Basic definitions of awareness, attention, understanding, and intelligence

Acharya Prashant
8 min readFeb 20, 2020

The word awareness is meaningful only in the context of the word consciousness. Consciousness is a divisive phenomenon. To be conscious of something is to be something and know the other thing. Consciousness is always in duality. You always say, “I am conscious of something.”

When you go close to what you are conscious of, when you are really inclined to know and realize the object of consciousness, then you soon discover that it is impossible to know that object without turning inwards. You have to know the subject also. The more you want to know the object, the more you have to turn towards the subject. The more you turn towards the subject, the more you see that the subject and object are inseparable; that they are the one. If they are one, then the distance between the subject and object disappears. Now there is no telling apart, they are one and hence there is nothing. Subject and object hold meaning only when they are separate.

When you are one with the object of your consciousness, when you are one with the world, then there is no point in saying you and the world; then there is just one entity and that one entity is neither you nor the world. Both you and the world disappear. This disappearance is the end of consciousness. This disappearance is the end of duality. An empty space free of consciousness remains and this is awareness. So in awareness, there is no you and there is no world.

You can always claim that you are conscious of something but could never say, “I am aware of something.” In awareness, there is neither I nor something. This also tells us about the nature of consciousness. The more deeply you are conscious of something, the more that thing starts disappearing. Now, this is contrary to the popular perception. What happens is that the more we say we are conscious of something, the bigger it becomes an image in our mind.

Reality is different.

As the level of consciousness increases, the world starts getting more and more hazy.

The boundary line between you and the world start getting blurred.

You start seeing yourself in whatever you see.

You start finding it difficult to go just by what your eyes are

Acharya Prashant