Your conscious mind takes decisions, plans, guides, commands and operates. Sometimes, in anger or excitement, you take decisions which you regret later. This is all because of the different levels of consciousness. These levels show your expression, knowledge and behavior. Your level of consciousness keeps on fluctuating and you react according to them.
Every psychiatrist has his own way to describe different consciousness levels. According to some people consciousness can be divided into three parts and some divide it into eight. It has also been classified into spiritual, neurological and altered.
Let's discuss few of the very well-known theories of consciousness levels which are mostly followed by the psychiatrists.
According to psychiatrist Sigmund Freud:
There are three levels: consciousness, pre-consciousness and unconsciousness.
Pre-consciousnesses: Pre-consciousness is the middle ground between the unconsciousness and consciousness. In this part of the mind, we have memories, experiences, knowledge or a data which can be accessed at the time of need or we can recall this information as per our requirement.
Unconsciousness: In the unconscious mind, we have those desires which are suppressed and run continuously in the back of the mind. They are fears, violent motives, sexual desires, repressed memories and may be the dark side of our personality. These come into picture when we dream or sometimes they are unintentionally expressed by us.
According to psychiatrist David R. Hawkins:
There are two levels of consciousness, positive energy giving levels and negative energy giving levels. Although we switch to different expression or levels at different time, we still remain in a particular level that is the core level. Here are the expressions which all come under positive and negative energy levels.
These two theories are very well-known among the 'n' number of theories presented across the world. But there are many more well-known psychiatrists who all added to the study of consciousness.
According to William James, there are three levels of consciousness: physical, mental and spiritual. This differentiation was given long time ago. Hence, other psychiatrists kept working on it.
Many people have their own perceptions and concepts in yoga also. Some experts reveal three levels as subconscious, conscious, and super conscious and some believe in nine consciousness levels. Self-consciousness adds to one more level in these theories.
Altered Level of Consciousness
There is one more level of consciousness, altered level of consciousness. In this level, the person needs a stimulus to respond. Without any stimulus, the person is unable to respond. It can be further classified into state of confusion, stupor, delirium, coma and obtundation.
This level can be a result of some brain injury or brain disorder like inadequate supply of oxygen in the brain, or extreme pressure from the skull, etc.
These levels sometimes become our identity so we should always try to control the negative thinking and try to handle everything with a positive attitude. This is possible only when we try to be in the state of consciousness.