The following excerpt was taken from “The Summits of God-Life: Samadhi and Siddhi” by Sri Chinmoy.
Consciousness is the inner spark or inner link in us, the golden link within us that connects our highest and most illumined part with our lowest and most unillumined part. Consciousness is the connecting link between Heaven and earth. Now, where is Heaven? It is not upstairs or somewhere far away. Heaven is in our consciousness. But it is the divine consciousness that connects earth with Heaven. The ordinary human consciousness will only connect us with something very, very limited and, at the same time, very fleeting. For one second we will be able to focus our consciousness on another person, and then our concentration disappears. But when we deal with the inner consciousness, which is the boundless, illumined, transformed consciousness, then our focus of concentration can go on, go on, go on.
It is not that only spiritual people have divine consciousness. Ordinary people have it also, but in them it is dormant. If they would concentrate, meditate and contemplate properly, this consciousness would come forward, and then they would have a free access to the soul, which is all Light, Peace and Bliss.
Consciousness is only one. It houses silence and it houses power. When it houses silence, at that time it houses its own true form. When it houses power, at that time it manifests its inner reality. A portion of the infinite consciousness that has entered into the gross physical and is possessed and used by the physical itself, we call the physical consciousness, the vital consciousness and the mental consciousness. In these there is a tiny portion of the infinite consciousness, but it is not the pure infinite consciousness that we speak of.
The eternal soul and the infinite consciousness must go together. They have a common friend, or you can say, a common father, and that is life, eternal life. One complements the other. The soul expresses its divinity through consciousness, and consciousness expresses its all-pervading power or silence through the soul.
Consciousness and the soul can never be separated, whereas the body can easily be separated from consciousness. What we, in our human life, call consciousness is usually only a feeling. When we perceive something subtle, immediately we call it consciousness, but it is not consciousness at all; it is a very subtle desire. We enter into the desire and immediately feel that this is our consciousness. Everything which is subtle in us and which we cannot define with words, we call consciousness; but consciousness is something totally different.
Awareness and consciousness are also two totally different things. If I talk with someone or mix with someone, then my mind becomes aware of his qualities. That is awareness. But consciousness is not a mental awareness or understanding. Consciousness is an inner revelation or an inner state of being. It is something infinitely deeper and more inward than awareness.