To Be or Not to Be!

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Have you ever woken up and wondered how or why this process happened? Or, throughout the day, do you ask yourself if you’re actually alive or just in another state of being? You may even find yourself questioning the meaning of consciousness. Adding to the enigma, there is no concrete definition of the word “consciousness” because it varies from person to person. What may seem like consciousness to one may not be to the other. For example, one person might say that because you can see, hear, talk, and walk that you are exhibiting consciousness; however, what if you have the mental capacity of a three-year old and are not able to take care of yourself. Are you conscious then? Following this same train of thought, when you are sleeping and your mental capacity is completely shut down, is your consciousness still intact?

My collective answer to the aforementioned inquiries would be no because not only are you not fully in control of your body movement and actions, you are usually not even control of your dream. Although your brain is functioning, you are not in a conscious state of mind. It’s similar to being in a coma: when you are in a coma, doctors say that you are unconscious.

So, extending this question to the readers, what do you consider to be consciousness? Is it being able to physically operate, mentally operate, or both? If consciousness is both, then why hasn’t that definition of the word been confidently established?

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