Proof Of Afterlife By Awareness
2.1. Section One – What Is Awareness?
2.1.1 Awareness Is Existence
Awareness is the state or ability to perceive, to feel, and be conscious. Awareness is the state or quality of being aware of something. Awareness is being alive. Awareness is our perception and cognitive reaction to objects, conditions or events in our environment. It is being aware of our surrounding environment. It is our focus. It is our consciousness. It is that portion of what is going on around us of which we are consciously aware. It is what our conscious mind focuses on. Someone is aware when they focus on what is happening around them.
The question is: how much of what goes on around us are we actually aware of?
2.1.2. Sequential Nature of Awareness
Let’s say you are sitting at your desk at work. It is 10:00 in the morning. As you are sitting in your cubical a friend walks by and says Hi. You look up and smile. A minute later a bird flies past your window. You catch a glimpse of it as it passes. Then your phone rings. As you reach over to pickup the phone you inadvertently knock your cup of coffee over on your desk, spilling coffee all over your papers. When you draw this up on a time line it looks like this:
The period of time from 10:00 to 10:04 was rather hectic. Looking back on it we have a tendency to think that everything happened at once. In our minds we got hit with four things at once.
However when you draw it out on a time line you can see that four things did not happen at once. They happened over time sequentially. At 10:00 you are sitting at your desk. Someone walks by and says hi. Your attention (shown as a black dot) shifts from whatever you are doing to the person. At 10:01 when the bird flies by your attention shifts from the person to the bird outside. Then it shifts again. Finally it shifts again to the spilled coffee on the desk.
Because awareness is sequential we tend to overestimate what we are aware of. More goes on around us than we actually pay attention to. Our conscious awareness is our focal point within the environment, like the black dot above. It darts around from thing to thing over time. We tend to focus exclusively on the one thing we deem important at the moment. Then focus shifts rapidly as our attention gets preempted. We think we have paid attention to all four things simultaneously. However we really focused on just one thing at a time.
2.1.3. The Party Analogy
To illustrate how awareness works imagine yourself at a party. Here is my diagram of what the party might look like:
Imagine twenty people in a fairly small room like this. People are formed into small groups as shown above. Inside each group is a conversation as represented by the red circle surrounding each group.. People are standing around, affiliated with their group, listening and commenting on the current conversational topic of the group. Each group maintains its own unique line of thought.
We walk around the party alone, not affiliated with any particular group. When we join a group our awareness focuses on the conversation of the group. We listen to the conversation of our group, focus on it exclusively, and tune out all the other conversations going on simultaneously in the groups around the room.
A diagram of the party from above looks like this:
Here is how the party is represented in the diagram:
1. The blue dots represent people at the party.
2. The red circles represent the conversations of the various groups of people at the party.
3. The green circles represent sound (noise) generated by the conversations of the groups.
When we join a group (shown as a blue dot within a red circle) we listen to the conversation of our group. However, the sound of our group’s conversion (as represented by the shaded green circle) extends physically beyond our group. The sound of conversation (green circle) is larger than the group (red circle).
Our ability to listen to the conversation in our group (and tune out all the other conversations in the room) is not based on proximity. Nor is it based on sound volume. Then conversation we pay attention to is based on awareness. We are aware of (tuned in to) the conversation in our group because we choose to focus on that conversation. At the same time we choose NOT to be aware of (ignore) all other conversations. Other conversations become background noise. Of all the conversations in the room, we listen to only one: our group’s conversation.
The other conversations are relegated to background noise. They may be just as loud as the conversation we are listening to but we choose not to listen. We can hear other conversations (as shown by the overlapping green circles) but we do not listen to them. At some locations in the room we hear three or more conversations. Yet we choose to listen to only the one we are in. Our conscious awareness stays with one conversation exclusively, usually the one we are closest to and actively engaged in.
However we could, if we wanted to, tune out (ignore) our group’s conversion and tune into a conversation next to us. Here is how that works:
1. We are in a group listening to its conversation.
2. Then, all of a sudden, we catch interesting gossip in the group next to us.
3. We are really interested in this gossip.
4. We tune out (ignore) the conversation we are in.
5. We tune into conversation next to us.
6. We hear the tasty gossip from the distant group.
7. We listen exclusively to what they are saying for a little while.
8. Someone in our group asks us a question.
9. Our attention shifts back to the group we are in.
There is nothing to stop us from doing this. Attention shift happens all the time. All we have to do is to shift our awareness from our group to another group and follow their line of thought. We do not need to move physically. All we need to do is change our focus. When our awareness is in another group’s conversation we will lose the line of thought in our own group’s conversation. While your attention is with the other group, our group’s conversation becomes background noise.