What secrets your consciousness is hiding from you? by Bright Side Have you ever seen something strange in the dark that you couldn’t explain? Do you and your friend sometimes look at the same thing and see it differently? Don’t worry, there’s nothing supernatural here!
All these things are easily explainable if you think of them from the standpoint of your consciousness. But what really is consciousness? The simple answer to our question is “We don’t know!” Throughout history, some of the greatest minds in humankind have tried to explain what consciousness really is.
Theologians, psychologists, neurobiologists, and philosophers still can’t reach a consensus on this matter. But there is one person that clearly knows what consciousness is… And this person is you! Because it’s obvious for you that you’re conscious, you don’t need any explanation! You have a free will, you can make your own decisions and your mind is capable of solving any problems you might face, even if it goes against your instincts or social standards – all thanks to your consciousness!
So ages of scientific knowledge can’t define consciousness, but everyone is an expert on it. How can that be? This is the main problem with learning what consciousness is – it’s the most fundamental thing in our minds. We’re so used to it that we can’t critically analyze it. When you want to define something, you need to look at the subject from a certain perspective to get the full picture. And we just can’t do that when it comes to our consciousness.
But even though we don’t know exactly what consciousness is, that doesn’t mean we don’t have theories about it and what it does for you. To get to those theories, let’s start where the knowledge about consciousness resides: your brain. It constantly computes unbelievable amounts of calculations. It takes in all the information about you and the world around you.
It processes this information, coordinates all your actions and thoughts, and regulates every process in your body and mind. All at the same time! Now, the simple question is… Can you feel it? Even if you decide to have yourself a lazy day with no worries, your brain will burn more than 500 calories. That’s about 20% of the energy you need in a day.
Your brain does this seemingly without your involvement at all. You don’t know about all the processed information in your brain because it’s not that important to you in a given moment. Without consciousness, it wouldn’t even be possible to think about anything because of all the informational noise your brain receives from what surrounds it.
And on that note, have you ever wondered if your brain is, in fact, completely isolated from its surrounding? Everything comes to your brain through sensory organs. And all the data it receives is not what you experience at all! For example, let’s examine your eyes. You can say “I’m sitting in my room, looking straight at the window and seeing a white light coming through it.”
The trick is that you are absolutely right and completely wrong all at the same time! Even if you focus and on something, your eyes won’t ever be static. Only a really small part of your eye can perceive an image in high detail. Your eyeball moves rapidly around 4 times in a second to collect as much detail as it can of what it sees.
What makes a whole picture so clean and sharp is your brain, collecting all the fragments in a single seamless image. Imagine your brain constantly collecting puzzle pieces – that would be pretty accurate! In this process, the brain receives a lot of information, but what you experience is focused. This is the result of the invisible work your consciousness is doing for you.
Ok, you’re not looking straight at your window, you’re only experiencing it as you look straight at it. But you’re still seeing white daylight. Right? Wrong again! Ask anyone: “What color is daylight?” They most certainly will answer that it’s white. But there is no such thing as white light. White is just a sum of its true colors. When diffracted through a prism it shows all the color range – something we know as a rainbow.
The true color of light is never this stable, it varies a lot. But for our mind, it’s much more convenient to see daylight as white. That happens because extra information about the things around us wouldn’t make sense in everyday situations.
Your consciousness just sorts it out for you! If you taste your morning coffee and think to yourself: “Oh, that’s a good coffee!” What you actually mean is that you know what makes coffee good and those qualities are all here in your cup. You don’t naturally think about the density of its liquid, about precise temperature and minor shifts in taste. But you’ll certainly notice whether it’s too hot or too bitter because that’s an important piece of information to you.
Your consciousness is a great filter that makes your judgments about the world well informed, based on your knowledge and experience. But enough theory, we are ready to catch our elusive consciousness and bring it under a spotlight! The only way to make it more tangible is to make it stumble on something. Think it’s going to be hard? But you’ve experienced it so many times!
Remember that blue and black dress that made so much noise on social media? Or was it a white and golden dress? Yeah, that one! Tricks like this work because your consciousness decides that you will experience something one way, but another way is equally sensible for any given person, so people experience it differently.
Well, it may seem like a failure of your consciousness, but in fact, that shows how flawlessly your consciousness works. The moment you saw this dress you were seeing it one way unless you tried very hard to see it another way. That makes your perception and thought process more focused and safe, and therefore much more effective. Let’s take a look at another quality of consciousness that you will probably appreciate a lot! There is an image that consists purely of black and white spots.
Don’t even try! If you didn’t see it before, you won’t be able to say what’s on the image. Don’t worry, it’s not some kind of psychological test, it’s much more simple than that! Here is the same image with restored colors and contrast. Now the image makes absolute sense to you. And again, here is the first picture without any color and on full contrast.
See it? Yes, you can still see what’s on this image, it still makes sense to you! It was too hard to decipher the forms when you first saw them and your consciousness decided that it’s just an incomprehensible collection of black and white spots. But when you have more information about the objects in the image, you can recognize them because your consciousness works as an imprint of your experience.
Were you afraid of the dark in your childhood? Remember trembling in fear while going down the hall to the bathroom at night? One of the most common fears is to see an unfamiliar face in the dark. That’s because we actually can see it. Don’t panic! No one is wondering in your house at night! That’s just a byproduct of your consciousness’ work.
First of all, your consciousness acts like an imprint of your priorities, needs, experiences, knowledge, and emotional state. If you feel fear, your senses get much sharper; every little noise will get you on edge! That comes from your emotional state. But what can cause you so much anxiety in your own home? It’s the dark itself, which, to be precise, is the lack of ordinary stimulation, that scares you the most. You can’t see or hear anything.
Now you see how it actually suits your brain and consciousness well to be constantly bombarded by thousands of stimulations! Without all this data your mind becomes disturbed. If you don’t know that there’s nothing to pose a threat to you, then anything can be a threat – that’s how our mind experiences the lack of information that comes from silence and darkness. But why a face? It’s another mind trick of our consciousness.
The easiest thing to recognize for a human’s consciousness is a face. This recognition is so sensitive that we are inclined to see faces everywhere. In clouds, trees and even breakfast toasts. So, it’s very possible for a child to see a strange face in a dark, silent room because consciousness allows us to see what’s not there under certain conditions.
Well, it seems that you can figure out what consciousness is good for and where it can be tricked, but you can’t really define it after all. Considering this question is under close examination now, we will probably know much more about consciousness in the near future than ever before.
Have you ever experienced some kind of mind trick? What do you think this article? Let us know what it was in the comment section! And don’t forget to rate this article “What secrets your consciousness is hiding from you? by Bright Side“, share it with your friends!
Credit: Bright Side