Is consciousness the same as awareness, or do the two words refer to different dimensions of perception? Could it be that in sleep, consciousness dissolves into awareness, which melts into emptiness?
“Awareness is primordial; it is the original state, beginningless, endless, uncaused, unsupported, without parts, without change. Consciousness is on contact, a reflection against a surface, a state of duality. There can be no consciousness without awareness, but there can be awareness without consciousness, as in deep sleep. Awareness is absolute, consciousness is relative to its content; consciousness is always of something. Consciousness is partial and changeful, awareness is total, changeless, calm and silent. And it is the common matrix of every experience.”
~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
According to world expert on lucid dreaming, Stephen LaBerge, consciousness is awareness plus mind and the structure of the individual brain. “That’s a critical understanding,” he says, “Consciousness does have to do with the brain, but it’s not awareness. Awareness is the word for what it is prior to the one thing we are sure of.”
Stephen LaBerge is the first scientist to empirically prove the existence of the phenomena of lucid dreaming. His work has developed this technique into a powerful tool for studying mind-body relationships in the dream state and he has demonstrated the considerable potential for lucid dreaming in the fields of psychotherapy and psychosomatic medicine. His book on the subject, Lucid Dreaming, Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming and his more academic Conscious Mind, Sleeping Brain have received enormous popular interest. He is the founder of The Lucidity Institute, an organization that promotes research into lucid dreaming, as well as running courses for the general public on how to achieve a lucid dream