Human Consciousness and Meditation
Ever since the dawn of civilization, human beings have always been in search of higher meaning and purpose. Even though we couldn’t observe it or prove its existence, we always knew there was a universal consciousness governing our existence – like an inner voice telling us there’s more to life and our existence than what meets the eye.
Over the years, many spiritual leaders, scholars, philosophers, and scientists have tried to shed light on this amazing phenomenon we call – human consciousness.
In fact, some even claim they’ve managed to access higher states of consciousness through meditation, yoga, hypnosis, psychedelics and other similar practices.
Although they were often criticized by skeptics, current evidence suggests accessing higher states of consciousness such as the collective unconscious may be possible.
Human Consciousness: What is it?
Since consciousness is a complex phenomenon that involves many aspects of human experience, it’s almost impossible to distill it into a straightforward definition.
Nevertheless, we’re going to try and explain it by highlighting its essential elements.
In broad lines, human consciousness represents the expression of our inner self. It is the filter through which we interpret reality. Without consciousness, we would be unable to exercise self-awareness or visualize the outcomes of our actions.
In a way, we could argue that consciousness is what brings together our physical, mental, and spiritual aspects. It is what makes us feel whole and ‘complete.’
No matter how divided the world may seem and how many differences people can see between themselves and others, the undeniable truth about human beings is that they have a lot in common with the other inhabitants of the planet.
Linked to a common destiny, we all play a part in forming the collective body of all conscious life on this living planet. In other words, consciousness is not only individual but also collective. That’s why all cultures, societies, and religions share common elements. That’s why people from different parts of the world share common behaviors. For example, values such as honesty, love, or bravery were (and still are) considered worthy of respect by most civilizations.
The collective consciousness
Human consciousness is the mystery that connects us all – that question that an ordinary person can not answer, regardless of religion, race, beliefs, or moral code. Each individual appears as a conscious spirit from the same divine source and advances to the same eternal mystery when your material body can no longer support your spirit. We all share this amazing bond called – the collective consciousness.
This vast reservoir of shared knowledge is what makes us unique as a species. The instincts, stories, and knowledge we share and pass on from generation to generation is what keeps society united and moving towards goals that stretch beyond individual interests.
We are all part of society and society is part of us. Our day-to-day interactions and the relationships we share with our fellow human beings make us an inseparable part of the human civilization. We all contribute to the evolution of the entire mass of human beings that exists on Earth.
Consciousness is what makes us more than just a mass of meat and bones; it’s what places us above mere living organisms. The cells, tissues, and organs that form our biological bodies are physical manifestations of dynamic, evolutionary, self-sustaining forces.
As living systems, we are all interconnected and interdependent. In fact, it was collaboration, not competition that helped our ancestors survive and thrive. The differences that make us unique are only variations of the same universal consciousness.
As far as we know, humans are the most advanced and evolved manifestations of the universal endeavor towards self-awareness and consistency. Our interaction with all other living organisms and our continuous attempts to discover other life forms are expressions of our fundamental need of coherence.
In the end, it all boils down to one simple question – Who are you and what is your purpose in this world?
The Benefits of Meditation
For thousands of years, people have been experimenting with various techniques in hopes of gaining access to a more profound understanding of consciousness.
From meditation and yoga to hypnosis and profound relaxation, these practices can induce higher states of consciousness where you may discover surprising insights about yourself and your higher purpose.
One of the easiest ways to detach yourself from everything around and delve deep into the depths of your consciousness is meditation.
Due to its surprising benefits, this thousand-year-old practice has drawn the attention of researchers and scientists from all over the world.
Meditation and consciousness
Although meditation and consciousness have always been associated with mysticism and religious practices, about a decade ago, scientists have begun exploring these phenomena from a different perspective.
For example, some experts have sought to integrate mindfulness meditation and consciousness within a neuroscientific perspective. By looking at the brain regions associated with consciousness and meditative states, experts could discover how meditation leads to higher states of consciousness.
If we think of consciousness as the outer manifestation of our inner self, then looking inwards will give us a better understanding of our authentic self. And this is where meditation comes into play taking you on a journey to the deepest levels of human consciousness.
Meditation changes the brain
Aside from cultivating peace of mind and promoting mental health, current evidence suggests meditation can also produce changes at a biological level.
A study of the effects of meditation on the brain revealed this practice could alter dopamine, a hormone which supposedly regulates conscious states at a synaptic level.
Furthermore, EEG studies indicate that meditation produces brainwaves changes that can alter brain activity. As the authors concluded, meditation is associated with active states which involve cognitive restructuring and learning.
It appears this practice is not just a way to relax, achieve a state of calm, and fall asleep easier. During meditation, our brain is in a wakeful state that allows it to restructure and integrate new information. As a result, each meditation session contributes to a deeper understanding of our consciousness and the spiritual nature of our being.
But the changes produced by meditation go far beyond the cellular level. A 2012 study revealed that meditators who achieve higher states of consciousness experience significant changes at a biological and molecular level.
A tool for health and mental clarity
All and all, meditation seems to be a fantastic practice that not only promotes well-being but also helps us gain a better understanding of ourselves as physical, emotional, and spiritual beings.
As one paper brilliantly summarized: The meditative traditions provide a compelling example of strategies and techniques that have evolved over time to enhance and optimize human potential and well-being.
If you wish to explore the depths of your consciousness, meditation is the road that will take you there.
Exploring the Depths of Your Consciousness
Exploring the depths of your consciousness and discovering the essence of your life are perhaps the most daring goals one can achieve.
It takes courage and determination to look inward and shed light on the most intimate aspects of your consciousness. To be honest, you might not always like what you see.
Maybe you discover that the values you’ve been promoting throughout your entire life are not exactly the values with which you resonate most. Perhaps there’s a trace of selfishness and egotistic desire pushing you to behave in a way that’s incongruent with your life’s real mission.
Regardless of what you’ll discover, know that exploring your consciousness is the act through which you get in touch with your spiritual self.
Just close your eyes, put aside the ‘noise’ of the outside world, and let your mind wander. Observe the stream of thoughts, sensations, and emotions that are racing through your head. Imagine you’re an explorer, eager to discover the mysteries of this amazing inner world we call human consciousness.
There you will find all the answers and gain valuable mental and spiritual resources to help you achieve your true mission in life.
Aligning with Your True Mission and Purpose
Once you understand the collective and universal nature of human consciousness, you will begin to look at life from an entirely different perspective.
This newly-acquired knowledge will guide your steps and help you design your life’s mission based on your true values, ideas, and principles.
Perhaps this is the enlightenment many spiritual leaders have sought and talked about for centuries. Maybe the profound understanding of human consciousness is what frees us from selfish desires, material goals, and egotistic impulses.
Once your thoughts, emotions, and actions are aligned to your true mission and purpose, your life will no longer be a series of events over which you have no control, but a meaningful quest towards spiritual fulfillment and collective growth.
Through meditation, you can achieve higher states of consciousness and reinvent your life.
Follow your dreams, be mindful of your values, and pursue goals that stretch far beyond personal gains!