First a little passage from the great Russian cognitive psychologist and theorist of learning Vygotsky:
Did that appear in the right spot in the blog post?
Anyway. Lots of non-philosophers say this seemingly deep thing — consciousness is the essence of mind. It is the barest purest kind of experience. And through it you can be enlightened. They say this anyway.
But here Vygotsky points out two other things that theoreticians also know —
1. Language is present here. In consciousness we have language as the voice of our mind and its inescapable. It’s not some kind of dull cloudy awareness. There are words.
2. Other people are here too. We are aware of other people as intrinsically and natively as of ourselves. In fact consciousness is like seeing yourself the way you perceive others. “Oh there I am thinking of cookies”. That’s the same relation we have to Cookie Monster.
Sorry for the philosophical interlude but the mind is super interesting. Don’t let Deepak Chopra or Maharishi Mahesh Yogi be all you know about it.