A consciousness is an energy aware of itself. This is man himself, who can be in the embodied or unembodied state.
In the atheistic materialism, they spoke of “public consciousness”, or the term consciousness was identified with the term intellect.
But in the fundamental psychology and religion, this word denotes a lump of self-aware energy. In Sanskrit, the mind is termed manas and the consciousness — buddhi.
(In Sanskrit there is another term jeeva meaning a soul which is not developed yet through the methods of buddhi yoga)
Refinement Of Consciousness
One of the most important tasks on the spiritual Path is the refinement of consciousness.
God — in the aspects of the Holy Spirit and the Creator — represents the most subtle forms of Consciousness. Thus, we may approach Him only after refining ourselves as consciousnesses to His level of subtlety.
It make sense to begin the work of the refinement of consciousness with the transformation of the emotional sphere: by renouncing coarse emotional states (first of all — various forms of anger, condemnation, envy, jealousy, etc) and by cultivating subtle ones (first of all — all kinds of the emotional love: tenderness, caress, the ability to admire the beautiful and to attune to it, etc).
Full success in such work may be achieved only with the help of cleansing and development of the chakras.
Further refinement of consciousness is performed in the spiritual heart. Its original container — the anahata chakra — is a volume existing on the subtle planes within the chest of the body.
The spiritual heart is a bioenergetic organ that produces the emotions of love. The ability to move the concentration of the consciousness into the spiritual heart enables one, in particular, to live in the world of light and love.
Jesus said about this: “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Matt 5:8). “Enter into your temple, into your heart. Illumine it with good thoughts and the patience and immovable confidence which you should have in your Father” (The Life of Saint Issa 9:12).
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Information courtesy of encyclopedia-of-religion