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The world is today filled with so much chaos. It has lately become a loudy, noisy, frantic, angry, violent, and fearful place to live in. This is evident from what is constantly being aired on the news through the television and published in newspapers.
The world around us is becoming more unrealistic, though no reference is being made here to the fantasy world human beings tend to create so as to run away from the reality of what they have made the world become. This fantasy world can also turn out to be a quite dreadful place if left out to be.
Branden (1999) claims that the primary influence on self-esteem in human beings propels them to new areas, which spur them to explore the proceedings of their minds when they are operating as their lives and well-being necessitates — and also when they are not.
Only Branden has been able to portray so very vividly “what true mindfulness means” within a certain category of environments which include: the workplace, the arena of romantic love, child-rearing, and pursuit of personal development. The varying degree of the amount of information the world is constantly being bombarded with is unprecedented.
Each kind of information contains an unprecedented amount of reception by the mind that an issue is right or factual, frequently emphasized by an affection or devout logic of conviction to try and answer almost all possible to imagine, understand, or believe facets of life. The only thing able to prevent somebody or something from being harmed or damaged is human being’s own clear thinking.
Conscious living in a rather unconscious world necessitates a closer and in depth look into one’s life, followed by a thorough understanding and interpretation of things in a particular way so as to get full results from any situation before them. This can be simply put to mean that one has to be open to the likelihood of encountering errors in their thinking.
Discovering one’s mistakes and being honest or open, whether refreshing or distasteful. Indeed, to be willing to correct oneself calls for a higher degree of eagerness.
Doing this is not always a smooth sailing all the way, much of the thoughts and beliefs one has, are usually fixed or definite by the time they get to adulthood. Having discovered and settled on “the truth,” many of us aren’t interested in exposing ourselves to contradictory evidence or opposing points of view.
Living consciously requires a reflection of how one may live and how they can live their life in a world like today. Human beings are more than often made to come face to face with somebody or situations, especially in a challenge, and usually with hostility, criticism, or defiance that always have painful existences, as opposed to an imaginary, idealized, or false nature.
All this requires a clear and firm request that is difficult to ignore or deny for huge amounts of effort. It is the only way to be able to function or work, or make something function or work in the world. Conscious living does not come on a silver platter, but it has its price.
Despite certain drawbacks to conscious living, it is the place, person, or thing through which something has come into being or from which it has been obtained, a source of control and emancipation to human beings. Conscious living lifts human beings and does not necessarily weigh them down (Dorsey & Seegers 1959).
The choice human beings are faced with in where to live consciously in an unconscious world is greatly hinged on ethics. Despite being given an avenue to make a choice between one thing or the other, these choices are not always utterly free. Choice is more than not confined, restricted, or restrained by history, context, biology, probable results and thoughts all surrounding human beings.
Booth (2000) quotes “every decision has a past, and a consequence. In the political arena, the extent for decision seems predominantly restrained”. Decision, though being exclusively at will it can neither be absolutely clear-thinking.
To say choice is due to biology, the insensible, destiny or whatever would be to eradicate ethics. Arguably, this is not people’s stand, or that of the providers. People do nevertheless recognize that the restraining of ethical decisions commences at birth” (Booth 2000).
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Branden (1999) quotes that the background and ecological contextualization and conventional prices have predestined politics past state margins have conventionally been implicit as an ground of inevitability, rather than ethics. Branden gives an example of a lamp whose brightness can be regulated, so is consciousness, which is varied.
People can be more or less cognizant, more or less responsive, so the choice is not between unconditional maximum self-awareness and factual oblivion, like in a coma. The decision is between living more consciously and less consciously, or what may be called “living between living consciously and living mechanically” (1999).
People who do not embrace conscious living, then again, tend to become bored of living.
They end up confused or ambivalent because of competing desires, possibilities, or impulses; exhausted physically or emotionally through too much hard work, stress, or reckless living.
Worried or afraid, especially about something that is going to happen or might happen; not pleased or satisfied with somebody or something in their jobs or occupations regarded as long-term or lifelong activities; and unhappy because something was not as good, attractive, or satisfactory as expected, or because something hoped for or expected did not happen within their relationships.
Unfortunately, people tend to seek for answers to the causes of theses situations from external factors. This is just an excuse of suitability, because it makes things easier, is close by, or does not involve much effort or trouble as it releases somebody from an obligation or requirement of any liability consequently hinders the truth from coming out and being found out, that which was not previously known.
Branden goes ahead to claim that human beings’ biggest reason of the fear of death is that they do not really have a comprehension of their lives and they have a “secret knowledge of how incompletely they have lived” (1999).
As a result, a situation in which there is friendly agreement or accord between what is professed and what is done by humans needs to be struck. Living is all about being able to live consciously and with a purpose and not just a situation where one just moves in a slow, smooth, gentle, and unforced way, usually without any direction or purpose of life.
One needs to identify the most important aspects and situations; be on familiar terms with ones own potential for successful future development; their own strong moral character or strength, and adherence to ethical principles and make a strenuous effort to do, obtain, achieve, or defend their own personal highest latent possibility or likelihood of occurring, or of doing or becoming something (Hendricks 1998; Dorsey & Seegers 1959).
Example of living consciously
Unity of consciousness is an example of conscious living. A person’s awareness normally shows a salient unity. When somebody is experiencing a clamor or an ache, they are unconscious of the clamor and then, disjointedly, of the ache. They are conscious of the clamor and ache collectively, as elements of a one conscious experience. This is what is defined as the unity of consciousness.
Dorsey & Seegers (1959) put it more generally and say, “it is consciousness not of A and, separately, of B and, separately, of C, but of A-and-B-and-C together, as the contents of a single conscious state.” This poses a lot of questions; is it really in existence?
Does consciousness have the characteristics which it would require to be united? The different states of consciousness are unified together with some kind of unity being a deep and crucial element of consciousness. However, the conscious positions of a person are essentially unified; it is not possible for there to be a person whose conscious positions are not unified (Blecher 2002).
Looking at the world around us, we see the different individuals whose bodily structures, ethnical backgrounds, and lifestyles are different from ours, though we cooperate and live together this is a show of unity consciousness (Bayne 2010). Also looking at the surface, we will notice that we are all varied, but on a basis level, we are all fundamentally similar in our needs for affection and protection.
Human minds always reinforce senses of separateness, but by putting into practice the insight of unity by the experiences, which come from deliberation and conscious thinking, people’s innate recognition with unity consciousness effortlessly assumes.
Many People have careers, which probably were not their choice or passion simply because they could not fight for their choice which seemed distant. Usually emotional and social challenges engulf many people and they feel they were not destined for the careers, they envisaged and thus opting for those that they were never passionate for.
But this is not the case for one, Charles a 2nd year student at the university taking a part time undergraduate course in broadcasting journalism. The 25year old is one of the 10 children surviving to a poor widowed mother. He already termed himself as a journalist even before he could barely speak English let alone know his mother tongue.
He admired local and international journalists alike all through his days as a toddler and through his years growing up. Despite this passion, his mother had no means whatsoever of getting income to educate him let alone fend for their upkeep and food. Charles and his siblings did menial jobs to put food on the table and educate themselves despite being in and out of school.
When life became unbearable, some of his siblings dropped out and that explain his age difference to most of his classmates and friends. When he finally sat for his secondary education exams his goal was to he wanted to do well in languages to enable him join a communications school.
Charles could not afford the fees that came with studying for an undergraduate course in communication but this did not turn him back. Luckily, he got a chance to work in the school as a casual worker and study as a part time student. All that he gets as wages goes towards his school fees.
Despite his predicament his attitude towards living consciously is what drives him he says that the lectures, students and subordinate staff support him in anyway to achieve his career in whatever way he can. He lives by a principle of never to give up and where there is a wish there is away always close our hands for it is not yet over until it is (Cleeremans 2003).
Living consciously goes hand in hand with positive attitude. Individuals should engage themselves to change many of their current beliefs about daily behaviors and actions, on issues to do with their standards of conduct that are generally accepted as right or proper, about life in the information age, and about a supernatural being.
In this age and in the present day humans are constantly being vulnerable to danger or harm from various quarters due to so much information that brings out varying opinions that shape their perceptions on how they view life and how to live it (Hendricks 1998).
Living Consciously in an Ego driven society is a guide to creating conscious awareness of your own experience of life. Monteverdi (2010) uses her unique story of her awakening as guides through the resources that support awakening to one’s own true nature (Manahan, Bohan & Manahan 2007; Ratusny 2009).).
Conscious living is a situation of being psychologically dynamic rather than inert. It is being able to look at things as they are; it is aptitude of taking happiness in its own utility. Conscious living involves being sentient thing, which bear on one’s concerns, activities, principles, reasons, and objectives. It is the eagerness to come to face with facts, whether amusing or horrible. It is the urge to discern one’s blunders and act on them.
Within the context of one’s desires, conscious living is the pursuit to keep growing one’s consciousness and perceptiveness, both of the world out there to oneself and of the innate within. It is admiration for realism and for the difference between the actual and the illusory. It is acknowledgment that the act of ignoring realism is the cause of all iniquities (Branden 1999).
For Monteverdi (2010), “transformation doesn’t have to take forever…for most people it will. It will take their entire lives. And most people will die… with beliefs, behaviors and ways of being which no longer work for them.”
Although her personal experiences in growing up may have been unusual by most standards, she has risen up and out of her challenges to present us with a guideline that anyone who is interested in raising their consciousness can relate to. Reference from chronological and literary facts, reinforces the enduring significance of sincerity and self-knowledge (Branden 1995).
Every human being wants to live and embrace each day as an authentic, self-aware, and triumphant. People always tend to admire successful lives; however, the big question is how to go about this in the quest for achieving these successful lives (Branden 1999; Hendricks 1998). How do we go about it? Where do we begin? The most important judgment one can make for him/her self, in life is about their own personality.
And it all comes down to the distinction between low self-respect and high self-respect, which brings distinction between submissiveness and deed, and between failure and accomplishment. This encourages perceptiveness, self-consciousness, and sincerity, which are all essential features in living consciously in this unconscious world.
Hendricks (1998) urges people to appreciate the expedition, which leads to greater self-respect and expressive literacy, accomplishments which can only come from living a careful life. By helping people notice, figure out, and eventually appreciate the coverts they often hide from themselves.
By embracing this, people bring into accord to create clearer understanding, genuine change, and self-realization on: how to break free of negative self-concepts and self-defeating behavior; how to dissolve internal barriers to success in work and love; how to overcome anxiety, depression, guilt and anger; how to conquer the fear of intimacy and success; and finally on how to find and keep the courage to love yourself.
Bayne, T. (2010). Unity of Consciousness. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010
Blecher, J. (2002). Unity Consciousness: Enlightenment Experiences. Fish Hoek 7974: Kima Global Publishers, 2002
Booth, K., Dunne, T. & Cox, M. (2000). How Might We Live? Global ethics in a new century. Review of International Studies, 26, 001-028.
Branden, N. (1988). How to raise your self-esteem. New York, NY: Bantam Books.
Branden, N. (1999). The art of living consciously: the power of awareness to transform everyday life. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.
Branden, N. (1995). The six pillars of self-esteem. New York: Bantam.
Cleeremans, A. (2003). The unity of consciousness: binding, integration, and dissociation. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003
Dorsey, J. & Seegers, W. (1959). Living Consciously: The Science of Self. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press.
Hendricks, G. (1998). A Year of Living Consciously: 365 Daily Inspirations for Creating a Life of Passion and Purpose, San Francisco, CA: Harper San Francisco.
Manahan, N., Bohan, B. & Manahan, B. (2007). Living Consciously, Dying Gracefully: A Journey with Cancer and Beyond. Minneapolis, MN: Beaver’s Pond Press.
Monteverdi, K. (2010). Living Consciously. Pewee Valley, KY: Createspace.
Ratusny, D. (2009). Live Your Life’s Purpose: A Guidebook for Creating and Living a Purposeful Life. Toronto: Insomniac Press, 2009