Of course, that is not the only era available to consciousness; but realities which are too many parallels over -- like countries too far removed from one's own culture -- tend not to match the equipment that a segment of localized consciousness is inclined to use for seeing with. Imagine, if you can, what is occurring right now on the crude crank telephone system between two frozen outposts in the hills of North Korea; or in the scholar's circles in the remote fastnesses of monasteries in the Japanese highlands -- what are they examining, testing, seeing through? What position do you take in the debates on morals among Kalahari bushmen or, for that matter, for the equivalent conversation between ants colliding in mid-trail on a log hanging over an icy cascade in the high Andes?
The far easier thing to think about is what the current congressional hearing, sports conflict or political move between like-minded suits is going to look like -- at least reality structures there are a little similar to Mom and Dad.
If even the neighbor segments of Species of Earth, not to mention Branches of Mankind, seem too alien to interpret comfortably, too remote to feel with -- how the devil can an aspect of consciousness release its patterns of understanding freely enough to listen to the quasar's debate, or the sigh of the local cluster of galaxies as it stretches in early awakening minutes?
The way to this freedom of consciousness lies in the recognition of the equipment one is using, the paradigms that make it possible, and that simultaneously steer us away from other equipment, and the belief structures that define the conditions that make such equipment necessary.
For example, an early belief is set up that the noises and marks that people make really do represent what they are saying. The conditions that one must believe in (in order to experience this necessity for symbol noises and symbol marks) include the belief that what we are is glued into proximity to each other (and that these really are other people). That this bondage is anchored by attachment to the horseless carriages we call 'Bahw - deez' and that because of this semi-permanent condition and the fact that the natural environment of these carriages with their carbon-oxygen molecular engines and VHF field antennae, is enormously entropic and therefore hostile and likely to crush any one of us at any time, making urgent organization toward better survival necessary... etc. Whew! What a milkshake!
What is one of these things we call fellow-man? Weathered or baby-faced, deep-hearted or frivolous, centered on truth and Knowing or centered on purchasing and eating -- what IS one of these?
A localized segment of consciousness. Beyond that, definitions collapse in the flood of variety available.
What are its capabilities? They are unlimited. They are to create, to experience, and in the use of these alone are all the miracles of life-forms (whose ever they may be) found.
In fact, these two are ultimately one -- the single face of ability which will someday lead to the generation of the new Thought. Discover yourself creating exactly what you perceive, and your riddle is entirely solved.