What is Consciousness?

What is Consciousness?
The Three Stages of Consciousness

Consciousness, awareness, sentience…so many words describe this concept that spiritual teachers, scientists, and philosophers have pondered over the centuries. Consciousness can loosely be described as the state or quality of awareness, or being aware.

American physicist, Michio Kaku, has quantified consciousness with a theory that there are three levels of consciousness. He suggests consciousness is the number of feedback loops required to create a model of your position in space, with relation to other organisms and time.

He believes a thermostat has one unit of consciousness – it senses the temperature around it. A flower has around 10 units of consciousness – understands temperature, weather, humidity, gravity, etc.

Here he shares his three levels of consciousness.

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3 years ago

Sadhguru has many YouTube talks and I enjoy them all. His flare for deep insight into spiritual aspects and growth together with a whimsical sense of humor is his trademark and makes him an excellent teacher. Mooji is another living teacher I respect with a similar message. Watts, Krishnamurti, McKenna, and Jung are other resources I use. Some talks are elusive or heady, but once you grasp it and understand what they are teaching you it is another level of awareness/awakening. I think reading their expressions is good, but if you listen to an actual talk, I feel it is better and you pick up on subtle nuances in their speech that is key. Great topic!

Charlotte thaarup
3 years ago

Manifested and unmanifested, dual and non dual, identified with thought, feelings, objects or in the space of not knowing, of not being and yet being, of nothing and everything. I agree the key is the experience, words will always be inadequate. Consciousness is where the thinking mind has to bow out, a knowing beyond thought. It is our essential matter, always there from our first breath to our last and beyond and yet most of us live in disconnect from it.

3 years ago

This article was so clear to me for the first time. I feel like I have just opened the door to this twilight zone. It is a magical place whereby I am in love with everyone and everything. It makes time to even disappear. It is like pure endless energy running through me. I have such gratitude finding this Union. Thank you for putting this into words. I am excited now just being.

4 years ago

Excellent blog post. I certainly love this site. Keep writing!

4 years ago

It’s a play of words by Sadhguru to express the inexpressible. So far the best explanation of life I have come across is from Tim Freke who has put it all into book form “Soul Story – evolution and the purpose of life” It’s a successful attempt to use scientific terms to describe the indescribable.

Joy Peska
4 years ago

‘This is a beautifully written article that takes an immense and nebulous subject and renders it not only understandable, but applicable in my daily life experience! I want to learn more from this guru!

Krishna Kumar Agrawal
4 years ago

One can try to understand something apparently not understandable, by closing eyes, sit in silence – external and internal as much as possible – and concentrate on the word. ‘Consciousness’ appears connoting some thing or a meaning ‘not finite’ which has no know boundaries in any dimensional sense – say a matrics of infinite size and order or dimension; homogenity or hetrogenity of which is totally uncertain and beyond comprehension. I am sorry I am not able to explain – rather getting lost or overwhelmed. Such attribute can be just thought of — mind us all – not assigned since nothing can be assigned or comprehended to God. Yet one has to examine all what Sadguru has stated in finite realm of living, unliving or non living. Look at the variations in all its variances in individual objects to group of objects forming the entire Universe , consisting of material, psychlogical, seen and unseen form, connection or combination or relatability Etc. Finally, getting not further appearing confused, ‘Consciousness’ is all what is creation – past with time limitation, present and future without time limitation. Perhaps, may I be permitted to use ‘GOD’ for a wider sense of and calling as ‘Cosmic Consciousness’. My knowledge level is so limited that right now I am not able to express myself more.

4 years ago

An interesting article can’t grasp all of it.”consciousness ” in my opinion is all pervasive in living and non-living.It is undefined energy which has created the universe. As of now it is beyond our comprehension.

Rod Nelson
4 years ago

This seems obscure and wordy to me: the topic is important but I simply have no trust in this particular contribution whatsoever.

4 years ago

Yes! Excellent article. I always tell people we are not trying to expand our consciousness, rather we expand our awareness into the One consciousness.

Sidney Clouston
4 years ago

A good article and good comments that follow. I am investigating Quantum Field Theory and certain aspects of the many fields (energy) seem to be spiritual like. Fields exist and flow through the universe. The concept of a Conscious Field stimulate other things, flowing through a rock it would be strange for the rock to respond the same as it does in other things like a body or a brain. When imbued with consciousness a body is alive but when Life, Love and Light (Spirit/ Soul) is gone, the body or any organ does not function at all. Our boundary vanishes with Astral Projection beyond the body.

Surjot Kaur
4 years ago

Thank you! May all beings grow so inclusive and realize oneness. Infinite love from this heart unto the center of the heart of all beings! Peace!

John Paily
7 years ago

Consciousness is a field in which creative and sustaining intelligence and information works. It is a space-time field that works against the space time field that modern west is studies. It is the black hole

Elaine Morrison
7 years ago


Swami G
7 years ago

Great Article

7 years ago

If you want to get clarity in this matter, then check out something called Alkuajatus – The Original Thought. It doesn’t offer beliefs or products of the imagination, it provides clear and straightforward knowledge that helps one to find the answers from where they are at.

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