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Consciousness and Awareness – What’s the Difference?

September 5th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

If you are seeing this picture and understanding what it represents, then you are conscious. This is an indisputable fact. The knowledge of your own consciousness is the one and only fact of which you can be absolutely certain. Everything else that you might think that you know is an inference or assumption, and therefore cannot be known with certainty.

The definition of consciousness that Francis Lucille has often used is based on this fact, and may be stated thus:

Consciousness is whatever is reading these words right now, and understanding them.

This is an experiential definition, and it seems to be necessary to define it this way because consciousness is not a “thing” or object per se, and therefore cannot be defined in terms of other things. Our minds simply cannot grasp the nature of consciousness, because of its lack on tangibility. Hence it can only be pointed to. And yet, it is apparent that consciousness is what we are ourselves. Whenever we refer to “I”, it is this very same consciousness to which we refer. So in the scheme of things, it seems important that we understand it!

An interesting point to note is that, according to Lucille’s definition (and also as he has pointed out himself), there is no distinction between consciousness and awareness. The two words are treated synonymously, and are used interchangeably.

Those of you who have an interest in non-duality will likely also have come across Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (A famous book documenting some of his discourses, I Am That (PDF), is available as a free download.) Nisargadatta spoke extensively about consciousness, but he also referred to awareness and made a distinction between the two. The following quote from the book illustrates this especially well.

What you need is to be aware of being aware. Be aware deliberately and consciously, broaden and deepen the field of awareness. You are always conscious of the mind, but you are not aware of yourself as being conscious.

But what exactly is the distinction here? This caused me some confusion, and apparently it has confused others too. The easy way out here might be to remember that we are talking about the intangible, and just paper over the cracks by suggesting that it’s not surprising that there would seem to be inconsistencies between intangible things when we try to conceptualise them. But in fact on further investigation there my be some rationality in the distinction after all. These further quotes from Nisargadatta may make things a little clearer.

The mind produces thoughts ceaselessly, even when you do not look at them. When you know what is going on in your mind, you call it consciousness. This is your waking state — your consciousness shifts from sensation to sensation, from perception to perception, from idea to idea, in endless succession. Then comes awareness, the direct insight into the whole of consciousness, the totality of the mind. The mind is like a river, flowing ceaselessly in the bed of the body; you identify yourself for a moment with some particular ripple and call it: ‘my thought’. All you are conscious of is your mind; awareness is the cognisance of consciousness as a whole.

Awareness is primordial; it is the original state, beginningless, endless, uncaused, unsupported, without parts, without change. Consciousness is on contact, a reflection against a surface, a state of duality. There can be no consciousness without awareness, but there can be awareness without consciousness, as in deep sleep. Awareness is absolute, consciousness is relative to its content; consciousness is always of something. Consciousness is partial and changeful, awareness is total, changeless, calm and silent. And it is the common matrix of every experience.

So the distinction that Nisargadatta is making appears to be between a mental/bodily consciousness (ie. our thoughts and sensory inputs) versus a broader awareness which extends beyond mentations and sensations. And this does appear to have a parallel with Lucille’s description of perception versus apperception (mentioned, for example, here).

“Perception” refers to the experience of an object (phenomenon, that which appears, thought, body sensation or external sense perception), whereas “apperception” refers to the experience of the subject (noumenon, that to which that which appears appears). The human mind is the experience of perceptions, but apperception takes place beyond the mind. (Extract from Francis Answers No 27)

Therefore I propose the following simple explanation of the distinction between consciousness and awareness.

  • Nisargadatta’s “Consciousness” = Lucille’s mentations and perceptions (particular to a body/mind)
  • Nisargadatta’s “Awareness” = Lucille’s consciousness (both perceptions and apperceptions, both particular to a body/mind and universal)

Having sorted out that little conundrum to the (hopefully not overly smug) satisfaction of my own mind, the next question is what an apperception is, and how on earth we can be aware of something that is not within our own mind or body?

Ah the joys of non-dual investigation!

  1. sheyla filmeridis
    September 14th, 2011 at 17:11 | #1

    Re Awareness versus Consciousness: well presented. Thanks!

    Re Apperception~ the definition i rather appreciate is as follows: “the mental process by which a person makes sense of an idea by assimilating it to the body of ideas she or he already possesses” to which i would add that what we already possess (but not necessarily know) is an intrinsic intuition of the unity “behind” everything.

    Again, thanks for your sharing.

  2. indra
    November 28th, 2012 at 00:45 | #2

    Thanks very much.. Anything that I can point out or see cannot be me.

  3. March 29th, 2013 at 03:45 | #3

    I found your wonderful essay on a search on awareness V consciousness. I think it is extremely important to experience the difference and to deep mastery of both – even though often they work as a blend in the expression of being. I like the clarity you bring, and had come to some similar ideas. I am not sure however, if there is a hierarchy, or if one is more absolute than the other.
    When we move with experience with the two expressions of being – awareness and consciousness, the effects (in meditation can be quite different). Consciousness seems to establish a direct vertical line up towards source and down to the earth. When we move with consciousness to a part of the body, it can open up like a whole dimension to be experienced.
    Awareness seems to be more a function of horizontal planes. With awareness we can open the senses to whole atmospheres, we can easily blend with individuals or groups across the world, we can nurse our wounds (energetic) into awakening and transformation.
    Consciousness seems to often be a choice and closely connected with control, and perception. Awareness is much more unconditional. We can use consciousness to “block” awareness. But the phenomenon we block will still affect our awareness and will manifest sneakily around consciousness – through dreams, sudden emotion, acting out through projection, etc.
    As I am deeply contemplating Tolle’s The Power of the Now – which very much evokes the tools of consciousness – it seems just as important to make the differentiation between those powerful tools for self development and the equally promising (horizontal, heart-level, transpersonal tools of awareness).
    Of course, I feel both are manifestations of Being – which is the best place to be – but we are part of the cutting edge of creation and as such there is work to be done!
    Interested to know if you want to discuss this further!
    Warmth from Israel.

  4. Don Thomann
    May 6th, 2013 at 02:09 | #4

    Thank you! I especially appreciated the quote posted in the upper left hand corner.
    This has been an interest to the “consciousness me” for a long time.
    “Consciousness I” has verbalized it this way:
    Awareness Is timeless, boundless and center-less. Consciousness is the introduction of a center (I/me/self/ego/thought)into that field of awareness. That central point, being locational, is both time bound and finite.

  5. June 26th, 2013 at 10:00 | #5

    Difficult Subject.

  6. maximo hudson
    July 18th, 2013 at 23:41 | #6

    A flower tracking the sun is exhibiting awareness. Therefore, it can be said that we can observe awareness. It may that “consciousness,” like “mind” and “god” is difficult to define, because it is a word that describes something which only exists as a concept. It may be that the concept of consciousness was developed by humans in order to differentiate themselves hierarchically from other lifeforms exhibiting awareness such as flowers, tube worms and monkeys. In this sense the word would fill a similar function as the word, “soul.”

  7. July 19th, 2013 at 13:51 | #7

    Interesting comment – thanks for taking the time to write! I would suggest that awareness does not exist only as a concept – rather I assert that I really am aware (or equally, conscious), and that this is prior to any conceptualisation of that. And upon further investigation, I could go even further and say that I *am* awareness i.e. that when I refer to myself what I am really talking about is “my” awareness. This is something well worth investigation. Who (or what) am I, *really*? Many sages, over the ages, have advocated such an investigation. Am I my body? Am I my feelings? Am I my mind? It is clear to me that I am none of those, although I am certainly aware of them, as I am also aware of flowers and tube worms and monkeys. And if awareness if what I truly am, then my relationship with this body, and this mind is very the same as my relationship to external things, whether lifeforms or inanimate… 🙂

  8. July 19th, 2013 at 14:20 | #8

    Thanks so much for your lengthy comment, and apologies for having left a reply for so long! I agree with you that awareness is more unconditional. In fact I would go so far as to say that awareness is beyond the personal sphere altogether, and therefore entirely unconditional, whereas consciousness is (usually) a personal phenomenon, the contents of which may be quite different from person to person. These assertions are predicated on the definitions I made in the article, but it is worth remembering that using other definitions will inevitably result in other conclusions and implications, so I cannot claim to have the last word in the matter, or to be “right” in any definitive way. 🙂

    It is not my experience that consciousness can really block awareness – although given your use of quotes, perhaps you do not mean it that way either. Awareness is always there, even if we forget it when focusing on anything in particular to the exclusion of everything else. And even in deep sleep, when we are not conscious in any ordinary sense, and certainly could be said to have forgotten ourselves as well as any concept of awareness, we can still be woken, so awareness cannot be absent then either. However, it seems that the goal of most seeking is to rid ourselves of forgetfulness of the nature of this awareness, because it is in this forgetfulness that we misidentify and hence maintain separative tendencies which are ultimately the root of all suffering.

    I also deeply enjoyed “The Power of Now” although the biggest hit for me was from Tolle’s “A New Earth”. His exposition of the nature of the self, the ego was deeply unburdening – so highly recommended!

  9. August 31st, 2013 at 20:12 | #9

    I have been working with a “Distributed Knowledge Repository” since 10 years based on a patent that I and a colleague of mine issued about mid 90’s. As a member of a AGI discussion group I suddenly encountered the concepts of consciousness and awareness which I carefully tried to hide under the rug. My knowledge representation space looked rather similar to a field of awareness which furthermore can be arranged into a context sensitive polyarchical repository and I realized that this might be one way to describe the very essence of awareness.

    This repository can be subject to different levels of consciousness depending on how much work that can be done. The topological structure of awareness also allow focuse attention.

    I think that my proposal is in line with what you suggest?


  10. researcher
    December 18th, 2013 at 13:16 | #10

    Awareness is an attribute of that that is, whereas consciousness is the expression of that that is.

    “Awareness is primordial; it is the original state, beginningless, endless, uncaused, unsupported, without parts, without change. Consciousness is on contact, a reflection against a surface, a state of duality. There can be no consciousness without awareness, but there can be awareness without consciousness”

    This is well stated and concise and beyond the realm of religions.

  11. maximo hudson
    February 3rd, 2014 at 12:14 | #11

    I don’t agree with the contention of the very first sentence. What I’m looking at in the image above could actually be an image of a water molecule for all I know. I may ASSUME that it is an image of clouds, but that is merely an assumption. Think about all those trick photos where you assume are one thing and then they turn out to be something else. Also, I don’t agree that simply because I happen to perceiving the above imagine and imagine that I know what it represents proves anything at all about “consciousness.” What I am aware of is visual perception, the use of the cognitive functions of the brain which includes accessing stored memories and the use of a form of risk assessment and demonstrable awareness. I’m still not sure where some thing called “consciousness” comes into play. Sounds like a made up concept to me.

  12. February 3rd, 2014 at 13:19 | #12

    Hi Maximo, I do agree with you that you can’t know beyond doubt what the image represents. The reason I mentioned “understanding” it as well as “seeing” it was to differentiate a robot eye or camera “seeing” versus seeing that occurs “consciously”. I also agree that consciousness is a concept – because after all each and every word is a concept in itself. However, the crucial thing is what the word points to, so to speak. And in fact there would be other synonymous words that similarly point to consciousness, like awareness, knowingness, beingness etc, at least as commonly used (as opposed to the very specific usages I am referring to in this post). So when you say you are aware of visual perception – that is exactly what I mean by knowing that you are conscious. Does that help?

  13. Ric
    April 27th, 2014 at 16:32 | #13

    I’ve been thinking about this issue for a long time. From my perspective, awareness is the active process that happens in the eternal Now; consciousness is the result and/or the record of that process.

    As an analogy, awareness is the person looking into a mirror; consciousness is the reflection. An observer who doesn’t understand mirrors might see little or no difference between the two images he perceives. They both look alike, move together, etc. But we who understand know there is a world of difference.

    As an example, awareness is what I use when I do my job, writing. Consciousness is the job I do – a writer. I have built up a consciousness – a role or reflection of myself – over the years and it overlaps with the consciousness of other writers. We all do something similar. But the awareness each of us works from is different – and yet, in the Ultimate Universal understanding – the same.

    What makes the difference in our awareness? The consciousness we create.

    Finally, another point of view: Awareness is God, Consciousness is Spirit.


  14. July 15th, 2014 at 21:21 | #14

    Awareness is unconditional and timeless conscious.
    With love and regards
    bal krishan anand

  15. July 28th, 2014 at 23:36 | #15

    Please check out my new book: I AM HERE – Opening the Windows to Life and Beauty. It treats consciousness and awareness and perception through emptiness as three windows of perception – none of which define who we are at source. After inquiry it seems that perception itself is a form specific to human embodiment. It is the window that allows the light, not the light itself.
    Let me know what you think/ find out!

  16. August 10th, 2014 at 05:18 | #16

    I’m so glad this thread is still going. It’s hard for me to wrap my head around the word “consciousness.” The idea above that consciousness is more focused or centered awareness helps! My need for understanding is practical. I do a form of psychotherapy called Brainspotting. A person thinks about an upsetting issue, notices where they experience related body sensations and focuses on the sensations. If thoughts emerge the therapist keeps bringing consciousness (awareness) to body sensations. Through this process, distress remits.
    Osho says, “Look at the energy of the emotion arising and move deep down to find the source within yourself. When you reach the source, the energy will become formless and reunites with its source. When all the energy has fallen to the source within you, you become a magnetic force drawing others to you.” But I still don’t understand how awareness/consciousness of emotional sensations is so powerful, even though I witness it over and over. Any thots would be so helpful.

  17. August 10th, 2014 at 07:24 | #17

    Thanks for your contribution, Kate – wonderful to hear of your own experience and wonderment with this!

    The key to all this is the realisation that when thoughts arise around emotions and their related sensations, those thoughts serve as a distraction, an avoidance, an escape, from those raw sensations. In effect, to go into thinking mode is to indulge the artful dodger in us. Once we start looking for the story around the what, where, why of these feelings, we are actually avoiding the truth and raw immediacy of our experience, and this diversion is a form of repression which prevents any kind of true release from happening. Thus these feelings become “locked up” into our somatic system, only to re-emerge from time to time as we encounter similar experiences again, and go through the same avoidance process again and again. The repetitive, habitual nature of the whole thing could be said to be what defines our personal psychology.

    The process that you talk about, as suggested not only by Osho, but by many teachers, sages and gurus over the ages, is what short circuits everything. As we have typically stored up a lot of such feelings over the years, full release is not necessarily immediate. Hence a repeated witnessing may be needed. But the good news is that once the old habits have been broken, via this clear seeing, there is no turning back. Even though old “stuff” may come up again and again, as long as it is seen and accepted for what it truly is, it can and will exhaust itself… eventually.

    The irony and apparent paradox here is that you suggest that thoughts on this would be helpful, and indeed what I am offering here are thoughts about this. After all that I’ve said, how can thoughts truly be helpful?

    The answer is that the most effective tool for relieving the mind from needless and distracting thoughts is the use of that very same mind in gaining the understanding that these thoughts are not helpful, not true, and are merely the result of conditioning and habit. As that understanding sinks in, even though such thoughts may continue to arise, they are seen for what they are and lose their distracting power.

  18. Harry Chen
    August 16th, 2014 at 21:06 | #18

    Interesting discussion, anybody can clarify from the following ?
    1. Motivation included ?
    2. Judgement included
    3. be aware of consciousness , or be conscious of awareness ?

  19. jhudson
    August 21st, 2014 at 05:23 | #19

    In Theravada Buddhism, consciousness is always of something in particular. I would say this is Nisargadatta’s usage of the word. Awareness is non-particular. In a state of mind where the attention is on mind-stuff (thoughts and emotions) or on physical sensations (body-world), counsciousness is there. Awareness is the space-ground-whatever, that consciousness seems to emanate from. Within consciousness is the activity of self survival. Within awareness is the ending of the will toward self survival…or something like that.

  20. September 16th, 2014 at 06:30 | #20

    For me Consciousness is the child of the Absolute/Awareness. Consciousness is the binocular through which Absolute sees all the manifestations. One can be aware that he/she is sleeping, or in waking state. It can not be affected by any state, because Awareness is the ultimate cause of any state ever known. The I am thought-feeling is the first duality: I and Consciousness. In Awareness the observer and the object is one… nothing to see, nothing to find, nothing to understand… And, indeed, the flavor of Consciousness is Love… all that come after ,,I am,, is deepening in illusion. Thank you!

  21. Ramesh
    September 24th, 2014 at 21:32 | #21

    I suggest the following for debate:

    In Awareness there is no subject-object division, whereas in Consciousness there is a subject-object relationship. When awareness if focused to an object, the same awareness is called a new name “consciousness.” Awareness of a particular “thing” makes awareness into consciousness. Consciousness is the ‘particular’ aspect of awareness.
    When the unchanging, constant, blank Awareness associates with the mind it takes on the shape of the moving awareness to reflect the moving mind. Hence we become conscious of the mind and its movement. Mind becomes the content of consciousness.
    Awareness is content-less and not of anything in particular.

    If Awareness is the stationary screen on which the mind movements are recognized as the content of the mind, we can see why Awareness encompasses Consciousness and is universal relative to Consciousness.

    With this understanding if you go back and read Maharaj’s statement it fits very well and provides clarity to an aspect of the one and same thing. A particular aspect of a (relatively) universal aspect.
    I most welcome your and your readers view points.

  22. Ramesh
    September 24th, 2014 at 22:02 | #22


    When the universal Awareness becomes the particular Consciousness, a kind of ‘blocking’ occurs because the attention is now to the particular and not the universal. In deep meditation I am aware (not of the particular) but of the blankness (just pure awareness without content yet somehow complete in of itself).
    In the first state of awakening where attention is on both the pure awareness and the frequent intrusion (into awareness) of consciousness, the witnessing of the movement of consciousness takes place. In complete awake state or what we call conscious state in which we give continuity to thoughts and are fully occupied, consciousness fully occupies awareness, leaving no room for being in universal awareness.


  23. September 25th, 2014 at 08:39 | #23

    Thanks for your contribution Ramesh. Beautifully expressed! Indeed completely compatible with Maharaj’s statements.

  24. Wilfredo
    October 1st, 2014 at 23:59 | #24

    This is the simple way that I see it. Consciousness is the state of being. It’s the state of being “me,” or “I.” During our “Earth” training (referring to me or I, the Soul), we are attempting to balance our energy to the point where we can finally release ourselves (Soul) from the incarnation cycle (occupation of the human concept). To do so, I must shape my intentions, such as preferring patience, understanding and compassion and through meditation, concentrating on those intentions to the point of being able to recognize their opposites when they occur or begin to occur and thus returning to those intentions desired. That to me is awareness without all the fancy labels. It’s the intention of myself, the Soul, to progress to a higher level through the use of my “body.”

  25. Nathalie
    October 22nd, 2014 at 18:55 | #25

    Thanks for these explanations. Kind Regards. Nathalie

  26. Suresh
    October 28th, 2014 at 00:22 | #26

    Both are just words meant to confuse ending up beating the bushes. The verification of meaning words is not important . consciousness and awareness are immanent in each other just as light and fire. It cannot be separated. confusion is when we separate it and understand it independently without looking at as one unit. Ego uses it based on experience. I am aware I have pain in my head /I am conscious I have pain in my head. Remove I am aware/I am conscious and I have pain in my head.It does not matter whether you are aware or conscious .You cognize it is enough and to cognize it you have to be alive with no mental deformity. Mind at rest as in deep sleep or samadhi can be termed awareness and the movement of the mind can be termed consciousness. to sum it up : no mind is awareness and having a mind or thought is consciousness. Cognizing is part of the conscious function and to witness(without judgment ) the cognizer is the awareness function. conscious is man mind and awareness is god mind. dissolve your ego and enter into pure witnessing where you do not exist as an experiencer or as anything ————–. only god only knows what that is.

  27. Jan Willem
    January 10th, 2015 at 06:57 | #27

    Looking on the internet for just some more clarity on the topic, I found this discussion.
    Nisargadatta is known for his inconsistency in the meaning of words.

    Looking from Tibetan language I would like to add the following.
    The Tibetan word is shes pa, which is a verb and a noun. The verb means according to Illuminator Dictionary of Tony Duff: “to know, not in the sense of rationaal onderstanding but in the sense of mere registering. Hence “to be conscious of”, “to be aware of”. “to know”, “to cognize”.”
    Separating conscioussness and awareness in the sense that the former is dual and the latter non-dual is plain wrong, both are dual. The actual word for non-dual “consciousness” is rig pa, which is also often translated with awareness, but means the active knowing of who we really are, i.e. buddha-wisdom.
    So consciousness and awareness cannot be distinguished, looking from Tibetan language. It is just a matter of taste and context.

  28. Louise
    January 22nd, 2015 at 22:26 | #28

    I was the awareness of that of an Ant in an Ant colony once, and we were one, the colony and I . I was not the consciousness, I was nothing and everything because there was no thing. There is no consciousness as an Ant, there is just awareness. After this experience I came back into my human body knowing nothing and everything.

  29. maximo hudson
    June 29th, 2015 at 03:52 | #29

    @jhudson These definitions: “consciousness is always of something in particular” and “Awareness is non-particular,” are both useful and arbitrary. I also wonder if “Theraveda” really does differential so specifically between the English words “consciousness” and “awareness.” Theraveda is an old religion and “consciousness” as a word came into the English language in the less than four hundred years ago.

  30. maximo hudson
    June 29th, 2015 at 04:03 | #30

    @Kate Cohen-Posey I do believe there is an observable difference between awareness that can be observed in a plant tracking the sun and some concept called “consciousness” the definition of which defies a general universal consensus. As far a some conceptual inherently existent “I” being part of the equation for understanding the term “consciousness,” I would counter that such an”I” is just one more part of the great puzzle of samsaric misperception. I believe the Heart Sutra states as much.

  31. Hakan Nordahl
    July 11th, 2015 at 02:39 | #31

    A lovely article. My thoughts are aligned along a similar direction of thought (literally).
    I wonder if consciousness (private) and awareness (universal) can be treated as something physical? Anybody having an idea.

  32. July 11th, 2015 at 07:32 | #32

    Thanks Hakan! I don’t think so. There is no physical way to measure consciousness, as such. Rather, the physical world appears in consciousness. In fact even recent experiments in physics have indicated that physical objects don’t “exist” until observed. http://www.gizmag.com/quantum-theory-reality-anu/37866

  33. Glyne Martin
    July 27th, 2015 at 19:58 | #33

    Hiya graham….i think i have the understanding of Consciousness vs Awareness in reverse.I hold Consciousness to be more fundamental..now we’re dealing with Language here so our choice of words is critical.

    A tree,for example does not have(seem to display?) an awareness of it’s surroundings like animals and insects because the latter have a brain and a nervous system.

    The tree is definitely “alive” we know that, but we don’t give it the attribute of awareness.What,therefore, is it in the tree that seems to “know’ how to take very simple raw materials like sunlight and sap from the soil and produce fruit.A dead tree will not produce fruit so it requires the “life” in it to do the job.

    This life is what i call “Consciousness” and this state of the tree can be compared to what we would become if a horrible accident damages our nervous system to the point where we become a “vegetable”
    ..We will have no awareness but our body (if for instance is being sustained intravenously) will still “consciously” digest our nutrition,heal a cut,grow new hair and so on.

    My contention is that “awareness”,classically speaking, seems to suggest the need for a brain and its accompanying nervous system in order to be expressed,whereas “consciousness”(which to me, is more fundamental and more “Non-Local?..)..does not.

    Let’s not forget that in our “Language” there is currently a term referred to as “Sub-Conscious”(what ever the hell that that is!!..smile)..why is there no…”Sub-Awareness”…in our language?Would love to hear your response….

  34. July 28th, 2015 at 07:50 | #34

    Hi Glyne – thanks for your thoughtful response! And I don’t disagree with anything you’ve said. We do seem to be able to distinguish certain differences between these two things, consciousness and awareness, in some regards. But in the end I think (as you intimated) that it is all about the definitions of these words, so the distinction we draw depends on the definitions we use. And, interestingly, in French there is only one word for both of these, which might lead us to question whether there is any fundamental difference at all. But according to your description, I would say that your own definitions are essentially juxtapositions of the ones I am using. So similar meaning, similar understanding – just different definitions. 🙂

  35. Glyne Martin
    July 28th, 2015 at 11:49 | #35

    Many thanks Graham….I don’t know if we will EVER really come to terms with what Consciousness really is,i have a feeling it will continue to elude us!!..

    I do appreciate the advancements that are being made…Have You heard about John Hagelin? he’s a physicist in quantum theory and has some interesting videos on Youtube discussing Quantum Theory/Mechanics, and the “Super String Theory” as it relates ultimately to Consciousness,You may want to check him out and see if he provides further insight…Peace…

  36. Sai
    July 30th, 2015 at 01:22 | #36

    Great article and thanks for all the comments. Here is another article which has a nice analogy to a en electric bulb….


  37. Don May
    August 17th, 2015 at 04:03 | #37

    This article and comments are able to make a useful distinction between Consciousness and Awareness. I’m not sure if Understanding is part of Consciousness or a post processing process in an individual mind. Also, while thinking implies Consciousness, does Consciousness imply thinking ? What do this terms mean when extended to other life forms, and even elementary particles. Only humans collectively discuss Consciousness, but perhaps every living thing and the elementary particles have some form of Consciousness and Awareness that might be represented by Probability Amplitude space of Quantum Mechanics. A bigger question is why is math the language of Nature, and how are physical laws inforced — who does the math ?

  38. Doug
    March 25th, 2016 at 08:52 | #38

    Nisargadatta also had said “There can be awareness without consciousness, but not consciousness without awareness.” So awareness is prior to consciousness, or to think of it another way, awareness “contains” consciousness.

  39. April 14th, 2017 at 19:25 | #39


    Hi Doug do you have a reference for your Nisargadatta quote?

    Half jokingly I say consciousness = not in a coma cf I = Awareness

    Thanks – Roger

  40. March 24th, 2018 at 14:32 | #40

    I beg to differ…people in a coma are very aware of their surroundings. Their senses, perceptions and their SPIRITUAL consciousness are heightened while they’re PHYSICALLY unconscious (see my book about this and related subjects).

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