posted on Dec, 7 2014 @ 06:28 PM
When we speak of consciousness and matter, we make the distinction because the former is inward and subjective, while the latter is what we're
collectively exposed to. The latter therefore takes on a prominence, particularly in today's positivistic reductionism, but I still think the
distinction is uncanny, and may in fact be a product of a mind asininely stuck in a paradigm that has no effective outlet.
I make this assertion because the world as we experience it is essentially non-linear. We break things down and hope that by breaking it down were
coming to a more essential understanding; but this is wrongheaded. Peering beneath our skins and seeing cells is no doubt wondrous - it has opened a
whole field of human inquiry: molecular biology. But the fact of genes, or amino acids which organize themselves and seem to have a directive
influence on biological process, for decades, led to the erroneous idea that genes were the 'core' reality. This is the basic premise of materialist
thinkers like Daniel Dennet, Patricia Churchland and Richard Dawkins.
And yet, if we follow biological development, we see how utterly circular development is. The gene which gives rise to a particular protein needs the
protein in order to 'signal' another gene into activity. In this way, cause and effect become conflated; the effect becomes a cause while the
originating cause is occluded by the necessity of it's effect.
This same circularity governs damn near everything that can be studied. Psychological development and the formation of self depends on an underlying
biology - which was given it's basic structure from the mother thinking, feeling, diet and sleep patterns during its time in her belly. When the baby
is finally born, it's born to suit the same environment that the mothers biology (and mind!) has engineered it for. As the baby evolves, its brain
and self evolve together. The environment 'cues' the brain, establishing basic neurochemical and global patterns; this cues the subjective mind of
the baby to anticipate and expect exactly what it is has evolved in response to. Here, we see the observations of the growing baby/brain/mind
transforming into the observer itself. Observation BECOMES observer. The self is formed in this way because there is essentially no distinction
between the evolving brain and the experiencing subject. It's a feedback loop, between mental and physical, observer and observation. And ultimately
each individual in the baby's life, as well as the culture itself, embodies it's own large scale and smaller scale circularities.
This being the case, how utterly HILARIOUS it is the type of stories we tell ourselves! Theres a God! There is no God! Matter is all there is!
Consciousness is all there is! All dualities. All simplistic LINEAR reductions as a way to bring stability to the complex circularity we exist within.
Just earlier, I was thinking to myself: what happens following death? Undoubtedly, much of the abstract and concrete capacities of the human mind are
dependent on the brain; but is that it? Is that all there is? And, if the nondual duality, the co-emergence of inner and outer, is a basic fact of
reality, what would consciousness be like; or rather, what would it correspond to, if not to our deceased body (and rotting brain) then what? And some
thoughts went through my mind. What about space? Space is real, yet it's empty. It is a pervading expansion, flowing outwards, while within its
confines, hard bodies form: planets. And upon these planets, complex organisms have emerged, paradoxically growing and absorbing the chemical
properties around it in defiance of the 2nd law of thermodynamics: that the whole universe is moving from a state of order to disorder.
There's a popular idea in science that ontogeny mimics phylogeny; in a sense, this idea reflects the concept of fractals: within any part of a system
is the whole system. Thus, when we think about space, we can imagine the 'inward' part, the part lost to our outward senses, as the 'cosmic'
consciousness posited by spiritual traditions; the Atman of Hinduism, or the subtle states of Buddhism. Still, it has been argued, that beneath this,
there is something 'impinging' upon consciousness in the same manner that gravity impinges upon space. This impingement could be interpreted as the
'inner witness' - the part of ourselves distinct from the objects of our observation; distinct from the formations that come with the birth of our
This to me seems like a profound idea. Instead of assuming a distinction between mind and matter, mind and matter are seen as two parts of a single
reality. But still, then, like gravity, were left with the mystery of this impinging inner witness. Its as mysterious, for example, as the bizarre
claims made by mystics that they can be aware of themselves as they sleep a deep sleep. To just elaborate this point a little longer, gravity brings
all of matter into connection. Similarly, it is our inner witness, implied but frustratingly ignored by most people in todays world, which draws
'meanings' into formation. The ego can be regarded as a condensed awareness, like the sun which shines down upon us, it allows us to see a field
with which we operate within. The earth can be seen as our body, while the various emotions which operate within us (established over our evolution)
can be regarded as forces which impinge upon our awareness, just as the presence of the planets sustain earth and the other planets in our solar
system in a particular gravitational field. Each is a disturbance upon the other. But together they remain stabilized in orbit around the largest body
(the sun; or our ego consciousness).
If our personal existence is fractally present in the universe around us, then the deepest part of us, the part that transcends our body - or our
earth bound self - would be symbolically akin to the space - or foundational consciousness - which our bodies and selves evolve within.
If this layout turns out to be the case, it is rather astonishing to think about. On a deeper note: is history also dependent on our transformations?
Consider space travel or ideas about 'anti-gravity'? Does such a concept require an awareness complex enough to understand relationships? In other
words, since complexity theory and non-linear science is all about relationships between 'points', it is somewhat ironic that as we crave to
transcend our planet and sail outer-space, such a feat might be intrinsically related to our own phenomenal experiences of self vis a vis other
selves; in other words, a self narcissistically committed to it's otherness and individuality - a self, in other words, born and developing within a
culture that gives metaphysical privilege to individuals over communities (capitalism) will, in effect, prevent the type of non-linear awareness
needed to tackle problems as relational as gravity. Maybe, the prospect of space-travel will only become a scientfic possibility - an imaginative
possibility! - when we as a species are united in 'spirit'; where knowledge is 'spread through out the land'. Where democracy, equality, and
rights are given to all. Where each person not just feels, but intellectually UNDERSTANDS (via knowledge from non-linear sciences) how interdependent
we all are on one another.