posted on May, 4 2015 @ 03:47 AM
I'm impressed by the structural dynamics of human awareness.
When we suffer pain, we reflect and see, in our consciousness and in our body, that we don't want to feel this way. This simple act creates
and makes clear the difference between having an experience, and being an experience. To feel pain and fear in one part of me - to think, ruminate,
feel, and imagine different things, I reveal a basic and fundamental dualism in my mind, and more generally in human minds. Husserl called this the
"Self pole and the Object pole". I think of it as the 'witness pole' and the object pole.
The "I" of identity, by which I mean our habits of being, are developmental "creations" fixed into place by repeating actions over and over again
through time. In this way, the body's processes are 'stabilized' into organism wide patterns. But what are these "patterns"? It's really the
effect of the organisms interactions with it's environment. What the organism perceives consciously 'directs' molecular processes throughout
So when we develop a 'self', its really the entirety of us - our whole organism, from the functioning of my gut, my microbiome (trillions of
bacteria live in our gut), to my immune system and endocrine system, fundamentally, the organizing system is the consciousness of the organism in
it's meaningful interaction with the world outside itself.
For animals, this is enormously and mainly environment dependent. There is no apparent evidence in their acting and being that they can conceive of
themselves as a "self' relative to a world they exist in.
Many philosophers have conceptualized this way of thinking in terms of the physical body of our organism. Our way of thinking is so anthropomorphic,
that we overlook the fundamental unity of the body and the mind. The mind thinks as it does because it has a body that is 'built' to engineer the
types of experiences that lead to conceptual self-other awareness. Our hands, for example, are designed in such a way that we can use them like tools,
and, many argue that this tool like use of a part of ones own anatomy induces mental states that imagine self as distinct from the world it
encounters. Our body's naturally 'inspire' metaphoric thought.
How this can be scary
I feel like I have felt very 'different' takes on reality, and I also feel the more 'takes' we have, the more multidimensional our perceptions can
become. An important experience for self, or spiritual development, is the perception of fear. One of course may not be used to paranoic or neurotic
thinking so it wouldn't dawn on you to expose yourself to the perception of fear. But never fear - fear is always a possibility for the self-aware
individual. If you can conceive of yourself as "separate", in some way, from your body - and so "having" a self - you can always reflect on the
horrifying notion that all of this life I know and have lived - one day - is destined to end. And what of everything? My mind, my watching and living
and feeling and knowing - a world. I don't know about you, but if I really think about it, it can induce a perception that sets off powerful
biological events in my amygdala, brain stem, heart and viscera. A perfectly timed eruption of "holy # this is deeply unsettling". This experience
can be considerably uncomfortable at the moment, but if we've mastered the ability to 'regulate' ourselves into different states of being, one can
paradoxically 'laugh' at how bizarre it is.
You feel powerful
You feel powerful when you experience yourself relating to a past fear that is more playful and disinterested than spellbound to the fury of the fear.
The odd thing is - to reveal the perfect and logical unity of it - the perception of 'power' wouldn't exist were it not for the intensity of the
fear - and the perception of it - which educed in our minds and gnawing want 'for it to end'; ultimately, a deep wish for us "to get better". This
relation of me to myself, of the "I" to itself, is really a deeply personal relation of the some part that lies beyond the scheme of existence, with
the life that it encounters and the fears, experiences, challenges, ambitions and dreams it provides. The basic fabric of life is this interaction
between self and object, perceiving mind and perceived mind, and how the perceived impinges on the perceiver, and what the perceiver then strives to
do again to the perceived.
When one looks at oneself as an object, as a 'thing' created by history, one can take an honest look at what one has become. I'm using the word
'one', because this is just it: were each, fundamentally, a consequence of historical and relational factors on our situated existence. How we
appeared and when determined the dynamics of a particular response; with age comes complexity, and with complexity comes complex systems dynamics.
But, surprisingly, humans being can be fairly rigid when minds do not attend to the created-quality of the mind it lives.
The mind is changeable and always so. There is nothing "in the brain" that fixates it on one state. I personally believe that what we see in any
biological dynamic organization is a rhythm that can only be 'sensed' from within, subjectively, and not from without - or in terms of biological
events. By this, I only mean that the processes within the cell, as we know, turn genes 'on' or 'off', according to what the consciousness of the
organism is attending to.
Methylation wraps chains of methyl-DNA along the outside walls of the DNA, wrapping it up in layers. This process inhibits genes from producing RNA,
and thus inhibits the creation of the relevant protein in the networked cell complex.
When we talk about feeling, we are talking about dynamic life rhythms. These rhythms are regulated at the brain stem, but are also diffused throughout
the body. But behind our eyes lies a part of the brain that emotionally 'feels into' the feelings it has, and with the help of the dorsolateral
cortex, organizes awareness towards an imagined alternative "other" state.
We feel powerful only because we are pulled together. Love is the emergent property of psychological connectedness, and the power it releases in the
brain and nervous system brings everything "together", in a harmonious and deeply comforting way.
Appreciating The Other
My mom is so good to me yet I mistreat and take advantage of her, unconsciously, without even recognizing that I'm doing it. There can be such an
'indifference' in me to the relationship I have with, how she cleans up after me (she lives with me) washes my clothes, makes meals. This is just
how it is has always been! I'm a bloody lazy-ass and she's an overly ambivalent person who oscillates from 'doing her motherly job' to
'vengeful' and many other colorful and not so colorful states.
Point being, in living our lives, we are often not as good as we like to sound to ourselves when we write. Yet in writing, we often do a good job
accessing that part of ourselves that feels a strong feeling towards a particular subject. We go there because that is partly the purpose of the
writing: to share with ourselves what we want to know.
In my relating with others, I find life can be so enriched when we look upon other people with the sense - perhaps dually with our normal state of
awareness - that this person has a perspective of life opposite from mine. And when I say 'opposite', I mea