Inquiry Question #1 - What does it mean to be conscious?

Hello everyone!!

For my first inquiry project here, I decided to look into the meaning of consciousness. This particular topic really intrigues me principally because I feel like there are many degrees of awareness. In grade 9, I was learning about the themes of reality, dreams and imagination when my class was reading "A Midsummer Night's Dream". We had to ask ourselves if the characters in the play were being delusional when they were seeing mythical creatures like fairies. These topics really got me interested and made me want to understand more about it. So, what does consciousness mean?

Consciousness, by definition, means to be awake and aware of one's surroundings, thoughts, memories and feelings. However, I believe there is so much meaning behind it. For instance, when we are dreaming, some people would say we are being transported to whole other reality, and that we perceive everything differently during that experience. Consequently, many believe that when we sleep that we are evidently unconscious. But hear me out: aren't times where we remember things that happen when we sleep, like our dreams, and you would go recount some of the most memorable ones to your friends? These occurrences can lead to the fact that we could be conscious at times during our sleep because, in fact, if we are indeed aware of what if doing on, wouldn't we remember what happened? Thus, you can see how complex the world of psychology is. Nonetheless, other topics I find interesting that relate to consciousness include also meditation, hallucinations, hypnosis and even what happens when people intake psychoactive drugs. 

Feel free to leave any suggestions on what I could do during my research rounds, all are appreciated!

 

Thank you for reading!

-Alison

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