The Challenge of Trying to Understand Consciousness

A fundamental challenge of trying to understand consciousness is this: The individual mind that wants to understand consciousness is already a fragment of consciousness. This fragment further projects some concept of consciousness as a "thing to be known."

Even if this “thing to be known” could be known fully, it would be knowledge of only a projected aspect of consciousness, not consciousness itself. Such a "complete" understanding of the "thing to be known" may be entirely misleading regarding what consciousness actually is.

Therefore, we must recognize the value of multiple incomplete notions of consciousness. They are all indicators, helpful in guiding the individual to subtler experiences and understandings of its roots, ultimately guiding it through the gateway of individual identity.

Therefore, any theory of consciousness must also include a theory of identity. Otherwise, it remains incomplete.

Anoop Kumar, MD, MM is board certified in Emergency Medicine and holds a Master’s degree in Management with a focus in Health Leadership. He practices in the Washington, DC metro area, where he also leads meditation gatherings for clinicians. He is the author of the upcoming book Is This a Dream? He tweets @DrAnoopKumar.