Week 7: Consciousness and Beyond

asilaydying1Consciousness is defined by Merriam-Webster as


1 a: the quality or state of being aware especially of something within oneself b: the state or fact of being conscious of an external object, state, or fact c: awareness ; especially : concern for some social or political cause

2: the state of being characterized by sensation, emotion, volition, and thought : mind

But what exactly does this mean? Consciousness can be expressed as the ability to interpret and understand the different types of experiences on has within their life period. Consciousness is a very difficult concept to pin point because there are various different forms of consciousness. One has their normal conscious self, or one can be thinking subconsciously, and one can just be unconscious; as stupid as that my sound. People all over the world have at one point tried to express these various forms of consciousness.

                If consciousness understands everyday life then every single person in this world has differedali1nt interpretations of every day events or even big massive events. For example let us imagine a cute quirky couple and they have just recently gotten into a fight. Logically they both experiences the same situation however each has interpreted this argument in a different manner; he says he didn’t do anything wrong and she says you don’t understand me you lie and on and on. What happened is that both were aware of what happened but consciously they interpreted the situation based on their own past experiences and biases. This type of situation further leads into how the man and woman think about this in their subconscious mind and what they possibly dream while unconscious. Therefore it is safe to assume that all these different forms of consciousness are the same yet different.

                Art has been poking its nose into these three stages of consciousness for a very long time, and they are all expressed in various forms. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner is one of the most amazing books ever written, not only that but it is a perfect expression of the conscious mind. This book is going through the death and burial of Addie Bundren and each different section, or chapter, is an expressions of the characters conscious thoughts at that specific moment in time. The thoughts of each character are all jumbled up and are unreliable because they each interpret the situation at hand in a very different way especially when it comes to Vardaman, the youngest child of the buck, and Darl the apparently psycfk200708_03hotic one of the family.

                And then there is art that depicts the subconscious mind and the unconscious being. Two of the best examples I could think of the art works of Salvador Dali and Frida Kahlo, “The Persistence of Memory” “Dali’s Dream of A Virgin” and “Henry Ford Hospital,” respectively. Both of Dali’s paintings represent his memory in an unconscious state. Dali was a very unique individual in his views and in his ideas and his time was well spent, therefore in “The Persistence of Memory” it depicts his dream like memories of his doings in the past and possibly in the future. “Dali’s Dream of a Virgin” represents his addiction to sex, he would constantly take women in between paintings and this art piece represented one of his biggest fantasies taking a virgin in the roughest way possible, as dark as it was.  Furthermore, Frida Kahlo painted “Henry Ford Hospital” as a subconscious perspective of one of herdalidream most devastating experiences, that of her miscarriage.  “Henry Ford Hospital” is a self-portrait of her in hospital bed bleeding and crying with various symbols relating the miscarriage floating around her hospital bed. Frida Kahlo was a master at expressing her subconscious and conscious feelings in painting.

                Consciousness is a very difficult idea to grasp but what is true is that many hundreds of people try to express them in various forms whether in songs, books, paintings, sculptures, or speech it is a phenomena that leads to great and emotion provoking art work. These creators of art are trying to express how they feel and facilitate the organizational process in their mind. Some wish they were what they create and some just create to share their pain or joy to the world but in a conscious state of mind and being everything is created.

Dafne Luna





















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