How does consciousness work? How does it manifest itself in the brain and body and then go on to influence first, the body, and second, the world around us? The second question is a little easier to answer on the macro scale. Consciousness influences the world around us through the primary interface of the body. We think thoughts and then act accordingly. We imagine stuff and then work it in to being. In this way, our combined consciousness’s realise a fully intricate tapestry of action, situation, and place.
But where does this come from?
My thought is that there are two layers to consciousness. The first is the lower layer and that is your mind, unconsciousness and subconsciousness, thoughts, feelings, and dreams. It is the part of you that influences the world. The second part is the true layer, that aspect of you that is eternal. It is the part of you from which you pour your consciousness into your mind. It is a manifestation of pure energy, vibrating and percolating at levels that are unknowable to us at present.
Let’s take a step back. What is the point of the Universe? It is said that it is a place in which the energy of consciousness can express itself in all the infinite varieties of expression, and so doing, know itself. But what does that mean for us?
The Universe comes into being as an infinitely folded in upon itself energy structure. This energy is at once a unified whole but it can also be separated for the purposes of use. The energy coalesces to form the building blocks of matter, with this matter relating to itself through the laws that we express as physics. These laws are structured in such a way that the logical outcome of leaving the Universe to interact with itself is the Universe as we see it today.
By arranging everything and pressing start, the Universe expands, though expands is not the right word for it, balloons maybe, and matter is formed out of the infinite. This matter coalesces into photons, protons and electrons, and all the other subatomic particles we work with. They combine into atoms and molecules, which fall in upon themselves to form the galaxies and stars and planets. The point of this is to create the conditions for consciousness to arise within the Universe as separate points of expression. It is not the goal of evolution to produce humans, it is the goal of evolution to allow life to progress up the ladder of being until a lifeform that is capable of sentience has arisen. On our planet, that would be humans to do it first. But some species of animal are not far behind. If there had been other drives or forces that came into being, porpoises or chimpanzees would be the dominant animals today.
It is believed that our having opposable thumbs is the catalyst that led to our developing sentience. By working with our hands, and then by mimicking what others have done with their hands led to our brains increasing in size and complexity, allowing sentience to express itself through us. But this is not the only form in which consciousness can come about. It is just the way ours did. And it comes with all the baggage and limitations that our innate characteristics as a species can load on it.
This expression as a species is what we would call the first layer of consciousness. The second layer is that which comes from the Universe and expresses itself through the first layer.
Now the big question is why is there something instead of nothing? Where did this energy that drives the Universe and consciousness come from? Or the multiverse for that matter? It is clearly infinite, but even so, how did it get here? How did it come into being? Is it an infinite loop, where our dreams are the creation and destruction of other universes, and thus we too are the dreams of other beings in a universe that encloses ours? Or is it cyclical in nature? Our being here to observe ourselves is what led to our being here. Observation leads to being which in turn observes, and so on ad infinitum, to beyond the end of time. A never ending string of self correcting energy, continually observing and thus driving expression and expansion.
Who knows? I suspect that we might not ever get to know what the higher structures of consciousness are, but I think we can get a good understanding of how it works in this Universe. From there, we may be able to peak behind the curtain of what’s going on.