Consciousness is defined as the state or quality of awareness. It refers to your awareness of your thoughts, memories, feelings, sensations, triggers, and the environment. Consciousness is an individual’s awareness of their own internal states, as well as the events going on around them. Being conscious is part of what allows us to exist and understand ourselves in the world.
Being an awake and loving presence in the world is about focusing within. Healing and overcoming our own shadows creates an existence where we naturally act in harmonious and mutually beneficial ways more often.
On the surface, or physical level, consciousness is the ability to be awake and process information. Doctors determine if people are conscious or not depending on their wakefulness and how they respond to external stimuli.
Do you consider yourself to be conscious...beyond the medical definition that is? Are you aware of your own internal states, as well as the events going on around you? Sometimes I can be conscious, but I'm on auto-pilot and not operating consciously.
From a spiritual perspective, consciousness is all of those things mentioned, but also regarded as an evolving process. One from what might be considered a lower level state of consciousness, or awareness to a higher level or more evolved state of consciousness, awareness, or awakeness. This is also referred to as spiritual ascension or spiritual awakening.
Higher consciousness is an increasing awareness of your spiritual essence, the meaning of life and of the underlying spiritual nature in and of all things. It's elevating your awareness beyond your normal thought processes to your true nature...the journey toward wholeness.
Spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle says that, "Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness." He goes on to explain, "How do you know if this is the experience that you need? Because it's the experience that you are having." It's as simple and as complex as that. He suggests that we accept each moment as though you have chosen it for your evolution.
Eckhart Tolle believes that, "The most important thing is not what's happening out there, it's your own state of consciousness. what happens to you is much less important than how you respond to what happens. It's then that you are not at the mercy of what happens to you." He goes on to explain that our minds create all kinds of negative thoughts about our experience and that is what creates most of our suffering.
There is much discussion in the spiritual community about raising our individual consciousness and the collective consciousness. Collective consciousness is the set of shared beliefs, ideas and moral attitudes which operate as a unifying force within society.
I believe the most important thing we can do for ourselves, and the world we live in, is to raise our level of spiritual consciousness. The more you are able to raise your level of consciousness, the more joyous, peaceful, and meaningful our experience of life becomes. The more we raise our level of spiritual consciousness, the more we change our mind, the more we change the world.