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Consciousness can be defined as:
A FORM OF INTELLIGENCE WITH AN ABILITY TO HAVE AWARENESS, FORM PERCEPTION AND CREATE REALITIES
This definition can be simplified to “a form of intelligence with an ability to perceive and create realities.” However, it is important to place emphasis on awareness separate from perception as well as indicate the fact that perception is formed by consciousness. “To have awareness” can be substituted with “to be aware.” “Intelligent awareness” or “aware intelligence” can also be used.
The word “perception” is meant in both senses – recognition or awareness as well as understanding or conception (concepts about) of that which is being perceived. CONCEPTUALIZED PERCEPTION is a term that can be used to be more descriptive, though “perception” as a term already includes both definitions within it. The word perception can be used interchangeably with a word VISION – a certain vision of reality or perception of reality are basically interchangeable terms that relate to the same phenomenon of the mind [more about this on the page REALITY].
The word “form” as in “form perception” can be substituted with other words such as formulate, develop, construct or create.
Seeing light and colors would be formed perceptions of what we understand to be a certain spectrum of electromagnetic radiation, while such understanding of the phenomena of light would be a conception of the reality of light and its perception.
A painted picture would be an example of a created reality which could in turn be perceived in its own way (for example, there can be different concepts about art and how it is seen). A life form such as a plant or an animal or some form of human civilization would be other examples of created realities.
There is an intricate relationship between perception and something in existence that is being perceived. Any form of perception is a formulated construct and can in itself be viewed as a phenomenon in existence when it comes to the realities of consciousness itself. While perception itself could be safely considered to be a complete creation or a “construct” of consciousness, that which is being perceived may not be.
For example, light or sound is a form of perception (experience) that is created by the mind of an intelligent life form such as that of a dog or a human being in detecting and translating some form of energies such as electromagnetic radiation or vibrations of air particles, but so far as we can tell at this point, the life forms themselves are not the source of the actual existences which they can perceive unless we are talking about something that the life forms produce specifically such as sounds in communication. This means that electromagnetic radiation coming from the sun that humans can perceive as light has a component of “independent existence” which is there regardless of whether there are humans or plants or any other life forms to perceive it. Plants also perceive the sun light, for example, but in a very different way than humans do.
In other words, when addressing the subjects of consciousness and reality, a very important distinction must be made between (constructed) perception and an existence to which this perception is or can be applied. It is also important to keep in mind that perception includes both AWARENESS and CONCEPTION (concepts about) of something that is being perceived. See page on REALITY for more detailed analysis on this point.
Consciousness can be separated into a number of arbitrary states (or forms of being) – different ways in which someone can perceive themselves and reality at large.
FORM-IDENTITY: perceiving oneself as a somewhat fixed (rigid) form or identity in the world of other (separate) identities. Here is a rigid identification with some criteria such as one’s gender, race, religious affiliation, position at work, social status, group membership or anything else of this nature. A view of oneself through a set of fixed perceptions or beliefs could be said to comprise an “ego.” Since any form is only a temporary manifestation and subject to dissolution or destruction, the two common emotions at this state of consciousness are fear (of loss of one’s identity) and hostility (against anything that may threaten the ego construct). Judgement of others through identity labels (stereotyping) and a sense of being separate from others and the rest of existence are other common manifestations at this state.
The term “form” refers to one’s physical form such as that of a human being, and the word “identity” refers to a “mental construct” of everything that one identifies with in view of oneself.
This state could also be referred to as a “fixed construct” and is basically a level of viewing or interpreting reality through a system of relatively fixed or rigid perception constructs.
FREE FORM EXPRESSION: here one lives in the realm of action, expression, and having experiences. The perception of oneself is being more of creative energy or action rather than a fixed identity – a state that is commonly found in children before their expression goes through years of conditioned restrictions and structuring into a “societal mould” whose consciousness gets thoroughly boxed up in a web of rigid identity labels. In free form expression one’s beingness is still more or less limited to be within one’s body where one’s expression and interaction with the environment is accomplished through actions of the body (to include emotions, speech… etc).
ENERGY-CONSCIOUSNESS: perceiving oneself as an expanding field of energy-awareness through one’s body and some aspects of the environment, perceiving them as “energy constructs” of different densities and configurations. It is basically a realization of self as being a manifestation of energy that creates forms, and so there may be a sense of “unity” with everything and an emerging ability to expand through the environment as through one’s own body. Shifting into this state is commonly associated with an experience of “enlightenment” where someone realizes one’s “true nature” as being that of “light” or some sort of live energy-consciousness that has no true bounds. At this state one begins to gain a sense of immortality.
SPACE-CONSCIOUSNESS: perceiving oneself to be aware “space” (pervading emptiness) with all of reality inside of it unfolding as a real-time motion picture. The extent of this space of awareness can vary from an immediate scene out to encompass the whole planet or extend out into the Universe and beyond. This can also be referred to as Realm State meaning that at this state someone can perceive the entire “realm” as a sort of “reality construct” within oneself as space-consciousness as opposed to being a form of manifestation within that construct.
Here, one is in a state of being motionless space while perceiving motion and existences to be within oneself including that which one can control in terms of one’s own body. Being space-awareness is different from energy-awareness in a way that in the energy state of consciousness one perceives to be a sort of “substance” of live, aware energy that pervades through the surrounding existence, whereas in space-state one is aware “space” with existences within it. They are similar but nevertheless somewhat different forms of experiencing reality.
INTER-DIMENSIONAL CONSCIOUSNESS: By “dimension” here is meant a given realm of existence and perception within a certain “band” of energies. In this case, an inter-dimensional consciousness would allow someone to not only experience an entire realm as a whole (such as the physical universe reality) but also shift into being able to perceive and experience other realms.
For an analogy, if life was a painting, then under form-identity one would perceive oneself to be a painted figure in the midst of other figures or shapes; under energy-consciousness – the paint, and under space-consciousness – the paper on which the painting is drawn. Extend this analogy into three dimensions where paper is this “aware space” where the three dimensional construct of reality can reside.
In the form-identity state one simply exists on a level of being a single form, whereas in a state of aware energy one is shifting into that which can create forms and various expressions or manifestations – first through increasing ability of expression of one’s initial form such as that of a human being (free form expression) and beyond through transcendence of one’s form entirely and expansion of one’s beingness (as a form of energy) through the environment (not unlike an energy wave, hence, the name “energy-consciousness”). Space-consciousness is then the next stage when one no longer perceives oneself as a form of existence (including a form of energy) but as aware space that can contain existence(s).
These states are not mutually exclusive. They are presented in the order of expanding perception and processing capacity. Someone who was able to shift into a realm state (space-consciousness), for example, would be able to perceive and experience all the other reality constructs in terms of forms and energies. Someone in a state of energy-consciousness could perceive forms as potential constructs of reality that will seem more fixed or “solid” in nature.
It could be said that one’s state of consciousness expands in direct ratio to one’s capacity to embrace* a given set of existing realities.
*Embrace is used in the following senses: 5) to take in with the eye or the mind; 6) to encircle; surround; enclose. 7) to include or contain. [Dictionary.com]
Conceptualization is an organization and categorization mechanism by which we symbolize, organize, and formulate (construct) perception. Roads, buildings, people, male, female, colors, color red, plants, trees, parents, and so on – all these words symbolize concepts which are used to perceive, organize, and understand the realities that we deal with.
Concepts and Perception go hand in hand. You can develop new perceptions by entertaining new concepts or you can develop new ways of understanding by gathering and conceptualizing new perceptions. You can also affect perception by changing your concepts about something. Two people can be looking at the same person and yet see quite different people depending on concepts that they formulate about that person. Try to entertain positive concepts about someone you had a negative perception about, and try to entertain negative concepts about someone you had positive perception about. You should be able to see that changing concepts alone can alter perception quite significantly.
Concepts are symbolized by words and that’s why language and thorough understanding of words is extremely important.
In its most basic sense, perception refers to the way something is seen or experienced.
Perception can be broken down into three general types in line with the three basic states of consciousness:
- Form-identity: Perception through the sense channels
- Energy-consciousness: Perception through pervasion. Pervasion is essentially feeling through something. In this state the viewpoint is still centered around the body, extending out through the environment as if an energy wave.
- Space-consciousness: Perception through “encasing” the target of perception into oneself as “space-consciousness.” In this state a spiritual being perceives oneself as aware space with different formations of reality within it including one’s own body.
Regular perception through the sense channels is essentially a detection and interpretation mechanism, and it should be noted that:
- Perception is not a one-to-one, direct and “passive” receipt of information. Perception is a faculty of the mind; and for perception to exist, it must be actively created (constructed or formulated) by consciousness (for this reason, ability to imagine and ability to perceive are very closely connected). For example, there may be some vibrations of air particles underlying the phenomenon that we perceive as “sound,” but “sound” itself is a constructed experience and a form of interpretation of air vibrations by the mind with things like rhythm, melody, words and language being even higher levels of interpretation.
- Our sense channels are naturally limited comparing to possibilities that can exist. We can only detect light and sound within certain ranges for example, and we do not have sonar like do dolphins or bats. In order to “extend” our perception capabilities we develop technologies that can translate energy-information that we cannot naturally perceive into what we can (such as radio waves into sound).
- Perceptions can be created or recreated at will without external stimuli as in imagination or re-experiencing memory recordings.
- Different perception channels and abilities can open and close depending on one’s state of consciousness.