What is Consciousness?

First of all, how could we define Consciousness? I would say that Consciousness is the attitude that makes us perceive the Universe and makes us feel different from it.

Although billions and billions of euros are invested in space research and other scientific disciplines, far fewer resources are used to know something that is absolutely much more important than any space mission and that concerns precisely the essence and knowledge of human beings. In fact, little or nothing is known about Consciousness.

Recent studies (which, however, do not all agree) hypothesize that it is created in the cerebral cortex. However, no one has any idea why it is created and how it is created. Also, in this case, there are theories, such as, for example, Giulio Tononi’s theory of Integrated Information which try, in some way, to explain it, but we are extremely far from clear and objective answers. Understanding Consciousness could make us understand if we really travel in space or if we simply travel within our “mind”. If there is an external objective world or if the universe around us is the simple result of a “mental” elaboration

Since I was 8, I have always wondered why I was me and why I perceived myself as distinct from my classmates. At that time it was even difficult for me to ask the question. “Why am I me and I feel like myself and not someone else?”

Any object (including living beings) is a collection of atoms. We assume that individual atoms do not have a Consciousness but, in some cases, sets of atoms that join together in a certain way give rise to forms of Consciousness. This is precisely the case with human beings. 

Consciousness is that “element” which, through conscious observation, makes the universe around us “real”. By “observation” I mean any kind of perception. Even a dream can appear “real” for the simple fact that in the given instant in which it is formed I perceive it as real.

The point is that Consciousness is not necessarily a “positive thing”. To better explain the concept and use a metaphor it is as if one day my right hand decided to feel an independent part of my body and, for this reason, began to act with its own logic and began to perceive itself as an independent part of the body. Feeling detached from the rest of the universe could, therefore, be a distortion due to a probabilistic error as we are part of the “Whole” but it is Consciousness that makes us perceive that we are distinct and in some way detached from it. A universe made up of trillions and trillions of particles that float and in which some of them merge and give rise to forms of Conscious Consciousness that “emotionally” detach themselves from everything else and perceive themselves as distinct. 

Consciousness and Reincarnation. 

But what if we were “Sub-consciousnesses” generated by another Consciousness?

We could be the subconscious projection of a “Higher Consciousness”. We could be characters of dreams that are generated and whose duration, although it seems long to us, in reality is a few moments. The characters of dreams could in some cases, casually, be reproduced more than once, albeit with different appearances, and this would give rise to those cases in which a human being remembers experiences of past lives and which leads to thinking about reincarnation. In reality, in this case, it would be a recreation of a sub-consciousness with past memories. The same character, with different appearances, recreated in different space-time situations.

Even our Consciousness, during dreams, could generate other “Sub-consciousnesses” that appear to us as simple dreams lasting a few minutes but in the “parallel reality” generated (by our Consciousness), those episodes could last indefinitely.  

When we dream we create parallel and absolutely real universes when they are created. We create conscious characters who are born and die in the dream and which we sometimes recreate in different spots. Dreams do not respect the space-time barriers we are used to when we don’t dream. Different “rules” follow. When the dream ends, the characters “die”, disappear but in the “Objective Universe” nothing changes.

Dreaming may be defined as a mental state, an altered state of consciousness, which occurs during sleep.

Psychedelic drugs (hallucinogens) and states of consciousness

Psychedelic drugs can help us understand better. When LSD is assumed (for example) the state of consciousness changes. In practice, it is as if dreams emerge from the REM or NREM level to a higher state of consciousness and which coincides with what we call “real life”. We begin to live “dreams” in a “real” and more conscious way. Psychedelic drugs exert unique effects on Consciousness. ( Effective connectivity changes in LSD-induced altered states of consciousness in humans

By taking psychedelic drugs we alter the state of Consciousness and in this way completely change our “reality”. However, this does not make it “unreal” for the simple fact that it is perceived only by the individual who has used the drug. It is a subjective reality like any other. An individual not subjected to the effect of a psychedelic drug, however, has states of consciousness produced by the “drugs” that are inside the brain and which are naturally secreted. The brain is the largest and most powerful drug producer in the world and any state or sensation we have is the result of its “chemical processing”. 

It’s no surprise that psychedelic drugs such as LSD and ecstasy alter brain function, leading to the drugs’ “trippy” effects and possible hallucinations. But now, researchers have shown that these drugs can also physically alter the brain, changing the structure of brain cells.” ( Psychedelic Drugs May Change the Structure of Brain CellsLet’s say that if you know how to dose psychedelic drugs, they could not only change the states of Consciousness and therefore show “parallel realities” but even increase intelligence

Main points

Nobody today is able to say how and why Consciousness is created

Nobody today is able to demonstrate that an “objective” world exists outside of our “mind” and that it is not simply generated by Conscious Consciousness.

If the subjective Universe were the result of Conscious processing, also what I am writing and any research concerning the matter in question would be the result of a conscious processing and, therefore, nothing objectively real

Consciousness and psychedelics

Photo Credits: Piro4D Geralt Ipicgr  – 

Photo Editing and Composition: Giorgio Lo Cicero