We have been Confusing Consciousness with Awareness for a very Long Time.

Eric Stone
12 min readMay 24, 2020


©2020 Philippe Benichou

Some eighty thousands years ago, Neanderthals mutated into Cro-Magnon creatures and evolution would give these beings self-reflected consciousness. It was indeed the development of the neocortex which took man out of the “natural” world and naturally so, no pun intended, it was quite a fantastic step out of the caves — a sort of slow A.I. prehistoric mutative awakening!

We literally became conscious beings: conscious of being conscious and to be more specific: strategic life began. As an extraordinary example, Neanderthals had the bow but never invented the arrow. Fast forward, it eventually gave us civilisation as we know it.

Here is my premise: we have been confusing consciousness with awareness for a very long time. At the level of the soul or spirit-awareness, self-reflected consciousness or the consciousness of being conscious is completely blind and with it, so is mind. It is conscious but unaware of what it is i.e. its nature or essence, where it comes from and why it exists at all.

What is being “reflected” or I should say “projected” through the process of self-reflected consciousness is a formidable evolutionary and measured advantage over other organisms on earth but it does not make any of us human beings AWARE. My point being is that we became formidable “conscious” strategists but without awareness.

For instance, at night we return to the blindness and innocence of the natural world as far as our bodies and conscious selves are concerned and, to be sure, with no self-reflection whatsoever, just streams of images and clips of this and that with no real insight into their nature or true meaning — if any. Attempts have been made through Freud or Young and the likes but without any profound impact on the true nature of awareness. Rather, more or less brilliant insights into the nature of the unconscious — what we don’t know that we don’t know.

Now and as mentioned, self-reflected consciousness was indeed an evolutionary breakthrough, a real miracle for our species in a sense but let me be clear: with no awareness coming along with it. I’d rather call it a conscious state of blindness or a certain ability to see through the prism of self-reflection and its many facets and identities but operating at a still very primitive level.

How can we claim awareness through that kind of crude consciousness? A dog is just as conscious of the bone it is chewing on (try taking it away and see) but it does not give a dog awareness either, just limited self-reflected and instinctive moments of what is in front of it. Far from the amoeba in terms of complexity but nonetheless, I trust you get my point.

Hence, as self-reflected mind developed to such unprecedented extremes of complexities, awareness did not! The best we did was to organise and evolve as well as invent elaborate systems of control over nature and the animal world. We thus wrongly thought MAN could transcend and be changed through that kind of domineering control. The false hopes of religion, conquests through warring and massive genocides were born.

It began really early in our history as the frustrations associated with the obvious failures of the “Goodness” or “Godliness” of man was too much to bear or just fanatically believed. Self-reflected consciousness gave us power over animals and nature but it did not give us awareness, let alone transcendence over our savage nature. In my view, extremism and fundamentalism are today the new and revised remnants of these early times. To be fair, we have made progress towards relative peace but only in some parts of the world and to be frank relative peace is not granting us awareness either.

A second premise: awareness presupposes a binary in consciousness or more accurately a dual consciousness. Awareness is not possible within the framework of a single consciousness i.e. mind. As it seems, awareness is what is given to a very few individuals by pure serendipity. There is no gene for it.

The best way to define awareness is to realise it has two extraordinary elements: a profound absence of agendas and no form to be seen or measured — it is the pure awareness of being aware and simply the presence and ability to “see” through the prisms of mind and body awareness (senses, instincts and intuition) without any agendas. A few beings, relative to the impressive billions of people that roam the earth, are capable of going beyond self-reflected mind.

It is through anchoring in and trusting our “body consciousness” that awakening from mind consciousness is possible. Awareness outgrows and outstrips self-reflected “single” consciousness of its delusions by going beyond mind and its erroneous convictions of omnipotence and scaring tactics.

From a mythological point of view and through the creation of very powerful Gods, deities, superior beings or entities AND to escape the unknown, we became conditioned to dominate — with extraordinary brutality and phenomenal rage to be frank. All forms of arrogance and false claims set in — to this day. To give credit where credit is due, man truly conquered the animal and plant world — it was not an easy task nor did it happen overnight.

As a whole, single self-reflected consciousness is at the root of our blindness and of our frustration or lack of presence. To go beyond mind is to see the magnificence of self-reflected mind and its evolutionary accomplishments but equally see that we have, genetically speaking, moved beyond mind.

Furthermore, if we do not see mind for what it is and has been for a very very long time, what is being reflected through it is a false “self-reflected” display of identities, all of them rooted in our ancestral past NOT in our present mutative potential.

We are not here to “be” self-reflected consciousness but rather “see through it” and establish new expressions of our spirits in complete exploration of what it is to be an “aware spirit” within this experiential plane we call life or the world.

Mind is ruled by fear and it lies to protect its interests, it is quite something to grasp without judgement or without falling prey to new and old age clichés. We know that “all there is is love” is a song by the Beatles, not something we practice and experience daily without fail. Paradoxically, consider this: quite remarkably and without the shadow of a doubt, in our spirited personality and essence, we are all-knowing and the process of inhabiting this splendid sphere we call being alive is the dilemma of conditioning we are caught in as well as the dominant source for our suffering.

I postulate that we obviously forgot that we are all-knowing, hence the profound dilemma of our existence. Technically, we lack the sensitivity to this knowing due to the density and savage nature of our being as a whole for thousands of years that still believes in mind’s fears. The awakening of the spirit inside each and every being is the remembering of what we are and freeing ourselves from the ultimate prison: the universe of fear, need and survival.

The only way to get rid of mind or, more accurately to go beyond it, is to starve it of attention but it cannot happen “inside” mind. Dual consciousness is what allows you to watch your mind and without another anchor “outside of it” it is impossible to watch your mind — because if you are IN IT (your mind or thoughts) and thinking through it, all you do is spin around in circles.

Why would you get rid of mind you may ask? If you catch the humour, mind is really not the problem; it is our absence or lack of presence that invites the mind to control our lives — in a state of frenzy and panic I might add. Once you know and remember what you are: a spirited being, possibly eternal and immortal (as in having never incarnated itself), creator of universes and pure attention without tension, your journey toward awareness begins.

What is “attention with absence of tension” ? Let’s imagine for a moment that you are a prisoner of your mind, a sort of stellar Houdini, trapped in a mental trip or mental delusion (your life on earth) instead of a tank filled with water. Hence, the new Houdini premise goes like this: to forget what you are is to remember your prison. Like Houdini, imagine that you purposely put yourself in that mental prison to demonstrate like him that you can get out of it.

Houdini could get himself out of the tank because he (his deep conviction to himself) was not “in it” — he was seeing himself out of it from another vantage point if you follow the logic of dual consciousness. Therefore, the moment you remember what you are, you are no longer trapped in your mind nor confused. Like Houdini it does require some magic but I hope you see that it is worth it.

How to we get trapped in a mental trip? We remember our incarcerated state when something happens in our bodies or in our thoughts i.e. a feeling, a sensation, a phone call or a memory, a specific sound — then our attention, our true spirit, gets swallowed into an abyss; we shall call this abyss a mental and emotional suffering fog-trap. We’ve now lost our free attention and have become absorbed into the reality of the physical world. And because what we focus on literally owns us by robbing us of what we are in essence and robbing us of our most precious gift: presence through awareness, we literally disappear in the world of forms and sensations.

How do we remain prisoners of this mental and emotional fog? By trying to understand, know, make sense or need — any kind of need. Consider that to transcend or awaken is not a NEED or a WANT. Unfortunately, in order to understand these NEEDS, we all do what is considered natural: we think our way through life by using our MINDS to navigate. So we get stuck in the abyss of self-reflected consciousness but without awareness. We “think” we are aware by repeating senseless mantras or following rituals but when we stop, we go back to an even deeper state of confusion and fear. We are not aware that we carry dual consciousness: a body consciousness and a mind consciousness — they are completely different and separate yet maintained in an illusion of separateness.

It is thinking that creates our ego-self. Let’s call it an ego-based “thinking paradigm”. This thinking paradigm builds a virtual “thinking space” in order to make sense, understand and, most important, make decisions in order to pursue our goals and purpose in life. Our ego-self has needs, which is the first way “it” knows how to prove and improve its existence. The first need is to survive, thrive and claim domination.

In addition, our virtual thinking space needs an “I” (ego) to play the game of survival well and it also needs to understand everything in relationship to that ego-self. This need creates our mental prison and as long as we do not see the game, we remain prisoner of the illusion of an ego-self, controlled by the mind in order to survive and thrive on the material plane.

Very early on in life, we learn how to reason this way of dealing with people and circumstances, and we end up confusing reasoning with resonating. We were never taught to trust the life inside of us completely. All of our ego quests aim at understanding by way of analysing and pressuring our minds to know and control what we know. We thus drift so far away from allowing our lives to unfold just the way they are supposed to and, more to the point, convinced that we are in charge of everything and creators of our destinies. What if that isn’t true at all?

After all, as homogenised human being, establishing a strong ego is what early life is all about. A strong ego makes it possible to believe in the illusion of a false self, hence the Houdini metaphor. This illusion of self captures our free attention (our essence) and does everything in its power (by thinking) to understand and make sense of what it considers “its” life.

Assuredly, it not only feels like a full-time job but captures all of our energy and time to the point where nothing else exists. It is quite a remarkable thing to free oneself from. Even though we are not aware of them, these pressuring forces to use the mind to survive exist all around us.

The universe is literally a gigantic information field, which penetrates us every moment. Since billions of years, information travels at near the speed of light and these thought-entities take the form of fears, hopes, desires, expectations, needs, hard work, pressure, tensions, etc., inside of us. And because it is practiced and reinforced daily by everyone around us, they hypnotise and hijack our spirit-awareness and our potential.

Consider this: everything that has ever been thought or seen roams around in the universe at near the speed of light and leaves an imprint inside every object it penetrates.

You regain clarity by removing your attention from false needs and quests. You begin to remember that whatever is happening in your body or your thoughts is not a cause for reflection or debate. Our bodies act or do not act, based on instincts and intuition that operate way below our conscious self-reflected ability. The brain system manages a formidable amount of tasks, including our heart rate, blood circulation, etc., without our conscious intervention. On the other hand, ego reflects because it is so afraid to die and “thinks” it is in charge or desperately “needs” to be in charge.

Once you begin to see that your conscious self is not in charge of anything, you then become all knowing again — without the need to know or the “conscious” need for anything. You have passed through the mirror of the abyss of suffering, which, at the root is pure unconsciousness with a false illusion of consciousness: an authentic amnesia of the soul with a deeply buried sense that something is wrong or not “quite right” in your life.

Awareness or free attention does not need anything, as it knows everything — except that the knowing is NOT mental or intellectual. So, beware of: desire, fear and denial. At night we fall asleep, and in the morning our pursuits and goals wake us up. Off we go chasing after our quests, after all, we need to get better and conquer the day! We possess cellular intelligence that navigates for us and any kind of desire to know could be a trap. This kind of transference or distraction is not worth it.

Through the mind, our trapped “free awareness” copies what it thinks is the matrix of your life but it can ONLY project it « holographically » as an image of the body. In other words, what we see as the body and what your consciousness sees is in reality a made-up copy of what the body sees. Our personality thinks it has its own life but in reality it is trapped in an illusion of autonomy and control.

Mind simply projects binary measurements but is never aware of what it projects — it just does. We are designed for awareness; there is no “real experiencing” outside of it as mind is incapable of experience — any kind of experience! As an example, if you think your mind makes love, that should give you a sense of where you’re at on the ladder of awareness.

We are pure attention, that doesn’t know tension or agendas. But this “pure attention” is so fluid and sensitive that we can identify with tensions, quests, agendas, feelings, thoughts, vibrations, frequencies, etc., to direct and imprison our attention. The minute we fall for it, we forget what we are and the distortion of time and space begins… in awareness language, we call this transference and distraction. Awareness forgets itself and we fall for the deep sleep of false desires and fears by following the “corridors of phenomena” instead of remaining centred and connected to our natural “watcher” and aware state. Thus, identification puts us to sleep. No longer “free attention”, we lose ourselves to thought forms and all types of sensations.

Awareness is a complete absence of tension and pure knowing of what you are but it isn’t mental or intellectual knowing. You know because you know and there is nothing to prove, explain or remember…you have left the tyranny of self-reflected mind. You begin to see more and more that life is always happening without mind’s interference but now, you are able to catch its wonderful rhythms without being lost in the programming. Regardless of what happens, you are free!

Note: these are essays in intuitive awareness offered as creative musings. Science uses intuition to establish new paths of inquiry and advance possible theories. This is more of a philosophical exploration through intuition rather than fit-all reasoning. Our mystical traveling offers an experiential platform from which to filter universal consciousness uniquely in the now.



Eric Stone

All great outcomes in life come from a paradigm shift in perspective. Maximize your personal development with emotional awareness, confidence & great skills.