How does human consciousness work?
The unity of life around us is revealed through the infinite variety of forms. What these forms have in common is the pervasive impulse to live, which could be seen in the wild as a relentless struggle for survival. Just as living conditions change naturally over time, so do life forms adapt to the environment in which they live. The change in forms enables a person to take into account the differences between them, to compare them and to give them meaning and value.
Applying this principle, when a person is ill, he can no longer take health for granted, but learns to see it as more significant and starts to value it. Addressing both sides of the same issue leads to a deeper understanding and perception. However, the obvious contrast between illness and health actually forms a common unit that contains two opposite forms of expression on the same foundation, in this case the physical condition of a person. In other words,
the human mind and consciousness perceive through the opposite (the antithesis)
of everything. For example, human consciousness cannot perceive good without the presence of evil or light, without the existence of the shadow. Both principles are equally necessary, because we could not perceive one without the other, which creates the illusion of duality in life.
As early as the time of ancient China, people knew about the opposites of Yin and Yang, which together form the total of all life. This same idea is borrowed from the Western world and is applied in the opposites of male-female, active-passive, giving-receiving, etc. By positioning oneself against these bipolar divisions, one learns to view oneself as a separate unit in the variety of forms contained in the unity called life.
How is human consciousness formed?
If we accept that the Universe is a single Whole, then the human consciousness, inhabiting a specific body, has its material outlines and boundaries, which at first glance separate it from the Whole. When a baby is born, it perceives its mother as its sequel, and it takes approximately six months for the baby to begin to feel that its body is separated from hers and its desires are not her desires. Gaining a feeling of his own body, thoughts and emotions, a person separates themselves from the whole and calls themselves Me, and each separate from him – the Other.
After the revelation of the world through the development of the senses of the body, after passing to the next level in the formation of an independent mind and consciousness, through the use of language as a means of expression. Use language that initially serves to communicate a child’s own basic food needs, for example, if it is in the mother’s womb, it is met instantly. The ability to verbalize is directly involved with the ability to think, which is a well-known fact in the developmental psychology. When we use language, our consciousness perceives us by defining or shaping thought constructs, fragmenting reality into smaller and smaller pieces.
Thus, gradually the human consciousness begins to distinguish between the individual pieces, dividing them into opposite pairs. Without sensory and mental perceptions, differences in states cannot be reported, and without them it is impossible for the human consciousness to exist.
A struggle between opposites or an opportunity for wholeness?
It is said that “opposites are mutually exclusive”, which means that if you say yes to one thing and identify with it, then you automatically say no to the opposite one and do not wish to associate with it. This happens because the human consciousness fails to perceive itself as two seemingly opposite things, such as good and bad, and tries in every way to accept one of the poles as its expression and perceive the opposite pole outside. This phenomenon is most fully described by the psychological term projection.
If, for example, a person has a relatively positive self-image, he could consciously perceive himself as good, purposeful, generous, cheerful and friendly. The more oneself identifies with these qualities, the more clearly, they will meet and attract people, in which they would notice the opposite qualities as bad, chaotic, tight, oppressed and rude. Human consciousness tends to notice most clearly the qualities which it identifies with consciously or unconsciously. The more we get annoyed with or admire someone, the more we have the potential for all the things we see in them.
Herein lies the answer to the questions: what stands for the psychic shadow and
what actually are the psychological projections?
In particular, they aim to calm the mind from the inner tension created by the contact with content they do not want to associate with, most often because it is considered as unacceptable, unpleasant and even ugly. At the same time, projections have the function of helping us to know these same shadowy contents for our consciousness, and ultimately to become completer and more conscious of ourselves and the world we perceive as our reflection.
In short, everything we see outside is part of ourselves, and the stronger emotional reaction it provokes, the more unconscious it is, because we consciously associate with its opposite. One’s ability to perceive themselves and life as a whole give them the freedom to choose their own reality. When a person accepts that he can be good and at the same time bad, generous and at the same time stingy, etc., he actually chooses to be themselves, to be their authentic Self.
The ultimate goal of the path of self-knowledge
What makes us good or bad is not something constant or a stamp we were born with. It is in the ability to choose for ourselves what to be and how to treat other people, regardless of the family and social models that we have adopted as ours over time. The path of self-knowledge and inner development is difficult, because gaining the freedom to create one’s own life requires accepting and loving the darkest and ugliest parts of oneself. Thus, the experience of the individual human consciousness passes through the differentiation of a separate Self, in order to return later to the Whole, from which it has arisen and where there are no opposites, but Oneness. This path, shaped by the duality of human perception, is the basis on which the arrangement of the astrological signs is composed.
You can read more about the polarity of human consciousness seen through the eyes of astrology here .
If you need help on the path of your self-knowledge, do not hesitate to contact me.