The primary purpose of consciousness is to bring man into closer contact with his environment; it can also have a collateral effect of separating him therefrom. It is like a potion that keens the sight one moment, and blinds the next.
Consciousness is what differentiates man’s relationship to the world around him from all other life on this planet. Whereas, they take physical conditions as they come, (having no capacity to change them), man has developed a more intimate relationship with the conditions.
As instinctively cunning as it may be, if a tiger is not engaged in a hunt, and is at rest, his eye reveals no interest at all in the activity around him. Under all conditions, the eyes of men are in constant motion, reflecting consciousness’ unbounded curiosity in the world in which they live.
Other creatures, (metaphorically speaking), live their lives almost as helpless guests of an inn keeper, (the planet’s ever changing physical conditions), with whom they have no personal relationship, or communication. They are together physically, yet in any other sense, they are detached, existing in two separate worlds, with the environment furnishing a place to stay, and the creatures having to take whatever is provided, with no ability to ask for a change in their living conditions, and unable to go elsewhere, (since there is no such place).
Men, on the other hand, have developed a more intimate relationship to the circumstances in which they live: one moment, coaxing them, then wooing, soothing and caressing, and the next, demanding, bending and forcing. It is a closeness that is unique, and which rewards man with singular benefits.