Consciousness and Unconsciousness
Consciousness is one of the most basic concepts of psychology (as I understand psychology). No other psychological phenomena exist unless the person is conscious, at least to some degree.
The words consciousness and awareness are often used interchangeably, and I will use them this way also. Arousal and alertness are two other words often used as meaning the same thing as consciousness.
The Law of Limited Attention:
A person can pay attention to only 2, or at the most, 3 things at one time. If we are stretching our attention and trying to pay attention to say 3 things and a fourth thing comes along and we try to attend to it also, the fourth thing becomes the new first and the others recede. Some psychological research indicates some can pay attention to 7 things at once. This does not contradict the principle; it only changes the numbers.
Corollary: There are many things in the world, most everything, about which you are not now aware. And if you do become aware of one or more of these things, you will not be aware of what you are aware of now, and there will still be an endless number of things that you are not aware of.
Corollary: There are many things in the self, most everything, about which you are not now aware. And if you do become aware of one or more of these things, you will not be aware of what you are aware of now --there will always be an endless number of things in the self that you are not aware of.
Corollary: In pre-scientific times this law may have been formulated in different ways. For example, in alchemy there was an important law that was supposed to have been formulated by Maria the Jewess: “The One becomes Two. The Two becomes Three, and the Three becomes Four as One.” It is possible that this was an ancient way of formulating this law about attention.