Consciousness is modified by the condition, and the conditionings, of the brain.
The brain is shaped by the effects of our genetic, biological, environmental, and karmic influences. Indeed, it is malleable—a concept known as neuroplasticity.
Genetics will govern our inherited physical characteristics, sex, and even our predisposition for certain behavior. There are specific polymorphisms (genetic mutations) that, in combination, will affect brain chemistry (neurotransmitters and neurohormones). This can have a strong influence on our stress tolerance and ultimately on emotional and physical health. However, not all genetic markers are destined to manifest. Many are dormant and triggered by stress from other sources. Biological and environmental exposure will also have direct effects on brain development. Karmic influences, as cause and effect mechanisms, are set in motion and will also have direct effects on the networks set down in the brain.
A nurturing, calm, healthy, socialized environment will create pathways in the brain conducive to higher resiliency and balanced brain/body chemistry.
The brain-mind is the vehicle of consciousness. Depending on the health of the brain and the psychological impressions and conditionings, consciousness is more or less clouded. Consciousness is pure when unmodified—just simply aware of being aware. It is the light or life we call “I” that is silently witnessing all that we experience.