posted on Dec, 5 2014 @ 10:56 PM
Life after death. That’s what we all long for. It’s natural and human to want consciousness to be something more than the physical. Yet we get
scared at the thought of it; of letting ourselves creep deeper into that ugly and terrifying question: is the physical all there really is? And then
you respond, reacting, but how can one even make the distinction between consciousness and matter? The two feedback into one another. The mind is
inwards; different; subjective. And yes, matter is visible, outward, objectively real.
Consciousness seems to have an infiniteness to it; no experience is the same as each experience educes change, which interacts with the pre-existing
pattern of the system of your evolving consciousness. And then you think, again, the body. The body is so physical; so limited. I can see and I accept
that the brain creates conscious experience. But is it sufficient? Is there really nothing special about our inner existence? Our dreamscapes, our
lands of personal meaning, imaginatively recreated by our stalwart psyche, dramatically representing itself to an inward consciousness, one part,
active, participant; another part presenter. Is this normal. Isn’t this, fundamentally, existentially, strange?
And we wake up. We can also put ourselves into other states by disrupting our neurochemistry. '___' blocks serotonin by fitting itself into its
receptor regions. Serotonin is blocked and unable to perform it’s usual function of regulating glutamate, leading to a ‘full on’ experience of
external reality. The neurochemical modulates electrical conductivity in the brain. Flow changes. Information is processed differently. Wouldn’t it
be, I don’t know, a bit unnecessarily reductive to label this experience in a change of energy flow “delusional”. How is one to know what is
delusional if one can’t even explain or know for certain what consciousness is; what matter is. Or if the whole whole question in itself is
nonsense, just another pattern of the human proclivity to demarcate and name and limit into linear terms what is fundamentally non-linear,
paradoxical, and too complicated for us to truly comprehend.
The non-linear paradigm is shattering our arrogant 19th and 20th century convictions about logic and reality. Genes don’t make bodies. And genes are
not the master controllers that Richard Dawkins and others would like it to be. Fact is, genes lead to proteins, but then the proteins play an
essential role is signaling other genes into activity. In this situation, a produces b, but a is not sufficient to create c; its ab at that point
which gives c’s existence. To just hammer this point in; the same gene will produce differently in different organisms. For example, a hox gene in a
fly will give rise to a fly eye; whereas a hox gene in a mouse will give rise to the mouse eye. The gene is simply one element amongst other elements,
the other elements being external events impinging upon the system; via its impingements it engenders epigenetic processes that influence genetic
activity by attaching methyl and other molecules to the chromatin.
Reality also presents itself as fundamentally synchronistic at times. How can we reduce this strangeness? How can we, for example, ever talk about a
single object when every object seems to be a coordinate in a larger synchronized system? Furthermore, Not one of us can claim objectivity since each
of us has been shaped by early life relational events that gave us a particular ‘focus’, by affecting how we feel and interact with the world. How
do we make sense of that? How can I make sense of a Richard Dawkins, a Neil Degrasse Tyson, and a Francisco Varela? Why does the former cling to
materialistic explanations; the middle guy to be somewhere in between; and the latter guy subscribing to a nondual dualism, where inner and outer are
arbitrary terms erected by a mind constructing reality by it’s own neural conditions.
For me, this is early life development. Almost everything is set at this point. The brain ‘crystallizes’ itself according to the relational
conditions of in-utero development and early life (specifically the first 2 years) where brainstem and limbic regions are ‘set’ for a particular
relational quality; the brain grows into itss environment. And as the brain grows, it begins to expect, anticipate. The views of Richard Dawkins,
Tyson, and Varela, are elaborations of this early phase.
Personally, I don’t know. But I do accept the non-linear nature of reality, so I would lean more to Varelas non-dual dualism where distinctions
exist yet they are nevertheless recursively creating one another; the human mind can, as many yogis, meditators and mindfulness practioners know, the
ability to influence the brain; it can direct its own dynamical flows; it can pay attention to how it’s mind works; how certain emotions act as
‘basins of attraction’ drawing the mind into past relational patterns, leading to enactments. But a quieting of the mind, like the space between
planets which pulls them into orbit, can allow you to tinker with the flow. To suggest to yourself different perspectives, and to ‘flow into
them’. You can also influence the situation by making critical decisions that have a superordinate influence: such as the environments we operate
within. An ability to select our environment is very much a powerful act of free will. One that can alter one’s own life trajectory.
So causation can work ‘both ways’. Brain chemistry leads to enactments; while a quiet, mindful self awareness – whatever the hell that is which
allows us to see, review and decide, and in effect change our own negative enactments – allows us to essentially be what we want to be; to define
for ourselves how we want to live our lives.
The world is full of wonder, and also terror. The thought of this world being it; of their being nothing more following this life, absolutely
terrifies us. But is that terror proof of our naivety? Or is it just a fact – a necessary result of a mind that insists on it’s selfhood, on
it’s differentness, on it’s individuality?
If that what is being thought, death will probably horrify you, and you will probably respond narcissistically with an insistence on your selfhood,
and paradoxically, it can work both ways; one can think this way as a way to ‘conquer death’ by denying that you feel anything towards the fact
that the physical is all there is. Or, it can be the typical laymen fear of facing the unknown; denying it and taking as a truism whatever religious
dogma you subscribe to.
We can’t know, so, fundamentally, I think there is something deeply narcissistic about speaking with a certainty, an absolute “I’m right,
you’re wrong!” view about consciousness and matter. In fact, from a psychoanalytic perspective, the person who reaches in this is in fact
defending against his own dissociated terror. Belief is comforting. It helps control our anxiety. It stables inner patterns. But the implicit effect
of certainty is disconfirmation of the other. In this way, you project what you’re secretly denying onto the other, transforming fear into hatred, a
classic externalization behavior.