Consciousness is the state or quality of awareness of an external object or something within oneself.
Consciousness as manifested on this physical plane of material existence is the subdivision of the cosmic consciousness into entities of particulate existence manifested in varying grades of intelligences. Material things begin to house more immaterial things in degrees of consciousness. Variance in intelligence among creatures on the physical plane is directly proportional to the degree of consciousness. There is also inter specie and intra specie variance in the degrees of consciousness on the physical plane. Consciousness itself as manifested by the cosmic consciousness transcends the physical plane. Consciousness exists on all planes; our physical plane is the last plane of manifestation of the Eternal Cosmic consciousness. Consciousness is graduated on a scale with upper and lower limits, with humans having the highest degree of consciousness, however we are not at the highest obtainable upper limits of consciousness available within the sphere of mortality or physical existence. A more theologic and theosophic mode of enquiry into consciousness would make this truth bare. Consciousness as a topic is so extensive that I have to limit the mode of enquiry into easily understandable concepts for sake of clarity and comprehension.
Manifestation of consciousness in the biosphere of reality
The expression of consciousness in biological entities may provide insight on the nature and manifestation of consciousness. All biological entities possess units of consciousness of varying degrees, this variance in degree of consciousness occurs both at the inter-species and intra-species level.
Inter-species variance in consciousness
The degree of consciousness of biologic entities is directly proportional to the intelligence of the biologic entity and its interaction with the physical universe in terms of perception of objective information from the universe and proper evaluation and execution of tasks for survival and self-sufficiency.
The entire kingdoms of living organisms possess consciousness at different levels of expression and varying degrees, from independent unicellular organisms to complex multicellular organisms, from bacteria, fungi, protozoa, to plants, insects, animals. On close examination one observes an increase in awareness and intelligence amongst various animals’ species, order, phylum, family, class, down to kingdom. A dog has a higher degree of consciousness than a housefly, while a man has a higher degree of consciousness than a dog, in fact man has the highest degree of consciousness amongst all physical biologic entities, that's why Humans are able to develop Complex societies than any other animal species ever will.
Intra-species variance in consciousness
There exists the distribution of degrees of consciousness across a spectrum with upper and lower limits even amongst biologic entities of the same species. There is a minimum required degree of consciousness at which an independent biologic entity would exist as such entity.
Using man as case study, the degree of consciousness is directly proportional to intelligence in man.
Studies, research and developments in cognitive psychology have proven that even amongst humans the modes and degrees of consciousness and self-awareness vary greatly especially when comparing individuals with wide difference in intelligence quotient. Considering that the average intelligence quotient of man is 100, this degree of consciousness has its own modes of thinking and information processing, step by step analytical methods of cognition are mostly employed with very little application of abstract thinking and divergent /lateral thinking.
When the intelligence quotient is in the range of 130+ but below 175+ the mind is able to employ synthetic modes of information processing, abstract thinking and lateral/divergent thinking is freely utilized in information processing, there is higher degree of clarity of thoughts compared to the individual with an intelligence quotient of 100.When we move higher to higher ranges of 175 and above we encounter an entirely different mode of cognition, here we encounter integral modes of thinking which is a union of both analytical and synthetic modes of thinking, at this level(profoundly gifted) of intelligence the mind seems to be evidentially connected with the collective unconscious i.e. they have an increased ability to retrieve information from the subconscious, profound giftedness seem to be associated with express connectivity between the subjective individual consciousness and the cosmic consciousness informationally speaking. At this level the mind seems to be able to connect seemingly unrelated areas of knowledge and make out meaningful associations.
When comparing two individuals with intelligence quotient of 100 and 190 respectively the variance in their degree of consciousness becomes more evident, the way they perceive the physical universe and the way they obtain, modify, comprehend, structure and apply information varies greatly, so much that the individual with an intelligence quotient of 190 appears superhuman in cognitive abilities in comparison to the individual with a 100.The variance in degree of consciousness may totally hinder the possibility of any meaningful communication between both individuals.
(The word intelligence should not be confused with other words such as brilliance or smartness)
Even among lower animals there appears to be evidence of intra-species variation in the degree of consciousness. For instance, amongst the various Dog species the Border collie seem to display a higher degree of consciousness, clearly outperforming other species such as the Mongrel or Samoyed species due to a more efficient information gathering and processing intellectual frame work afforded by a more elevated degree of consciousness.
Modern physics and consciousness
The concept of consciousness has remained elusive in Physics and in our comprehension of the physical universe, this elusiveness had been more emboldened by the realist and materialistic scientific views. To show how this is so let's consider the stance of realist and materialist scientific view. Realism is a scientific view which assumes that reality exists independent of observation, and materialism assumes that reality and the entire universe is made up of matter and energy. These two scientific views were the major approach of scientists before the advent of quantum mechanics, even Albert Einstein was a realist, i mean, it seemed logical for reality to exist independent of observation but apparently this is not the case. The double slit experiment of quantum mechanics has toppled realism and materialism ushering in Idealism which is a scientific view that believes that reality is a mental construct and therefore reality doesn't exist independent of observation, the idealist view places consciousness at the helm of the comprehension of reality.
Double slit experiment
The double-slit experiment is one of the key stones of quantum mechanics and modern physics and it reveals the strange nature of reality at the subatomic levels.
The experiment involves the firing of electrons through a double slited obstacle unto a viewing screen and observing the pattern of distribution of the electron on the screen.
The above image represents what happened when the electrons are been observed moving through the double-slit with a measuring Instrument, above the electrons just passes through the double-slit as particles and stack themselves in alignment with the superimposition of the double-slit unto the screen, this appears normal to a human observer, however let's consider a different condition.
The above is the result that is gotten when a measuring device is not placed at the double slit to observe the passage of the electron through the double-slit. Here, the electron which usually act as particles when observed no longer acts like particles. They act as a wave after passing through an unobserved double-slit therefore producing a band-like distribution of particles on the optical screen which is very different from previous results when it was being observed from the double-slit.
The implication of the results of this experiment is that electrons acted differently when not been observed and the presence of observation causes electrons to act in a way we would expect. In other words the electrons act as though they knew when they were been watched and acted in a way we would expect when they know they are been watched ,otherwise they acted in an entirely different way. This experiment shows a deep connection between consciousness and reality almost as though consciousness via mental processes created what we call reality. In fact, scientifically speaking the act of observation causes the collapse of wave-functions and reduces the probabilistic possibilities of reality to a very streamlined and apparently concrete version of reality highly subjective to the observing entity.
Going back in time to when the outcome of this experiment was published, the scientific community was shaken and most didn't like the direction that quantum mechanics was going. Among them was Albert Einstein and Erwin Schrodinger, so Albert Einstein put forth a thought experiment in 1935 to debunk the results of quantum mechanics. He proposed that according to quantum mechanics if two particles were placed in joint superposition and separated by great distance, an alteration to one particle would automatically affect the other which was highly unlikely from Einstein's stand point because that would mean that the information travelled from one of the particles to the other faster than the speed of light which violates the theory of general relativity. Einstein called this spooky action at a distance. However, John Bell in 1960 proposed an inequality which if violated would prove that Einstein’s spooky action at a distance was indeed possible. In 1982 physicist Alain Aspect performed an experiment that violated Bells inequality and proved that information could be passed at a speed faster than the speed of light between particles in quantum entanglement further validating the authenticity of the results of quantum mechanics.
Some eminent scientists also conceive a much grander form of idealism which entails the presence of an all-encompassing cosmic consciousness that observes all of reality in real time. An example of a scientist with such view is Eugene Wigner. Before one hurriedly dismisses Wigner as a pseudo scientist I must point out that Eugene Wigner is a renowned Hungarian-American Theoretical Physicist, Engineer, and Mathematician who also specialized in atomic and nuclear physics and was awarded the 1963 Nobel Prize in Physics.
Quoting another eminent scientist "All matter originates and exists by virtue of a force, we must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind" Max Planck.
I’m sure any science enthusiast should know who Max Planck is as one wouldn’t finish secondary school physics curriculum without hearing that name on a number of occasions. Anyway, Max Planck is a renowned German Theoretical physicist who was awarded the 1918 Nobel Prize in Physics for his contributions.
A conclusion that can be drawn from this brief exposition of modern physics is that consciousness is a fundamental part of reality. Our individual subjective consciousness doesn't create reality but merely participates in reality. Reality is created and organized by the cosmic consciousness and this consciousness can be referred to as NATURE.
Expression of Consciousness in the particulate Universe
The expression of consciousness as represented by nature in matter occurs via hidden underlying mechanisms. Hidden by the mere fact that we cannot see them with our naked eyes and even when we observe them at subatomic levels we are still very ignorant of the underlying mechanisms and why particles act the way they do.
The laws governing the quantum realms of reality are the evidence of the supremacy of the cosmic consciousness manifested as nature.
From studies and advancements in Quantum field theory which is a combination of Classical field theory, quantum mechanics and General relativity, we now know that matter, space and time are emergent concepts from the quantum realm, they are not as fundamental as materialists and realists assume. As a matter of facts when particles are observed at the level of the quantum field, they are just excitations of the quantum fields and one particle can be transformed to another by the alterations of the underlying excitations via gauge symmetry transformations. Nature as the cosmic consciousness is responsible for the decision and organization of what particles are to exist, determining stability, interactions and decay. Consciousness in nature, in other words produce the particles visible to us, from fermions (quarks and leptons) to bosons (gluons, mesons, photons, Higgs, etc.). Human consciousness plays a role with cosmic consciousness in the construction of reality by ensuring stability of particles by the collapse of wave-functions.
An attempt to study and understand our physical universe would lead us to God (the ultimate intelligence behind reality and all the laws of nature) and not away from God as many materialist scientists assume. The physical universe is composed of laws and principles that physics as a discipline is trying to catch up with but this laws and principles are of Nature and controlled and governed by nature, and nature correlates to Cosmic consciousness. In stoic Philosophy Nature is referred to as the passive aspect of God.
It can be clearly deduced that Nature is cosmic consciousness which is God. Our existence as biologic entities is governed by God and the physical environment where we are situated is also governed by God. This is possible via the omnipotence, omnipresence and omniscience of God.
An attempt to reduce the omnipotence of a divine intelligence to the outcome of random probability as Is the stand of atheist is grossly irrational and devoid of sound reason.
We are images of God in the unit of his divine consciousness that we possess as our individual subjective consciousness and we also live in God as manifested by the influence of cosmic consciousness in nature that governs our physical reality. Although we live in God, we should learn how to let God live fully in us as that is the underlying aim and objective of true spirituality. I would end by categorically saying that consciousness is the most fundamental phenomenon of reality.
1. Double slit experiment https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double-slit_experiment
2. Bells Inequality http://www.math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/Quantum/bells_inequality.html
3. Alain Aspect experiment https://henry.pha.jhu.edu/aspect.html
4. Quantum field theory https://www.britannica.com/science/quantum-field-theory
5. Researches on giftedness https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4020-6162-2_78
6. Exceptional and profound giftedness https://www.hoagiesgifted.org/highly_gifted.htm
7. Understanding the profoundly gifted https://www.researchgate.net/publication/321341590_Understanding_the_Profoundly_Gifted
8. Intellectual intelligence https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intellectual_giftedness
9. Dog intelligence https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Intelligence_of_Dogs
10. Intelligence of Dogs https://petrix.com/dogint/