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What is Consciousness

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Human consciousness vs subconsciousness

Very few people live consciously. Typically, people don’t spend much time conscious of anything at all. Unfortunately, for most people, consciousness is masked by unconsciousness. Even the conscious crowd does a lot on auto pilot. Remember what the auto pilot can do. We can for example, unconsciously run the walking program while consciously doing other things.

The difference is that our auto pilot or subconscious mind is merely running pre-recorded programs while the conscious mind is live time. Actual human consciousness is presence. Not of the past nor future, but now. The conscious and subconscious work together simultaneously. But what our conscious mind is not focused on, our subconscious mind is, and is doing for us.

The problem

Our subconscious does not think. There is no one in the subconscious. It just runs programs and the majority are corrupted. Therein lies our problem. And it is a huge problem. It is the problem of problems. We may desire to be a certain type of person, to have a specific type of relationship, or to live a particular life style. But if our programming does not align with our desires, then we will not manifest what we desire.

And what is worse, for the most part we are completely oblivious to it. Most of us run around distracted by our gadgets, the media, pop culture, our friends, family, and work. Our minds are usually filled with thoughts about this and that. The past or the future. For the most part we live in our heads. An imaginary world. Not reality, but thoughts about reality. Meanwhile our subconscious is running the show. At times, our thoughts serve us. Our intellect is our built in calculator. Although thoughts can serve as tools of our physical existence, they are not our physical existence.

Human consciousness

Consciousness is consciousness aware of itself. First of all, think about that one. Consciousness is consciousness aware of itself. This has to do with presence. Awareness of this moment. Living in the now. We don’t know what we don’t know. Consequently, we are unaware of what we are unaware of. But that doesn’t alter what is. Simply because we are unaware of reality doesn’t change reality in the least. Neither does denial.

Additionally, consciousness has nothing to do with intelligence. Nor is it a physical thing. But it influences everything in the physical world. Especially relevant, it determines our life experience. There are many levels of consciousness. From the subconscious, the next level of consciousness is basic human consciousness. Common consciousness however is not all that common. Consciousness is not a state of matter, it is a matter of awareness. Consciousness is always there whether we are aware of it or not. Most people are not.


For example, we are driving down the freeway and Kiss comes on the radio. We think oh I haven’t heard that song in a while. Next, we start singing along. I wanna rock and roll all night and party every day. After the song ends we realize we just drove 65 MPH down the freeway while singing the entire song. Yet we have no memory of it. Since we weren’t paying attention, it was as if we weren’t even there. Therefore, we were unconscious of it.

We were in our heads. Completely absorbed in our thoughts and emotions. Thinking about the past. We were on auto pilot. This goes on far more often than we may like to admit. Fortunately, our auto pilot was functioning properly. To our benefit, driving the car program is not one of our corrupted programs. But too many of our programs are corrupted.

Anything we habitually do. Something we always do in a certain manner. Some way we always react. Perspectives and opinions. Anything we have downloaded. Anything we have learned. These are all programs. Most people live almost their entire life this way. With good programming it would be less of an issue. The corrupted programs however are serious problems, and most programs are corrupted.

Corrupted programs are those that do not match our inner desires. Programs that are destructive to our well-being. Unwholesome programs running in the background without our knowledge. Sabotaging our lives. Creating inappropriate thoughts and emotions. Negative thoughts and emotions. Darkness. Fear.

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Processing information

So, why not just be conscious of everything all the time? Because it is too much information. The subconscious does not think. Therefore, the subconscious can process large amounts of information. Programs like walking or driving the car. We learn to walk and then simply need to run the walking program to get from point A to B. Our auto pilots can handle these tasks allowing us to focus on other things.

Conversely, our conscious is live time. It involves actual thinking. Therefore, it is limited in the amount of information it can process in any given moment. The conscious is more powerful in that it can override any thought, any emotion, or any program. Even body functions can be regulated by the conscious mind. The conscious mind however is best suited to handling one task at a time.

Understanding the difference

So, the conscious mind can really only focus well on one thing at a time. For the most part everything else is done on auto pilot. And most people don’t understand the difference. They are under the delusion that their subconscious programming is who they truly are.

In the above example was consciousness even involved? Was driving the car a conscious act? No, the fact that we have no recollection of driving that part of the trip means we were not present. Consequently, our drive the car program was doing the driving.

What about the singing, that was our conscious right? No, we were not present for the singing either. We know we sang the song, but again we don’t have detailed memory of singing the song. So, we were not living consciously in that moment either. We did not experience it live time. It was our sing kiss program doing the singing.

Ok, that is because we were thinking about that Kiss concert we were at back in 1975. Right? So, that is what we were present for. That is consciousness. No, that was a memory of an event back in 1975. Presence is now. In this moment. Not in the past, and not in our memory banks.

Most people believe that unconsciousness is consciousness. They are mistaken. Until we transcend the subconscious level of consciousness we will continue to run the same programs. We will continue to be living robots. We will remain prisoners of our mind. And we will continue to get the same results. This is why people are not living the life of their dreams. It is the primary problem of mankind. And the block to higher levels of consciousness.

The bottom line

The subconscious is filled with programs. Most are corrupted. They do not match our desires. Thoughts rise and fall from the subconscious. Everything we think expands and manifests into reality. Those thoughts we identify with are especially powerful. Most of which we are unaware of. If we transcend into actual consciousness, we then can determine which thoughts and emotions to pay attention to. We free ourselves from being a prisoner of our own mind. Therein lies the possibility of creating the life of our dreams.

About Howard Mann

Creator of Conscious Shifting. Instructor of Awareness, Meditation, and Tai Chi

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