One of the most significant stumbling blocks in almost all explanations of consciousness is that they focus on the wrong thing. The consciousness we most often talk about is trivial in terms of understanding the facility of the mind. In addition to this familiar human consciousness, people also occasionally experience so-called animal consciousness. Animal awareness emerges, for example, in the context of so-called mystical experiences. Human consciousness cannot be explained without animal consciousness. Despite its rarity, the mystical experience turns the idea of consciousness completely on its head. In general, the description of the human mind is based on so-called essentialism. In it, human minds have the built-in essence that makes them what they are. Therefore, we believe that the mind must be explained based on qualities manifested in it. However, it is the missing quality that explains why the mind works the way it does. Next, I will try to clarify what should happen to the human psyche as he grows up and explains the essence of consciousness familiar to us.
Every child has the ability and passion to learn for herself the nature around her, but adults abuse this skill by forcing him or her to learn the highly distorted and theoretical worldview of adults.
Childhood runs on autopilot
Consciousness is considered one of the greatest human mysteries. The problematic nature of consciousness is mainly due to the attempt to explain consciousness as an advanced form of animal consciousness. However, studies of mystical consciousness suggest that such a perception is wrong. The differences between animal consciousness and human consciousness are not a matter of development, but of being intended for different situations. Moreover, human consciousness cannot be understood without considering the differences between the consciousnesses of the child and adolescents. The child’s psyche is controlled by a kind of mental “autopilot” and the child, therefore, doesn’t wonder or question it. Thanks to this autopilot, the child learns his environment quickly and safely. Learning is guided by many mental mechanisms, including e.g., ties to parents, emotions, feelings, imagination, will, reason, memory, and heavily modified sensory experiences. Rapid learning is also made possible by the fact that the child takes his or her environment for granted and does not question it. During adolescence, the mechanisms gradually begin to disengage. The world of the obvious disappears first. As a result, the child begins the so-called second questioning period (which practically never ends). The child questions the values of his parents and their right to always be right. The other mental mechanisms should soon also disappear as an indication that the individual is finally an adult (and no longer “an individual”). However, this never happens.
The mental stagnation aka being lost
The teen falls into darkness and feels unaware. His or her instincts will never come to replace the lost autopilot. This uncertainty, which we later call consciousness or awareness, becomes the permanent state of the psyche. Despite its permanence, it is merely a state of transition and thus devoid of all the security and happiness the individual expected throughout his or her growing up. The culmination of everything turns out to be a mere bubble.
On the one hand, consciousness can be considered as one of the defects caused by the prolonged maturation of the human species. It is clear that nature was not meant to develop any permanent state of mind like the human consciousness, but that it is a mistake. The mistake is that the state of the psyche we know as consciousness does not disappear, even if it should; I have also addressed this defect elsewhere on this site. It would be absurd to try to explain humans as peculiar beings by this faulty quality alone. It should be understood that the autopilot has stopped working, but also that it should be replaced by a different kind of mechanism, one important part of which is instincts. And that one could be called animal consciousness. Different languages have their own words to describe the state of mind I call here “animal consciousness”, but because of the great variety of terms, I shall use this as a general term for the phenomenon.
Please note that it is actually questionable whether animal consciousness can be called “consciousness” at all because rather it is a lack of consciousness. But since there are no common terms, let it be called consciousness. In practice, however, animal consciousness lacks all the mechanisms by which a child built the safe world necessary for his survival. After all, an adult does not even need such safety.
Consciousness is a childish feature
Although all human beings have both state consciousness and creature consciousness (or animal consciousness), the latter rarely comes to the fore. This must be because humans have lost it at some point in their evolution. Animal consciousness remains hidden, but it nevertheless comes to the fore through rare and occasional mystical experiences. It is known that the connection between animals and mysticism has been understood for a long time and is evident in the traditions of many indigenous peoples and there is no need to repeat the examples here. Instead, the so-called civilized cultures have sought to eradicate this understanding by tidying up mysticism by removing the animal, raw, and childish foreign ingredients from it. By transforming animal nature into human nature, civilization has practically made mysticism incomprehensible.
Since state consciousness is just a mistake, all things of human interest are, of course, due to animal consciousness. Where state consciousness is just narrow and self-contained, animal consciousness in many ways knows no boundaries. Mystical experiences alone have shown that even our highest cultural creations, such as languages, are completely useless in describing reality. Animal consciousness totally escapes all attempts at explanation. It is important to understand that the purpose of children’s psychic mechanisms is not to give a true picture of the world but to protect the child at the expense of distorting reality.
The “exploded view” of the mind. “Animal consciousness” should replace a set of different tools (“state consciousness”) designed to control sensory perceptions and transform them into an easy-to-understand form. Will, reason, and memory disappear when animal consciousness dominates the mind.
Mystical consciousness reaches out to the animal world
Animal consciousness should also be the actual mind of an adult, but in the case of modern humans, this is only partially realized (i.e. with mystics). What animal consciousness actually is hard to express clearly, but something can still be said about it. W. T. Stace has described experiences from different times and different cultures in his book Mysticism and Philosophy. In this state, the mechanisms of consciousness, i.e., will, reason, and memory cease to function. Now at the end of adolescence, they have accomplished their mission. Second, sensory-modifying mechanisms cease to function and sensory stimuli come to mind directly and uncensored (“as such”). At the same time childhood hypersensitivity disappears and, for example, smell, taste and visual senses become sharper. The tendency to perceive forms, shapes and characters, which means, for example, recognizing faces, disappears. Also, the sequence of points is no longer perceived as a line. Instead of the whole, the details seem more interesting. Ethical or moral attitudes disappear and previously dirty, ugly and broken things take on a strange interesting and nice character. A person also loses his or her former relationship with his or her parents, which clearly means that he or she becomes independent as his or her parents and is no longer a child. The consciousness that used to shape all these things has disappeared—so it has not changed or evolved, it has only fulfilled its mission.
Human consciousness, considered an exceptional hallmark of excellence and uniqueness, is only a trivial and meaningless transition that in itself explains absolutely nothing about modern humans and their psyche. If we try to explain man as a whole by a property that is only temporary, the result is inevitably skewed. No matter how unpleasant it may seem, we must see ourselves as mentally unfinished animals.