It is important to understand to some degree what consciousness is, because only then you can consciously raise it and harness its power in reaching your goals. Raising your consciousness is essential prerequisite for raising you well-being, including success and happiness. A low degree of consciousness causes a low degree of well-being, and higher degree of consciousness leads to a higher degree of wellbeing. Any significant progress or breakthrough requires a leap of consciousness.
Consciousness is tied more to virtues than to knowledge and skills, since the highest modes of consciousness are actually virtues (inner peace, joy, compassion, love etc.) Therefore, raising your consciousness is done by cultivating your virtues or by the process of virtufication, as taught by virtuology. The more you virtufy yourself (activate and cultivate certain virtues), the higher the degree of your consciousness is and therefore of your wellbeing, which increases also your productivity and effectivity that are necessary for increased prosperity.
You can neither raise consciousness, nor can you lower it. The expression of “raising consciousness” usually denotes raising awareness, which you can raise indeed. In Virtuology, we use that expression to denote raising the modes of consciousness. We also use alternative terms for it, such as consciousness calibration and virtufication. By “virtufication” we mean to emphasize the role of virtues in raising your consciousness.
Just to be clear, we repeat that when we speak of consciousness raising, we do not mean the process of developing awareness in a person or group of a situation (or of a political or social issue) regarded as wrong or unjust, with the aim of producing active participation in changing it; and we do not mean it as a process of achieving greater awareness of one’s needs, goals, and problems in order to fulfill one’s potential as a person; and we do not mean it as a process of learning to recognize the needs of a group to which one belongs. -in Virtuology, we term all these as “raising awareness” or expanding consciousness”.
That out of the way, once more, we emphasize that we mean it as raising the modes of consciousness, which, by the way, is not to confuse with altered states of consciousness.
We will explain the difference between the states and modes of consciousness, as well as the difference between raising, altering and expanding your consciousness, but first let’s clarify what we mean by consciousness in broader sense and in practical terms and how it fits into the whole virtuology program. Virtuology is all about raising consciousness by means of virtues, so consciousness is a key concept here, which is why we need to expound on that topic from the get-go.
It is not a light subject to articulate but it is very light to incorporate and, above all, it is essential for lasting and profound wellbeing, so bear with us till the end, even if it might seem a bit tedious at times. You can’t expand and raise your consciousness unless you stretch your mind, which might require some effort on your part. Stretching your mind may not be all fun and games, but it is surely rewarding. One thing is certain, the rewards will be much greater than the energy invested in acquainting yourself with the whole subject matter.
Consciousness is a many splendored thing. It is one of those terms, like God, soul and spirit, that is hard or impossible to define due to its indefinite and extensive properties. The notoriously ambiguous, abstract noun “consciousness” is an indefinable entity because it is impossible to specify what it is and what it does. None of us can perceive consciousness per se, since we perceive through consciousness. Clearly, it is impossible to look at something while looking through it. Can you look at the binoculars while looking through them? Sure you can, but only partially; never entirely and essentially. Along the same lines, no one is able to fully grasp consciousness or pin down its essential properties, which is why consciousness has been forevermore a subject of spiritual, philosophical, psychological, scientific, medical, and moral speculations, as well as conduit of some know-it-alls’ vanities and delusions.
The totality of consciousness can never be fully grasped and articulated due to the limited nature of human perception and articulation, and because of the inherent disparity between the limited human perception and the expansive consciousness. We are yet to meet an enlightened, humble individual who could put the totality of consciousness into words. Even though some might claim to know what consciousness consists of, we should bear in mind that consciousness is more than the sum of its parts.
There are many gurus and scholars out there who are brave and humble enough to admit that they don’t really have the true answer to the exact whereabouts and whatabouts of consciousness. Whether consciousness is located in brain or someplace else or in every cell or in ether or everywhere at once, and whether consciousness could be defined, we will leave it up to you to decide it for yourself. But most importantly, we will get you to raise above the limitations of the mind and its definitions, so as to harness the power of the higher modes of consciousness (higher than your current one) for your own wellbeing and prosperity.
As to the mentioned limited nature of human perception that makes it impossible to grasp limitless consciousness, let us remind you that even while awake and conscious and aware of our surroundings, still none of us are conscious and aware of most events that go around and inside of us because of the limitations of human mind and perception. We don’t perceive all the microorganisms, objects, radiations, sounds, smells, feelings of persons present, etc. We also don’t perceive most of the things that go on inside of us, like the flow of blood, heart rate, pulse, and the activities of our inner organs. Our perception is indeed limited, as well as subject to optical illusions, but as it turns out, consciousness isn’t. We can be conscious of things we don’t perceive, but not the vice versa. Since consciousness and perception are not the same, it is impossible to perceive something limitless with limited means.
As Wikipedia puts it, despite centuries of analyses, definitions, explanations and debates by philosophers and scientists, consciousness remains puzzling and controversial, being the most mysterious aspect of our lives. As such, the only way to explain it, would be to say what consciousness is not. Let there be no confusion, consciousness is not the same as conscience, which is linked to a morality and defined as a sense of right and wrong that urges one to act morally, leading to feelings of remorse when one commits actions that go against own moral values and to feelings of decency and integrity when actions conform to such norms.
Consciousness is not mere awareness either.
Most dictionaries define consciousness as awareness (of one’s own existence, sensations, thoughts, feelings, surroundings, etc.) but that is only one of many mechanisms of consciousness. Besides, our consciousness can be in a mode of which we might not be aware at all. For instance, you might watch the news and get your consciousness into the mode of compassion for the reported victims, without being aware that you are actually being compassionate. Awareness is one of the consciousness’ mechanisms or components or activities, but not the consciousness itself.
Whoever tells you that consciousness is some sort of awareness, they are just parroting an outdated definition and have surely never personally investigated the subject of consciousness deep enough, let alone acquainted themselves with the brand-new findings of leading science, which you are doing here (if you are reading this year’s edition of this book).
To most philosophers, the word “consciousness” connotes the relationship between the mind and the world, whereas to spiritual or religious pundits, it usually connotes the relationship between the mind and God. In any case, it is regarded as a relationship that extends beyond mere awareness and beyond the abilities of the brain organ.
Developmental psychologists view consciousness not as a single entity, but as a developmental process. There is no viable reason to assume that consciousness is tied to any particular physical body or mind, or that consciousness cannot be transferred from one body or mind or soul to another. Countless studies verify that one’s consciousness may alter by a mere presence of someone else, suggesting that transformation occurs through transportation of consciousness, rather than just through learning or anything else. As you probably know, when noble and charismatic people grace you with their presence, you feel immediately elevated. Without saying a word, they light up the room, so to speak, and everyone in it.
Social psychologists view consciousness as a product of cultural influence, having little to do with the individual. For instance, different languages, religions and reality shows formulate and express reality differently, which leads to differences in the perception of reality and in mentality, and therefore of consciousness.
The same event is likely to be perceived and interpreted differently not only by people of diverse cultural backgrounds, but also of diverse demographic segments of populations (such as different age groups, races, sexes or income) and mostly by people of different degree of consciousness. This suggests that consciousness is more collective than a single entity, extension of a unified field, and that it is not formed by external but rather internal stimuli, which is less tied to objects than to subjects of awareness.
– This is an excerpt from the Virtuology book. There is a whole capital on the topic of consciousness and how to raise it in order to harness the power of consciousness for success and well-being
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