Consciousness - Types and Examples
(PD) - Jacques Hadamard
Photo enhancements and wording by Larry Neal Gowdy
Copyright ©2014-2021 - updated February 12, 2021
Most everyone believes that they know what consciousness is, and yet not unlike western philosophy having squandered over two-thousand years debating ethics - a word that most everyone also believes that they know - so do all religions, philosophies, and sciences trod along under the belief that they know what consciousness is. Neither science nor academia have yet discerned what an ethic is, or a moral, or love, or consciousness, but man is content to believe that he knows everything there is to know about a thing that he cannot see nor describe.
During the past year I had written over 100,000 words for this article, and yet I continued to edit, delete, and rewrite the words with my aim to present a concept of consciousness that is useful without my delving into countless parallel topics that might cause a distraction of too many variables. Fully dissatisfied that I could so easily speak perpetually on consciousness while yet my always purposefully skirting-around the very meat of the topic so as to not too clearly state answers that should be self-created by the reader and not be merely memorized, after a day of attacking the problem I decided to choose brief bluntness and to blurt-out some of the reasons why the topic of consciousness will never find an academic solution.
The first thing that the public should come to grips with is that whatsoever a biologist, philosopher, or anyone else might claim about consciousness may actually be true for those individuals. Humans are not identical nor so much as reasonably similar; not of personality, not of intelligence, and especially not of awareness. The following examples of differences will help to further illustrate that humans do not share the same experiences, and this thing called 'consciousness' may in fact be dissimilar from one individual to the next.
Emotion is the Universal Language
Let's backup and approach the topic of consciousness within a somewhat sequential nature so as to illustrate the trends that arise during stages of mental development. A typical canine may have a vocabulary of barks and whines, with each vocalization possessing a blend of emotional tones that describe the differences between anger, happiness, playfulness, hunger, etc.. Most all mammal species recognize another species' vocal intents by the listener recognizing the emotional tones of voice as well as the emotional body language. A typical road runner bird's vocabulary is mostly limited to clicks and whines that are also emotionally toned to signify delight, food, danger, etc.. After months of practice with the road runners who lived on my rural lands, in time I learned the differences of emotional toning that signified specific objects such as grasshoppers (a source of food). (Additional illustrations of this topic can be viewed on my other pages at Virtue ethics and Type A B Intelligence).
My own personal method of learning the road runner language was to give continual visual attention to the birds' activity, to hear each difference of tone while the birds experienced specific events, to place into memory what was seen and heard, and to then rationalize the memories of past observations by what I was hearing in the present. By my living in their environment and my participating in their social activities I gained a sufficient familiarity to enable me to vocalize whines and clicks that the road runners apparently understood and reacted to within the concept that I intended (e.g. my vocalizing the presence of food).
The typical animal's means of communication is as intricate as the animal's capacity for emotions as well as the listener's capacity to recognize and self-create similar intricacies of emotions. Unfortunately, most humans have relatively little cognitive recognition of emotional toning, and thus humans are normally incapable of discerning what another species - or even sometimes its own species - is saying. The poverty of typical human cognition of emotional toning is obvious and empirically verified by observing how lying politicians are elected by majority vote, how lying televangelists continue accumulating money dishonestly, and by how crooks continue swindling victims because the victims cannot hear the emotional tones that signify deceit.
Again, the typical mammal recognizes the personalities and intentions of other mammals' by the tone of voice and the emotional tones of body movements (as well as other perceptions including scents). Deer will run to hide from most humans, but some of us can walk up to deer while we are talking, and the deer remain standing and allow us to be near them. Guard dogs that are well trained to defend a property will become docile and friendly when some of us approach. I was able to invest time among birds and other wild animals because I was accepted into their social groups. Too many humans are hateful, deceitful, angry, selfish, mean, and mindless, and animals know it to be so because the animals are skilled at recognizing emotions and scents. The quail that I had long walked with distanced themselves from me for several days after I had eaten meat, but when the meat-eater stench of rotting flesh dissipated, the quail once again accepted my presence. Within the realms of sensory perceptions and emotional conceptualization, wild animals are commonly far more acute than most humans.
Humans have somewhat compensated for their mental instability and lack of emotional and sensorial cognition by inventing spoken languages that are far less intricate than emotional toning. Human languages are still emotionally-based (not so dissimilar to bird songs), and although most humans still do not recognize much of the emotional toning in any spoken word, still the human mind has learned how to self-create an emotional self-interpretation of what words mean to the individual him/herself (again similar to how animals may interpret vocalized emotions).
Similar to other mammals, human words are spoken with the intent of what the speaker interprets as meaningful to the speaker, and the listener translates the words by what the listener interprets the words to mean for themselves. Human languages are useful in societies because the humans share a similar culture that has shared experiences, and so a word - regardless of its lack of definition - can be adequately used by both the speaker and the listener because there is not a too-high quantity of possible objects in the society which would in turn require too many words.
The quantifying variables of intellectual potential here are (1) the mind's ability to recognize greater quantities of intricacies within what a person sensorially perceives and (2) what the person is capable of emotionally self-creating. The human mind normally has a greater potential than most animals' for discerning intricacies of details of seen objects, not because of a higher intellect or sharper senses, but perhaps solely because the human mind may retain and rationally relate more memories of objects. Evidence of the human advantage is observed in man's creations, those of architecture and art, the things that other mammals do little of or none.
The ten year Sensory Quotient project verified that over 99% of humans perceive over 99% of all sensory perceptions subconsciously, and the few perceptions that are received are rudimentary at best. The typical human cannot adequately describe any sensory perception, partly because of the normal human inability to sensorially perceive details, which naturally results in the typical human not possessing the needed knowledge gained from perceptions to be used for rationalizing. If the normal human cannot adequately perceive his world, and yet he can assemble objects to create an imagined purpose (e.g. a house with a door), then the human advantage is the mental retention of vague perceptions as well as the ability to form abstract concepts and to then rationalize how to manipulate and rearrange mud and trees into the abstract form of a house.
Modern indoor plumbing is a relatively recent invention, and up through the 1950s it was still common within developed countries for houses to not have indoor plumbing, electrical lighting, or any other luxury that is now ordinary. If the typical human were left to themselves from birth without the aid of society and the craftiness of the rare few humans who invent new technologies, the typical human would not self-invent a language, clothing, housing, indoor plumbing, or much of anything else. Remove man from his societies and he would become but a common animal within one generation. (Humorously, while editing this article I came across a quote that I found to be interesting: "...we have, therefore, to admit that we owe our principle advantage over the beasts to the fact of living in human society. The individual, if left alone from birth, would remain primitive and beastlike in his thoughts and feelings to a degree that we can hardly conceive." Albert Einstein, "Ideas and Opinions", page 13.) It is one thing to accept a man's opinion, but it is another thing to know through firsthand investigation why the opinion is true.
Here again, the deciding attributes of human superiority over that of other animals are (1) a higher quantity of cognition of visual intricacies, (2) a higher quantity of relatable memories, (3) conceptualization of abstract ideas, and (4) the occasional willpower to exert the effort to rearrange existing objects into a form that meets the abstract ideas.
Humans do not create anything new. All things created by humans are merely the rearranging of things that already exist. As a bird rearranges twigs and strings to build a nest, so do humans rearrange mud and trees to build a house, and though many humans can build houses with far more details than a bird's nest, still the human potential is limited. The only thing that a human can create that is fully new and unique is one's own personality of quality. Beyond that, humans are not so different than any other animal.
Now, if the normal human has limitations of perception and cognition, then obviously an individual cannot exceed his/her own personal limitations. Since the average human is simply incapable of perceiving intricacies of sensory perceptions, and since the average human is limited to a small percentage of intricacies of any object, then there is no potential within the average human to understand the intricacies of any word. Simply stated, the capacity to grasp the complexities of words is beyond the normal human potential. The failures of religions, western philosophy, and science well illustrate the limitations of normal humans.
"To be sure, when the number of factors coming into play in a phenomenological complex is too large, scientific method in most cases fails us." (Albert Einstein, "Ideas and Opinions", 1954, Crown Publishers, Inc., page 47)
The word "consciousness" will never receive a rational definition in philosophy, nor will science ever discover what consciousness is, because both philosophy and science are populated by normal humans with the normal limitations of normal humans'. Philosophies, religions, and sciences have had thousands of years to solve the puzzle of consciousness, and yet the puzzle still remains a mystery. If no ideology or university has solved such a simple thing as an ethic - or consciousness - then there is no reason to assume that a solution ever will occur. Failing over and over does not create success.
Man has not solved any puzzle, and in man's mind the only 'mystery' remaining is the one that a man has not yet believed that he knows.
Differences of Conscious Thought
I partly jest that English is my fifth language; but only partly. I had learned two other languages before the age of six months old - body language and the emotional toning of vocalizations - plus a self-created self-referencing mathematics and a self-created self-referencing language, both prior to birth. To some of us we interpret the spoken human languages as being crudely inadequate and absent of a recognition of what is spoken. For myself, as I learned English I gave attention to what the individuals implied when speaking words while I also continued studying the simultaneous emotional toning of the words. The words' intended meanings did not always agree with the emotional toning (well, actually, never agreed). During the learning process I might hold in my mind the attention of observing the speaker's actions over a period of minutes, hours, days, or even months or longer before the speaker's actions could validate an agreement or disagreement with the words and emotional tones.
When first hearing the word "envy" being emotionally pointed towards a relative, I recalled my having observed the relatives' behaviors, and I formed the conclusion that one of the relative's recent periods of erratic behavior had been what the adults referred to as envy (the emotional durations of the spoken words implied a specific timeline, and when I searched my memories for the events within that timeline I then spotted the event that the adults were most likely referring: as songs end on end-notes, and as conversations end on end-notes, so do emotions and emotioned words describe timelines that can be divided and discerned). In this example I was able to quickly determine the likely inference of the word because I was present when the event occurred, and I had attentively observed and recorded the event in my mind. Later, a television soap opera had presented the phrase "green with envy" which became a prolonged question of which I kept in the back of my mind and brought forward when circumstances appeared to possibly offer an explanation of what colors might imply when added to a behavior. I was several months old before I finally recognized that the adults used words of color to imply undefined varied intensities of actions. The words themselves were fully untrue, but the metaphorical sense held a sensible definition if given an emotional toning.
No spoken word fully conveys the speaker's intentions, thoughts, or emotions, and no word ever will. It was my experience to unenthusiastically learn the spoken language; I would have preferred that the adults communicated with the same languages as my own, and at a level similar to my own, but I recognized that if an individual wants to communicate with adults, then the individual must learn to communicate at the highly inaccurate adult level that never relates to one's perceptions of Reality.
When a biologist or philosopher makes the claim that a human cannot be self-aware prior to eighteen months of age, or that all learning must arrive through formal adult-driven education, it is best to recognize that what the biologists and philosophers claim may indeed be true for themselves, but never ever is it true for everyone. I have not yet in my life met or learned of a biologist or philosopher who is truly interested in consciousness - or any other topic beyond book sales - and though I do sincerely hope that such individuals do exist, at present I have no evidence to suggest that mainstream science cares about the topic of consciousness. Aside from the rare anecdotes of unique individuals', the public has no data to base an opinion beyond that of their own firsthand experiences.
And what of the humans who are not normal, but rather are those of whom perceive greater intricacies? Is there an example that we can use which is acceptable to the greater population? Of the individuals who can think with higher quantities and qualities of intricacies, what are the individuals' manners of cognition and application? When the French mathematician, Jacques Hadamard, surveyed mathematicians to ask of their mental processing during the act of reasoning mathematics, he asked:
"It would be very helpful for the purpose of psychological investigation to know what internal or mental images, what kind of "internal words" mathematicians make use of; whether they are motor, auditory, visual, or mixed, depending on the subject which they are studying.
Especially in research thought, do the mental pictures or internal words present themselves in the full consciousness or in the fringe-consciousness...?"
The following is one person's response:
"(A) The word or the language, as they are written or spoken, do not seem to play any role in my mechanism of thought. The psychical entities which seem to serve as elements in thought are certain signs and more or less clear images which can be "voluntarily" reproduced and combined. There is, of course, a certain connection between those elements and relevant logical concepts. It is also clear that the desire to arrive finally at logically connected concepts is the emotional basis of this rather vague play with the above-mentioned elements. But taken from a psychological viewpoint, this combinatory play seems to be the essential feature in productive thought - before there is any connection with logical construction in words or other kinds of signs which can be communicated to others.
(B) The above-mentioned elements are, in my case, of visual and some of muscular type. Conventional words or other signs have to be sought for laboriously only in a secondary stage, when the mentioned associative play is sufficiently established and can be reproduced at will."(Albert Einstein, "Ideas and Opinions", 1954, Crown Publishers, Inc., pages 25-26)
When I first read Einstein's description of his manner of thinking I did not give it much attention, I glossed-over the words, my interpreting his comments to be common, abbreviated, and unremarkable. But later when I learned that most humans have no conscious recognition of their own thoughts or manners of processing thoughts, then I realized how important Einstein's words are.
If an individual is not aware of, nor can s/he describe his/her own thoughts, then there is no reason to assume that the individual is capable of adequately rationalizing any topic, and the absence of conscious awareness of one's own thoughts might suggest that the consciousness does not exist.
One of the greatest failures of philosophy and science is to not ask similar questions as Hadamard's, and to not receive similar responses as Einstein's. Believed or not, knowledge of a thing cannot be attained without actually knowing of the thing, and if philosophers and scientists cannot describe their own minds' functions, then why should we believe that the individuals can know of anyone else's? It is intellectual pusillanimity for a researcher to not seek answers, and to not offer his own.
As an illustrative comparison and contrast, if I were asked Hadamard's questions I might reply that my mind makes use of three primary regions for mathematics; one region towards the rear-center that draws upon memorized mathematical formulas and tables (e.g. the sum of 5 times 5 is not reasoned but rather remembered, although the sum is critiqued and verified by other regions of the mind for its accuracy prior to my committing myself to the answer), a second region towards the upper-right-front that applies golden ratio durations and octaves, and the third generalized location is varied among the left and right sides depending on whether the 'math' is related to an abstract thought or to a memory of sensory perceptions. I do not use visualizations, but rather I use a tactile emotionalized self-referencing language that compares and weighs and 'feels' the elements of each 'mathematical' variable, the comparisons themselves creating intricately different emotional states within the body, and from the emotional states I then derive a timeline sum. The initial conceptual sums, if for a large external quantity (e.g. over 1,000 feet distance), will be over 99% accurate, and if a closer sum is desired then I may apply an additional manner of weighing durations that provides an extra triangulation point and can produce accuracy to within one second over a period of decades. Simple estimations like physically walking-off a distance of 100 yards usually results in a 98-99% accuracy over rough terrain. For purely abstract mathematical calculations that are based solely on the language of mathematics my focus is almost entirely on the second region where again the calculations and sums are performed through pressures and potentials relative to durations and angularities, with there being a relatively fixed rectangular 'surface' region but with an infinitely deep depth that is only limited by my effort to continue the dividing and multiplication of golden durations. Words mean absolutely nothing to me, primarily because words have no meaning of themselves, because words are spoken without meaning, and I have not wasted my time and effort to give faith and importance to a thing that has no meaning.
For me there are different types of consciousness including (1) the awareness of sensory perceptions (bodily inputs of potentials), (2) the outwardly flowing focus of awareness to external perceptions (actively varied potentials directed towards attentiveness of sensory perceptions), (3) the internal focus of awareness to internal things (actively varied potentials directed towards attentiveness of internally self-created sensory perceptions (emotions, etc.)), (4) the awareness of memories (actively varied potentials directed towards the attentiveness of weighing different potentials within a golden ratio of pressures and cyclic durations), (5) the awareness of two or more memories being compared (the logic of #4 plus an additional standing-potential of active attentiveness and directed transductive application), (6) the observing of the other awarenesses (the actively polarized non-potential that observes all else), and so on. For me, all mathematics is willed and conscious of each calculation and sum.
Of the similarities and dissimilarities of the two responses to Hadamard's question, I believe that the item most useful of attention is the shared comment about emotional content. The willful creating of an emotion - the tenseness of muscle and the conscious recognition of the muscular tenseness for applying reasoning - illustrates a self-referencing language that makes use of the self, judged by the self, reasoned relative to the self, and are both felt and consciously recognized by the self.
The normal human cannot feel much emotion, especially not intricacies of emotions, and less-so self-create intricate emotions. If an individual cannot self-create the emotions experienced within olfaction - and thus to create a sense of what an unknown scent might smell like (Olfactory Perception) - then why is it popularly assumed that the typical human can self-create any emotion? Humans are not identical, and the consciousness of any one segment of humans is in no manner similar to other segments of humans.
A related topic is that of the different acts of mental processing among different groups of humans. Not once in my life did I ever understand what an individual implied when they said that when they look at a tree they only see the tree. I mused to myself that surely the individuals were simply consciously unaware of what else they perceived, and I did not give it much more attention. In 2002 when I suffered spinal injuries from being rear-ended in a car accident I temporarily lost the ability to sense multiple objects simultaneously. For the first time in my life I could look at a tree and only see the tree while not sensing everything else; not the environment's aromas, temperatures, humidities, sounds, surrounding plants, breezes upon the skin, or anything else existing and occurring simultaneously that I had previously effortlessly absorbed while applying analyses to each individual and combinative perception. The loss of perception was perhaps the most horrifying moment of my life, and though the perceptions have still not fully returned - and likely never will - the experience was of high value for it having shown me the contrasts of what it means to perceive many things or a single thing.
When I told a person about my horror, the person replied "Welcome to our world." I now know what people mean when they claim that objects can exist singularly by themselves. My horror is now sympathetic to humanity's state of numbness, and it does deeply and intensely scare me that segments of the human species might be as numb to its environment as the many biologists and philosophers claim.
The item of importance here is that without the use of the body for emotionally analyzing perceptions (a self-referencing language) there was no capacity for depths of thought, and I had been reduced to that of having become as if a mere organic machine like what the biologists claim of themselves. Yes, so perhaps the biologists' theories might indeed have some validity, that their minds are the most rudimentary of simpleton machines without consciousness and without thoughts, but what might be true for the biologists is most assuredly not true for everyone else. There are many different types of humans, and until each of the types are quantified and recorded, there can never be an understanding of a consciousness that is different for different humans.
The Subconscious Consciousness
The Sensory Quotient project's data helps to further illustrate the previous topics. An example is of an individual holding two different pieces of wood while attempting a description, and yet the description may not include a conscious awareness of the sensory perceptions of weight although later the person can answer questions about the weight because the sensory perceptions of weight were received subconsciously (never consciously recognized although the individuals exerted concerted effort to report all features). Roughly 99% of all sensory perceptions are received unconsciously by the typical human, and so it is no surprise that the typical human also cannot describe their own consciousness.
If a sensory perception is unconsciously placed into the memory, from which a conscious analysis can later be made, but no conscious attention had been applied during the act of sensory perception, then the absence of analyses might be analogous to the game of chess. For each individual move, good chess players think-through many dozens of levels of analyses that contain thousands of analyzed variables, while a bad chess player might know how each chess piece is supposed to move, but the bad chess player cannot so much as independently create an analysis of moving one piece one time by his/her own will. The good chess player's mind is active, self-lighted, self-ignited, self-willed, self-driven, and with earnest in its radiant desire for correctness. The bad chess player's mind is turned off, it thinks of nothing, it analyzes nothing, it has no self-will, no self-ignition, and no self-drive. As the bad chess player cannot make a single move without his being led by the hand and told to make a move, so is the average human unable to self-ignite an analysis of a perception, and the typical IQ test cannot be completed without the participant being given multiple-choice answers.
The typical adult-driven education is the act of memorizing chess pieces and the rules of how the chess pieces are to be moved, but the adult-driven education does not teach the student how to self-ignite thought. For all intents and purposes, the normal human may at times be conscious in a manner of speaking - perhaps being conscious of seeing a sight - but there may be no further mental activity occurring until after there exists an external stimuli that jolts the mind into action, and when the external stimuli is removed, so will the thoughts crease. The absence of self-will is symptomatic of normalcy.
The French researcher Alfred Binet (1857 - 1911) wrote "On Double Consciousness" (published 1890) in which he described numerous experiments that illustrated the presence of what we today usually refer to as the subconscious mind. Of Immediate interest is Binet's research on 'automatic writing', the act of a consciously-numb hand writing the letters seen on an eye chart. Binet's experiments showed that the 'subconscious' mind could read an eye chart far better than what the conscious mind could see. Binet's experiments further illustrate some of the reasons why the scientific method is incomplete, because the scientist's conscious mind is not observing all that is observable.
If in the average human the subconscious mind is more aware, more conscious, and in every measure more intelligent than the conscious mind, then what are the differences between the conscious mind's consciousness and the subconscious mind's consciousness? Are both consciousnesses the same or are they different? If a person cannot describe both with verbs derived from firsthand observation, then the person can never form a rational thought of consciousness.
Is the average human merely an animal that has attained a minimal potential for the use of spoken languages, but while also suffering from greatly diminished sensory cognition? Where is the act of awareness if over 99% of all sensory perceptions are received and stored subconsciously? If one man's consciousness is small and only able to be aware of a few small things, and another man's consciousness is wide and able to be aware of many things, and yet another man's consciousness is aware of numerous things while simultaneously willfully applying an analysis to each perception and group of perceptions, then we are confronted with the question of asking if this thing named "consciousness" is formed upon a similar principle for everyone - as radios and computers can be powered by the same electricity - or if there might be fully different principles for different forms of consciousness. If the average human has difficulty discerning one form of consciousness, then where could there be value in the speaking of different forms?
A subtopic that I want to briefly touch on is that of the emotional toning of thoughts. All coherent religions and sciences know that negativity is detrimental to the mind and body, and any religion or science that practices negativity is a false religion or science. Religions and sciences that teach and practice positivity are valid and intelligent.
As animal communication illustrated, emotion is the universal language that is expressed by the speaker and interpreted by what is self-created by the listener. As Einstein's example illustrated, emotional toning is one of the determining factors of higher intelligence. As the Sensory Quotient data illustrates, few humans are consciously aware of sensory perceptions, including those of emotions. As Binet illustrated, the subconscious mind is far more intellectually and sensorially acute than the conscious mind.
Buddhism has the positive teaching of learning self-awareness, to become consciously aware of one's own thoughts and emotions. Christianity has the positive teaching of becoming love, of existing within a positive emotion that enables a heightened degree of awareness and intricacies of details. All ideologies have their own advantages and positive features, but if the positive ideals are not present in a person's own life, then the individual is ignorant. Crusading is an ignorantly negative behavior, as are proactive atheism and all other forms of terrorism.
I am at times contacted by individuals who are looking for methods of attaining a higher intelligence, and I will continue to reply that the method of attaining the highest known degree of real-world intelligence is through love, the actual self-willed self-sparked self-driven feeling and living and applying of love towards all living and non-living beings. To live within love during the awareness of Buddhism, the mind is opened and receptive to one's own thoughts and feelings. To live within love during scientific analyses, the mind is open and receptive to the senses, able to be consciously aware of the subconscious perceptions that are far more acute than any conscious perception. Love is positive, beneficial, creative, useful, and smart.
"48. Those who seek to abbreviate studies do injury to knowledge and to love because the love of anything is the daughter of this knowledge. …It is true that impatience, the mother of stupidity, praises brevity, as if such persons had not life long enough to enable them to acquire a complete knowledge of one subject such as the human body! And then they seek to comprehend the mind of God, in which the universe is included, weighing it and splitting it into infinite particles, as if they had to dissect it!"
…Just as Justinius did when he abridged the stories written by Trogus Pompeius, who had written elaborately the noble deeds of his forefathers, which were full of wonderful beauties of style; and thus he composed a barren work, worthy only of the impatient spirits who deem that they are wasting the time which they might usefully employ in studying the works of nature and mortal affairs. But let such men remain in company with the beasts; let dogs and other animals full of rapine be their courtiers, and let them be accompanied with these running ever at their heels! And let the harmless animals follow, which in the season of the snows come to the houses begging alms as from their master.
57. The lover is moved by the object he loves as the senses are by sensible things; and they unite and become one and the same. The work is the first thing which is born of this union; if the thing loved is base, the lover becomes base. When what is united is in harmony with that which receives it, delight, pleasure and satisfaction ensue. When the lover is united to the beloved he rests there; when the burden is laid down it finds rest there." (Leonardo da Vinci’s "Thoughts on Art and Life")
"Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius." (attributed to Wolfgang A. Mozart)
"The first and last thing required of genius is the love of truth." (attributed to Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe)
The word "consciousness" is unknown to all religions, all sciences, and all philosophies, and at present there is no potential that the word will ever be known to man. Humans have acquired technologies beyond the ability for humans to adequately operate (e.g. walking and chewing gum, cell phones and driving cars), and man's own words always have been and always will be beyond his ability to define. Man cannot discover the meaning of his words because man invented the words without meaning, and a word that never had a meaning cannot magically later have a meaning that the word never had.
If a man should desire to be as smart as DaVinci or Mozart, then the man must choose and create his own awareness, an awareness formed upon the universal language of emotions, and weighed through the one and only creative emotion, that of love. To choose, is to will, to will is to act, an act of active consciousness. Some humans have little or no consciousness, some humans have some consciousness, and some individuals stand fully conscious in the light of their own radiant love. The universe is formed upon emotional states, and if man is to ever discover the meaning of consciousness or any other word, then he must accept Nature as the one and only worthy teacher, and he must do so with the love of learning and caring, and he will discover that all answers are within him, and only him.