Introduction to the Forms of Consciousness
Consciousness is the experience of being alive in this present moment.
For a long time it has been thought that consciousness is a monolithic experience. That is, we have one single consciousness at all times and in all situations. But recent discoveries by science have changed all this. Scientific research into brain activity and its relationship to consciousness has revealed 3 distinct forms of consciousness.
Sentiency is the standard form of consciousness that was once considered the sum total of all consciousness.
Self-Awareness, the sense that I am a separate, autonomous being living at the center of my own world, governs our experience in the personal realm;
Universal Consciousness governs our experience of the Transcendent. The Transcendent is always present and available to be experienced when we open ourselves to experiencing it
In addition to these, we believe that there is at least one more form of consciousness, and perhaps there could be others.
This fourth form of consciousness, which we call feeling, enables us to experience our life in the inner world. Science pays little attention to the inner world so it is not surprising that they should not have found any evidence of an inner consciousness.
But many of us have had rich inner experiences and there has to be some consciousness which enables us to experience this. We deduce that there has to be at least one more form of consciousness.
Sentiency is the experience of having an outer world around us. This is the experience of being inside a body and looking outwards and seeing life all around us. This is our most basic experience of being alive.
Awareness is the experience of being a body. The one constant in our life is our body. Our body has needs and these needs must be met. This is not negotiable. The history of mankind is the history of the many different ways that humans have met the needs of their bodies. What is unique about our modern times is that we have come up with quick and efficient ways to meet these physical needs. This has given us free time to focus on other things and to get into trouble.
If you go to a dictionary and look up the word consciousness you are likely to see it defined as awareness. The words consciousness and awareness have become synonymous in many people’s minds. But now we have become aware of other forms of consciousness which are different than what we mean by awareness.
Sentiency is the consciousness we use in the outer realm of our life.