An acquaintance who reads my blog asked me to define consciousness and I choose my response to this by delineating the difference, as I see it, between consciousness and awareness. Awareness is, in my view, a non-reflective natural consciousness, a consciousness of the immediate actuality of the aware subject and thus the consciousness of all sentient being. Consciousness, as I define it on the other hand, begins with reflection, when the human intellect discovers the duality of existence and begins to distinguish between the positive and the negative in existence, between good and evil, and impose this duality of existence upon the actuality of the natural world and the reality of spiritual being. Consciousness, therefore, involves a movement, a descent, if you will, from an immediate awareness of the reality of being into a reflective consciousness of the actuality of existence, an artificial actuality imposed upon nature which requires also the construction of an image of individuality, a self, with which to explore and navigate through this artificial construction, this city of self-consciousness human beings.
The highest task of the individual soul within the universe is to express in consciousness its own absolute being, the being of the absolute, subjecting its existence to the transcendent reality of being. The physical universe appears to the existential human consciousness as an expression in lower dimensions of the higher dimensions of being and a consciousness of the absolute appears as the highest form of consciousness, revealed as transcendent to the physical universe and thereby infinite and eternal. The seed of consciousness implanted in the universe now transcends the physical limitations of form passed on through generation, which delineate existence. The existential expansion of consciousness through faith in the absoluteness of all being becomes the direction of the evolution of life within the universe.
The ability to distinguish between universals and the absolute, between a relative actuality and an absolute reality, is surely a leap in the development of human consciousness, a consciousness which is confined within an intellectual existence where everything is relative. There are multiple relative actualities but only one absolute reality, which absolute can exist only once within the universe, if it exists at all, and where it can only be an object of faith.
The subjective, spiritual life that is formed by faith in the absolute categories is the legitimate repetition of consciousness that broadcasts the reality of being, annulling the negative within the actuality of existence and renewing the reality of nature with the added dimension of a spiritual consciousness. The spiritual is the fifth dimension of consciousness into which human life is expanding. Its mode of apprehension is faith. All life is soul, the soul of absolute being, but only the spiritually awakened human soul with faith in the absolute categories of being is able to consciously broadcast the reality of being out into the actuality of existence. Instead of projecting the image of a self into the objective, artificial actuality of pagan civilization the subjective, spiritually defined and chosen soul reveals and presents the transcendent and positive reality of absolute being. The lives of saintly human beings are witness.
The immediately conscious soul perceives only the relative actuality of nature, without reflection in the categories of thought, the positive and the negative, good and evil, that defines the duality of existence and without a conscious faith in the absolute categories of spirit that express the unity of being. When immediacy is annulled by reflection the soul becomes self-conscious and loses itself in a maze of human invention. This edifice of ethnic and cultural tradition embodies the history of time that began with the fall into reflection and devoid of consciousness of the absolute categories of being. To return to the reality of being the soul must reject relativity and cultivate a consciousness of faith in the absolute categories and in the infinite and eternal void, evolving as a spiritual being with a consciousness that transcends the intellectual categories of existence and the temporal and finite universe.
The physical universe apprehended by human conceptual thought which conceives the object and constructs the objective world consists only of dust and ashes and the immanent phenomenon of life. This world of relativity only takes shape through the elimination of the subjective. It exists, but cannot articulate reality since reality demands the subjectivity of human consciousness to the absolute categories. Existence is an actuality imposed by human invention and therefore limited to the expression of that which is objective and rational. Consequently, the phenomenon of life as subjective consciousness becomes our sole avenue into the reality of being. The construction of an objective world proves to be an error on the path of development for human consciousness, a descent from that subjective apprehension of the absolute, which is familiar to all forms of life, into a conceptual framework of an invented and artificial actuality imposed upon the reality of nature as human civilization, the city.
The physical universe is as an expression in lower dimensions of higher dimensions of being. The absolute consciousness of being is the highest consciousness, revealed as the infinite void within which the universe is inflating. This absolute consciousness of being must be an article of faith to the growing consciousness of human being and the expansion of consciousness the direction of the evolution of life within the universe. The seed of consciousness implanted in the universe transcends the physical limitations of form that delineate existence and is passed on through generation. Increased consciousness is not a means to an end but an end in and of itself, not to be achieved in order to manipulate the physical universe but in order to transcend the physical universe which has a beginning and therefore will have an end, while the absolute consciousness of being is eternal and infinite.