WHAT IS CONSCIOUSNESS?
I THINK, THEREFORE, I AM.
I THINK. I THINK I AM.
THEREFORE, I AM, I THINK?
(The Moody Blues - 1969)
By Rev. Keith Smyth
The above signature is that of Rev. Keith Smyth. His expertise is in Huna, Biofeedback, computers, dreams, science and electronics. He is doing research in some of the above areas. He is a Technical Writer, Electronics Instructor and Metaphysical Teacher. He is also a cartoonist and contributes many for our Rainbow Connection.
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What am I? Surely this question has crossed your mind. Are we simply machines? Are our minds simply illusions, a construction that rises out of our mechanical brain?
Are we, as Dr. John Lilly has stated, "a human liquid bio-computer"? Somewhere, deep inside, we feel we are more than that. At least we feel we must be.
If we are merely a mechanical device, what then distinguishes us from the automobile, toaster or blender?
The answer appears to be our consciousness. The mind.
But what is consciousness? Aware of Self?
What is Self? Self is consciousness, aware. OOPS.
Endless loop, that. Back out gracefully now.
Here goes. Consciousness is what consciousness does. But what does it do? It performs a dual role in the universe. It is both the awareness and the creation of experience. It is the being and the knowing of experience. In short, knowing is mind and being is matter. Just how the two separate is the magical process we call consciousness.
Professor L. Bass of the Department of Mathematics at the University of Queensland, Australia, has studied their connection and he sees them in continual interaction. (We knew that all along. Right? Right!) This interaction between mind and matter, or knowing and being, has perplexed philosophers for centuries - i.e., the "mind-body problem".
Bass's paper "A Quantum Mechanical Mind-Body Interaction", published in Foundations of Physics, 5(1979):159, offers a solution, one based upon quantum physics.
The problem has to do with will. Just getting the job done is not enough. Any old machine can do that. It is knowing that the job is being done, that is the grabber.
In other words, when I want (choose) to do something, how does it get done, and how do I know that I am doing it? I know that I know. The question is, HOW do I know that I know?
What then is consciousness? It appears to be the ability to plan, to create a future happening. To think of a sequence of actions which will cause a certain result to appear in the future (we hope). It is the ability to view all branches of probability futures and choose actions (even thoughts are actions), which will eventually solidify or crystallize that particular probability future into matter. Or, as one sage put it, "It is always a question of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter."
That statement contains more to it than its surface appearance. But then, doesn't everything? Take another look at that statement. The key phrase is in the second sentence. "If you do not mind, it does not matter." This is absolutely true, both on the emotional and intellectual levels. Emotionally, if an occurrence does not impact your emotions, the occurrence has no importance. The same holds true of the intellect.
But there is a deeper situation here. If you do not mind (think), it does not matter (become a crystallized probability future).
In quantum physics there is the probability function, known as Schroedinger's probability law, pertaining to patterns of probability wave functions of atoms. To state the law simply, and without the math, is to say that in any atomic structure, such as a hydrogen atom (one electron, one nucleus), there is a probability that an electron will be anywhere around an atom, where it is not forbidden. (That is another law, doing with wave functions.)
The percentage of probability of the electron being close to the nucleus is higher than the probability of locating the little bugger at the outer extremity of its orbit. But that probability remains!!!!
What does this have to do with consciousness? Everything!!!!! You see, there is a vast area of unknown energy known as "The Unreal-ized Probabilities", in which all probabilities exist, including the one that nothing exists. That is a future article.
Mind, tapping into the vastness of probabilities, conceives of one probability, causing that structure to arise from the unreal-ized state, into the quasi-real-ized state. That probability is now in the state of becoming real-ized.
At this particular space-time point, it is a mental construct, a thought-form, if you will. At this point, if attention is distracted, the thought-form shatters, returning to the unreal-ized state.
On the other hand, the probability of real-izing is just as equal to unreal-izing, and mind now has an image. Choosing now comes into being. Possible or not possible? In actuality, it is equal probability. Intellectually, it depends. It depends on what we believe is possible. The process continues if intellect and emotion agree it is possible. The thought-form now is given energy, and is now being accelerated from its quasi-real-ized (mental image) state into the fully real-ized (matter) state. We have moved from the probability path of this not being real, onto the probability path of it might possibly become real. There is more.
Once we conceive that it is possible (never mind what others think -i.e. if you do not mind, it does not matter) the thought-form, now becoming stronger begins a bit of a shimmering reflection on the fabric of our reality. Ways and means to make it real start formulating. It may take years, and as long as we continue energizing that thought-form, the probability of it becoming matter inches upward, ever upward. So one day we run smack-dab into the realness of that crystallized probability. It is now in BEING. You MINDED and it MATTERED!
Consciousness then is the ability to be aware of self, and create the being and the knowing experience.
You win, even when you think you lose. Because we can dissolve anything right back into its primordial energy state of being no longer real-ized, exactly as we real-ized it in the first place. So even when we do not know we choose, we choose. We have the freedom to choose.
We have an ability to see probability futures, and therefore, get to create them. But often we cannot predict the results of our choice. We can choose, but we often cannot know if our choices will be successful. So what then is consciousness? It is choice. The magical "I". It is awareness of our own existence. "I" exist because I choose to exist.
Isn't that exciting? The "I" is a knot of consciousness in the vastness of the real-ized and unreal-ized probabilities. The "I" is a center of creativeness in the sea of probabilities - which is the underpinnings of reality. We are physical beings doing what God wills, in that we are God's spirit being physical. This then is all probabilities, for to know all probability is to be omnipotent, all knowing. To know that probabilities exist is to be able to create them occurring. Each time we make a choice and it works, or it doesn't work, we learn.
Each step of learning brings us closer to knowing our own being. It is being conscious of knowing, and knowing that being is consciousness.