Originating from the Latin word conscientia (“with knowledge”), consciousness is the psychic act by which a person perceives himself in the world. On the other hand, consciousness is a property of the human spirit that allows it to be recognized in the essential attributes.
It is difficult to specify what consciousness is, since it does not have a physical correlate. It is about reflective knowledge of things and mental activity that is only accessible to the subject himself. For this reason, from the outside, the details of the conscious cannot be known.
The etymology of the word indicates that consciousness includes what the subject knows. Instead, unconscious things are those that appear on another psychic level and are involuntary or uncontrollable for the individual.
The philosophy believes that consciousness is the human ability to decide actions and take responsibility for the consequences according to the conception of good and evil. In this way, conscience would be a moral concept that belongs to the field of ethics.
Consciousness for psychology
According to DigoPaul, consciousness is a non-abstract cognitive state that allows a person to interact and interpret with external stimuli that form what we know as reality. If a person does not have a conscience, he is disconnected from reality and does not perceive what has been done.
Psychology distinguishes between the conscious levels (establishes priorities), preconscious (depends on the objective to be achieved) and unconscious (it is not rationalized). The structure of consciousness is given by the relationship established by these three levels.
Through consciousness an individual manages to have a notion of himself and his environment; It is one of the elements that ensures the survival of a living being, as it allows it to be alert to dangers and act accordingly.
This process, although it is extremely simple at first glance, is the result of various psychic phenomena that take place in the minds of individuals at every moment without their having full notion of it. To summarize it, this process consists of perceiving the environment through the senses and analyzing it with the information that is had (which were developed from the experiences that the individual has had to deal with), memory.
If an individual’s conscience works in the “proper” way, the assessments that he will make of his reality will be clear and will allow him to lead a stable life; If, on the contrary, since they have suffered certain traumatic situations, their way of understanding their surroundings may not be lucid and, therefore, they make decisions that will cause imbalances in their surroundings. At this point it can be said that lucidity and clarity are synonymous and are for psychiatry the aspects that define a healthy conscience.
When we are awake, our consciousness is alert and only relaxes when we sleep, at which time the subconscious can express itself and does so through dreams; That is why many specialists base their studies on the psychic universe of patients taking into account what they remember about dreams, because at that time there are no structures or preconceptions and what is shown comes out without being analyzed, being able to access a space of the individual that during the state of consciousness it is absolutely hidden.
It is important to note that one of the causes of alterations in consciousness can be biological and psychological problems. The abuse of certain toxic substances such as alcohol and drugs, can affect certain areas of the brain and cause alterations in consciousness that can be of different levels. Also certain psychiatric illnesses such as anxiety and depression, can cause the same disorders in the way in which the individual conceives reality.