Consciousness Quotes

We have collected and put the best consciousness quotes from around the world. Enjoy reading these insights and feel free to share this page on your social media to inspire others.

Consciousness, at its simplest, is sentience or awareness of internal and external existence. Despite millennia of analyses, definitions, explanations and debates by philosophers and scientists, consciousness remains puzzling and controversial, being “at once the most familiar and [also the] most mysterious aspect of our lives”. Perhaps the only widely agreed notion about the topic is the intuition that it exists. Opinions differ about what exactly needs to be studied and explained as consciousness. Sometimes, it is synonymous with the mind, and at other times, an aspect of it. In the past, it was one’s “inner life”, the world of introspection, of private thought, imagination and volition. Today, it often includes some kind of experience, cognition, feeling or perception. It may be awareness, awareness of awareness, or self-awareness either continuously changing or not. There might be different levels or orders of consciousness, or different kinds of consciousness, or just one kind with different features. Other questions include whether only humans are conscious, all animals, or even the whole universe. The disparate range of research, notions and speculations raises doubts about whether the right questions are being asked.

See also: Consciousness, Higher Consciousness, Altered state of consciousness, and Level Of Consciousness

Brain Waves Consciousness Compassion Feelings Self

Brain Waves

…The unconscious has no time. There is no trouble about time in the unconscious. Part of our psyche is not in time and not in space. They are only an illusion, time and space, and so in a certain part of our psyche time does not exist at all. – Carl Jung

A certain degree of solitude seems necessary to the full growth and spread of the highest mind ; and therefore must a very extensive intercourse with men stifle many a holy germ, and scare away the gods, who shun the restless tumult of noisy companies and the discussion of petty interests.- Novalis

A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe; a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts, and his feelings as something separate from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. – Albert Einstein

A little consideration of what takes place around us every day would show us, that a higher law than that of our will regulates events; that our painful labors are unnecessary, and fruitless; that only in our easy, simple, spontaneous action are we strong. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

A person experiences life as something separated from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. Our task must be to free ourselves from this self-imposed prison, and through compassion, to find the reality of Oneness. – Albert Einstein

A remarkable tract of occult philosophy in which the world is shown to be a living and truly conscious image of God, and all its parts and particles thereof to be endowed with sense perception, some more clearly, some more obscurely, to the extent required for the preservation of themselves and of the whole in which they share sensation. – Campanella

According to Vedanta, there are only two symptoms of enlightenment, just two indications that a transformation is taking place within you toward a higher consciousness. The first symptom is that you stop worrying. Things don’t bother you anymore. You become light hearted and full of joy. The second symptom is that you encounter more and more meaningful coincidences in your life, more and more synchronicities. And this accelerates to the point where you actually experience the miraculous. – Deepak Chopra

All experience is in its degree conscious. . . .We must ascribe consciousness to every living agent, such as a plant cell or bacterium, and even (if the continuity of nature is not to be broken) to an electron. – W. E. Agar

Are we not forced to conclude that even in the simplest inanimate things there is something which belongs to the same realm of being as self-awareness? . . . Something must go on in the simplest inanimate things which can be described in the same language as would be used to describe our self-awareness. C. H . Waddington

As the ego cogito, subjectivity is the consciousness that represents something, relates this representation back to itself, and so gathers with itself. – Martin Heidegger

Being spiritual has nothing to do with what you believe and everything to do with your state of consciousness. – Eckhart Tolle

Black Consciousness is an attitude of the mind and a way of life, the most positive call to emanate from the black world for a long time. – Steven Biko

But my doubt would not be overcome. Kierkegaard had declared that it was only to the consciousness of sin that Christianity was not horror or madness. For me it was sometimes both. – Georg Brandes

But there’s a shift happening in humanity, a shift in consciousness, happening now because it has to happen now. – Eckhart Tolle

Conscious awareness is the source of our healing…Only when you say the truth can the truth set you free. This is not a negative process, but at times it is a difficult process. – Marianne Williamson

Conscious business.. business that is conscious of inner and outer worlds.. would therefore be business that takes into account body, mind, and spirit in self, culture, and nature. Put differently, conscious business would be mindful of the way that the spectrum of consciousness operates in the Big Three worlds of self and culture and nature. – Ken Wilber

Consciousness exists already, behind the scenes, coeval with the world … A medium, for example, will show knowledge of his sitter’s private affairs which it seems impossible he should have acquired through sight or hearing, or inference therefrom … On the transmission-theory, the[se impressions] don’t have to be produced —they exist ready-made in the transcendental world, and all that is needed is an abnormal lowering of the brain-threshold to let them through. – William James

Consciousness is a phase of mental life which arises in connection with the formation of new habits. When habit is formed, consciousness only interferes to spoil our performance. – William Ralph Inge

Consciousness is either inexplicable illusion, or else revelation. – C. S. Lewis

Consciousness is much more than the thorn, it is the dagger in the flesh. – Emile M. Cioran

Consciousness is only possible through change; change is only possible through movement. – Aldous Huxley, The Art of Seeing

Consciousness is what makes the mind-body problem really intractable. – Thomas Nagel

Consciousness of our powers augments them. – Luc de Clapiers

Consciousness… does not appear to itself chopped up in bits. Such words as ‘chain’ or ‘train’ do not describe it fitly as it presents itself in the first instance. It is nothing jointed; it flows. A ‘river’ or a ‘stream’ are the metaphors by which it is most naturally described. In talking of it hereafter, let us call it the stream of thought, of consciousness, or of subjective life. Source of the expression ‘stream of consciousness’. – William James

Control of consciousness determines the quality of life. – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow

Creativity is the state of consciousness in which you enter into the treasury of your innermost being and bring the beauty into manifestation. – Torkom Saraydarian, The Solar Angel

Do not look for approval except for the consciousness of doing your best. – Andrew Carnegie

Ego is the immediate dictate of human consciousness. – Max Planck

Enlightenment is not imagining figures of light, but making the darkness conscious. – Carl Jung

Everybody has a high point and a lot goes into that: timing, situation, general consciousness. – Alex Van Halen

Everyone can see [the sun’s] body, but no one can see its soul—not that you could see the soul of any other creature, living or dying. Nevertheless, there are good grounds for believing that we are in fact held in the embrace of some such thing though it is totally below the level of our bodily senses, and is perceptible by reason alone. – Plato

Everything in the Universe, throughout all its kingdoms, is conscious: i.e., endowed with a consciousness of its own kind and on its own plane of perception. – H. P. Blavatsky

Expelled from individual consciousness by the rush of change, history finds its revenge by stamping the collective unconsciousness with habits and values. – Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.

Fear arises through identification with form, whether it be a material possession, a physical body, a social role, a self-image, a thought, or an emotion. It arises through unawareness of the formless inner dimension of consciousness or spirit, which is the essence of who you are. You are trapped in object consciousness, unaware of the dimension of inner space which alone is true freedom. – Eckhart Tolle

Feeling is the consciousness of the resulting conditions – of success, failure, equilibrium, compromise or balance, in this continuous rivalry of ideas. – James Mark Baldwin

From the living fountain of instinct flows everything that is creative; hence the unconscious is not merely conditioned by history, but is the very source of the creative impulse. It is like nature herself – prodigiously conservative, and yet transcending her own historical conditions in her acts of creation. – Carl Jung

God is not found in places. God is found in consciousness. – Joel Goldsmith

God must become an activity in our consciousness. – Joel S. Goldsmith

Happiness is a matter of one’s most ordinary and everyday mode of consciousness being busy and lively and unconcerned with self. – Iris Murdoch

Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one’s values. – Ayn Rand

He is conscious only of God…To be conscious of knowing God is to know about God and self. – Meister Eckhart

He who experiences the unity of life sees his own self in all beings, and all being in his own self, and looks on everything with an impartial eye. – Buddha

How does silence find its way out of that noisy, chattering mind? That endless maze of thought, concept, opinion, belief? How does perfect silence and pure consciousness find its way out of that maze? Very simply: Bring yourself present with something that’s HERE, in the moment. Then you’ll be HERE again. – Leonard Jacobson

However, when we shift our awareness or “frequency” from self-consciousness – where fear, impossibility or feelings of separation reside – to cosmic consciousness, which is in total harmony with the universe and where none of those feelings exist, then anything is possible. – Rhonda Byrne

Human consciousness is just about the last surviving mystery. – Daniel Dennett

I do not know the man so bold He dare in lonely Place That awful stranger Consciousness Deliberately face-. – Emily Dickinson

I don’t think the British carry a historical consciousness either. – Tom Paulin

I don’t write for any group. I write to bring about a change in consciousness. – Jeanette Winterson

I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor. – Henry David Thoreau

I must try, however, as best I can, although I am very conscious of the fact that our feelings and strivings are often contradictory and obscure and that they cannot be expressed in easy and simple formulas. – Albert Einstein

I need one of those baby monitors from my subconscious to my consciousness so I can know what the hell I’m really thinking about. – Steven Wright

I never took hallucinogenic drugs because I never wanted my consciousness expanded one unnecessary iota. – Fran Lebowitz

I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as a derivative of consciousness. – Max Planck

I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness. – Max Planck

I think people are isolated because of the nature of human consciousness, and they like it when they feel the connection between themselves and someone else. – James Taylor

I think that the consciousness of passion makes you act very differently. – Pedro Almodovar

I think that we are starting to get much more conscious about, you know, the importance of the spiritual path, and we are fulfilling it by paying attention to ourselves. – Paulo Coelho

I used to wake up at 4 A.M. and start sneezing, sometimes for five hours. I tried to find out what sort of allergy I had but finally came to the conclusion that it must be an allergy to consciousness. – James Thurber

I want to remind us all that the world is listening, all the time. How we are ripples out from us into the world and affects others. We have a responsibility – an ability to respond – to the world. Finding our particular way of living this responsibility, of offering who we are to the world, is why we are here. We are called because the world needs us to embody the meaning in our lives. God needs us awake. The world we live in is a co-creation, a manifestation of individual consciousness woven into a collective dream. How we are with each other as individuals, as groups, as nations and tribes, is what shapes that dream. – Oriah Mountain Dreamer

I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet. – Mahatma Gandhi

I will work on myself, since the work on myself is going to be the highest thing I can do for it all, since I understand that as man up-levels his own consciousness, he sees more creative solutions to the problems that he’s confronting. – Ram Dass

I’ve always been interested in the relationship between total external surround, culture, the political matrix, technology, etc., and the internal human consciousness. – Norman Spinrad

If any human being is to reach full maturity both the masculine and the feminine sides of the personality must be brought up into consciousness. – Mary Esther Harding

If evolution be true, living matter has been evolved by natural processes from matter which is, apparently, not alive. But if life is potential in matter, it is a thousand times more evident that Mind is potential in … the unit of Matter – the electron itself … It is to assert the sublime truth first perceived by Spinoza, that Mind and Matter are the warp and woof of what Goethe called ‘the living garment of God.’ Both are complementary expressions of the Unknowable Reality which underlies both. – Yogi Ramacharaka

If the heart stops for more than two minutes, you have massive brain death. There are only two minutes between our conscious world and zero. That’s how fragile our consciousness is. – Robin Gibb

If you listen to a lot of music, it gradually seeps into your consciousness or your unconsciousness and comes out in your music. – John Abercrombie

If your goal is to avoid pain and escape suffering, I would not advise you to seek higher levels of consciousness or spiritual evolution. – M. Scott Peck

Imagination is the primary gift of human consciousness. – Sir Ken Robinson

In dream consciousness we make things happen by wishing them, because we are not only the observer of what we experience but also the creator. – Vilayat Inayat Khan

In studying the history of the human mind one is impressed again and again by the fact that the growth of the mind is the widening of the range of consciousness, and that each step forward has been a most painful and laborious achievement. One could almost say that nothing is more hateful to man than to give up even a particle of his unconsciousness. Ask those who have tried to introduce a new idea! – Carl Jung

Inspiration may be a form of superconsciousness, or perhaps of subconsciousness – I wouldn’t know. But I am sure it is the antithesis of self-consciousness. – Aaron Copland

Intention involves such a small fragment of our consciousness and of our mind and of our life. – Jasper Johns

Irony is a clear consciousness of an eternal agility, of the infinitely abundant chaos. – Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel

It is manifest . . . that every soul and spirit hath a certain continuity with the spirit of the universe. . . . The power of each soul is itself somehow present afar in the universe [and is] exceedingly connected and attached thereto. – Giordano Bruno

It is not necessary to ask whether soul and body are one, just as it is not necessary to ask whether the wax and its shape are one. – Aristotle

It is only the consciousness of a nonexistence which allows us to realize for moments that we are living. – Max Frisch

It is probable that what we call thought is not an actual being, but no more than the relation between certain parts of that infinitely varied mass, of which the rest of the universe is composed. – Percy Bysse Shelley

It is reasonable to believe in the existence of a third level of mind, a mental component of the universe. If we believe in this … and call it God, then we can say that we are small pieces of God’s mental apparatus. – Freeman Dyson, physicist (‘Disturbing the Universe’)

It’s exhilarating to be alive in a time of awakening consciousness; it can also be confusing, disorienting, and painful. – Adrienne Rich

Just let go. Let go of how you thought your life should be, and embrace the life that is trying to work its way into your consciousness. – Caroline Myss

Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. – Oscar Wilde

Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and a richness to life that nothing else can bring. – Oscar Wilde

Life is a series of sensations connected to different states of consciousness. – Remy de Gourmont

Life is consciousness. – Emmet Fox

Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end. – Virginia Woolf

Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of consciousness. – Eckhart Tolle

Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment. – Eckhart Tolle

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Looking for consciousness in the brain is like looking in the radio for the announcer. – Nasseim Haramein

Madison Avenue is a very powerful aggression against private consciousness. A demand that you yield your private consciousness to public manipulation. – Marshall McLuhan

Make peace with silence, and remind yourself that it is in this space that you’ll come to remember your spirit. When you’re able to transcend an aversion to silence, you’ll also transcend many other miseries. And it is in this silence that the remembrance of God will be activated. – Wayne W. Dyer

Man’s ethics must not end with man, but should extend to the universe. He must regain the consciousness of the great Chain of Life from which he cannot be separated. – Albert Schweitzer

Matter, force, life, thought, are all one … In reality, there is only one principle in the universe … embracing all that is and all that possibly can be. That which we call matter is only a form of motion. At the basis of all is force, dynamism, and universal mind, or spirit. – Flammarion

Meditation is the dissolution of thoughts in Eternal awareness or Pure consciousness without objectification, knowing without thinking, merging finitude in infinity. – Voltaire

Meditation is the dissolution of thoughts in eternal awareness or pure consciousness. – Sivananda

Men do not attract that which they want, but that which they are. The divinity that shapes our ends is in ourselves; it is our very self. Only himself manacles man: thought and action are the gaolers of Fate—they imprison, being base; they are also the angels of Freedom—they liberate, being noble. Not what he wishes and prays for does a man get, but what he justly earns … Circumstances, however, are so complicated, thought is so deeply rooted, and the conditions of happiness vary so, vastly with individuals, that a man’s entire soul-condition (although it may be known to himself) cannot be judged by another from the external aspect of his life alone. – James Allen

Mind is consciousness which has put on limitations. You are originally unlimited and perfect. Later you take on limitations and become the mind. – Ramana Maharshi

My feeling is religious insofar as I am imbued with the consciousness of the insufficiency of the human mind to understand more deeply the harmony of the Universe which we try to formulate as “laws of nature”. – Albert Einstein

My unconscious knows more about the consciousness of the psychologist than his consciousness knows about my unconscious. – Karl Kraus

No one can get inner peace by pouncing on it, by vigorously willing to have it … Peace is a consciousness of springs too deep for earthly droughts to dry up. Peace is the gift not of volitional struggle but of spiritual hospitality. – Harry Emerson Fosdick

No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it. – Albert Einstein

Nobody has the slightest idea how anything material could be conscious. So much for our philosophy of consciousness. – Jerry A. Fodo (philosopher)

Nothing costs children so much trouble as thought. This is because the ultimate and essential destiny of the soul is to see and to know, and not to think. Thought is one of the tasks of life, a method of attainment, a road, a passage, but not an end in itself. To know, and to be known, are the two points of rest; here will be the happiness of souls. – Joubert

Now what the [musical] Instrument is to the Musician, the Brain may be to the Mind, for aught we know to the contrary; and to pursue the figure, as the musician has an existence distinct from that of the instrument, so the Mind may have an existence distinct from that of the Brain; for in truth we have no proof whatever of Mind being a property dependent upon any arrangement of Matter. – Charles Caleb Colton

Of Consciousness, her awful Mate. The Soul cannot be rid – as easy the secreting her behind the Eyes of God. – Emily Dickinson

Once we have learned to read, meaning of words can somehow register without consciousness. – Katherine Mansfield

Only when your consciousness is totally focused on the moment you are in can you receive whatever gift, lesson, or delight that moment has to offer. – Barbara De Angelis

Our journey into consciousness of wealth begins with the realization that we have already arrived! – Michael Beckwith

Our most important task is to transform our consciousness so that violence is no longer an option for us in our personal lives, that understanding that a world of peace is possible only if we relate to each other as peaceful beings, one individual at a time. – Deepak Chopra

Our normal waking consciousness, rational consciousness as we call it, is but one special type of consciousness, whilst all about it, parted from it by the filmiest of screens, there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different. – William James

Part of the lesbian consciousness is an absolute recognition of the erotic within our lives and, taking that a step further, dealing with the erotic not only in sexual terms. – Audre Lorde

Physics is the knowledge of structural form, and not knowledge of content. All through the physical world runs that unknown content, which must surely be the stuff of our consciousness. – Eddington

Remember that consciousness is power. Consciousness is education and knowledge. Consciousness is becoming aware. It is the perfect vehicle for students. Consciousness-raising is pertinent for power, and be sure that power will not be abusively used, but used for building trust and goodwill domestically and internationally. Tomorrow’s world is yours to build. – Yuri Kochiyama

Remember, we are all affecting the world every moment, whether we mean to or not. Our actions and states of mind matter, because we’re so deeply interconnected with one another. Working on our own consciousness is the most important thing that we are doing at any moment, and being love is the supreme creative act. – Ram Dass

Remorse sleeps during prosperity but awakes bitter consciousness during adversity. – Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Some things will always remain a mystery at this level of consciousness, and it is right that they should. So do not try to solve all the mysteries. Give the universe a chance. It will unfold itself in due course. Enjoy the experience of becoming. – Neale Donald Walsch

Standing on the bare ground, — my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space, — all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eye-ball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle of God. – Emerson

The consciousness of the falsity of present pleasures, and the ignorance of the vanity of absent pleasures, cause inconstancy. – Blaise Pascal

The defining function of the artist is to cherish consciousness. – Max Eastman

The degree to which your Consciousness expands, is the degree to which you understand yourself and the universe. – Gina Charles

The distinguishing characteristics of mind are of a subjective sort; we know them only from the contents of our own consciousness. – Wilhelm Wundt

The essence of the liberal outlook lies not in what opinions are held, but in how they are held; instead of being held dogmatically, they are held tentatively, and with a consciousness that new evidence may at any moment lead to their abandonment. – Bertrand Russell

The essential elements of giving are power and love – activity and affection – and the consciousness of the race testifies that in the high and appropriate exercise of these is a blessedness greater than any other. – Mark Hopkins

The extent of your consciousness is limited only by your ability to love and to embrace with your love the space around you, and all it contains. – Napoleon Bonaparte

The final purpose of art is to intensify, even, if necessary, to exacerbate, the moral consciousness of people. – Norman Mailer

The first task in teaching is to bring to consciousness what the students already believe by virtue of their personal experiences about themselves and society. – Paul Wellstone

The goal to be reached is the mind’s insight into what knowing is. Impatience asks for the impossible, wants to reach the goal without the means of getting there. The length of the journey has to be borne with, for every moment is necessary, … because by nothing less could that all-pervading mind ever manage to become conscious of what itself is — for that reason, the individual mind, in the nature of the case, cannot expect by less toil to grasp what its own substance contains. – Hegel

The great mystery of our consciousness is beyond our grasp. – William Shatner

The growth of the mind is the widening of the range of consciousness, and…each step forward has been a most painful and laborious achievement. – Carl Jung

The human being is flesh and consciousness, body and soul; his heart is an abyss which can only be filled by that which is godly. – Olivier Messiaen

The human consciousness is really homogeneous. There is no complete forgetting, even in death. – D. H. Lawrence

The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will, the solution comes to you and you don’t know how or why. – Albert Einstein

The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness. – Laozi

The kind of spirituality I value is one in which you get great joy out of contributing to life, not just sitting and meditating, although meditation is certainly valuable. But from meditation, from the resulting consciousness, I would like to see people in action creating the world they want to live in. – Marshall Rosenberg

The life of things is none other than a spiritual essence, an invisible and impalpable thing, a spirit and a spiritual thing. On this account there is nothing corporeal but has latent within itself a spirit and life. – Paracelsus

The most complicated achievements of thought are possible without the assistance of consciousness. – Sigmund Freud

The past is no more and the future is not yet. The only right person is one who lives moment to moment, whose arrow is directed to the moment, who is always here and now; wherever he is, his whole consciousness, his whole being, is involved in the reality of here and in the reality of now. – Rajneesh

The power of the word is real whether or not you are conscious of it. – Sonia Choquette

The sharp division between mentality and nature has no ground in our fundamental observation. … I conclude that we should conceive mental operations as among the factors which make up the constitution of nature. – A.N. Whitehead

The so-called miraculous powers of a great master are a natural accompaniment to his exact understanding of subtle laws that operate in the inner cosmos of consciousness. – Paramahansa Yogananda

The superior and inferior bodies of the World having the same source [the One] and the same matter as a principle, have preserved a sympathy which causes that the purest, the noblest, the strongest, communicate to those who are less so all the perfection of which they are susceptible. – Pernety

The task of science is to stake out the limits of the knowable, and to center consciousness within them. – Rudolf Virchow

The ultimate gift of conscious life is a sense of the mystery that encompasses it. – Lewis Mumford

The universe is a great organism, controlled by a dynamism of the psychical order. Mind gleams through its every atom. – Flammarion

The universe is a thought of God. After this ideal thought-fabric passed out into reality, and the new-born world fulfilled the plan of its Creator—permit me to use this human simile—the first duty of all thinking beings has been to retrace the original design in this great reality; to find the principle in the mechanism, the unity in the compound, the law in the phenomenon, and to pass back from the structure to its primitive foundation. Accordingly to me there is only one appearance in nature—the thinking Being. – Schiller

The whole drift of my education goes to persuade me that the world of our present consciousness is only one out of many worlds of consciousness that exist. – William James

The whole world is a cyclone. But once you have found the center, the cyclone disappears. This nothingness is the ultimate peak of consciousness. – Rajneesh

The years between 1800 and 1825 were distinguished, so far as our domestic development was concerned, by the growth of the Western pioneer Democracy in power and self-consciousness. – Herbert Croly

There are a great number of Republicans who are economically conservative but have hearts and a consciousness about their country. – Tim Robbins

There are many who feel consciously hopeful and unconsciously hopeless, and there are few for whom it is the other way around. – Erich Fromm

There is a frustration too, that at moments when there’s not a coup, when there are not people in the streets, that the country disappears from people’s consciousness. – Edwidge Danticat

There is in natural things a certain truth which cannot be seen with the outward eye … and of this the Philosophers have had experience, and have ascertained that its virtue is such as to work miracles …As faith works miracles in man, so this power, the veritas efficaciae, brings them about in matter. This truth is the highest power and an impregnable fortress wherein the stone of the philosophers lies hid. – Gerhard Dorn (Alchemist)

There is no coming to consciousness without pain. – Carl Jung

There is no life without consciousness; there is no consciousness without life. – Annie Besant

There is no reality of consciousness independent of the effects of various vehicles of content on subsequent action (and hence, of course, on memory). – Daniel Dennett

There is nothing holier in this life of ours than the first consciousness of love, the first fluttering of its silken wings. – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Thinking is learning all over again how to see, directing one’s consciousness, making of every image a privileged place. – Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays

This human being is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. – Rumi

This is part of human nature, the desire to change consciousness. – Michael Pollan

This much is certain: when a man is happy, happy to the core and root of beatitude, he is no longer conscious of himself or anything else. – Meister Eckhart

Thus in Christianity the alienation had become total, and it was this total alienation that was the biggest obstacle to the progress of self-consciousness. – Bruno Bauer

To live in a great idea means to treat the impossible as though it were possible. It is just the same with a strong character; and when an idea and a character meet, things arise which fill the world with wonder for thousands of years. – Goethe

To put the conclusion crudely, the stuff of the world is mind-stuff. – Eddington

Today self-consciousness no longer means anything but reflection on the ego as embarrassment, as realization of impotence: knowing that one is nothing. – Theodor Adorno

True philosophy must start from the most immediate and comprehensive fact of consciousness: ‘I am life that wants to live, in the midst of life that wants to live. – Albert Schweitzer

We all cannot honestly say ‘we have life’ for life does not belong to us, and we cannot control or monopolize it. All we can say without arrogance and presumption is that we are instruments through which a universal principle that produces what we call ‘life’ manifests itself in the form of a human being… He who thinks that he has any power whatever of his own, thinks foolish; for all the powers he has are lent him by nature. – Franz Hartmann

We are most alive when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. – Thornton Wilder

We are on the planet to… wrap our consciousness around the divine treasure within us… – Michael Beckwith

We are the cosmos made conscious and life is the means by which the universe understands itself. – Brian Cox

We can truly see that consciousness is operating creatively even in biology, even in the evolution of species. – Amit Goswami

We do not build or create a spiritual consciousness; we merely get rid of all that obscures our pure vision. – Roy Davis

We experience ourselves our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. – Albert Einstein

We live at the threshold of a universal recognition that the human being is not mere matter, but a potent, energetic field of consciousness. Modalities of the past millennium are quickly giving way to breakthrough technologies wherein we heal ourselves at the level of all true healing, which is spirit. – Michael Beckwith

What power can poverty have over a home where loving hearts are beating with a consciousness of untold riches of the head and heart? – Orison Swett Marden

When we learn new behaviors and break through to higher levels of consciousness and love, we can fulfill the deeper spiritual hunger within. – Judith Wright

When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness. – Joseph Campbell

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. – Wayne W. Dyer

Where you are in consciousness has everything to do with what you see in experience. – Eric Butterworth

Whether or not we believe in survival of consciousness after death, reincarnation, and karma, it has very serious implications for our behavior. – Stanislav Grof

Working on our own consciousness is the most important thing that we are doing at any moment, and being love is a supreme creative act. – Ram Dass

You cannot help another who will not help him or herself. In the end, all souls must walk their path – and the reason they are walking a particular path may not be clear to us… or even to them at the level of ordinary human consciousness. Do what you can to help others, of course. Show love and caring whenever and wherever you can. But do not get caught up in someone else’s “story” to the point where you start writing it. – Neale Donald Walsch

You must rouse into people’s consciousness their own prudence and strength, if you want to raise their character. – Luc de Clapiers

Virtual Reality Consciousness Reality Mind

Higher Consciousness

Quotes From Wikiquote

  • Historically, psychologists have neither addressed nor evaded consciousness successfully, and two major psychological metatheories, introspectionism and behaviorism, have come to grief on the horns of this dilemma. Having perhaps gained some wisdom from these failures, most scientific psychologists now subscribe to a third metatheory for psychology, the cognitive approach.
    • Bernard J. Baars, A Cognitive Theory of Consciousness (1988)
  • Neurologists who routinely evaluate patients with head injuries define consciousness in terms of waking EEG, the ability to answer questions, report perceptual events, show alertness to sudden changes in the environment, exercise normal voluntary control over speech and action, use memory, and maintain orientation to time, place, and self. …Physicians make life-or-death decision on the basis of these observable events, and in practice this works very well. Very similar criteria are used in psychological and brain research. Thus medicine and science seem to agree with traditional philosophy that consciousness and subjectivity can be identified in practical ways. …The empathy criterion is far more demanding.
    • Bernard J. Baars, “Understanding Subjectivity: Global Workspace Theory and the Resurrection of the Observing Self” Journal of Consciousness Studies, 3, No. 3, 1996, pp. 211-16
  • Consciousness is always accompanied by subjectivity.
    • Bernard J. Baars, ibid., “Understanding Subjectivity: Global Workspace Theory and the Resurrection of the Observing Self” Journal of Consciousness Studies, 3, No. 3, 1996, pp. 211-16
  • Evolution, as we understand it, and as it must be studied by the human intellect, is the story of the evolution of consciousness, and not the story of the evolution of the form. This latter evolution is implicit in the other, and of secondary importance from the occult angle.
    • Alice Bailey in Esoteric Psychology II, Lucis Trust (1942)
  • Let me assure you that under the pressure of modern life, under the strain of the imposed present conditions and civilisation, plus the mental concern, the terror of marching armies, the thunder of the many voices, and the stress of world wide economic stringency, the human consciousness is rapidly awakening from its long sleep. That great and fundamental reality, which we call the “human state of mind”, is just beginning to focus itself upon the things which matter, and to express itself in a living fashion.
    • Alice Bailey in The Destiny of the Nations, Lucis Trust, 1949, p. 26
  • When we recognise the fact that the average man is as yet fully conscious only on the physical plane, nearly conscious on the emotional plane, and only developing the consciousness of the mental plane, it is obvious that his comprehension of cosmic data can be but rudimentary.
    • Alice Bailey in Initiation, Human,and Solar, Lucis Trust, 1922, p. 4
  • The development of the human being is but the passing from one state of consciousness to another. It is a succession of expansions, a growth of that faculty of awareness that constitutes the predominant characteristic of the indwelling Thinker. It is the progressing from consciousness polarised in the higher self, ego, or soul, thence to a polarisation in the Monad, or Spirit, till the consciousness eventually is Divine.
    • Alice Bailey in Initiation, Human,and Solar, Lucis Trust, 1922, p. 7
  • These realizations, or apprehended expansions of consciousness, are under natural law, and come in due course of time to every soul without exception.
    • Alice Bailey in Initiation, Human,and Solar, Lucis Trust, 1922, p. 176
  • To render these ideas clearer to the general reader, let him set out with the postulate that there is one absolute Reality which antecedes all manifested, conditioned, being. This Infinite and Eternal Cause — dimly formulated in the “Unconscious” and “Unknowable ” of current European philosophy — is the rootless root of “all that was, is, or ever shall be.” It is of course devoid of all attributes and is essentially without any relation to manifested, finite Being. It is “Be-ness ” rather than Being (in Sanskrit, Sat), and is beyond all thought or speculation. This “Be-ness” is symbolised in the Secret Doctrine under two aspects. On the one hand, absolute abstract Space, representing bare subjectivity, the one thing which no human mind can either exclude from any conception, or conceive of by itself. On the other, absolute Abstract Motion representing Unconditioned Consciousness. Even our Western thinkers have shown that Consciousness is inconceivable to us apart from change, and motion best symbolises change, its essential characteristic. This latter aspect of the one Reality, is also symbolised by the term “The Great Breath,” a symbol sufficiently graphic to need no further elucidation. Thus, then, the first fundamental axiom of the Secret Doctrine is this metaphysical One Absolute — Be-ness — symbolised by finite intelligence as the theological Trinity.
    • Helena Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, the Synthesis of Science, Religion and Philosophy, (1888), p. 14
  • Parabrahm (the One Reality, the Absolute) is the field of Absolute Consciousness, i.e., that Essence which is out of all relation to conditioned existence, and of which conscious existence is a conditioned symbol. But once that we pass in thought from this (to us) Absolute Negation, duality supervenes in the contrast of Spirit (or consciousness) and Matter, Subject and Object. Spirit (or Consciousness) and Matter are, however, to be regarded, not as independent realities, but as the two facets or aspects of the Absolute (Parabrahm), which constitute the basis of conditioned Being whether subjective or objective. Considering this metaphysical triad as the Root from which proceeds all manifestation, the great Breath assumes the character of precosmic Ideation. p. 15
    • Helena Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, the Synthesis of Science, Religion and Philosophy, (1888), p. 14
  • Apart from Cosmic Substance, Cosmic Ideation could not manifest as individual consciousness, since it is only through a vehicle of matter that consciousness wells up as “I am I,” a physical basis being necessary to focus a ray of the Universal Mind at a certain stage of complexity. Again, apart from Cosmic Ideation, Cosmic Substance would remain an empty abstraction, and no emergence of consciousness could ensue. The “Manifested Universe,” therefore, is pervaded by duality, which is, as it were, the very essence of its existence as “manifestation.” p.15
    • Helena Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, the Synthesis of Science, Religion and Philosophy, (1888), p. 14
  • What we really mean by free will… is the visualizing of alternatives and making a choice between them. …the central problem of human consciousness depends on this ability to imagine.
    • Jacob Bronowski, The Origins of Knowledge and Imagination (1978)
  • Our consciousness depends wholly on our seeing the outside world in… categories. And the problems of consciousness arise from putting reconstitution beside internalization, from our being able to see ourselves as if we were objects in the outside world. That is the very nature of language; it is impossible to have a symbolic system without it. [Difficulties] arise from this remarkable and wholly human gift that allows us first of all to separate ourselves from the outside world. …[W]e are able to rearrange it in our heads …And with that goes inevitably a sense of ourselves, sometimes also as an outside person. The Cartesian dualism between mind and body arises directly from this, and so do all the famous paradoxes, both in mathematics and in linguistics…
    • Jacob Bronowski, The Origins of Knowledge and Imagination (1978)
  • Consciousness… is our mode of analysis of the outside world into objects and actions. …it at once posed a problem… that we also think of ourselves as objects and we therefore also apply language to ourselves. We treat ourselves both as objects of language and as speakers of language, both as objects of the symbolism and as symbols of it. And all of the difficult paradoxes which go right back to the Greek times and reappear in modern mathematics depend essentially on this.
    • Jacob Bronowski, The Origins of Knowledge and Imagination (1978)
  • Consciousness is a strange thing; no one has yet succeeded in defining it. One of its characteristics is that we are the only species fully aware of its own mortality. Other animals fear imminent death, and express that terror—we humans can daily contemplate a finite life, and it seems reasonable to assume that the knowledge of death (as distinct from the fear of death) gives us a very different attitude toward life.
    • Rod Caird, Ape Man ISBN 978-0-85766-478-5 Chapter 3, “Thinking” (p. 67)
  • We declare the following: “The absence of a neocortex does not appear to preclude an organism from experiencing affective states. Convergent evidence indicates that non-human animals have the neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and neurophysiological substrates of conscious states along with the capacity to exhibit intentional behaviors. Consequently, the weight of evidence indicates that humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness. Nonhuman animals, including all mammals and birds, and many other creatures, including octopuses, also possess these neurological substrates.”
    • “The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness” (2012)
  • Why doesn’t all this information-processing go on “in the dark”, free of any inner feel? …We know that conscious experience does arise when these functions are performed, but the very fact that it arises is the central mystery. There is an explanatory gap [a term due to J. Levine, “Materialism and qualia: The explanatory gap” Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 64:354-61, 1983] between the functions and experience, and we need an explanatory bridge to cross it.
    • David J. Chalmers, ibid., “Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness”
  • The easy problems of consciousness are those that seem directly susceptible to the standard methods of cognitive science, whereby a phenomenon is explained in terms of computational or neural mechanisms. The hard problems are those that seem to resist those methods. …The really hard problem of consciousness is the problem of experience. When we think and perceive, there is a whir of information-processing, but there is also a subjective aspect. …When we see, for example, we experience visual sensations: the felt quality of redness, the experience of dark and light, the quality of depth in a visual field. Other experiences go along with perception in different modalities: the sound of a clarinet, the smell of mothballs. Then there are bodily sensations, from pains to orgasms; mental images that are conjured up internally; the felt quality of emotion, and the experience of a stream of conscious thought.
    • David J. Chalmers, “Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness” Journal of Consciousness Studies 2 (3), 1995, pp. 200-219
  • Another useful way to avoid confusion [used by e.g. Allen Newell 1990 Unified Theories of Cognition] is to reserve the term “consciousness” for the phenomena of experience, using the less loaded term “awareness” for the more straightforward phenomena… If such a convention were widely adopted, communication would be much easier; as things stand, those who talk about “consciousness” are frequently talking past each other.
    • David J. Chalmers, “Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness” Journal of Consciousness Studies 2 (3), 1995
  • In place of great thinkers physics turned to number crunching and atom smashing, which remains its chief occupation, now on a billion-dollar scale. There were exceptions like John von Neumann, John Archibald Wheeler, and David Bohm, who continued the search for a link between mind and matter. Respected but sidelined in favor of bigger particle accelerators and telescopes, all of these thinkers now enjoy a latter-day revenge, so to speak. Having exhausted the models of reality that discounted and ignored consciousness, forward-looking physicists now realize that mind must be accounted for, which seems like a simple realization except that it was clouded behind a screen, the biggest factor being naïve realism. Satisfied with the common-sense view of reality in their everyday life, physicists were happy to think of mind as “not my job.”
    A huge hurdle remains, however, which is the enormous seduction of physical explanations. What is science without them? What is life if we get rid of relying on the five senses? These aren’t rhetorical questions. Life would be transformed if we abandoned the lure of the physical world and the mistaken data of the five senses. The human mind is uniquely able to go beyond appearances, and when we do, the destination is always consciousness.

    • Deepak Chopra in The Most Popular Model of Reality Is Wrong, SFGate, November 18, 2019
  • There’s no need to call it “higher” consciousness. A better term is “total” consciousness, the ground state of everything in existence. Account for consciousness and you explain everything. No models are needed. The everyday mind is the arena of consciousness. Stick with it, experience it deeply, and be self-aware. Only then will reality be fully comprehended, absent any model at all.
    • Deepak Chopra in The Most Popular Model of Reality Is Wrong, SFGate, November 18, 2019
  • There are five planetary initiations, each a great expansion of consciousness. These allow deeper and deeper access to the mind of the Logos of the planet. In this way you come to know the mind of God, the Plan of God and your part in that Plan. When the fifth initiation is taken you are free to leave the planet; planet Earth is finished for you as a school. There are nine initiations in this solar system but only these five are obligatory on this planet. When we talk about perfection on this planet, it is always a very relative perfection. Perfection is the result of raising the consciousness to the point that you are no longer subject to the pull of matter. The Masters have consciousness on all planes, from the lowest physical to the highest spiritual. That means They are free from the pull of matter —- it does not affect Them… They have not only consciousness but control —- a different thing —- on all planes. They can appear and disappear at will, They can be anywhere They like by thought alone. They have given total expression to the spark of God, which They are: the Self, as Maitreya calls it. They are totally God-infused individuals —- that is perfection.
    • Benjamin Creme Maitreya’s Mission Vol. II (1993), p. 315
  • Since the problem of consciousness is such a central one, and since consciousness appears so mysterious, one might have expected that psychologists and neuroscientists would now direct major efforts toward understanding it. This, however, is far from being the case. The majority of modern psychologists omit any mention of the problem, although much of what they study enters into consciousness. Most modern neuroscientists ignore it. …Not only because of experimental difficulties but also because they considered the problem both too subjective and too “philosophical,” and thus not easily amenable to experimental study.
    • Francis Crick, The Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for the Soul (1994)
  • There may be several forms of visual awareness and, by extension, even more forms of consciousness in general.
    • Francis Crick, The Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for the Soul (1994)
  • Survival machines that can simulate the future are one jump ahead of survival machines that who can only learn of the basis of trial and error. The trouble with overt trial is that it takes time and energy. The trouble with overt error is that it is often fatal. …The evolution of the capacity to simulate seems to have culminated in subjective consciousness. Why this should have happened is, to me, the most profound mystery facing modern biology.
    • Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene (1976)
  • Human consciousness is just about the last surviving mystery. …Consciousness stands alone today as a topic that often leaves even the most sophisticated thinkers tongue-tied and confused. And, as with all earlier mysteries, there are many who insist—and hope—that there will never be a demystification of consciousness.
    • Daniel C. Dennett, Consciousness Explained (1991)
  • We now understand how very complex and even apparently intelligent phenomena, such as genetic coding, the immune system, and low-level visual processing, can be accomplished without a trace of consciousness. But this seems to uncover an enormous puzzle of just what, if anything, consciousness is for. Can a conscious entity do anything for itself that an unconscious (but cleverly wired up) simulation of that entity couldn’t do for itself?
    • Daniel C. Dennett, “The Evolution of Consciousness,” Consciousness and Emotion in Cognitive Science: Conceptual and Empirical Issues (1998) ed. Josefa Toribio & Andy Clark
  • The scientific course is to put the burden of proof on the attribution. As a scientist, you can’t just declare, for instance, that the presence of glutamate molecules amounts to the presence of mind; you have to prove it, against a background in which the “null hypothesis” is that mind is not present. There is substantial disagreement among scientists as to which species have what sorts of mind, but even those scientists who are the most ardent champions of consciousness in animals accept this burden of proof—and think they can meet it, by devising and confirming theories that show which animals are conscious. But no such theories are yet confirmed, and in the meantime we can appreciate the discomfort of those who see this agnostic, wait-and-see policy as jeopardizing the moral status of creatures that they are sure are conscious.
    • Daniel C. Dennett, Kinds Of Minds: Toward An Understanding Of Consciousness (2008)
  • The 1982 Aspect Experiment in France demonstrated, that two once-connected quantum particles separated by vast distances remained somehow connected. If one particle was changed, the other changed – instantly. Scientists don’t know the mechanics of how this faster-than-the-speed-of-light travel can happen, though some theorists suggest that this connection takes place via doorways into higher dimensions.
    So contrary to what those who pledge their allegiance to the traditional paradigm might think, the influential, pioneering individuals I spoke with felt that we have not reached the pinnacle of human development, we are connected, rather than separate, from all of life, and that the full spectrum of consciousness encompasses both physical and a multitude of non physical dimensions of reality. At core, this new world view involves seeing yourself, others, and all of life, not through the eyes of our small, earthly self that lives in time and is born in time. But rather through the eyes of the soul, our Being, the True Self. One by one, people are jumping to this higher orbit.

    • Russell E. DiCarlo in the Foreword to A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, by Eckhart Tolle, (2005)
  • A human being is a part of the whole, called by us “Universe,’ a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty.
    • Albert Einstein in Condolence letter to Norman Salit, (4 March 1950); also quoted in “The Einstein Papers. A Man of Many Parts” in The New York Times (29 March 1972)
  • The investigation of the possibility that animals might think in terms of concepts and even categories of important objects has been seriously impeded because comparative psychologists have seemed to be almost petrified by the notion of animal consciousness. Historically, the science of psychology has been reacting for fifty years or more against earlier attempts to learn how we think by thinking about our thoughts. …In other realms of scientific endeavor we have to accept proof that is less than a hundred percent rigorous… think of cosmology, think of geology. And Darwin couldn’t prove the fact of biological evolution in a rigorous way.
    • Donald R. Griffin, Animal Minds (1994)
  • Consciousness is the one thing in this universe that cannot be an illusion.
    • Sam Harris, Waking Up: Searching for Spirituality Without Religion (2014), p. 54
  • The study a posteriori of the distribution of consciousness shows it to be exactly such as we might expect in an organ added for the sake of steering a nervous system grown too complex to regulate itself.
    • William James, The Principles of Psychology (1890)
  • The total possible consciousness may be split into parts which co-exist but mutually ignore each other.
    • William James, The Principles of Psychology (1890)
  • René Descartes developed the idea that human beings have a dual nature: they have a body… of material substance, and a mind, which derives from the spiritual nature of the soul. … It is remarkable to reflect that these seventeenth century ideas were still current in the 1980s. Karl Popper… and John Eccles… espoused dualism all their lives. They agreed with Aquinas that the soul is immortal and independent of the brain. Gilbert Ryle… referred to the notion of the soul as “the ghost in the machine.” Today, most philosophers of mind agree that what we call consciousness derives from the physical brain, but some disagree with Crick as to whether it can ever be approached scientifically. A few, such as Colin McGinn, believe that consciousness cannot be studied… At the other extreme, philosophers such as Daniel Dennett deny that there is any problem at all. Dennett argues much as… John Hughlings Jackson did… that consciousness is not a distinct operation of the brain; rather it is a combined result of computational workings of higher-order areas of the brain… Philosophers such as John Searle and Thomas Nagel take a middle position, holding that consciousness is a discrete set of biological processes… very complex and… more than the sum of their parts.
    • Eric Kandel, In Search of Memory (2006)
  • Sicut ignoras quomodo anima coniungatur corpori sic nescis opera dei.
    • You who know nothing of how the soul marries the body, you therefore know nothing of God’s works.
      • Michel de Montaigne’s translation of Koheleth 11:5, engraved on the arches of his library
  • Consciousness becomes a matter of philosophical debate; it’s not scientifically reliable.
    • Ray Kurzweil, “The Singularity,” The New Humanists: Science at the Edge (2003) Ed. John Brockman
  • Some form of self-awareness is surely essential to highly intelligent thought… On the other hand, I doubt that any part of a mind can see very deeply into other parts; it can only use models it constructs of them.
    • Marvin Minsky, “K-Linesː A Theory of Memory” Cognitive Science 4, pp.117-133 (1980)
  • Consciousness is a suitcase-like word that we use to refer to many different mental activities, which don’t have a single cause or origin—and, surely, that is why people have found it so hard to “understand what consciousness is.” …this produced a problem that will remain unsolvable until we find ways to chop it up. …we can replace that single, big problem by many smaller, more solvable ones.
    • Marvin Minsky, The Emotion Machine (2006)
  • Consciousness is unquantifiable, a ghost in the machine, barely considered real at all, though in a sense this flickering mosaic of awareness is the only true reality that we can ever know.
    • Alan Moore “What Is Reality?”
  • B. F. Skinner actually put forward – and this is a measure of scientific desperation over consciousness – the idea that consciousness was a weird vibrational by-product of the vocal cords. That we did not actually think. We thought we thought because of this weird vibration caused by the vocal cords. This shows the lengths that hard science will go to to banish the ghost from the machine.
    • Alan Moore “Alan Moore Interview” by Matthew De Abaitua (1998), later published in Alan Moore: Conversations (2011) edited by Eric L. Berlatsky
  • All our so-called consciousness is a more or less fantastic commentary on an unknown, perhaps unknowable, but felt text.
    • Friedrich Nietzsche, Dawn, § 119, cited in Walter Kaufmann, Nietzsche, p. 182 and p. 268
  • The most that the extra-neural environment can ever do is partially select which of a finite menu of mind/brain/virtual world states is instantiated at a given moment. Subjects can never, directly, do more than apprehend their own mind/brain/virtual-world states. The values they appear to find in the mind-independent world are instead intrinsic features of particular states of their own brains.
    • David Pearce, The Hedonistic Imperative, 2.14 (1995)
  • We couldn’t be representing objects unless, in all cases of such representing, we could also become conscious of our representing. … All consciousness … is a species of self-consciousness, representing objects is at the same time attending to the mind’s activities. … Although the object of my intending is some state of affairs or other, I am also potentially aware as I intend that what I am doing is an act of remembering, thinking, or imagining. My asserting that S is P is not an assertion of mine unless I am implicitly aware as I assert that I am asserting, not entertaining the possibility that, S is P.
    • Robert B. Pippin, Hegel’s Idealism: The Satisfactions of Self-Consciousness (Cambridge University Press: 1989), pp. 20-21
  • Life-force vitalists are rare today, but they have been replaced by those who believe that human consciousness has some special property that goes beyond the laws of physics. Such neovitalists, searching for the roots of consciousness beyond material reality, might be in for another disappointment.
    • Heinz R. Pagels, “Uncertainty and Complementarity” in Timothy Ferris (ed.) The World Treasury of Physics, Astronomy, and Mathematics (p. 110)
  • You who are sitting before me have the power to change my consciousness into painting, poem, melody or anything else.
    • Suman Pokhrel, ‘Between Rainbows and Melody
  • Consciousness, the level of perception, was the first split introduced into the mind after the separation, making the mind a perceiver rather than a creator. Consciousness is correctly identified as the domain of the ego. The ego is a wrong-minded attempt to perceive yourself as you wish to be, rather than as you are. Yet you can know yourself only as you are, because that is all you can be sure of. Everything else is open to question. p 16
    • Helen Schucman, A Course in Miracles, (1976)
  • Sleep is no more a form of death than death is a form of unconsciousness. Complete unconsciousness is impossible. You can rest in peace only because you are awake. p. 56
    • Helen Schucman, A Course in Miracles, (1976)
  • I have only one real message in this lecture, and that is: consciousness is a biological phenomenon, like photosynthesis, digestion, mitosis—you know all the biological phenomena—and once you accept that, most, if not all of the hard problems about consciousness simply evaporate.
    • John Searle, “Our shared condition — consciousness”, TED.com (May, 2013)
  • It is not worth asking how to define consciousness, how to explain it, how it evolved, what its function is, etc., because there’s no one thing for which all the answers would be the same. Instead, we have many sub-capabilities, for which the answers are different: e.g., different kinds of perception, learning, knowledge, attention control, self-monitoring, self-control, etc.
    • Aaron Sloman, comp.ai.philosophy (14 Dec. 1994) as quoted in Marvin Minsky, The Emotion Machine (2006)
  • Anything that we are aware of at a given moment forms part of our consciousness, making conscious experience at once the most familiar and most mysterious aspect of our lives.
    • Susan Schneider, Introduction, to The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness, Susan Schneider and Max Velmans (2008), ISBN 978-0-470-75145-9.
  • … the having is the knowing: Having conscious experience is knowing what it is. You don’t have to think about it (it’s really much better not to). You just have to have it. It’s true that people can make all sorts of mistakes about what is going on when they have experience, but none of them threaten the fundamental sense in which we know exactly what experience is just in having it.
    • Galen Strawson, “Consciousness Isn’t a Mystery. It’s Matter.”, Opinion, NYT (May, 2016)
  • Human consciousness isn’t optimized for anything, except maybe helping feral hominids survive in the wild.
    • Charles Stross, Rule 34 (2011), Chapter 29
  • The best indicator of your level of consciousness is how you deal with life’s challenges when they come. Through those challenges, an already unconscious person tends to become more deeply unconscious, and a conscious person more intensely conscious. You can use a challenge to awaken you, or you can allow it to pull you into even deeper sleep. The dream of ordinary unconsciousness then turns into a nightmare.
    If you cannot be present even in normal circumstances, such as when you are sitting alone in a room, walking in the woods, or listening to someone, then you certainly won’t be able to stay conscious when something “goes wrong” or you are faced with difficult people or situations, with loss or the threat of loss. You will be taken over by a reaction, which ultimately is always some form of fear, and pulled into deep unconsciousness. Those challenges are your tests. (p.51)
  • When such challenges come, as they always do, make it a habit to go within at once and focus as much as you can on the inner energy field of your body. This need not take long, just a few seconds. But you need to do it the moment that the challenge presents itself. Any delay will allow a conditioned mental-emotional reaction to arise and take you over. (p. 76)
    • Eckhart Tolle in The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment (1997)
  • Only people who are in a deeply negative state [of consciousness], who feel very bad indeed, would create such a reality as a reflection of how they feel. Now they are engaged in destroying nature and the planet that sustains them. Unbelievable but true. Humans are a dangerously insane and very sick species. That’s not a judgment. Its a fact. It is also a fact that the sanity is there underneath the madness. Healing and redemption are available right now.
    • Eckhart Tolle in The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment (1997) p.55
  • See if you can catch yourself complaining, in either speech or thought, about a situation you find yourself in, what other people do or say, your surroundings, your life situation, even the weather. To complain is always non-acceptance of what is. It invariably carries an unconscious negative charge. When you complain, you make yourself into a victim. When you speak out, you are in your power. So change the situation by taking action or by speaking out if necessary or possible; leave the situation or accept it. All else is madness.
    • Eckhart Tolle in The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment (1997) p.56
  • Most humans are still in the grip of the egoic mode of consciousness: identified with their mind and run by their mind. If they do not free themselves from their mind in time, they will be destroyed by it. They will experience increasing confusion, conflict, violence, illness, despair, madness. Egoic mind has become like a sinking ship. If you don’t get off, you will go down with it. The collective egoic mind is the most dangerously insane and destructive entity ever to inhabit this planet.
    • Eckhart Tolle in The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment (1997) p.67
  • If it weren’t for alcohol, tranquilizers, antidepressants, as well as the illegal drugs, which are all consumed in vast quantities, the insanity of the human mind would become even more glaringly obvious than it is already. I believe that, if deprived of their drugs, a large part of the population would become a danger to themselves and others. These drugs, of course, simply keep you stuck in dysfunction. Their widespread use only delays the breakdown of the old mind structures and the emergence of higher consciousness. While individual users may get some relief from the daily torture inflicted on them by their minds, they are prevented from generating enough conscious presence to rise above thought and so find true liberation.
    • Eckhart Tolle in The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment (1997) p.67
  • Open your eyes and see the fear, the despair, the greed, and the violence that are all-pervasive. See the heinous cruelty and suffering on an unimaginable scale that humans have inflicted and continue to inflict on each other as well as on other life forms on the planet. You don’t need to condemn. Just observe. That is sin. That is insanity.
    • Eckhart Tolle in The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment (1997) p.71
  • If a word doesn’t work for you anymore, then drop it and replace it with one that does work. If you don’t like the word sin, then call it unconsciousness or insanity. That may get you closer to the truth, the reality behind the word, than a long-misused word like sin, and leaves little room for guilt.
    • Eckhart Tolle in The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment (1997) p.71
  • It is misleading to say that somebody “chose” a dysfunctional relationship or any other negative situation in his or her life. Choice implies consciousness – a high degree of consciousness. Without it, you have no choice. Choice begins the moment you disidentify from the mind and its conditioned patterns, the moment you become present. Until you reach that point, you are unconscious, spiritually speaking. This means that you are compelled to think, feel, and act in certain ways according to the conditioning of your mind. That is why Jesus said: “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.” This is not related to intelligence in the conventional sense of the word. I have met many highly intelligent and educated people who were also completely unconscious, which is to say completely identified with their mind. In fact, if mental development and increased knowledge are not counterbalanced by a corresponding growth in consciousness, the potential for unhappiness and disaster is very great. p. 142
    • Eckhart Tolle in The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment (1997)
  • We need to understand here that heaven is not a location but refers to the inner realm of consciousness. This is the esoteric meaning of the word, and this is also its meaning in the teachings of Jesus. Collective human consciousness and life on our planet are intrinsically connected. “A new heaven” is the emergence of a transformed state of human consciousness, and “a new earth” is its reflection in the physical realm.
    • Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, (2005)
  • This book’s main purpose is not to add new information or beliefs to your mind or to try to convince you of anything, but to bring about a shift in consciousness; that is to say, to awaken. In that sense, this book is not “interesting”. Interesting means you can keep your distance, play around with ideas and concepts in your mind, agree or disagree. This book is about you. It will change your state of consciousness or it will be meaningless. It can only awaken those who are ready. Not everyone is ready yet, but many are, and with each person who awakens, the momentum in the collective consciousness grows, and it becomes easier for others.
    • Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, (2005)
  • Until very recently, the transformation of human consciousness – also pointed to by the ancient teachers – was no more than a possibility, realized by a few rare individuals here and there, irrespective of cultural or religious background. A widespread flowering of human consciousness did not happen because it was not yet imperative. A significant portion of the earth’s population will soon recognize, if they haven’t already done so, that humanity is now faced with a stark choice: Evolve or die. A still relatively small but rapidly growing percentage of humanity is already experiencing within themselves the breakup of the old egoic mind patterns and the emergence of a new dimension of consciousness.
    • Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, (2005)
  • Most humans are still in the grip of the egoic mode of consciousness: identified with their mind and run by their mind. If they do not free themselves from their mind in time, they will be destroyed by it. They will experience increasing confusion, conflict, violence, illness, despair, madness. Egoic mind has become like a sinking ship. If you don’t get off, you will go down with it. The collective egoic mind is the most dangerously insane and destructive entity ever to inhabit this planet.
    • Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, p. 67, (2005)
  • Humanity is under great pressure to evolve because it is our only chance of survival as a race. This will affect every aspect of your life and close relationships in particular. Never before have relationships been as problematic and conflict ridden as they are now. As you may have noticed, they are not here to make you happy or fulfilled. If you continue to pursue the goal of salvation through a relationship, you will be disillusioned again and again. But if you accept that the relationship is here to make you conscious instead of happy, then the relationship will offer you salvation, and you will be aligning yourself with the higher consciousness that wants to be born into this world. For those who hold on to the old patterns, there will be increasing pain, violence, confusion, and madness.
    • Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, p. 101, (2005)
  • Until very recently, the transformation of human consciousness – also pointed to by the ancient teachers – was no more than a possibility, realized by a few rare individuals here and there, irrespective of cultural or religious background. A widespread flowering of human consciousness did not happen because it was not yet imperative. A significant portion of the earth’s population will soon recognize, if they haven’t already done so, that humanity is now faced with a stark choice: Evolve or die. A still relatively small but rapidly growing percentage of humanity is already experiencing within themselves the breakup of the old egoic mind patterns and the emergence of a new dimension of consciousness.
    • Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, (2005)
  • To sum up: Enjoyment of what you are doing, combined with a goal or vision that you work toward, becomes enthusiasm. Even though you have a goal, what you are doing in the present moment needs to remain the focal point of your attention; otherwise, you will fall out of alignment with universal purpose. Make sure your vision or goal is not an inflated image of yourself and therefore a concealed form of ego, such as wanting to become a movie star, a famous writer, or a wealthy entrepreneur. Also make sure your goal is not focused on having this or that, such as a mansion by the sea, your own company, or ten million dollars in the bank. An enlarged image of yourself or a vision of yourself having this or that are all static goals and therefore don’t empower you. Instead, make sure your goals are dynamic, that is to say, point toward an activity that you are engaged in and through which you are connected to other human beings as well as to the whole. Instead of seeing yourself as a famous actor and writer and so on, see yourself inspiring countless people with your work and enriching their lives. Feel how that activity enriches or deepens not only your life but that of countless others. Feel yourself being an opening through which energy flows from the unmanifested Source of all life through you for the benefit of all.
    • Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, Ch. 10, (2005)
  • “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth,” writes the biblical prophet (Revelation 21:1). The foundation for a new earth is a new heaven – the awakened consciousness. The earth – external reality – is only its outer reflection. The arising of a new heaven and by implication a new earth are not future events that are going to make us free. Nothing is going to make us free because only the present moment can make us free. That realization is the awakening.
    • Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, (2005)
  • Awakening as a future event has no meaning because awakening is the realization of Presence. So the new heaven, the awakened consciousness, is not a future state to be achieved. A new heaven and a new earth are arising within you at this moment, and if they are not arising at this moment, they are no more than a thought in your head and therefore not arising at all.
    • Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, (2005)
  • The outward movement into form does not express itself with equal intensity in all people. Some feel a strong urge to build, create, become involved, achieve, make an impact upon the world…. Others, after the natural expansion that comes with growing up has run its course, lead an outwardly unremarkable, seemingly more passive and relatively uneventful existence. They are more inward looking by nature, and for them the outward movement into form is minimal. They would rather return home than go out. They have no desire to get strongly involved in or change the world… Some may feel drawn toward living in a spiritual community or monastery. Others may become dropouts and live on the margins of society they feel they have little in common with. Some turn to drugs because yhey find living in this world too painful. Others eventually become healers or spiritual teachers, that is to say, teachers of Being… On the arising new earth, however, their role is just as vital as that of the creators, the doers, the reformers. Their function is to anchor the frequency of the new consciousness on his planet. I call them the frequency holders. They are here to generate consciousness through the activities of daily life, through their interactions with others as well as through “just being.”
    • Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, Chapter 10, (2005)