“Consciousness is the subtle and all-embracing mystery within and between Everything. It is like the air we breathe, take for granted, and do not appreciate. Consciousness is not the seeing but that which sees me seeing. You must step back from your compulsiveness, and your attachment to yourself, to be truly conscious. Consciousness cannot be “just me” because it can watch “me” from a distance.” (Richard Rohr)
Rohr’s comment reminds me of a phrase that a friend recently introduced to me—“homo sapiens sapiens” or “man knows that he knows”. We all “know” but it is possible for us to “know that we know” and immediately we have went “meta”. That means we have developed a conscious awareness of our “awareness”. Someone once said, and I think it was the philosopher Ricoeur , “We cannot have a perspective on our perspective without somehow escaping it.”
This meta-cognition is important as it introduced a “gap” (see Deepak Chopra) into our reality. It gives us pause. And, in that pause we have an opportunity to realize that there might be another way of looking at the world.