The Circus of Consciousness

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posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 12:52 AM
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The Circus of Consciousness
 

1.


“Consciousness”, a word with a thousand-fold variety of human created and human postulated meaning, is the new God of this generation. The very fact that people cannot explain it and cannot define it has made this extremely vague concept a new hope for those who find gods in the areas of their misunderstanding, just as we’ve done throughout the history of human thought.

When people start to bow to a word and concept, throw it about nonchalantly as an explanation of everything, or as some fundamental aspect of ourselves and the universe, one might pay keen attention. Here we once again see the deification and veneration of our very ignorance, what we don’t know about ourselves and the goings on around us. We name these speculations, the unknown, the areas we don’t yet have words for, with satisfying and mystical monikers that might appeal to an animal bent on satiation. We always pray to what is on the other side of our understanding.

In order to pay attention to consciousness, one might have to wonder what the hell it is they are talking about, and if it is in any fact different than the soul, the psych, the anima, the spirit, the ego and the mind; or is it, just like them, another word for our shortcomings when it comes to the act of understanding ourselves.

2.



Descartes, all honor to him, doubted himself right out of his body and environment to where he could doubt no longer. He could not possibly doubt that he was doubting—“I think therefor I am”. But think about it. The very moment he doubted his body and environment, he also doubted the “I am” that thinks. There is nothing of Descartes left without his body and his environment. How is this man doubting if he does not exist? It should be that he exists, therefor he thinks—a more likely scenario. Descartes made a grave assumption, one that still pumps through the veins of human philosophy as an infection: he assumed that he could still think where he doesn’t even exist, an assumption without an inch of merit or honesty. Mind/body dualism becomes solidified in human metaphysics.

3.


Despite the tremendous advances in neuroscience, some scientists in the pursuit of consciousness (Christoph Koch, Francis Crick in particular) have made claim that it will be the the neuroscientists that will explain consciousness, but nonetheless are yet to develop a consistent notion of it. The idea here, whatever it is they are looking for, has not yet revealed itself in their study of the nervous system, and consciousness remains a virtually vacuous concept, that is, the word cannot be used as a label for anything within the realm of neurobiology. However, these physicalists have something of substance, the nervous system of the human body, to work with. The philosophers who utilize neuroscience to support their materialistic stances, say intentional states, thoughts, and what we would call the mind, is identical to brain states. The function of the brain is consciousness. Or is it?

Neuroscientist Christoph Koch, with the help of famed physicist Francis Crick, propose a completely biological idea of consciousness. Koch, however, uses a strange language. He says consciousness is something that is “possessed”, that it is “shared”, almost as it is something we own, it follows us around like a shadow, implying that consciousness is some sort of something, an acquirable, an object, something with a boundary—namely, an assumption without merit, perhaps a product of a religious upbringing. I don’t think many neuroscientists would agree with him on this point, as no data shows this to be the case.

His source of this consciousness is of course the brain, clusters of neurons, the central and peripheral nervous system as that old and venerated ghost in the shell known as the “seat of consciousness”. But we might ask these neuroscientists an important question: Where does the brain end and the rest of the body begin? Take away the skin, the muscles, the skeleton, the organs until we’re left with only the brain and nervous system on a pile on the floor—how much consciousness is left? Has he doubted the rest of body to attempt to find that supposed kernel of consciousness, until he has doubted the nervous system right out of his own body? Isn’t it an entirely unfathomable notion to think that a brain without the rest of the body is a source of consciousness? In what strange realm do bodiless nervous systems remain conscious?

Despite Descartes doubting his senses, his body, his environment, he all the while remained seated, keeping warm in an oven, wearing nothing but a robe, completely whole, doubting himself.

4.


Biocentrism requires us to believe that the universe revolves around life. We also once believed the universe revolved around the earth. Lanza states the sort of narcissistic view that physical laws were somehow put in place so exactly in order to allow for consciousness and life. Yet toss a living being into space and watch what those physical laws will do. This is idealism once again reformulated and rehashed into another theory—nothing exists without an observer, without consciousness. It’s saying the moon disappears when no one looks at it. Mere assumption.

It’s no wonder that people say that the “scientists” are just now figuring out what the ancient mystics knew all along, because instead of relaying the data and facts, they relay their own philosophical views about them. Scientists who while disparaging philosophy, try to play philosopher. The power of the mind runs deep, but it’s limitations even deeper.

5.


Consciousness, as it is used here and in quantum mind theories and new age piety, is nothing but the duct tape of human misunderstanding, patching up every hole with “consciousness”, which amounts to nothing more than a human being thinking about himself and making himself out to be something other than what he really is, just as we’ve done for millennia. We don’t know why we have thoughts, see things, have sensations, feel... and when we open ourselves up to find out why, we’re surprised when we don’t find anything but more body. Shouldn’t this tell us something? Why do we feel pain? Hit yourself and find out. Why do we feel cold? Go out in the snow. Why do we feel heat? Go near a fire. There’s no brain feeling it; there’s no substance or mystical ghost feeling it; there’s no “consciousness” feeling it; there is only one thing and one thing only moving towards the heat, hitting himself, thinking, doubting, seeing, hearing, engaging in subjective experience, and imagining these theories into words.

Is it that we do not like ourselves enough to admit it?




posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 01:30 AM
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reply to post by Aphorism
 


That was a good read.

You should do a few paragraphs dispelling out of body experiences, and the placebo effect / mind over matter, and then sum it all up by answering how matter could create something immaterial, such as dreams, thoughts, and emotions.

edit on 1/21/2014 by Bleeeeep because: -of



posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 02:52 AM
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reply to post by Aphorism
 


Conscious means aware, or intelligent and aware. Both awareness and intelligence are information processes. Consciousness is the most complex process in the universe that I know of. It has potential to be the largest factor in the future events within the universe. Its possible conscious beings have already responsible for most matter being dark matter (ie they have effectively hidden it from detection).

While the ideas that consciousness are center to the universe are speculation, I don't know of any theories of the universes purpose (or non-purpose) that are not speculative. We know intelligent beings design virtual universes such as in video games using a process of conscious decision-making. Therefore, there is reason to believe that the universe we exist in also involves a conscious process. Its not the strongest evidence but its a reasonable ground for speculation.

If stars start flying around in formation I'm going to believe the source is a process of consciousness. Oh, thats right, they do fly around in formation. Look at the Milky way... a circular formation of stars flying around. If you look at Earth from space you find the most signs of order compared to other planets. That order is derived from conscious processes. You can then reason that while we don't understand the laws of physics, they seem orderly in the way they produce sophisticated geometric patterns. You can then guess that like the order of Earth, the order in the universe is also derived from a conscious process.



posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 03:07 AM
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reply to post by Aphorism
 


You're a very intelligent and deep thinker.

I enjoyed the read.



posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 09:41 AM
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Aphorism
The Circus of Consciousness
 

1.


“Consciousness”, a word with a thousand-fold variety of human created and human postulated meaning, is the new God of this generation. The very fact that people cannot explain it and cannot define it has made this extremely vague concept a new hope for those who find gods in the areas of their misunderstanding, just as we’ve done throughout the history of human thought.


We may never explain it or define it. It may be ineffable. It might be beyond the scope of science. Luckily, its not beyond the scope of experience.

A few years ago, I experienced something profound that I would like to share with you. I went beyond the waking state of consciousness, beyond the dreaming state, and beyond the state of deep dreamless sleep to a state I had never experienced before. A fourth state.



It was quite amazing to be in that fourth "turiya" state. I was in a body of light and stars, and I knew that this was the true reality - the ground of being. The waking state of consciousness that we all operate in everyday is just a dream compared to that fourth state or "turiya". After coming back from there, back into my human body and brain, a lot of adjustment was required. Heck, I'm still adjusting.

Science might not be able to explain or define it, and that doesn't concern me. The important thing is getting there and experiencing it. The changes that it made to my quality of life are worth more to me than an explanation or definition.

We don't need iron-clad explanations or definitions, we need models and techniques that will aid us in reaching depths of consciousness that can improve our quality of life.

edit on 21-1-2014 by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 09:49 AM
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reply to post by BlueMule
 


It sounds very interesting. Although I think they should call it something other than consciousness.



After coming back from there, back into my human body and brain, a lot of adjustment was required.


Why'd you go back to your body and brain? And how did you get back there?



posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 09:52 AM
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Aphorism

Why'd you go back to your body and brain? And how did you get back there?


That knowledge is inside me somewhere, but its state-specific knowledge. In this waking state I don't have access to it.

If you don't like the word consciousness, what word would you recommend?

edit on 21-1-2014 by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 09:59 AM
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I have a question for you, Aphorism. According to your studies and observations, what principle or virtue would you conclude to be most ardently reflected in the movements of the universe, from the dance of the galaxies to the operations of the smallest atomic particles? Or do you see no principle or virtue at all?
edit on 21-1-2014 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 10:00 AM
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reply to post by Bleeeeep
 





You should do a few paragraphs dispelling out of body experiences, and the placebo effect / mind over matter, and then sum it all up by answering how matter could create something immaterial, such as dreams, thoughts, and emotions.


I don't believe in mind or matter.



posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 10:02 AM
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reply to post by Aphorism
 





It’s no wonder that people say that the “scientists” are just now figuring out what the ancient mystics knew all along, because instead of relaying the data and facts, they relay their own philosophical views about them. Scientists who while disparaging philosophy, try to play philosopher. The power of the mind runs deep, but it’s limitations even deeper.



Well said, maybe that's why us Mystical Metaphysical folk see more and feel more than one who's out of touch with there own reality.

"I think therefore I am"? Is not true. I feel anger, therefore I'm anger? That doesn't make a bit of sense, you can't be anger, you can embody anger but you are not.

I enjoyed the read SnF~



posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 10:06 AM
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Aphorism, could you help me reconcile these seemingly contradictory statements?

1. I don't believe in mind or matter.

2. The power of the mind runs deep, but it’s limitations even deeper.



posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 10:08 AM
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Aphorism
reply to post by Bleeeeep
 





You should do a few paragraphs dispelling out of body experiences, and the placebo effect / mind over matter, and then sum it all up by answering how matter could create something immaterial, such as dreams, thoughts, and emotions.


I don't believe in mind or matter.


If you believe in neither the observer nor the observed, then you believe in, quite literally, nothing. All philosophies would be a romanticizations of how peace might be made with the void.
edit on 21-1-2014 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 11:04 AM
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'I think therefore I am'.

There has to be being (existence) before there can be thoughts. Prior to any thought arising there must be an observer present.

I think that Descartes meant that when thinking occurs the thought 'I' happens. The separate individual does not exist until the thought 'I' happens. Until a separate me is created in thought then there can be no separation - no individual. 'Individual' is just a concept after all.
edit on 21-1-2014 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 11:11 AM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 





I have a question for you, Aphorism. According to your studies and observations, what principle or virtue would you conclude to be most ardently reflected in the movements of the universe, from the dance of the galaxies to the operations of the smallest atomic particles? Or do you see no principle or virtue at all?


I have yet to reach or devise any conclusion in that respect. So far my first principle and virtue is me.



posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 11:12 AM
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reply to post by BlueMule
 





Aphorism, could you help me reconcile these seemingly contradictory statements?

1. I don't believe in mind or matter.

2. The power of the mind runs deep, but it’s limitations even deeper.


I use words as words. Beyond that, mind and matter have no use.



posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 11:15 AM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 





If you believe in neither the observer nor the observed, then you believe in, quite literally, nothing. All philosophies would be a romanticizations of how peace might be made with the void.


I only believe there is no such false dichotomy between observer and observed, mind and matter. All philosophies are basically memoirs of their author.



posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 11:17 AM
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reply to post by sulaw
 





"I think therefore I am"? Is not true. I feel anger, therefore I'm anger? That doesn't make a bit of sense, you can't be anger, you can embody anger but you are not.


Well said. We never feel something called "anger", we only ever feel ourselves and how we react to certain situations.



posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 11:24 AM
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Aphorism
reply to post by BlueMule
 





Aphorism, could you help me reconcile these seemingly contradictory statements?

1. I don't believe in mind or matter.

2. The power of the mind runs deep, but it’s limitations even deeper.


I use words as words. Beyond that, mind and matter have no use.


"Language is originally and essentially nothing but a system of signs or symbols, which denote real occurrences, or their echo in the human soul." -Carl Jung

I use words as a system of signs or symbols. I think most people do. That way we can communicate through a common frame of reference. I'm not really sure I understand how you are using words. To me, mind is a word that symbolizes something important. It's like a finger pointing to the moon.

Do you think that finger should be cut off? That we should ignore the moon? I'm really not sure what your point is. Do you want humanity to stop using or replace words that have been particularly abused?

edit on 21-1-2014 by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 11:27 AM
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Aphorism
reply to post by AfterInfinity
 





I have a question for you, Aphorism. According to your studies and observations, what principle or virtue would you conclude to be most ardently reflected in the movements of the universe, from the dance of the galaxies to the operations of the smallest atomic particles? Or do you see no principle or virtue at all?


I have yet to reach or devise any conclusion in that respect. So far my first principle and virtue is me.


Then what conclusion are you attempting to outline in this thread? What's your point here?



posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 11:31 AM
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reply to post by BlueMule
 





I use words as signs or symbols. I think most people do. That way we can communicate through a common frame of reference. I'm not really sure I understand how you are using words. To me, mind is a word that symbolizes something important. It's like a finger pointing to the moon.

Do you think that finger should be cut off? That we should ignore the moon? I'm really not sure what your point is. Do you want humanity to stop using or replace words that have been particularly abused?


I really had no point. I was trying to respond in a pithy manner.

Signs and symbols for what? is the question. I mean what are we symbolizing with the word mind? It is the same as consciousness or soul or spirit; every time we use these words we are simply talking about ourselves. It is just another word for the human being—the only thing of importance worth symbolizing with these words—and I think beyond that there is nothing to symbolize.





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