What is consciousness? This question has challenged philosophers, scholars, and psychologists for centuries, and may never be resolved from a philosophical or metaphysical level. A simple definition of consciousness is to be awake and aware of your surroundings; another definition is your awareness or perception of something (from the beauty of a sunset to the hole in your sweater).

At a higher level, “what is consciousness” becomes a question about the nature of being, thinking, and experiencing from both biological and psychological perspectives. What role does the brain play? Does practicing awareness and mindfulness make you more conscious? What about meditation, and “altered states of consciousness?” Are you conscious when you’re dreaming?

What is consciousness? The answer depends on many factors, but here is a place for you to start your explorations.

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