What does it mean to be conscious? It is possible that each of the 7.5 Billion people on the planet would respond with a different answer. One only has to look at the Merriam Webster Dictionary to witness how divergent we are on this concept. There are 13 different definitions of the word conscious. Almost every philosopher has attempted to explain a universal concept of what it means to be conscious or unconscious. But there seems to be little to no agreement amongst them.
As I think about this concept I wonder, in some ways counterintuitively: Are we born conscious, but then at the first moment we sense the physical world we begin to lose consciousness and then spend the entirety of our life in various states and levels of unconsciousness?
It is not an immediate switch that turns overnight, but one that gradually leaves us with each passing moment. The lack of bias in children erodes each day as they experience the physical world. Many people talk of a child’s innocence, and I think this is in line with their consciousness. In the same vain as they lose their “innocence” they become less conscious.
But what if someone could be alive and be free of judgment? Is it possible? I believe we each experience split second glimpses of consciousness when we are completely free of judgment. But we quickly fade from that state as the outside world engulfs us.
I don’t know if there is a permanent state of consciousness in this life, in this form, and so far I have been unable to find a way.
But I suspect and believe that consciousness is a state of being devoid of judgments.
How does one go from a white blank page to a canvas covered in an infinite amount of color and then return to a white blank page once more?
How does one chip away at the paint as it is being layered on with each experience?
Maybe the answer will come to me. Maybe it won't.
What do you think it means to be conscious?