I read around three years of age a child starts to refer to himself as I. Before that, he uses the third person. I guess this could be earlier but the point is that at some time we start to realize we are human, we wake up consciously.Let us have a look at the stages of Consciousness. Before we do this we must remember that being awake does not necessarily mean we think or even remember. This is such as when we have an operation. However, the article does not include this temporary minded times but general consciousness.
Perceptual Mind – This is where we are barely aware that we are conscious. Very small babies would be aware that they are, but how deep would that awareness lie? Is the starfish aware that it is a starfish? Simple life is alive yet hardly aware of anything else.
Receptive Mind - This is the birth of simple consciousness. The capacity to interpret that it is conscious is limited. Such as with a zebra in a herd. On the animal level such as a dog, they are aware of smell, sound and other senses but not on a level that it knows its age and future aspirations for example.
Conceptual Mind - When and if a cat could feel shy because of the condition of its skin or its colour in relation to other cats this would have made her self-conscious, something only humans experience. We know we are human and stand apart from other people in how we look and perform. We have a personality and can think about how we look at how others perceive us. This is much further than just knowing what we see and hear.
Cosmic Consciousness – The animal, even the intelligent pet is not able to think about anything except this life. The fact that humans do, takes us to the cosmic level. On this level we have a perception of our immortality and the questions around that. The more conscious we are the more we attain answers to higher questions.
As humans, we go through different levels of consciousness as we grow up. While we may say that, many people only function on the life her on earth it is also true that they must think about death and the effect of death. This ability of a human to think about life after death opens the possibility of attaining mortality is on the highest level of consciousness, the Cosmic Consciousness.