ELI5: Explain Like I'm 5

consciousness (buddhism)

Okay kiddo, so let's talk about something called consciousness in Buddhism. You know how you have thoughts and feelings and you're aware of the world around you? That's your consciousness, your mind working.

In Buddhism, they believe that our consciousness is made up of five parts, just like how a pizza is made up of different toppings. These parts are called the Five Skandhas.

The first skandha is called Form. This means anything that we can see, hear, taste, touch, or smell. Basically, anything physical in the world around us.

The second skandha is called Feeling. This means the emotions that we feel when we interact with the Form. For example, if you see a cute puppy, you might feel happy or excited.

The third skandha is called Perception. This means how we interpret the Form and Feeling. For example, if you see a puppy and feel happy, you might also perceive it as friendly or playful.

The fourth skandha is called Mental Formation. This means our thoughts and ideas based on the Form, Feeling, and Perception. For example, you might think about how you want to pet the cute puppy or ask its owner if you can play with it.

The fifth skandha is called Consciousness itself. This is what ties all the other skandhas together and makes you aware of your surroundings and your thoughts and feelings.

Now here's where things get a little tricky. Buddhism teaches that our consciousness is not something that is fixed or permanent. It can change and grow depending on our actions and thoughts.

For example, if you always think negative thoughts, your consciousness might become clouded with sadness or anger. But if you practice kindness and positivity, your consciousness might become more clear and peaceful.

Overall, consciousness in Buddhism is seen as a very important part of who we are and how we interact with the world around us. It's like a pizza with lots of different toppings, and each topping affects the taste and experience of the pizza as a whole.