Consciousness is the ability to perceive surroundings. With this definition, we can safely say that even sub atomic particles are conscious. Because they arrange themselves depending on the observer. Particles only appear when Consciousness (Observer) is watching. Otherwise they exist in the form of wave probabilities. Although consciousness is everywhere (yes, the wall next to you is also conscious) self consciousness or a better term, self awareness is not. Self awareness is awareness about the Self, which is nothing but consciousness (some call it the soul). Mind you, consciousness is the same as soul. Anything in this universe that is moving (or vibrating) has consciousness. Thus even that wall next to you is conscious and has a soul. But it is vibrating at a very low frequency. It also cannot form meanings out of its surroundings.
Hence we come to the next stage. Consciousness has gradations. An atom is not as conscious as a virus (which is nothing but an assembly of atoms in a particular form) and a virus is not as conscious as a fish and a fish is not as conscious as a Chimpanzee which is again not a higher level of consciousness like that of a a human. We are not just conscious, but self aware. Most of us do not realize it, as we hum along the worldly ways. But what happens when we perceive sunrise or the noise of a river flowing ? For a moment, we have a glimpse of awareness. It’s God watching God.
Let me explain that a bit. According to Hindu mythology, Purusha (Soul or Consciousness) and Prakriti (nature) are the subject and object. To enjoy Prakriti, Purusha imbibed itself into everything. Both the Purusha / Prakriti combine is the same as Man / Woman or Yin and Yang of the universe. For God this whole place is an object of enjoyment. Hence when he looks through a Lions eyes, he sees the surroundings as the Lion perceives it and when he sees the nature through your eyes, he perceives it in a particular fashion. This is called ‘Lila’ or simply play. Why does a child seem to enjoy playing with toys. Because it is simply fun.
God is the silence between those words, between the switching of a transistor or between the zero and one (binary) The universe that we perceive has arisen out of nothingness or silence. That is why the Bible says ‘Be Still and Know that I’m God’. Silence or Death, if I may call it so, is everywhere. In the Tao-Te-Ching, it’s mentioned that a pot is not useful because of the clay, but because there is space (silence) inside it. This space exists everywhere, and it not vibrating. The Silence is eternal (the universe is made up of dark matter and dark energy – almost 96%) and the visible universe is nothing but a projection of our consciousness.
We need to understand consciousness, and the only thing that can understand consciousness is consciousness itself. Beyond that there is nothing. Thus the universe is subjective. Your perception is different from mine. Consciousness is there in this Computer that I’m writing on. It’s just that it has not emerged (yet) to have a complex pattern as that of a human. But you can’t stop it. Machine learning, will lead to Self awareness. It’s just a matter of time, when the Computer becomes Self aware. The objective universe that we see out of our consciousness is nature (prakriti) and the subjective consciousness is Purusha (Soul). Our only mission on this Earth is to become Self Aware (or realize God) There are different ways, but it is one thing to think about and totally different, to feel it.
For those of you, who have not ‘knowingly’ experienced consciousness, do this simple exercise: Close your eyes and watch the thoughts that cross your mind. Do not judge. After some time you will find a glimpse of Silence. Well, you have entered the realm of God. And that is all there is to it. Being self aware is the greatest gift that God has given us. From Silence you came, and to Silence you will go back. So don’t wait. Be aware, and unleash the power of the infinite potentiality into your life.