What is Consciousness?
If you are wondering what consciousness is and how you get there, you are not alone.
Asking “what is consciousness?” is like asking what is love? You don’t know what love is by reading, or filling your head with ideas and concepts. That is the mind’s version, or the ego’s version of love. You know what love is because you experience it. After time and effort, and practice, you can invoke that feeling of love at will. You become a master of Love.
Consciousness can be explained, but can’t be understood or experienced through explanation. You have to develop control over your attention, and sense of self in a different way. You learn to extract your identity from the labels of “winner, loser, success, failure, and others” to know what you are separate from your mind.
Why consciousness matters
Are you Intelligent or Stupid? Are you a Success or a Failure? It kind of depends on the moment of what you did that day. A runner will say, “You are only as good as your last race.” That means that if you won then you are a winner. If you lost, then you are a loser. A financial trader will say, “You are only as good as your last trade.” It means if you made money you are a success. If you lost money then you are a failure. In that realm of opinion subject to what the mind labels you will never feel comfort with yourself that you can rest and accept yourself the way you are.
It is in these small internal dialog of thoughts that labels become opinions, and become subtle self rejections and criticism.
Much of our time, energy, and efforts in this world seems to be directed at driving towards the positive labels of “intelligent”, “winner”, and “success”. We are also running away from the negative labels “stupid”, “loser”, and “failure”. It’s not just the labels that push us. It is also the emotional feelings we have when we are labeled with one or the other.
The game of labels and opinions is set up by the ego. It is designed to keep us trapped in a system of labels and cycles of emotions. You can’t enjoy being a winner or a success, because you need to train for the next race and worry about your next trade. What you did this morning or yesterday no longer counts. You have to work to keep that label today and tomorrow, and the day after. Always running to avoid the labels with the bad feelings can leave you exhausted.
At first glance it looks like the way to win the “game” of life (be a “success”) is to get and keep as many good labels and avoid the bad label outcomes. Upon closer inspection you will notice this path of winning, success, and being smart doesn’t result in deep happiness or fulfillment.
That is because you are trying to win the game of labels. It’s a game that from a 10,000 foot point of view looks like a fenced in trap. You are on a field and you can pursue all the good labels on the field. Of course you are being competing with everyone else on the same field and being compared for the same labels. You have to chase the same label again tomorrow, and prepare for the next project, and worry about your next trade, raise, bonus, project, or career change.
The Consciousness Observer
That comparison comes from outside, and from your own Internal Critic I call the Judge character in your head. It doesn’t rest and doesn’t want you to rest from the game. When you move out, towards a Consciousness Observer you see that the Inner Critic is just part of the mind. It is playing a game on you.
What you don’t easily notice, because your attention is occupied with chasing the next label, is that the field is fenced in. It doesn’t allow you any other options for defining your self. You are either a winner, or loser, success or failure.
The game of Labels is played by the Ego. If it can keep you in the game, striving for success, money wins, and being smart, you never stop long enough to feel fulfilled, satisfied, pleased, accepting of the moment, or grateful in your life. In the game of the Ego on that fenced in field in your mind you will never be happy and fulfilled. In that duality of lables there is no real self acceptance.There is only temporary “self acceptance -IF….”
If you win the game of labels and become the winner or success for a bit you are still trapped in that fenced in field. In the next moment the game will start over trying to win’s your minds approval of yourself. The result is that you lose the game of consciousness.
Consciousness and The Ego
In the game of consciousness one of the goals is to escape the game of ego, including its subset game of labels and opinions about yourself.
The ego is working to control your attention. If it can get you to chase the label of success, winner, and smart, etc. It has you occupied. It feeds you a morsel of good emotions and you feel superior. Then the ego mind starts the game again with the next race, trade, project, or job. This is the human in the matrix, the exercise wheel of the habitrail, the daily grind, the rat race or whatever else you want to call it.
There is no lasting peace, happiness, or fulfillment in the Ego’s game. The only way to win is not to play in the back and forth opinions and labels the mind has for you.
The ego mind will say that what is on the field about success and failure is all there is. For the ego this is true because it has never left the field. The ego mind has no awareness of consciousness or anything outside its game. It is somewhat like a kid who grew up in a small town, was an athletic success, and did well in school, but never left their home town.
The mind knows nothing of anything outside itself. The ego mind is limited to the realm of language, words, and labels. It can’t understand consciousness anymore than it can grasp empty space.
Does Consciousness exist?
Consciousness exists but does so silently. Consciousness exists, but not as anything tangible to touch and so can’t be labeled. You won’t find it with your mind because it can’t be labeled.
If you do move into an awareness of yourself as consciousness, you are engaging life without the criticism and judgments of labels. As consciousness you can transcend the emotional suffering cycles that comes with this game of the ego.
The Self Mastery Course is a path of steps to take you on that journey. In the process of that journey you will release the false beliefs, negative thoughts, and emotions from your past, and leave the game of labels and opinions behind.17