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The most important question I can ask.

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posted on Jan, 19 2010 @ 08:30 AM
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Why has no one brought up the "enlightenment" or "awakening" so many have achieved through meditation or the use of entheogens?
You really think Christ, Buddha, and all the other great awakened beings were just BSing us all along? Now that's some hard-core skepticism!!! (which of course you have every right to)

Enlightenment definitely exists. But blindly following some guru is not going to "awaken" you, that's for sure. Take Buddha for example.....After years of striving for enlightenment, he finally gave up. Plopped down under the Bodhi tree and said "That's it. I'm sick and tired of seeking enlightenment. I'm just gonna sit here under this tree and see what develops." BAM! He awoke. You cannot learn how to awake. What is important is the DESIRE to awake....this driving desire comes from your higher self- pushing you in the direction needed. Sometimes it seems like you have to "pay your dues" with years of learning and searching......and only when you QUIT TRYING SO HARD is when it happens.
All the knowledge gained on the path is needed to deal with the mind-blowing realization that awakening brings....the fact that......... You are God.
Reintegrating that into "normal life" can be quite interesting, to say the least!! But I remember a quote from someone that said:

"Before Enlightenment: Chop wood, Carry water."
"After Enlightenment: Chop wood, Carry water."

You go on living as you always did....but now you KNOW that you are a powerful spiritual Being who just happens to be on a short vacation enjoying being human for a bit. Once you have that understanding - Life is Different....Better. You quit worrying about the day to day crap and see life as the beautiful pretend journey that it is.....confident in the fact that when you cross over and regain the knowledge of your higher self you can laugh with your "friends" and plan your next great and wonderful adventure together.

Namaste!

-Boypony




posted on Jan, 19 2010 @ 08:46 AM
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reply to post by Chonx
 


Hey Chonx,

I think we are more than biological machines. Let's suppose consciousness
is just a product of biology. Than we are just complex biological robots. With the advancement of technology we will be able to make a clone of our bodies, so life will not end. Will be possible to live forever. Just make a clone, upload our memories in a computer. Than upload the content of ones brain in a new body. Let's suppose we decide to make 1000 clones of ourselves, identical in every aspect of our DNA. Do you think we will be able to control 1000 selfs in the same time? We will have 1000 consciousness? This is crazy. If we are just a product of biology than this will be possible.

I think there is a soul, or energy that animates the body. If we look at the invisible substances that constitute our body we see that are particles smaller than atoms. We never found the ultimate particle. Some scientists speculate that Mind is the ultimate particle. And this Mind is responsable for all creation. Our bodies is just a creation of Mind to experience a Earth existence. Our life is just a kind of temporary entertainment created by the Mind. Maybe Mind got upset to be omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent that it divided itself in many minds, created many worlds, and bodies to experience temporary existences.



posted on Jan, 19 2010 @ 11:31 AM
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Again thanks for all the input guys, not a single unintreresting post so far.

I made a thread a while back regarding my instict that the universe may well be naturally inclined toward complexity. First the fundamental forces, from them atomic, then moleculer - life - complex life and finally, consciousness. Within that thread I pondered whether something like a star or galaxy could have developed any kind of consciouness given that they are vastly more complex then the human brain. I wonder whether there are levels or types of consciousness which we as a species have simply not been able to detect as yet.

another thought is that maybe consciousness, as a few posters have mentioned already, works as a field which permiates the universe somewhat akin to the therorised Higgs field which gives matter it's mass. Maybe complexity of structure, like our brain produces an effect similar to gravity which then accumulates from the conscioussness field. I'm not sure I put that across very well but I hope you can see what I mean.

On a personal note. I'm feeling much much better today, and much less lost which in no small part is down to you people. So thanks again for the replies and thanks for making me feel better.



posted on Jan, 19 2010 @ 12:13 PM
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As per my first post I still think you need to define consciousness.

From my perspective consciousness refers to the processes that occur in the human mind or at least in those organisms that have a central nervous system. This would be typified by the ability to contemplate, make decisions, possibly be self aware etc. If you subscribe to this kind of view of consciousness how could this be applied to something like the sun? Are you saying that the sun has or could have these qualities?

With regards to complexity, I'm not sure why you consider the sun to be more complex than the human brain. But complexity alone cannot be used to infer a particular function, my hand is as equally complex as my foot but they don't share the same functionality. So even if the universe was inclined towards [ordered] complexity (isn't it inclined towards entropy?) it doesn't follow that consciousness is the natural result.

I also don't see the need to invoke some form of “consciousness field”; again going back to my first post the evidence of brain injuries shows that brain function is directly related to its structure and that if these structures are damaged a corresponding change in processes associated with consciousness is observed. The simplest explanation is that consciousness is a product of the physical make up of the brain, there's just no need for a consciousness field any more than there is for such an explanation for why the heart beats.


Btw, glad to hear you're feeling better.



posted on Jan, 19 2010 @ 12:34 PM
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Originally posted by Mike_A
So what is consciousness in your opinion? If it’s not self awareness, thoughts or any other mental process then what is it and how does that fit with any scientific or common use definition of consciousness?


It is the experience of being aware, or simply the phenomenon of experience/interaction in the first place.

Science does not understand consciousness.


I don’t get what you are saying, a rock doesn’t have any of the properties that we normally associate with consciousness but nevertheless it’s still conscious?


I know it sounds weird but yeah, those are my thoughts on it.

How we experience consciousness as humans is extremely "colored" by our biology.



posted on Jan, 19 2010 @ 12:47 PM
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reply to post by Mike_A
 


Well there is no need to evoke a consciousness field as you say but then again, 120 years ago there would have been no need for anyone to evoke ideas such as superpostion or wave-particle duality, Newtonian physics was doing just fine and they weren't needed for the big picture to make sense. But things change. Just as now, the ideas (and they are just that) such as a consciousness field or consciousness in things we wouldn't normally associate with it could become much more realistic pending a future discovery. There is no way to tell and until a comprehensive and flawless explaination of consciousness is achieved, it is prudent to ask these questions.

thanks



posted on Jan, 19 2010 @ 12:49 PM
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How we experience consciousness as humans is extremely "colored" by our biology.


I really like the way you put that.
I also feel that due to our limited ability to percieve reality, we may miss out on many of it's more subtle facets and this MAY be greatly imparing our understanding of it.

[edit on 19-1-2010 by Chonx]



posted on Jan, 19 2010 @ 02:43 PM
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reply to post by bsbray11
 



It is the experience of being aware, or simply the phenomenon of experience/interaction in the first place.


So how is this applied to the sun or a rock? How can you demonstrate a rock is aware, what mechanisms do you think could give rise to this?


Science does not understand consciousness.


I disagree with that, science doesn't understand exactly how consciousness is produced but it has several definitions of what it is which is enough to say that a rock does not, as far as we can be aware, have it.


I know it sounds weird but yeah, those are my thoughts on it.

How we experience consciousness as humans is extremely "colored" by our biology.


It doesn't sound weird it just doesn't make sense, if you define consciousness as X, accept that something does not have X you can't then say it still has consciousness despite not having what you yourself define the phenomena as.

The concept is a human defined and it is defined by how we experience things.

It's like saying a rock can see despite not having any properties of sight or apparatus that could give rise to it and then justifying this by saying that our experience of sight is coloured by our biology. It's not, it's defined by our biology, the concept of sight describes what our eyes (and certain parts of our brain) do just as consciousness describes (some of the things) our brain does.

reply to post by Chonx
 



Well there is no need to evoke a consciousness field as you say but then again, 120 years ago there would have been no need for anyone to evoke ideas such as superpostion or wave-particle duality


No, which is why nobody mooted them until something came up that required them.

Perhaps a consciousness field may be required in the future if we discover something that is impossible to account for otherwise but that isn't yet the case.


There is no way to tell and until a comprehensive and flawless explaination of consciousness is achieved, it is prudent to ask these questions.


I'm all for asking questions but the avenue of exploration has to be justified by observation and evidence at some point. At the very least you have to reason why a consciousness field is required and how that interacts with the known fact of localization of functionality.



posted on Jan, 19 2010 @ 03:26 PM
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I kinda see it the other way round. Cas the only thing i know to exist is my onsciousness mind..

so instead i kinda se biology to be a phenoma of consciousness...

It works for me anyhow..

kx



posted on Jan, 19 2010 @ 04:40 PM
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Originally posted by Mike_A
So how is this applied to the sun or a rock? How can you demonstrate a rock is aware, what mechanisms do you think could give rise to this?


The very underlying fabric of the entire universe contains consciousness, or the inherent ability to experience reality. Scientists are trying to find a unifying field theory, that unites all energies and forces in the universe and offers a common explanation to how they all came about. This is what scientists are trying to find in order to explain quantum mechanics and behaviors on the TINIEST levels. So in other words, to explain the apparently bizarre physical interactions on the tiniest levels, scientists are being forced to explore a singular force that unites EVERYTHING, and this exists in these tiniest spaces!

The implication is that a singular energy or being that gives rise to everything else in the universe, resides at the infinitely small level, across all space and time. And that must include consciousness, because consciousness does exist and obviously something gives rise to it though no one has shown it to be related to any of the 4 known fundamental forces.

The same energy makes up a rock, just as it makes up the atoms that make up the rock, just as the atoms make up the molecules that are the rock, and just as the molecules make up the crystallized structure of the rock. EVERYTHING IN EXISTENCE could be explained with this singular, unifying force, which also exists WITHIN everything, or else it would not physically exist at all. The entirety of existence can be seen simply as an expression of this one underlying singular force that permeates everything and from which all else arises, and just as EM energy contains both electricity and magnetism as different facets of the SAME THING, this singular force would contain both physical matter and conscious as two different facets of the SAME THING.



Science does not understand consciousness.


I disagree with that, science doesn't understand exactly how consciousness is produced but it has several definitions of what it is which is enough to say that a rock does not, as far as we can be aware, have it.


If consciousness is defined as a unified self-awareness then sure. But like you say, scientists still can't tell you where it comes from or even what exactly it is, what it is "made of," etc. The problem is that taking it to "self-awareness" before it qualifies as consciousness at all is that you have effectively "squared" what it actually is. Robert Anton Wilson has a similar idea he calls "I^2," or "intelligence observing intelligence," which is when "learning" occurs. Consciousness is similar. You are saying only when consciousness observes consciousness, when we have this distinct sense of "self," is it really consciousness. That's fine for an arbitrary definition but you should realize that you ARE experiencing consciousness as a "self" that is separate from your physical reality, and not even all life forms meet this definition of consciousness so therefore you are saying plants or animals like molluscs are not conscious at all. Needless to say I don't think that is true, either.

What if consciousness itself is more subtle than all physical matter and forces? Then you wouldn't be able to find it looking at physical matter and physical interactions. And so far that has been exactly the case. The best advances in understanding the nature of consciousness have been from various introspective philosophies and not material science, but to understand that you would have to actually study some of the philosophies I'm talking about or else you would just have to take my word for it, which it sounds like you probably would not do. You have consciousness and you can use yours to study your own consciousness.


It doesn't sound weird it just doesn't make sense, if you define consciousness as X, accept that something does not have X you can't then say it still has consciousness despite not having what you yourself define the phenomena as.


You must have misunderstood what I posted because I never said something had "X" but didn't have "X". I had awareness is NOT THE SAME as self-awareness, which is "I," your ego, your ability to perceive the world as something separate from "you," which is a lie.


It's like saying a rock can see despite not having any properties of sight or apparatus that could give rise to it and then justifying this by saying that our experience of sight is coloured by our biology. It's not, it's defined by our biology, the concept of sight describes what our eyes (and certain parts of our brain) do just as consciousness describes (some of the things) our brain does.


You are really struggling with what I am saying but it would not be a problem if you didn't try to over-think things too much. You are really just trying to over-think what I am saying, your cup is "too full" so to speak. All I am saying is that consciousness is inherent to everything. Consciousness is the ability to experience or interact with the "rest" of the universe in the most basic sense. You do not have to perceive yourself as a separate entity or invent an "external world" in order to do this. A rock is not "intelligent," a rock cannot "see," or even have a sense of self and a sense of "other." It simply is. But that is enough! For ANYTHING TO EXIST AT ALL, it has to be filled with the singular forces that gives rise to all of creation alike. If you want to know the truth, you aren't any different from a rock! The rock IS YOU! But this defies the sense that you are separate from your external reality, which again comes from being SELF-aware and experiencing yourself as a discrete unit from your external environment which is a purely biological mechanism. Physically, everything is related at the smallest level and this is confirmed by science. Everything is just an ocean of atoms even tinier energies, and all the borders between things are arbitrarily defined and do not really exist, but are simply illusions reinforced by higher-level activities such as biology. YOU are this ocean of atoms and smaller energies. The only reason you experience "yourself" differently than this ocean of swirling atoms, is, again, because you have higher-level biological functions conditioning you into automatically perceiving yourself as a separate and discrete entity within a vast universe that is external and completely separate from you.

You know EM radiation can pass right through your body. Is it "YOU" while it's "inside" your body? Who's to say? "You"? You see, "you" don't really make any sense because "you" are not really ONE thing, you are TRILLIONS of things. The only real "you" is the SENSE OF PERCEPTION of yourself as a single unit, which is another blatant fallacy and illusion. You cannot be a single unit and also trillions of discrete units, cells, atoms, etc. at the same time. It's either one or the other. You only have the biological ILLUSION that you are one thing, that is created by self-referencing neurological processes that authors such as AI researcher Douglas Hofstadter have covered in books.

Trust me, I know what "sense" is, and I know what I am saying "makes" it. If you are going to criticize me, my advice is to first understand perfectly clearly what I am saying (and I admit I have a lot of trouble putting it into words), even if that means re-reading this post. Try to actually identify the position I am coming from within your own mind. If you only misconstrue the things I am saying, because you are over-thinking and putting words in my mouth or changing my words to mean different things that I am definitely not saying because you didn't understand them to begin with, then we are both going to be frustrated because real communication is not even taking place.

[edit on 19-1-2010 by bsbray11]



posted on Jan, 19 2010 @ 05:16 PM
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The very underlying fabric of the entire universe contains consciousness, or the inherent ability to experience reality. Scientists are trying to find a unifying field theory


But as I said earlier in the thread, similarity in components does not equal similarity in function.

Why are you singling out consciousness as a property of a fundamental field and not eyesight or sneezing, or even more abstract just hand.

It makes no sense to say that because two things are made up of the same elementary components they must have the same properties. A piece of paper rolled up into a ball does something very different to one folded into a cube, but both share the exact same components.

And that is still only if a unified field theory is possible.


The implication is that a singular energy or being that gives rise to everything else in the universe, resides at the infinitely small level, across all space and time. And that must include consciousness


Consciousness isn't a particle or wave it's the produce of physical processes.


If consciousness is defined as a unified self-awareness then sure. But like you say, scientists still can't tell you where it comes


No I didn't say that I said that we don't know exactly how it is produced but evidence overwhelmingly suggests that it is a product of the physical brain. As I have said twice the localization of function within the brain and the effects on consciousness that lesions have clearly demonstrate that the make up of the brain is the cause of consciousness.


What if consciousness itself is more subtle than all physical matter and forces?


What do you mean? We know what consciousness is, we define it.


You must have misunderstood what I posted because I never said something had "X" but didn't have "X".


No, I said;

“a rock doesn’t have any of the properties that we normally associate with consciousness but nevertheless it’s still conscious?”

to which you said;

“I know it sounds weird but yeah, those are my thoughts on it.”

As far as I can see that is exactly what you were saying; you accept a rock has none of the features that we use to define consciousness yet you still consider it to be conscious.


You are really just trying to over-think what I am saying, your cup is "too full" so to speak.


Yeah, my spoon's gone all floppy as well...


All I am saying is that consciousness is inherent to everything.


And I am asking how you know this and whether you can prove it.

I am asserting that you don't know this, that you can't prove it and the evidence points to this notion being wrong.


Consciousness is the ability to experience or interact with the "rest" of the universe in the most basic sense.


But it's not, consciousness refers to a number of mental phenomena, i.e. functions and processes of the mind. Just being does not infer consciousness.

You are bastardizing terms to fit your own philosophy; as earlier you agree that a rock doesn't have any of the features we usually associate with consciousness but you arbitrarily disassociate these features from the concept just so you can say a rock is conscious. A problem with this is that you are reducing the concept to the point that it doesn't really mean anything at all; what you are saying makes consciousness synonymous with existing. When discussing the collective properties of the human mind, which generally would be referred to as consciousness, what would you do? Make up a new word only for someone to reduce that?

And yes I know what you are saying so let's not be patronising, I just disagree at a fundamental level.



posted on Jan, 19 2010 @ 05:45 PM
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Originally posted by Mike_A
Consciousness isn't a particle or wave it's the produce of physical processes.


Ah, here we go. You DO already have your mind made up.

So then can you tell me how physical processes give rise to consciousness?



posted on Jan, 19 2010 @ 06:19 PM
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Consciousness is a man made concept, defined by a number of features, used to describe something specific. That is just what it is.

If we were discussing language you wouldn't say that language is a particle or wave either would you. Nor would you say there is a grasping or spitting particle, because these are things we do not physical things in themselves.

As for how it is produced, again I have said this at least twice already, we don't know the mechanism by which it is all produced but we can show that it is routed in the physical brain. Lesion patients show that physical change within the brain does affect those features that we collectively label consciousness. That is an indisputable fact, a real one, it's been done time and time again; I even gave an example of a classic case that demonstrates localization of function (Phineas Gage)

By the way, why is it wrong for me to have made my mind up that it is not a particle or wave but it's fine for you to have made your mind up that it is? That's a bit of double standard isn't it,



posted on Jan, 19 2010 @ 06:54 PM
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Originally posted by Mike_A
Consciousness is a man made concept


All concepts are "man made," but the things to which they refer often are not, for example what "consciousness" refers to.


As for how it is produced, again I have said this at least twice already, we don't know the mechanism by which it is all produced but we can show that it is routed in the physical brain.


And you know all that says to me is that the antenna works. There are also neurons in our hearts and in our intestinal tract, and all of this is linked up neurologically through our spinal column. Your consciousness can also reside in these parts of your body, though you would probably tell me that it really just stays within my brain, without evidence, since you can't even tell me physically what it even is.


By the way, why is it wrong for me to have made my mind up that it is not a particle or wave but it's fine for you to have made your mind up that it is? That's a bit of double standard isn't it,


I didn't say consciousness was a particle or wave. And I don't see it as a double standard either, because I used to also believe science was the end-all, and it was certain experiences that made me abandon the idea that consciousness is a strictly physical phenomena and everything is "mechanical" in nature.

[edit on 19-1-2010 by bsbray11]



posted on Jan, 19 2010 @ 08:21 PM
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reply to post by Chonx
 


Hi Chonx
I haven't read all the replies here but felt the need to mention for my experiences since I have been in the same predicament as you.
I'm not a highly intellegent person, I have studied all aspects, to a degree comparing Religion to Biology and Science. I have always been logically minded coming from a Family who's lifes revolved around engineering and Physics, but I have an open mind, believing Humans don't and can't know everything, otherwise, why be here on Earth in the first place. The Bible never sat well with me, like many others, too much control and judgementallity, you can do no right unless you live a life of servitude.
Anyway, too simple an explanation, sorry. Recently however (last 3 yrs), strange things have begun to happen, like, if I need an answer to a esotiric question say, the answers seem to find me from people I have never met before or a click on an totally unconnected link on the net. Then there are these coincidences I, like many others here, are experiencing on a regular basis, by "regular" I mean many, daily, to the point that I truelly believe there is something greater at work here. Don't ask me what, could be a guiding spirit or just the Cosmic Joker having fun
nontheless, something out of the realm of "Science" is definetly at work here.
As for Science, many scientist are starting to weigh towards an, shall we say, "Intellegent aspect" to many areas of Biology, Physics etc etc.. which has probably already been mentioned here in greater depth.
Sorry, I lack the ability to describe my experiences in greater detail.
All I can say is, yes there is more to life, we are more than blobs of meat with a conscience.
Try for yourself, if not already, to open your mind to the posibility of something greater, leave religion to the side a bit as this won't help much, religion is not Spirituality and it has never bought about any "Magic" for me, quite the opposite IMHO.
I know you will find the answers for yourself, trust me, you will discover something special outside this material realm, but it will be found within yourself. You have already started the journey to an "awakening" by asking the question, it will be answered by unknows in the most unexpected ways, trust me.

All the best in your journey



posted on Jan, 19 2010 @ 08:55 PM
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reply to post by bsbray11
 



All concepts are "man made," but the things to which they refer often are not, for example what "consciousness" refers to.


Why didn't you refer to the rest of that section of my post?

If we were discussing language you wouldn't say that language is a particle or wave either would you. Nor would you say there is a grasping or spitting particle, because these are things we do not physical things in themselves.

What I'm trying to get across is that you are treating consciousness as a physical thing when it isn't, it's a concept that refers to the product of mental processes. Just as grasping or spitting refers to the product of a physiological process but are not physical things in themselves.


And you know all that says to me is that the antenna works.


But you have no reason to believe it's an antenna though. We observe that damage to the brain changes our consciousness, the simplest explanation is that the brain produces that consciousness.


Your consciousness can also reside in these parts of your body


But on what observations do you base this? If I destroy certain parts of my brain I can no longer make decisions for myself (one function that is associated with a conscious being) but if I destroy my thumb my entire consciousness remains intact, that is clear evidence that consciousness is a product (or resides in, though that isn't correct) of the brain.


I didn't say consciousness was a particle or wave.


No, you implied that consciousness was a physical thing akin, i.e. a particle or wave (or packet of energy which I missed out)

The point you seem to be perfectly happy to talk in your own absolutes (a rock is conscious, consciousness is inherent to everything etc) but you don't like others doing it. That's a double standard.

I'll point out now btw that you ignored quite a lengthy post in favour of pronouncing on the wrongfulness of my opinion. I wish I could get stars for ignoring valid opinions!

What I am trying to find out is what evidence do you have for saying these absolutes, I'm giving you mine but you've not provided anything to substantiate your assertions. It's all good speculation and maybe it's correct but then the idea that everything is the product of a gnats imagination is possible as are many others.

Assuming a unified field theory is possible then we would agree that everything is fundamentally made up of the same stuff but where we seem to diverge is on the idea that this automatically confers consciousness onto everything. I don't see why this should be the case any more than it conferring the quality of being a little bit grumpy.



posted on Jan, 19 2010 @ 08:56 PM
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Originally posted by Chonx
Is consciousness a result of biology or does it exist separately?


Science is slowly revealing that the mind exists separately.



posted on Jan, 19 2010 @ 09:10 PM
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what makes you think biology isn't a result of consciousness?

all life is counscious, no matter the level, biological or not. all life thinks, feels, and changes.

if you want proof, look to the source of the nautre of your question.



posted on Jan, 19 2010 @ 09:15 PM
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reply to post by Mike_A
 



if I destroy my thumb my entire consciousness remains intact


your ego remains whole, your ego is not the only part of you that thinks. if you have a favorite food, it's because of a liking your body has for it. those cells in your thumb were conscious before you destroyed them. there are various levels of consciousness.



posted on Jan, 19 2010 @ 09:18 PM
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reply to post by bsbray11
 



All concepts are "man made,"


not a single concept is man-made. man may reveal a concept but it was surely there before being exposed.



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