There are those who believe that consciousness is absolute and definitive and material, a result of our neurons being able to perform certain actions. There are others who see consciousness as a mystery, taking on a broader view that all of us have consciousness, and all our consciousness are connected in some way. Can you guess which one the yogic view is? The second one, that all are connected.
Now, how do we explain consciousness as an experience? We can think of it as having a movie in our mind. We are able to feel emotions, like infatuation, love, longing, fear, grief, guilt, anger. We are able to experience our senses, we see, we hear, we touch, we taste, we feel. We are able to make interpretations about our interaction with the world, the dialogues we have with each other, the thoughts that come up when we look up the sky, the sense of wonder in watching a shooting star.
Here is the question, do you think we are programmed or we have free will? In this movie in our mind, are we merely pressing the play button and letting things unfold, or are we active participants in choosing this adventure called life? What do you think? Has anyone seen the TV series West World? It’s mind-boggling right? If it were the first scenario, and we are pre-programmed, it means even our perceptron of free will is preprogrammed, it’s part of the script, and we may be very convinced that we have free will, even if we don’t. The second possibility leaves more room for exploration, in that we do have free will, and the actions and consequences we find ourselves in the midst of is our own doing. Karma in action. I don’t have a definite answer but I think it’s interesting that we pose these questions.