This is one of those words that seems to mean many things. It is certainly not an every day word for the majority of us; some people may philosophise about consciousness or use it in marketing brochures to suggest something out there and mostly beyond.
Starting at the other end, we have done a grand job in making our world a fairly comfortable place to be; getting food and water takes little effort for most of us. Certainly we have well engineered our world to make it comfortable. However the problems of the health of our planet, our own health and the obvious lack of sustainability about our activities are becoming more and more obvious; yet our response is best described as almost total denial and at worst a death wish.
So here we sit with all the technology, the science and the methodology to address this issue and yet we don’t for the most part, or we just tinker around the edges. What is missing? We believe the answer to that is consciousness. Consciousness is defined in many ways from the straight forward to the overly complex. We prefer the simple and then scale it up or down, so let’s go for “the state of being aware of and responsive to one’s surroundings”. Naturally perception is also an important ingredient, a perception that comes from an inner peace and inner centre that stems from our willingness to turn inwards for our answers and our relationship to the cosmos.
We humans are supposed to be the pinnacle of evolution, at the top of the food chain. If we consider insects and their function in comparison we may easily reach the conclusion they don’t much matter. However if we wiped out the total insect population all life on this planet would cease to exist within around 18 months. Here in the UK the estimate is that we have already destroyed 75% of our insect population. But if you Google ‘survival’ and ‘insect’ you mostly get articles on how we can exist on a diet of insects, which basically says it all.
Let’s take the lowly earthworm, certainly low on the scale of perceived consciousness. And yet if we wiped them out (and we are doing so by our use of chemicals, fertiliser and pesticides) the life on this planet would cease within 2 years. In contrast, if humans ceased to exist the planet would actually do very well, probably even flourish.
We say all this to suggest that consciousness is an important subject, one that starts close to home, and something to focus on. Let us get past our dramas and learn of our place in the cosmos and our interdependence on all that surrounds us. Becoming aware that our survival, our wellbeing, even our happiness and lastly our wonder are products of our connection with all that is, will lead us to that ability to connect which is an outcome of our consciousness.