Question: If a person has dementia are they aware of it or is the capacity for awareness diminished?
Reply: One of the definitions of dementia is: “Dementia describes a group of symptoms affecting memory, thinking and social abilities severely enough to interfere with daily functioning.” ~~
You are aware that you are dysfunctional only if you remember what being functional means. Now, in case you completely forgot all social norms, in case you are completely unaware that you are dysfunctional, then you do not perceive any dysfunctionality.
On the other hand, in case your memory is gradually going and you realize it, then you are aware of your diminishing functionality.
Awareness is non phenomenal and is not augmented or diminished.
Thoughts arise onto the screen of awareness. Awareness is not an object of perception and is not affected by the images that arise.
Memory is a current image that is accompanied with the I-thought. When the I-thought is absent, there is no memory as the mind is absent. Only awareness is.
Your question assumes an objective awareness. Only objective forms can be diminished. Formless awareness is not objective and the laws of augmentation and diminution do not apply to awareness.
Question: The question here, of course, is not about dementia but about consciousness. My experience with altered states, such as intoxication, is that there is awareness of intoxication. I’m wondering about the extent that the state of the individual alters the perception of awareness. Meaning to what extent does consciousness depend upon brain. I think that’s the question.
Reply: Consciousness does not depend on the functioning of the brain. Sentience depends on brain. Sentience refers to the senses, and to the functioning of the body mind. The ability to sensate, to perceive depends on brain.
The state of the brain affects the state of the body mind and its functioning. Intoxication affects the body but it does not affect consciousness. Consciousness is affectless.
Consciousness is not phenomenal. It is not a concept. It is the wordless, formless reality that we refer to as Self.
Your question is mixing two realms. It is mixing the phenomenal and the noumenal. These two realms are not on the same plane.