Ever been talking to somebody, and then you realise they’re not really there? Like, ‘Hello, Earth to you?’ Have you also been in a situation when it also seems like the last ten minutes of your life did not exactly happen because you weren’t there? It happens. The brain and the mind, have their fair share of power. I believe our brain is something like a learning curve. It requires your full attention at certain periods, and then it gets to a point when it seems like it doesn’t even need you at all.
The first few times you tried to walk or drive, you gave it all your attention and you were as alert as you possibly could. Now, you probably do not even give it as much as a thought before performing any of these functions. You can walk through ten blocks, carefully navigating through impediments, before realizing that you have actually been walking at all. This is how you can live a great part of your life subconsciously. Levels of this, of course, vary – I have passed by my destination a few times. It’s a known fact – half of your brain can perform a few functions by itself.
From another standpoint, the mind also has its own power. It has the capacity to suck you into a realm of your choice. The imaginative capacity of the human mind is unimaginably wide. You can travel to worlds unknown, think back to memories from years past, and travel light years ahead into the future, without any added mental stress. The world may be limited, but the mind is limitless. Now, when you juxtapose the routine-induced independence of your brain in carrying out basic functions, with labyrinth of imaginative possibilities that your mind can trap you in, you birth a reality that thrives in limbo.
This is why you can read a book past a few pages, before realising that you didn’t pick anything up. You can also have an entire conversation with somebody, giving basic responses, before realising that you didn’t hear jack. However, because you are lost in your mind, you lose a level of conscious control. You literally could just be there, mouth wide open, and look like a soulless being. Hello? Anybody home? The disadvantages of losing your consciousness, go beyond looking like a weirdo. You end up making a few unconscious decisions, get a few friends mad, take unnecessarily long pauses, and completely lose track of your position in space and time.
With this, you also can’t take time to read the body language of other people, and you cannot just be in charge – you barely are in charge of yourself anyway. You have to wake up. When you are not self-aware and conscious, most of your thoughts and actions are impulsive. In truth, there are intense psychological and medical reasons why you lose your consciousness. For example, patients whose brain parts have been partially made defunct or cut off, lose the consciousness of those parts and completely have no idea of it. However, there is already a subliminal state that regular people can be pulled into. The only way to get your consciousness in check, is to practice consciousness. It is, afterall, one very important thing that differentiates us from robots.
Take a moment and pause. Locate your position in time and space.
Stop all thoughts.
What are all the sounds you can hear?
What are the things you see?
What do you smell?
Where exactly are you?
What are you doing?
To constantly practice consciousness, you need to consciously move from your subliminal state to your conscious state. Staring at one object would not help you stay conscious, so you cannot consciously look at one thing. You should be able to recognize your ‘aware’ state. You can start by saying any word of your choice every time you realize that you are in that state and practise entering it purposely. You should also consciously ascertain the period where your thoughts start and when you pause them. Since it is very easy to move into your subconscious, you need to constantly enforce consciousness.
You see, everything is so good at diverting your consciousness, so you need to gain control over yourself. Movies take you and your emotions to where they want you to be. So do books. So does your friend when he talks about something that happened to him. You lend everybody else your imagination and completely lose your position, again, in time and space. Rather than let your mind be controlled by the world, your problems, and thoughts about your future, take time to be present.
If you can do this, you would be aware of all five senses, thus, expanding your perceptual awareness. Also, you become a master of your emotions and show only what you want others to see. Finally, you become self-aware, conscious of your feelings and actions. Be conscious of being conscious; this is the way to live.