I Know I’m Conscious. But How? And Why?
Recently at a remote beach in Mexico I was looking at the most beautiful star-filled night sky. The darkness was perfect, and there were more stars than I had ever seen. Looking at the stars always overwhelms me. I know the theory of the Big Bang that tells me that the universe has been expanding ever since that first explosion billions of years ago. I can’t grasp what that means, but even if I could, the theory still does not explain where the Big Bang came from. Where did life begin?
While looking at the stars, my mind went back to pictures my physician showed me some time ago. He had taken pictures of a drop of my blood under a microscope. I saw that a tiny drop of my blood consists of endless, moving blood cells and other small particles. In fact if you compare the pictures of my blood with my Mexican night sky you see the same. You cannot easily differentiate the two.
The experience must be the same for the particle scientists who are on a seemingly never-ending mission to find the smallest piece of matter. What they see inside the atom looks very similar to what my physician sees in my blood and to what I see in the perfect night sky. There’s no end to the expanding universe; there’s always a smaller particle. Our world, our existence is infinite both ways.
In past centuries, humanity has enthusiastically pursued the discovery of everything that can be seen and touched. The overwhelming question regarding the “why” of our existence—the understanding of consciousness—was shoved aside for the sake of convenience. But that doesn’t mean evolution can escape the question.
Scientists may still have a hard time entering the field of consciousness research. In the meantime many of us have started our personal explorations. We are meditating, practicing mind control techniques and visualization, we participate in shamanistic rituals and much more. We want to understand who we are and that collective search will, I suggest, bring us closer to the answer of that big “why?” question.
Science may still help our discovery. As physicists keep discovering ever-smaller particles, it seems that matter is ultimately dissolving in energy. At the same time, recent brain research shows that our thoughts—the proof of our consciousness—are energy as well. Some pioneering scientists link the two and propose that both matter and thought ultimately come from the same field—the Akashi field, the zero point field.
In this vision, that field links all of us, and all that we do. From that perspective there’s nothing we can do that doesn’t have an impact on all of us and on our environment. That growing realization will surely increase our consciousness. It will drive us to new ways of living and working together. That’s why the exploration of our consciousness is the mission of our lifetime. There’s no other way to the better world we seek. And the good news is that your next meditation practice, your next moment of mindfulness, or your next encounter of compassion will be adding to our joint understanding and discovery. We are on our way to becoming who we truly are.
PS. In partnership with The Intelligent Optimist, Care2 presents an online course: The Consciousness Conversations.
In this course with leading scientists, authors and thinkers Editor-in-Chief of The Intelligent Optimist, Jurriaan Kamp, will explore questions like:
- Is a new era of consciousness really on its way? How do we know?
- What will it look like? What effect will it have?
- How can we be active participants in its emergence?
Care2 members receive a 10% discount when they join the course. For more information click here and use your special discountcode: care2