What does it mean to be conscious?
Consciousness is simply awareness and unconsciousness is lack of awareness or the ego.
Spiritual author, Wayne Dyer once defined the word ego as Edging God Out (E.G.O). Referring to ‘God’ of course as the true, inner self.
Eckhart Tolle describes ego as identification through thought form or external objects. To put it simply, identifying who we are with our thoughts, the things around us and the perceived labels in life.
Learning to transcend the ego is the first step to becoming conscious and usually it begins with some form of crisis, either internal or external.
Usually this crisis brings on the thoughts- “what am I doing with my life?” “What is my purpose?” “What is the meaning behind my day to day?” “Why am I doing what I am doing?”
These types of thoughts are the doorways to true consciousness because suddenly, a small part of you begins to question something deeper, something disconnected from the ego.
These thoughts, if pondered, suddenly give rise to somewhat of an existential crisis, where the questions raised leave you feeling despondent, depressed or unmotivated. In this state you may not be able to pinpoint your source of frustration, but you know deep within that something feels ‘off’.
At this stage, many will either seek medical assistance, bottle their thoughts, suppress their feelings as no more than “silly ponderings that can never truly be answered” or, they can transcend them.
Transcending these feelings is the first sprouting of consciousness, the first breath of fresh air outside of the walls of unconsciousness or the ego.
Suddenly, you aim to find meaning in everything you do and for the first time, you find meaning in the greater purpose for mankind and mother earth, not just for yourself.
From that, stems the understanding that we are all here for each other, and that by genuinely helping others, we feel a sense of satisfaction deep within our hearts.
Our life purpose suddenly becomes clearer and we realize that our life purpose is not to make tones of money or to reproduce, but to love, to practice consciousness and to transcend, not for personal gains but for the betterment of this universe and the souls that inhabit it.
When we start to tap into these thoughts, suddenly we realize that we are in charge of our lives. We realize that our thoughts create our reality. We realize that labels are just an illusion. We realize that we are the awareness behind our thoughts, and not the thoughts themselves.
We lose attachment to things, objects and people and we start to see that everything and everyone is equal. We feel neither superior or inferior to anyone because we see that at the end of the day, we are all one of the same.
That famous question, “What is the meaning of life?” is suddenly answered.
The meaning of life is all around you.
The meaning of life is in the present moment, it is the now. Life is what is happening all around you, right now and that is all there is to it. The meaning of life is to live, the best you know how, with your heart on your sleeve and a smile in your hand.
The very meaninglessness of life forces man to create his own meaning. Children, of course, begin life with an untarnished sense of wonder, a capacity to experience total joy at something as simple as the greenness of a leaf; but as they grow older, the awareness of death and decay begins to impinge on their consciousness and subtly erode their joie de vivre, their idealism – and their assumption of immortality. As a child matures, he sees death and pain everywhere about him, and begins to lose faith in the ultimate goodness of man. But, if he’s reasonably strong – and lucky – he can emerge from this twilight of the soul into a rebirth of life’s elan. Both because of and in spite of his awareness of the meaninglessness of life, he can forge a fresh sense of purpose and affirmation. He may not recapture the same pure sense of wonder he was born with, but he can shape something far more enduring and sustaining. The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent; but if we can come to terms with this indifference and accept the challenges of life within the boundaries of death – however mutable man may be able to make them – our existence as a species can have genuine meaning and fulfillment. However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light. ―Stanley Kubrick