Consciousness is the state we are in when we are fully aware of our surroundings, our feelings, our thoughts, and everything that makes up the moment we are in. Throughout the day we may experience different levels of consciousness, which can basically be measured on a scale between full consciousness and unconsciousness. Here are four of the different levels that you may experience at one time or another.
1. Full/Normal Waking Consciousness
When you are fully aware of what is happening around you, those you are with, how you are feeling, and everything is makes up the moment you are in, this is referred to as full or normal waking consciousness. At this point of consciousness, you are able to make sense of time and place, and it becomes the basis of which all other levels of consciousness are determined.
2. Abnormal Consciousness
This level of consciousness usually occurs when a person is affected by things such as personality disorders, addictions or obsessive-compulsive behaviors. Essentially, these types of reactions are like an allergy where a person will have a certain reaction in their brain to things that most people normally wouldn’t. Your level of consciousness becomes changed because your brain directs you to do certain things, and you pretty much cannot control what you are doing.
3. Other Altered States of Consciousness
You might have thought that abnormal and other altered states of consciousness would just mean the same thing, but there is a slight difference. In an altered state of consciousness, because of the addiction or whatever it is that is controlling what your brain is thinking, you yourself don’t really have any control. However, in other altered states you do have some control. During these times, you may be somewhat aware of your surroundings and will likely have limited memory access. This state of consciousness usually occurs when you have had alcohol or some other type of drug, when you are meditating or when you are daydreaming.
This is one of the more commonly known states of consciousness. This can occur when we fall into a deep sleep, when we become knocked out by a brain injury or go into a coma. During a state of unconsciousness, we become completely unable to maintain an awareness of ourselves and what is happening around us. We are also usually completely unresponsive to anything that occurs around us. It is distinguished from other states of consciousness when we may be in a light sleep or affected by drugs, as during those periods we may not seem fully aware of our surroundings yet we usually respond to the environment around us.
The human brain is a very interesting and complex thing, and there is surely more to discover about how it works and our different levels of consciousness. It is likely you have experienced most if not all of these different levels of consciousness at some point in your life, whether you were completely aware of what exactly was happening or not.