What is the difference between awareness and consciousness? How are the two concepts interlinked?
Imagine yourself in the middle of a forest, being chased by a bear. The rustling of leaves behind you burgeons your pace, causing a much needed adrenaline rush. As you run across the landscape, you search for possible escapes. You are aware of the trees, and the animal life in your vicinity (imagine the forest sounds), but you’re conscious about a possible, untimely end to the journey of your life.
And before the bear catches up, let’s snap back to reality and ward off the threat.
Simply put, being aware and being conscious are two extremely different concepts, even though both words seem to have the same connotation in language. Here is a little insight about the two concepts that’ll help you differentiate with ease.
It is like those announcements you hear on media. For instance, a hurricane is headed towards the city. While you know what is out there and you’re factually aware that it exists, there’s little you can do to explain where it is, whether it’ll strike or not, how much damage it will cause, and so on and so forth.
“Being Aware” essentially has a tangible, physically-related expression. You are aware of the fact that consuming too much sugar/carbohydrates can lead to obesity, diabetes and other diseases. You are aware that anything you do might have an impact on your loved one’s life. You are aware of your realities, primarily because of factors like sensations, perceptions, cognitive abilities, and knowledge.
You know what is, but you don’t know how it may or may not be related to your life. Being aware does not necessarily equate with being conscious. This brings us to the other part of the equation.
In every sense of the words, being conscious has a lot to do with being spiritual. It refers to that degree of awareness where the physical world no longer obstructs your understanding. It is about being aware of the metaphysical world, where spiritual interactions and learning takes place beyond the tangible experiences. Being conscious has a lot more depth than being merely being aware.
Awareness is considered a prerequisite for consciousness. You can’t be conscious about something if you’re unaware of it in the first place. As in the example we started off with, you were aware about everything in your surroundings, but you were consciously looking out for an escape. This blurs out your perception of non-related elements, enabling you to focus exclusively on certain, sought aspects.
How Knowledge Influences Your Awareness and Consciousness
As the wise people say, “Knowledge is power!” It is the starting point of a revolution, the beginning of awareness and consciousness. For the most part, you are free to decide whether you’d like to be aware and conscious or not. Your free choice plays a pivotal role in defining your destiny.
Knowledge makes you aware of your worldly realities, in turn making you conscious about a higher calling, a bigger purpose. Nothing happens without a reason, and the moment you decide to question and reason out your realities is when you become truly conscious. It is a chain of realization that begins with your worldly learning.
You make better decisions when you are aware, but you make the best ones when you are conscious. If you willfully chose to give up your abilities, you unconsciously choose to be a part of someone else’s purpose. You share your fate will all those who consciously renounce their rights, eventually becoming a part of someone else’s journey.
Knowledge, awareness and consciousness influence your life in three ways: