dimensional travel! When it comes to expanding your consciousness using psychedelics, they are capable of revealing layers of reality that are normally hidden from our perception, can provide the person using them with a radically novel outlook on life, the world, and their place in it. The use of psychedelics may be an essential part of the process of expanding consciousness, allowing the person to break free of their normal mental framework, and to see the world in a new, previously undreamt-of light. In this way, psychedelics can be considered both a tool, and also a teacher.
I am not prescribing psychedelics here but if you ever decide to take it, understand that you first need to make your brain habitual to the changes because they are radically transforming in nature. You should meditate on yourself and your problems before going for a psychedelic retreat and only do it under expert’s supervision such as shamans.
I will talk about my own experience with Ayahuasca which is a popular psychedelic in the South America and how it changed my life in the next post.