Conciousness in short is Awareness

Photo credit: h.koppdelaney via Small Kitchen / CC BY-ND

Photo credit: h.koppdelaney via Small Kitchen / CC BY-ND

What is Consciousness? And what does it mean to have it?

Depending on who you ask what consciousness is your answer will vary, most everyone would certainly have their own variation of the definition.

For most, even for myself for a majority of my life would define it as existing, or being me and being awake and most importantly being  fully AWARE.

How can I gain consciousness while still living my everyday life?

Philosophers have had an age old debate on what constitutes a person having “mind”. Having mind is being able to act and react in this world based on the stimuli a person may be encountering.  Now I am not questioning whether or not you have a mind because clearly as a human being we understand we all have this capacity.


However clearly by how we act and choices we make as humans we often enough choose to either turn a blind eye to our consciousness or are too wrapped up in our lives to care about something greater than ourselves.



The awareness I’m referring to, is not just to what you see, or what you feel, but the capacity to truly know in each moment not only what you are seeing and feeling, but also our choices and how we act and the effect of our actions for others in the world that are never seen.


How often do we choose to cut someone in line? Drive or act in a manner that only regards our wants and needs?

Unfortunately there is a divide in our culture between, how we believe someone should act and how we actually act in a given situation.

Our society has been built upon a belief of “will to power.” I have the will to do something so I can do it and I am perfectly within my right to do so as long as I obey the laws of society.


So on our way home we can drive impatiently, or with needless recklessness and unless I cause an accident or get pulled over there is no harm done. Picture there is bumper to bumper traffic during rush hour on your commute home. There’s a lane open to the right that is an exit lane and ends about 500 ft ahead, but If I move into that lane and speed up I can bypass about 100 cars. We make our move, hit the gas and speed up and cut right in front of a car who has to slam on his brakes. This causes the entire line of cars in traffic to come to a halt.

Do we choose to think about the backlash that an individual has to deal with by making such a choice to yell at a customer service representative for being the brunt of our frustration?

Do we think about the policies that could possibly be enacted by voting for a certain presidential candidate? Do we truly understand the complete comprehension of such a big choice? I did not. In 2008 and in 2012 I proudly defended and cast my ignorant vote for Barrack Obama “Thinking Change” would soon be on the horizon.

Nothing has changed except the world is more divided then ever. Our National Debt went from 9 trillion when Obama went into office now to 19 trillion. Now many people can argue that this isn’t his fault, I’m not saying it is but what is obvious is that no matter how we choose to label or define ourselves by our leaders it is our own collective awareness that needs to strengthen.

We need to embrace one another and our choices as if they are always directly connected to someone on the other side of the globe. Global Warming  is a topic we have all become conscious to, however do you know that transportation emissions are only making up 13% of our carbon footprint.  The number one cause is our worlds ever growing need for beef. With cows for our dairy and beef products being the main culprit.


Why do I bring this up? I’m not trying to tell you how to drive, get angry, or even what to eat as I care not because who would listen? I am merely using an example to show you how a small action in our minds that we believe is not an act we should  care one way or the other can affect others.


There are many more examples of this in our world today, many egregious acts are done by multi-national corporations, as is the case with the mining of lithium for our batteries, and our apparel industry has been built on the backs of foreign workers for decades. Check the tag, made in Indonesia, India, Thailand, China, Bangladesh. These countries governments have made deals that made their populations hidden slave labor for the western culture.


Capitalism takes advantage of our wanting for ourselves while hiding the externality cost from us.  Our Consciousness is tied to the direct understanding that our choices and actions will wash up upon someone else’s shore.

How many times did a stranger treat you so nicely that it made you smile and you could believe how nice they were? How about the opposite? How many times did someone treat you poorly or not care about the waves rocking your boat? How often do we buy products from the cheapest distributor? This is possible because somewhere in the world a corporation is using and abusing human beings because it must be done to make a profit for shareholders.

We need not become monks and seek to understand the totality of each moment, We only need to have an understanding in each moment that this choice will effect those around us in unforeseen ways. Become aware to the effects our choices cause and you will be one step closer to unlocking the infinite being within.

Jack Dennison
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