One of the most difficult issues of life to define and understand
is consciousness. Yet it is a word that is used everyday and
people don’t think much about it. Self-help books and personal
growth courses often use the terminology of consciousness but
frequently don’t really understand what it is all about. Most
confuse consciousness with awareness. They are similar ideas but
in some ways opposite each other.
Clarity about consciousness is all important. If we cannot
properly name something we do not know it. And not knowing it, we
have no influence over it. I wish to share with you a few basic
insights about consciousness.
We are entering a period of human growth and development where
consciousness needs to be a priority focus for each of us if we
are to live a meaningful and purposeful life. Meaning and purpose
are the primary fruits of consciousness development.
Consciousness is what makes something what it is. It is what
defines a person as to who they are. It is the essence of a thing
which reveals both its universal truth and its unique individual
characteristics. Consciousness is the soul of any reality, it is
Everyone and everything has an essence or a soul and everyone and
everything has consciousness. Each person or thing is unique as
individuals. But we are all part of something greater as well. It
is consciousness or soul which links us to our greater, universal
nature, sometimes called the Divine.
When you have consciousness you are using your heart, your
intuition, or your faculties of knowing that transcend the mind.
Heart, intuition and these other faculties exist in the realm of
soul. So when you know with consciousness you are not separate
from what you know. You merge with it. You identify with it as
you experience it. It moves you in a way that you experience it
as a part of your greater self.
When you have awareness you are using your mind to know something
in an objective way. You know something about something. You
possess or have knowledge, but as the one who knows you are
separate from the thing you know. Awareness happens as a mental
reflex whenever the mind is exposed to something, The only choice
involved is what we want to pay attention to, or the extent to
which we want to learn more about something.
You could call consciousness ‘soul knowing’. The beauty of soul
knowing is that soul is not separate from what it knows or
contacts. It sees itself in the other. In knowing it fully we
touch its essence, and in doing so we love what we know. As soul
beings we are essentially love. And through this knowing with
soul we grow and expand our sense of who we are as soul
beings. We find peace and harmony in our relationships with those
people and situations that we approach with this consciousness.
Andrew Schneider, The Soul Journey