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What Is Consciousness?

Client Story Part II – What Is Consciousness?

In the last ezine, I told a story I called “Should We Be Happy all the Time?”  It was about a woman, Mary, who had been struggling in her marriage.  When Mary realized that gaining an understanding of her mental life, and the inside-out nature of life, did not mean she should be happy all the time, it helped her grieve the losses she’d experienced in her marriage and return to a state of equilibrium.    Soon she was once again experiencing the innate well being that is our birthright.

The second part of this story is about consciousness.  I have been teaching people about the inside-out nature of life, and the 3 principles that explain them, for 20 years.  Interestingly, of the three – mind, consciousness and thought – it’s consciousness that people ask me about the most.  Principles are multi-dimensional by definition – they are laws of nature and are hard to grasp solely through cognition.  Even after 20 years of teaching these principles I am learning from them and about them all the time.  I love it when people ask me about consciousness because it helps me to reflect on it again and learn more about it.

On one level, consciousness is about awakening, about becoming aware, or, conversely, going to sleep, losing your awareness.  It’s as if, when your thinking gets busy or you think in stressful ways, the veil of consciousness drops and puts you to sleep.  All you can hear, see, feel is the echo of these thought loops – like getting lost in the fog.  This is what had been going on with Mary for several weeks before she came in for her session.

Consciousness takes the shape of the thoughts and thought patterns that you run.  If you have enough thoughts that are repetitive and from the past, its like you weave a web of ghosts around you, and experience life from a place of disconnection.  It gives you the feeling of being lost.  This would describe Mary when she came in for her session – it was like looking at someone who wasn’t really here, who was lost in the web of her deadened consciousness.

Here’s the tricky part:  what is it that awakens you, brings you out from that lost place?  One of the things I love about this work is that I never know – it’s always a surprise.  Talking to Mary about the thought-feeling connection, about the necessity of grieving losses, didn’t do it.  For some reason it was when I told her that she hadn’t been listening to anything I said in the session that she suddenly snapped out of it.  Her eyes grew wide, and she looked like she’d awakened from a dream.  ‘You’re right,’ she said.  ‘I haven’t been listening to anything you’ve said!’  Then she began to listen, and as I talked, to remember what she already knew.  Her mind began to settle and her thoughts began to clear themselves.  She came back into the here and now, and was soon awake, refreshed and ready for life again.  When I saw her with her husband two weeks later, their relationship was back on track and they were thriving.

What is it that allows you to awaken when you fall asleep, when you get hypnotized by your thinking and forget about the inside-out nature of life?  I welcome any stories that you care to share.

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  1. Dear Annika,

    That was beautifully said. I can’t. wait to share this one with my clients!

    Re: your question….

    When I fall asleep I feel so uncomfortable that it assures me ‘”I’m down” so I know not to do anything about my errant thoughts … No decisions…keep my lips zipped…get rest… Fresh air ….take care of myself. Here’s a 3P’s nurse’s prescription for Mental Health:

    #1 take care of yourself
    #2 think less and certainly less negative thoughts
    #3 surround yourself in beauty
    #4 look for quiet
    #5 be present in a state of wonder
    #6 enjoy your innate well being
    #7 discover your true self

    1. Thank you so much Karen for your comments on the blog, and your response to my request for stories about what happens when you awaken once you’ve fallen asleep. While this isn’t so much about the re-awakening, it’s a wonderful “prescription” for being with your state of mind when it’s low. Lots of wisdom here! I think this will be helpful to others. I appreciate our conversation.

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