THE GROWTH OF CONSCIOUSNESS
Wikipedia describes consciousness as awareness of internal and external existence. Essentially, the growth of consciousness is the process of becoming more aware. It is an iterative process throughout one’s lifetime and requires a set intention and effort to build. Awareness sets you on a path of change of behavioral structure and gets you inclined towards personal development.
The evolution of self
From birth and a couple of years after, we heavily rely on our subconscious as the built-in operating system that helps with adaptability to our new world. We form habits and create beliefs based on perception, which greatly influences who we morph into in our early years of development. Even with consciousness growing, whereby in preteen years, one starts to gain a preconceived sense of self, we remain connected to the information picked up by the subconscious, as we take it to be the basis of who we are. For this reason, loving parents and guardians strive to give their children a great foundation of who they are; this ranges from relaying their faith and personal beliefs to their children to controlling what they watch on the internet and the friends they get to keep. It reaches a point where the child is out of its parents’ or guardian’s nest and is exposed to diversity, hence a wider playing field to discover themselves. Even with internal awareness of who we are and who we want to be set in motion, we allow ourselves to be influenced by other people’s opinions of who they think we are or who we ought to be. It is all part of a greater scheme to push you towards self-discovery and gradually open you up to conscious existence.
Ego and separation
Ego is a person’s perceived sense of importance or lack thereof. Whether you think yourself worthy or unworthy, it causes you to feel as though you’re different from everyone else, hence creating the need for special treatment. Ego influences how we react to the outside world and interact with other people; whether big or small, it causes separation and creates a societal gap. In the preceding chapter, I mention that we are all part of an entity bigger than our disillusioned individuality. We are the Cosmos! It is that realization and the acceptance of it that brings about oneness. Oneness, in itself, is an indication of the growth of consciousness.
Introspection is the act of looking within in the quest to examine one’s thoughts and feelings. To become more aware, one must constantly engage in introspection. Sometimes the mind can be like a roller coaster, taking you through the highs and lows of the past, present, and fears of the future. It helps to look within and ask yourself, “what am I thinking now?” “What am I feeling?” This act of introspection brings you back into alignment, into the present moment, and ultimately makes you more self-aware. If your mind has spiraled into negative thoughts, you can counter that with positive thinking once you’re aware of it. Introspection leads to a mindful state of being and helps one in their journey towards the growth of consciousness.