What is Consciousness?

Kim Jong Il said:

Consciousness is an attribute of social man, which determines all his endeavors to understand and reshape the world and himself.

Consciousness is one of the essential attributes of man, social being along with independence and creativity.

With consciousness man understands the world and the law of its movement and transforms and develops nature and society in conformity with his demand.

Consciousness is an attribute of social man that determines the activity of cognizing the world and himself.

It is only man who cognizes the world and himself.

We can enjoy interesting talents of monkeys in the zoo or circus. They keep their “house” clean, sweep the yard and bring a table and bowels to eat food with spoons by the commands of their managers or owners. In addition, they are good at “calculation” such as addition and subtraction. Their acts seem quite the same as that of man.

However, their acts are never purposeful and conscious. Although monkeys make as similar acts as man, they are simply the custom, “the second habit” which is formed through long training and the behavior which is made blindly according to their conditioned reflex. The monkeys without conditioned reflex do not use bowels and spoons nor do “calculation” whose meaning is difficult to understand. This tells that no organism except man can make activities to cognize the world and himself.

Since only man has consciousness, he can make cognitive activities of understanding the essence and law of the world and himself.

Consciousness is an attribute of man that determines all activities of transforming the world.

Though they are developed animals, their activities are merely biological ones based on their instinct. Only with biological instinct he cannot make activities of transforming the world. By virtue of consciousness man makes purposeful and conscious activities to transform everything of the world in conformity with his demand.

Man is conscious because he has consciousness.

Consciousness is a high class function of brain, the most developed physical organisms of man. With consciousness man conducts activities purposefully and consciously with certain desire and understands the essence and law of the objective world to transform and develop it in conformity with his will and demand.

Consciousness is divided into ideological consciousness and knowledge. Ideological consciousness is a consciousness that reflects the demand and interests of man whereas knowledge is a consciousness that reflects the essence and characteristics of the objective world and the method of transforming it in conformity with man’s demand.

Ideological consciousness determines the direction of forming knowledge and coordinates knowledge so that it can contribute to the realization of man’s demands and interests. The higher level of ideological consciousness man has, the more active efforts he will make to acquire scientific knowledge and make it serve the society, the collective and people.