It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

What is Post Mythological Consciousness Like?

page: 1
5

log in

join
share:

posted on Dec, 3 2017 @ 04:58 PM
link   
I think the cognitive scientist Merlin Donald has the general right idea when he conceptualizes human evolution in terms of 3 phases (or phase shifts, if you will):

Mimetic Consciousness

Mythological Consciousness

Theoretic Consciousness





He marks the emergence of the theoretic consciousness to around 2,500 years ago with the ancient Greeks, although its fair to say that these ideas, inasmuch as they are said to have been brought into Greece by the philosopher Thales, probably originated in the middle east and Egypt, with a perhaps extra distinctive influence from the hebrews, given their general deification of all of nature into God, and subject all things to an analysis of "what is it really"?

Thales took these ideas and stripped them of its metaphysical-religious assumptions - as they appeared in the middle east - and began the process of 'secularization', as it were, where things can be spoken about as they are or as they appear, without any necessary commitment to ones thought being ''gold". Skepticism, in other words, is what Thales introduced - and what gifts it has brought to trhe Human species can be seen by the material developments of our present say civilization.

Beating Out Mythological Consciousness



Of course, phase transitions, especially those which occur in evolution, are not linear processes in the least bit. With species, and with the evoluion of any system - be it as body, or a society - it is always a population level event which determines how the process evolves.

So, consider the atoms in your body; they are typically are of a specific kind - nitrogen, carbon, oxygen, sulphur, magnesium, phosophorus; which means life excludes the vast majority of atomas from its processes, but nevertheless, the estimate of 28 zeros worth of atoms in your body means that your body is a monstrously complex system at the microscopic level - with atoms logically emerging, and then meeting with other atoms to form super-structures that maintain their own higher mass and coherence, all the while interacting with other superstructures in ways, that, when you look at it from a higher scale, appears to be a process guided by an even higher system level event - in this case, the cell.

Cells form tissues; tissues form organs; organs form organisms; and organisms are correlated to events and situations in the environment which they are biodynamically tethered to like steel to a magnet. So when it comes to the dynamical coherence of any organism, Irv Dardik is absolutely right to say that there is a "simulcausal" dynamic whereby a "carrier wave" pertinent to the organism as a whole entrauns or guides "inner waves" which form and maintain themselves "bottom up", even as they dissipate into loss energy, and so, force the organism to reconstruct itself through eating.

Humans, on the other hand, have minds; and minds emerged through the bit-by-bit connections and tensions which emerged between animals which began to represent the feeling needs of those they lived with, so that their own functional processes - such as hunting, eating, sleeping, defecating, urinating, child-rearing, etc - basically anything of functional relevance to living - could be represented affectively in their consciousness, and slowly but surely, those feeling-meanings became "mimetically" communicated as index signs pointing out something immediately present; after this, symbolic thought emerged when the index could be arbitrarily 'formulated' as constituting something else i.e. this sound "means this"; symbol always depends upon an index; which in turn requires an icon or quality in reality from which it derives its meaning.

Right now, the transition out of mythological consciousness and into theoretical consciousness is playing out on the world stage between our various elites. Us computer people do not have much of an influence; if you're not rich or from a promiment family in some respect, your vote is not as significant as those who are. This is more or less the pattern in history, as recorded by Walter Scheidel in "The Great Leveler", elitism is a characteristic feature of the mythological consciousness, simply because the dynamics of capital i.e. the desire to aqcuire and maintain one has acquired - becomes an end in itself.

This delusional value which ultimately hurts the self which holds it cannot be unlearned, and so, the mythological consciousness is truly a "consciousness based in an emergent mythology". Mythologies control minds because human beings which haven't discovered the power and sigificance of scientific reasoning have no power to see their experiences and beliefs in light of a more true theory of how things work.

How does the mythological consciousness operate? Well, for one, there is this mindnumbing tendency not to "critique ones own beliefs", or to see the self-serving nature of their beliefs, and not see anything existentially or ontologically errant in believing that humans are supposed to think or feel those ways. The person who has trouble appreciating my reasoning cannot seem to recognize the metaphorical power of their own life experiences in projecting, or forming, certain ideas of life BEFORE they even begin their reasoning or rationalization processes.

So, what is a primary metaphor? "Survival of the fittest" is a major one - one which has afflicted the upper-classes since time immemorial. And what is the beastial error in logic, the fallacy they succumb to? The idea that because evil and injustice can be said to exist in nature, as for example, any time we see some innocent young of a species become the meal of a predator, we look upon this in such a way as to think that this situation applies equally to us.

But semiosis is what defines how an animal behaves: the crocodile gets no higher level pleasure in eating a baby duck. The alligator has no "thoughts" about it; he simply is what he is: an effective killing machine. Look at the lamprey - that wormlike fish borrowing animal that hasn't changed its form in 300 million years, simply because it is so effective doing what it does. Evolution only occurs when the niche-organism relationship changes such that the niche no longer supports the need of the organism. Organism's can devolve or evolve, which means lose complexity or gain in complexity, depending on the situation and the affordances it offers to the organism.

Thus, unlike the alligator, or lion, or snake, or fox - these creatures merely "express ideas"; as individual living beings, they cannot help but be what they are.

Humans on the other hand are very meta-cognitively organized creature, where "knowing that we know" renders the quality of our knowing either "coherent" or "incoherent" - and perhaps each side has its own ontological attractor, determined by the 'qualia' that the human becomes defined by.

In either case, theoretical consciousness - of which the above is an example of - does not fall for stories that the human mind tells itself, primarily because as a scientific orientation, it is interested in objective causality - not what the subjective mind needs. In this sense, clinical psychology and cognitive science have been deeply influenced by the ethological views of Tinbergen and Lorenz, who always seen behavior in terms of how the organism computed threat and safety, as well as basic motivational "needs" as it relates to 'exploring' the world.




posted on Dec, 3 2017 @ 05:00 PM
link   
Theoretical consciousness is paradoxical in that it begins from the admission that you are organized just like other animals. By accepting this, the dynamics and meanings and significance of human psychological behavior falls properly in place as deriving from how it is we feel we need to feel in order to protect ourselves.

You may want to read that again, because it goes to the heart of how we ontologically operate: we have feelings about our feelings, whereas animals for the most part simply have feelings, and if there is 'anything extra', there is no motivational or neurological wherewithal to sew it together; that is, there is no psychological self within them.



posted on Dec, 3 2017 @ 05:31 PM
link   
a reply to: Astrocyte




You may want to read that again, because it goes to the heart of how we ontologically operate: we have feelings about our feelings, whereas animals for the most part simply have feelings, and if there is 'anything extra', there is no motivational or neurological wherewithal to sew it together; that is, there is no psychological self within them.



So a dog doesn't know that it likes to be petted?
Then why does it wag its tail?

It doesn't know that it likes to go for walks?
Then why does it bark with excitement when it's owner gets ready to take it to the park?

They have a psychological self, but it's more simple than ours.



posted on Dec, 3 2017 @ 06:40 PM
link   
My cat just read this. She is pissed. She just E-tailed all cats in your area and your in trouble now.



posted on Dec, 3 2017 @ 07:11 PM
link   
Want to experience all kinds of consienceness...It's possible but we can't talk about the God molecule here.

Careful but you might just experience the reptilian part of the human psyche. Not for the timid!



posted on Dec, 3 2017 @ 09:23 PM
link   

originally posted by: Astrocyte
Theoretical consciousness is paradoxical in that it begins from the admission that you are organized just like other animals.




Thus, unlike the alligator, or lion, or snake, or fox - these creatures merely "express ideas"; as individual living beings, they cannot help but be what they are.

Humans on the other hand are very meta-cognitively organized creature, where "knowing that we know" renders the quality of our knowing either "coherent" or "incoherent" - and perhaps each side has its own ontological attractor, determined by the 'qualia' that the human becomes defined by.


Which is it?



posted on Dec, 3 2017 @ 11:20 PM
link   
a reply to: 0racle





So a dog doesn't know that it likes to be petted?


Then why does it wag its tail?



Question: do you think an amoeba is thinking about sugar, even though it knows how to find it? Scientists who study the behavior of single celled organisms are amazed by the sheer molecular complexity of cellular behavior (millions of molecules in bacteria, which are called prokaryotes) yet cannot deny that there is "cognition" at the level of the whole: the amoeba "knows" where sugar is; but we very responsibly acknowledge that its knowledge is incredibly abstract, because the way we humans "know" is a matter of having a brain with 86 billion neurons - 16 billion of which are composed of 100 + billion molecules - humans are mammothly more complex than bacteia (which occupy our bodies in the trillions btw) so we cannot say that there is any sort of phenomenological consciousness..

If reality as a whole is alive - as i believe it is - than the intelligence of a bacteria is a function of what happens when vacuoles - or spherical membranes - emerged; its like a metaphor of the whole - and this could be reflected in the sheer irreducibility of pi. Thus, the molecules intrinsic to life are following a logic which doesn't work in the outside world.

When you get to the point of mammalian evolution, and to the dog in particular, you have the emergence of qualia of being: the dog expresses 2 main qualia, but by no means are they equally expressed. The first is the desire to play. To play means to have fun, and by no means do I deny that the dog has self-conscious reactions to its own expeiences of play. That would be entirely against how I understand brain evolution and the evolution of consciousness.

But play is actually chaos - restructured in our human relational phenomenology as the zest of play. Play is great, but it is also fundamnentally superficial. It prompts attraction and exultation; few things make me happier and feel more spiritually alive than watching my dog run after a ball. I am focused on her tongue hanging out of her face and her complete lack of self-consciousness. It is a beautkiful state and I love giving her the opportinity to experience it.

I am an attuned dog owner, and as a deep read into ethology and other behavioral sciences, its pretty clear that the cognition of dogs is most self-focused and more or less tethered to its functional needs - the most powerful of which is food. My dog will shift from a "self-state" (she has states of being too, she just can't understand it the way I am able to i.e. to objectify it) of looking at me in what appears to be an affectionate way, to completely and utterly ignoring how violently aroused she becomes when a treat or piece of food is shown.

I don't blame her for this: theres no frontal cortex, or rather, a very small one. A big problem with dogs and dog cognition is that its "discipline" is largely an inside out process, whereas in humans, our own left hemispheres carry out the charge to discipline our right hemispheres. How come I say we can do this and dogs can't?

The second quality of care, which is deeply evolved in the human species (however much we can show the converse, it really just goes to show how deeply we care about being properly recognized - otherwise, why being so angry?) is still primitively evolved in the dog.

Think about anything you think about that you like. Could you do this without caring about it? Care is the medium; it is the vehicle which mediates cognitive acts of thought. Thinking is not - however much the descartian mind believes - a disembodied process; there is always inclinations; moods; disruptions, and therefore, a breakdown in symmetry, which is the whole meaning of engaging the world.

Care is minded to that which is 'other', which means that it is caring ABOUT something. The whole notion of propositions entails the quality of care, otherwise, why make a proposition about something? It is so literally basic to what we do, that its rather astonishing that people - or modern philosophers - have failed to recognize it as the very affective medium which facillitates the process of self-world engagement.

Dogs simply aren't a species which has this as a very evolved quality, which merely points out that they do not communicate very much, or very complexly, and so they give no basis for "being aware" in a way where we could plausibly attribute a full-blown psychological self.

Dogs "dogmorphize us". Just as we are prone to "anthropomorphize" them. Do you know why this is? Our affective cognition evolved for humans - not dogs; simililarly, the dog evolved for other dogs - not humans. Cognitively speaking, the mental world of the dog will be forever foreign to us, but we can definitely and legitimately infer from brain processes and brain homology (species similarities in brain morphology confirmed through neuroscientific investigations) that a dog "makes meaning" largely through smell; that its vision is poor; that its hearing is much better than ours. That its sense of relation and meaning to the world around it is a function of what the world can "do" for dogs.

This is how they are - and indeed, it describes us as well. Difference is, humans can transcend in the sense of relating to themselves as an object, and so arranging their inner life accordingly; dogs can't.

So does a dog like getting pet? Of course. Do they have a phenomenological process occuring in their mind before they seek you for attention and connection? Obviously. They hardly ever move without a meaningful intention behind it.





They have a psychological self, but it's more simple than ours.


Does that really qualify as a psychological self? The psychological self is the self-image, which is that part of us that emerges from our symbolic relations with one another. To be able to symbolize, in other words, lies under the existence of the psychological self, which is more than just the narrative self, in that it is a reading of how every mental event in our mind can be a 'sign' for ontological behavior; thus, how I see others tells me more than just what they're doing; but what what their doing can do for me in another situation in my life. This is how system-like and complex the human mind is: our self knowledge (i.e. how we feel, what we need) is constantly being construed in terms of the affective dynamics of our day to day existence, so that powerful experiences exert greater control, but always integrating with them the semiotic elements of the situations that the feelings occur within.

Dogs are definitely having 'thoughts about the thigns they like' in the sense that yearning is a type of thinking. And I see my dog yearning - and her affective reaction therefore means her feeling is pointing to something she likes i.e. to go into the car because it means going to the dog park.

I mean no disrespect to animals. I just aim for accuracy in my descriptions, which requires noticing relevant differences between what human self's feel like, and what a dog self would be like.

But in one sense, I will concede that dogs self-organize at the affective level in a basically identical way to humans, so that, in effect, they have a psychodynamic self, even if they don't they have one or can't do anything within themselves to help themselves.

Damasio speaks of the



posted on Dec, 3 2017 @ 11:27 PM
link   

originally posted by: 0racle
a reply to: Astrocyte


So a dog doesn't know that it likes to be petted?
Then why does it wag its tail?

It doesn't know that it likes to go for walks?
Then why does it bark with excitement when it's owner gets ready to take it to the park?

They have a psychological self, but it's more simple than ours.


You don't have to know you're in a state of being to be in it! Remember when you were a baby?



posted on Dec, 3 2017 @ 11:43 PM
link   
a reply to: Djenesis

Some people are so sensitive when you start making distinctions between animals and humans.

They've made a cult and fetish of their "being no difference" between us and them.

But it's absurd. That is, so unreasonable that one would have to have the same sort of emotional processes motivating the asserter to make the assertion to affirm its truth.

That's how dumb humans are. They can't see how self-serving they are and would rather believe their own mythology.

Buddhism is a sort of theoretical consciousness which Donald totally ignores - but anybody acquainted with Buddhist psychology can't help but appreciate the empirical and skeptical nature of it.

Mindfulness is largely a product of Buddhist thinking, modified for the west by Jon Kabat-Ziinn.

You know, if people understood the significance of everything they did, they would be overwhelmed by it all. That just goes to show how traumatized our psyche is: we can't let the truth in because we wouldn't know how to process it. Feelings without coherent narratives to make sense of them is chaos; hence, our brain latches onto whatever 'coherent narratives' our brain sniffs out, and its leery of letting them go - lest the chaos return.


edit on 3-12-2017 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 4 2017 @ 09:42 AM
link   

You may want to read that again, because it goes to the heart of how we ontologically operate: we have feelings about our feelings, whereas animals for the most part simply have feelings, and if there is 'anything extra', there is no motivational or neurological wherewithal to sew it together; that is, there is no psychological self within them.


The separate me that 'feels feelings' is an illusion. What occurs occurs and the me is an added extra which does not exit separate to the happening.

There is no 'thinker' of thoughts.

This is good news!!!!!!!!! No longer will you have to worry about what will happen 'to you' - 'you' aren't going to die because you (as an object) never existed in the first place.




edit on 4-12-2017 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)




top topics



 
5

log in

join