The universe supplies us with the materials to create possibilities. Many physicists such as Fritjof Capra and Amit Goswami contend that consciousness, rather than matter, is the basic building block of our existence. Goswami explains the situation thusly in his book The Self-Aware Universe: How Consciousness Creates the Material World, as quoted in Daniel Pinchbeck’s book 2012, “the consciousness of the subject in a subject-object experience is the same consciousness that is the ground of all being. Therefore, consciousness is unitive. There is only one subject-consciousness, and we are that consciousness.”
In his book Incognito, neuroscientist David Eagleman asserts that there are many functions occurring below the level of what the brain is actually conscious of. This creates a situation in which, as Eagleman put it, “there can be a large gap between knowledge and awareness.”
He explains that many of the decisions we make and actions that we take are “generated under the surface” of consciousness and then are “served up to the conscious brain.” Therefore, conscious choices we make in our waking lives are deeply influenced by mysterious processes that are constantly occurring on a subconscious level.
Eagleman reminds us that “the brain is the most complicated thing we’ve ever found in the Universe.” So we must ask ourselves, if consciousness is the building-block of our universe and the subconscious wields a superior power over our conscious mind, then who is really running the show? I can’t answer that question, however, it is important to consider, as Carl Jung once said, “In each of us there is another whom we do not know.”
It is important to question the nature of the human existence. Moreover, it is essential to listen to our inner voice or “gut” and follow our passions to find our proper path. We all must consider the individual’s role in the world as it relates to the whole and the seemingly random impulses that have led us to make major decisions in our lives.
Some Additional Thoughts
I contend that although our conscious decisions are in part subjugated to our subconscious understanding and impulse, as human beings we need to gain control of our reactions. Thus, the adage take time to think before you speak may become a mantra to those who wish to have the ability to weigh all the evidence before making a judgment call.
Our greatest gift may be our capacity to think. Therefore, we should use this capacity wisely and continue to strive for a better understanding of what consciousness is and how it works.