We have all heard phrases about becoming more conscious. Some speak in terms of a spiritual enlightenment others of ‘waking up’ to the many issues we face in the world today. Whatever form we are familiar with it is not a new idea. But what does it really mean? Why is it so important? And what does it look like in practice?
What follows is by no means the last word on becoming more conscious. It is an atheists perspective on what is arguably a very important priority for humanity. It is the way out of the Matrix and undoubtedly the way to peace freedom and abundance.
What does it mean to become more conscious?
At its most basic level to be conscious means to be actively engaged with one’s sensory perception so as to be aware of one’s surroudings or environment or other stimuli. Being conscious is often associated with being conscious of something, or aware of something. So from the basic level of being conscious of our surroundings and being awake or cognitively active, we can then become aware of more and more. We can add to our awareness and potentially keep adding to it building an ever larger ‘picture’ of our world.
So we can see that for humans being conscious is a state of awareness that occurs on a sliding scale once we have achieved the basic level of wakefulness. We can then become aware of our inner world through introspection and potentially become increasingly aware of the world around us. But to gain this increasing awareness takes effort and it doesn’t happen automatically.
Why is it so important?
Consciousness, for those entities that possess it, is their means of survival. It is their means of guidance to choose appropriate actions to support the continuance of their life. In the present context of life on Planet Earth, becoming more conscious is very literally our means of survival, but in a broader sense than many realise. Yes we need to avoid stepping out infront of a bus to stay alive, but if we zoom out a little we need to be aware of what threatens our continued existence in the longer term – such as what food supports our life and what food undermines it, and we need to be aware of lifestyle factors that affect fertility and the survival of our progeny. Today there many such threats to our longterm survival.
Becoming more conscious is not only the way out of the Matrix because it is the only way to take control of one’s own mind. It is the only way to success and to thrive because it is the only means by which we can adapt to a changing and threatening context. Those who become more conscious will achieve an evolutionary advantage over those who chose not to bother. The more we move ourselves up the sliding scale of awareness the better we position ourselves to deal with the many hidden challenges of modern life and the easier we can spot the many ‘duff steers’ that can undermine our well being.
Becoming more conscious renders us far more likely to recognise the ubiquitous propaganda and disinformation that dominates the mainstream media and almost all official information. It also means we are far more likely to achieve a level of intellectaul independence necessary to avoid following the herd over the cliff. for example To spot that tap water isnt safe to drink, that we eat food to which we are not genetically adapted, that mercury fillings are not safe, that mobile phone use and wi-fi saturation are compromising fertility and accelerating ageing.
What does becoming more conscious look like?
Becoming more conscious is entirely practical. It has nothing to do with the conventional view of spirituality, nothing to do with religions or god. It has nothing to do with any kind of mysticism or supernatural being. I am an atheist and I present these ideas from a secular perspective, relevant to the real everyday world we are all familiar with.
Growing up into adulthood is becoming more conscious to some extent. Adults generally have more awareness and are conscious of more things than children – if only just a little bit more. Genuine adulthood should mean that we ‘know what is good for us’ in every sense, including everything that threatens our wellbeing such as water purity, electro-magnetic fields, toxicty avoidance, etc. Sadly, by this criterion, there are few genuine adults.
Becoming more conscious and enjoying a greater awareness means seeing one’s life in an ever greater context. It is the process of acquiring knowledge of the reality in which we live so as to be better able to operate within it. The first step is to acquire knowledge. Knowledge is the correct identification of some aspect of reality. Gaining knowledge is essential to becoming more conscious of the greater context in which our lives are happening.
It also means knowing and understanding our motivations, what drives us and what moves us to do what we do. In other words what are our values, what is it that is really important to us?
Lastly, it means holding our philosophical convictions consciously. Being able to express verbally our understanding of the nature of reality and how we fit into it and therefore what actions are appropriate and what choices are not. These are all hallmarks of some one becoming more conscious.
The metaphor of ‘Waking up’
Waking up is a commonly used metaphor to describe the process of becoming more aware of what is going on in the world. It is a useful analogy but it has its limitations.
This is because waking up is essentially an automatic process that takes place without conscious initiation once the body has had sufficient rest. On the other hand becoming more aware is a process of seeking to gain conceptual knowledge, and this requires thinking, asking questions, wanting to know, and effort!
Also, once you are awake there is little more to do. That is it you have arrived at that basic level of consciousness of wakefulness. But that is just the start of it. Becoming more conscious is an ongoing process, you never get there and you never get it done. waking up, however is a one time event.
How to increase our awareness and become more conscious
Step one is to be curious. This is the first cause of knowledge and therefore awareness of our greater context. Effectively we must start our own engine. We have to initiate a process of thinking of questioning and develop a habit of wanting to know and seeking to understand.
In conjunction with this we dont need to blindly accept what we are told until we have an understanding of it and genuinely agree with it and can explain it our selves.
You can’t turn up the senses! but you can increase your conceptual understanding – This is man’s unique faculty, it is what defines us as human. Use it. It feels good to use it.
Additionally you can learn to think in principles, you can become precise in your definitions, in a word you can maximise the efficiency of your thinking.
In order to become more conscious we must acquire more conceptual knowledge, building an ever growing non-contradictory sum of knowledge. It is especially important to look and think long term, to see and plan beyond the range of the moment.
Awareness is not all – we must act!
It is important to remember that being aware of things is not the ultimate goal it is the means to the goal of appropriate action. The action then taken is the means to the end of a long, healthy, happy and fulfilling life.
- Get all your mental files into non-contradictory order – Think rationally
- Connect with reality accurately, consistently through reason
- Develop geopolitical awareness, social awareness, self awareness
- know about rights and the status of your freedom
- Hold your philosophy consciously – know what you think and why
Becoming more conscious is what personal development is all about – becoming the best possible version of yourself.
I hope these idea may help..