What is Consciousness?

As Merriam-Webster defines consciousness …. “at its simplest is “sentience or awareness of internal or external existence”. To this day, consciousness remains a mystery, a final frontier you might say. An age old question occupying the minds of scientists and mystics alike.

The study of consciousness attempts to understand the peak human questions: Who are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going? The focus of course, vain vessels that we are, is mainly on ourselves.

Scientists confuse consciousness with the brain and mind. This is where it gets interesting. Scientists equate consciousness with the brain, the nervous system - a body centric focus that you don’t have to go far in your meditations to realise is patently false. You soon come to realise that consciousness is independent of the body and the brain and extends far beyond your body.

From the standpoint of spiritual vision, even a rock contains consciousness. Is consciousness. Not very interesting perhaps but residing consciousness no less. Just as this physical universe is consciousness in one form, so consciousness extends to the formless, just as we humans have higher, more refined levels of consciousness that meditation awakens and engages.

Raising your Vibration

We often hear the term “raising your vibration”. Meditation and the stillness involved helps to raise your level of vibration. The more you raise your vibration the more you can open into higher level orders of consciousness. One’s “inner life”, the world of introspection, thought and imagination give rise to ideas, creativity, experience, cognition, feelings and perceptions that grow more subtle and nuanced as your vibration rises.

Awareness of your awareness, in other words self-awareness, as it deepens, allows access to deeper levels of consciousness and the mysteries they bring. Exploration of consciousness becomes this fascinating revelation of facets of ourselves and the creation. Form and formless as consciousness.

So What is Consciousness

The answer to the question “what is consciousness”, is a circular answer that highlights one of the core paradoxes of consciousness. Awareness, or self-awareness, presents the feeling that we are simultaneously and synchronously both the subject and object of our perception; and yet both roles cannot be logically simultaneous due simply to the time-lag required to process information and form a point of view from the standpoint of the mind. Who we perceive ourselves to be is who we were a few hundred milliseconds ago from the standpoint of the mind. To come to a deeper under standing of ourselves we need to move beyond the finite processes of the mind.

Rather, consciousness can be thought of as layers of awareness requiring navigation and access skills to open deeper levels of understanding and cognition. From a standpoint beyond the mind, we perceive there are strata of consciousness we can rest our awareness on and indeed draw from. We can begin to perceive our consciousness existing in relation to personal and universal aspects of ourselves.

That consciousness exists in and to itself. Any sense of “me”, or “achieving things for me” are at best illusory. That is because our consciousness transcend many levels. The key here is to understand your consciousness has individual and universal components. Meditation quickly takes you into these universal states of consciousness.

You can realise consciousness as a series of emanations from a source. Our consciousness is the emanation of consciousness of other beings. You might call these “spiritual beings”.

Theory of Emanations

Emanationism is an idea in the cosmology or cosmogony of various religious or philosophical systems. Emanation, from the Latin emanare meaning “to flow from” or “to pour forth or out of”, is the mode by which all things are derived from the first reality, or principle. All things are derived from the first reality or perfect God by steps of degradation to lesser degrees of the first reality or God, and at every step the emanating beings are less pure, less perfect, less divine. Emanationism is a transcendent principle from which everything is derived, and is opposed to both creationism and materialism.

Neoplatonism and other sources assert that all things “flow” from an underlying principle or reality, usually called the Absolute or Godhead. Some movies touch on these concepts including The Matrix and Star Wars series.

Robert Kleinman [1] suggests that underlying the worldview of traditional cosmology is the idea that the universe is an emanation of a unitary divine principle. There is a chain of emanations extending from massive states of consciousness that might be referred to as the “Divine”, or “God” down to the little individual persona you know yourself as, reading this article. Human individualism and separateness has done a lot to muddy these terms so please bear with me as I attempt to explain a complex story in understandable terms.

The Substance of Consciousness

Yet this is just the start of the journey. The more we meditate, we move to contacting the substance of consciousness. That substance is Fire. One of the two elements that make up the firmament we inhabit. Ultimately consciousness is Fire and extends beyond the creation. Raising the level of Fire means raising your vibration. The more you can hold higher levels of Fire, the more you can resonate with higher order states of consciousness and their attendant spiritual beings.


Why do people get antsy after being forced to be still for a little while? The level of spiritual fire starts to build up and they begin to feel uncomfortable as samskaras (emotional blockages) begin to erupt. They become restless and feel the need to move. To stay in prolonged states of stillness without the requisite releasing of samskaras means people can go into deeply, painful emotional states. This is due to the activation of core samskaras by Fire. Interesting to reflect on the term “trial by fire” isn’t it?

The Ego-Consciousness of the Solar Logos I have written before about Ego (see Bodies and Stillness). The Spirit is the manifesting force of the Ego in the creation. On the individual level, the Spirit feeds our astral, etheric and physical bodies with the light of the Ego. In human beings, the Ego is the eternal flame, and the principle of individuality. It is Fire. The Fire of your consciousness. Christ consciousness is the lighthouse of Ego-ness which enlightens humanity. It is the source from which human Egos can be nourished. It can know the Divine. The Ego is the part of you which can be one with God.

The Ego is to human beings what the Sun is to the solar system. Through resonance and combining your Ego essence with the source using meditation, human Egos realise their potential for Divinity. In other words the human story is as much about redemption as it is about that part of you that empathises with others and is able to express and receive love. The very thing that makes the human experience special. That makes life on earth precious.

Even though Christ and Christ consciousness refer to the same level of the Divine, Christ consciousness is a far better term when it comes to conveying the concept of lighthouse of Ego-ness. In most people’s minds, ‘Christ’ conveys fixed, charged religious associations and quite a different register of meanings.

To clarify, you have Jesus, the man and Christ, the Christ consciousness which is better thought of as a high spiritual being. In fact, the Christ consciousness is considered an emanation of the Solar Logos, an even higher emanation and spiritual being. The Solar Logos is a manifestation of the Divine who is in charge of humanity and this corner of the worlds to which human beings belong. It can be said that Solar Logos, Lord Melchisedek and Christ as being one and the same consciousness – experientially, they are perceived as that from the standpoint of our earthly human minds. In actuality though, Christ and Melchisedek are not the Solar Logos but the combined essence of the Solar Logos emanations of it.

Solar Logos

Logos is the Ancient Greek term for Word, the creative principle as in, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him, and not one thing was made without him” [2]. The Solar Logos corresponds to what Max Heindel calls ‘the God of our Solar System’ [3]. Christ consciousness is the manifestation of the Solar Logos in charge of humanity for this present period whilst Lord Melchisedek was the manifestation of the Solar Logos which took care of humanity during the prior phase of human evolution.

Practical Application

But why would we want to meditate then? Many people, myself included, reach a point in their lives where they ask themselves: “is this all there is to being alive on Earth?” The answer doesn’t lie in the circumstances of your life, it’s ups and downs, the travesties and the hurt.

"He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened."

~ Lao Tzu

Over the door of the ancient Oracle at Delphi in Greece are engraved the words: “Know Thyself”. Here lies the first and only clue needed to begin raising your level of vibration of your consciousness. Pythagoras also opined:

“Know thyself, and thou shalt know the Universe and God(s)”

Our most important task while being here in Earth is to know your Self which, spiritually is an inward journey of discovery that reveals the fullness, richness and the Source [4] from where you come from and where you will return. The Fire that is your consciousness and your Ego, is that substance by which you can know your self.


[1]: Robert Kleinman, Four Faces of the Universe: An Integrated View of the Cosmos, 2007, p. 186
[2] Gospel of St John 1:3
[3] Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception, part 2, chapter 5, p. 182.
[4] Sagan, Samuel: Planetary Forces, Alchemy and Healing, Chapter 24