On becoming aware: consciousness and unconsciousness


When awareness dawns on you, is it like watching the sun rise?

Upon becoming aware, what had been hidden under cover of darkness is now fully exposed in the light. Once you see it, it’s hard to pretend that it doesn’t exist.

This awareness can be a welcoming thing, and it can be a sudden shock to your system. You may realize truths about yourself or other people that allow you to see things in a new way, and so you grow.

You might need to go through a period of mourning for what was, for your illusions about what existed. Being ‘disillusioned’ simply means you no longer have those illusions. Now you can work from a place of truth, of clarity and consciousness.

As you develop your consciousness, your reality changes.

As you become conscious, you make different choices. Consciousness can help you to see what you don't know, while unconsciousness tells you it's not important or even necessary to go looking, la la la. Spiritual growth happens when you choose to look anyway, and to step onto the path of your truth, the path of consciousness.

Another option is to adopt an existing belief system, and decide it's true for you so you don't need to look further. Now you have all of the answers you'll ever need, you're not interested in looking for any more. It's nice and safe in here, so please don't rock my boat with any uncomfortable questions!

When you are certain that you already know everything, when you are very firmly entrenched in your own belief system, when you’ve holed up behind the shield of your dogma, you might feel comfortable being there, but you will have a difficult time learning anything new.

In other words, if you already know everything, you won’t be able to learn anything else.

It can be frightening to admit when you are wrong, making a mistake feels unsafe sometimes. You might have to give up the fight that your belief is the correct one. Surrendering to what is is difficult if your energy is tied into what you think should be.

When people are in fear of losing control, they are also unconscious to the fact that there is no control to begin with. This unconscious illusion of control is what is keeping them safe, or so they believe.

Unconsciousness can be defined as being unaware. Unconsciousness can be a shield one hides behind, or simply a state of innocence.

You may be so unconscious to some things that you aren’t even aware of what you’re not aware of. A good question to ask yourself might be, ‘what don’t I know that I don’t know yet?’

You’re not wrong for not knowing those things. Wouldn’t it be boring to already know everything? Part of the joy and beauty of life is that it’s a journey, and you get to make new discoveries along the way. If you go searching for a belief system to plug yourself into, that may take some of the uncertainty out of your journey, but it’ll also take some of the fun and validation as well.

By discovering who you are and what makes you tick, you learn valuable information about yourself that nobody else can give to you. Others can help along the way, but in the end, it’s your job to walk your own path, consciously or not.

  • ©Kris Cahill
    ‘Navigation’ ©Jurvetson on Flickr