Conscious vs. Consciousness

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THE QUESTION

A: Just looking for clarity on how something not conscious can still be considered consciousness (for example, a barbecue is not conscious but still in its essence is consciousness). I guess I’m looking for a distinction between ‘something that’s conscious’ and ‘consciousness’. Is anything really “conscious”? Are dogs, humans and birds conscious, but plants and barbecues not conscious? If we say humans are conscious, when we break it down, (humans less the seeing, hearing, tasting, touching and smelling, and less a brain that perceives things, which is all considered to be un-conscious) are we left with something that’s conscious, or rather just consciousness?

THE ANSWER

Everything is consciousness (pure, self-luminous existence).  But only things that have a mind are conscious, meaning they have the ability to think, feel and perceive.  If for instance you are a barbecue, you aren’t conscious because you don’t have a mind (don’t fret though, you won’t know it).  However, you are still consciousness.  So your line of reasoning above is correct.  If you take a person and remove their perceptive faculties i.e. their mind, they’re no longer conscious.  But they are still consciousness.

-Vishnudeva

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