As I was poking around the Internet, I ran across a mind-blowing video featuring physician-turned-mind-body-guru, Deepak Chopra, producer of the recently released meditation video game, Leela. I gotta tell you, this guy has a real knack for taking extraordinarily complex ideas and reducing them to clever little nuggets of wisdom.
“Consciousness cannot be perceived, but without it there is no perception,” he said. “It cannot be cognized, but without it there is no thought.”
Speaking of consciousness, there seems to be an increasing number of folks who feel that consciousness – as imperceptible as it may be – is actually at the root of everything we experience. Not just what we think but what we see, what we feel, even our health. Still, as the narrator of the aforementioned video puts it, “We know neither the source of its existence nor the limitation of its potential, but it could be the most important exploration of our time.”
Over the years, my own exploration of this topic has yielded some pretty interesting observations.
First, I’ve figured out that consciousness has to reside somewhere outside my brain. Think about it: have you ever found yourself saying to someone, “That’s exactly what I was thinking”? How could this be possible if the source of what they were thinking was somehow locked inside their head?
Second, I’ve concluded that consciousness knows no limits. New ideas occur to practically everyone every day. This fact alone would seem to indicate that there are no restrictions to its potential.
So, then, where does consciousness come from? And where is it taking us? Perhaps a clue or two might be found in the impact consciousness has on our health. Just ask medical researcher, Gail Ironson.
Dr. Ironson conducted a study to determine the relationship between consciousness and the progression of AIDS. She looked at two key factors: viral load, which lets you know how much of the virus is in your body, and immune cells, which work to fend off the AIDS virus. Bottom line: Those who were actively cultivating a spiritual outlook had a much lower viral load and maintained immune cells at a noticeably higher rate than those who consciously disavowed such activity.
Although I’ve never had to deal with anything as serious as AIDS, I’ve noticed a similar pattern in my own experience. Simply put, the more I think about my spirituality, the better I feel.
So what does this all mean? While one – or even a hundred – medical studies might not provide us with any definitive answers, there are at least two intriguing possibilities to consider. One is that the source of consciousness, by whatever name you call it, is divine. The other is that its potential impact on our health is huge.
Certainly this is something worth exploring further.