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originally posted by: Astrocyte
Awareness is a very strange subject. How is it - how does it become? How are we aware, and what does it mean to be aware?
At different times this thought affects us in different ways. It depends on where our "narrative" lies. Where are we at the moment that we ask that question. What have I been thinking? Feeling? The two, of course, go together in all we do. Feeling is either muted or felt to be hardly present (though still forms a background unique to "us") or goes intensely in a positive or negative direction. In each of these directions, a network of thoughts are formed. For the muted mind, for the depressed mind, to the fearful and anxious mind, or the happy, peaceful, and thankful mind, the reflection, "I am aware" can either terrify us, inspire us with awe, or be felt as "meh".
Reality is so utterly constructed by the motions of the past, the fact that we operate as humans in body's constructed by other humans, with their own subjectivity and their own fears of death, and so on back to the point where creatures operated without self-awareness, with explicit consciousness of self's own existence.
We emerge out of this fabric, and today, we live in an incredible world that is motley, so different at the margins, with a scientific 'core' that studies questions in physics and the body, the brain, and the mystery of consciousness. Yet amidst this lies the traditional succor of religion, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, for westerners, and Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism for Easterners. Perhaps, due to the intense literalism of western religion, it can look a bit more pathetic the way humans such as these construct their meanings of the world. But it isn't all bad. The way they relate represents a need that exists regardless of the stamp you put on it. Humans need each other: were all created, psychologically as individual selves, by the social processes that are species have evolved within. Our minds represent the workings of the relational processes that happen between us, so we become aware, perhaps, or very plausibly, the only creature in the known universe that thinks of it's own consciousness and wonders, despite its inherent limitations, "what is this force that moves my mind, that is my awareness, my power to attend"? It's an amazing thing.
But we also search for ourselves, compulsively, we need meaning and coherency to operate in the world - that is, to be a person who lives in time, with a beginning, a middle, and end: a story. Each of us literally embodies a story amidst a world being. There's an unconsciousness all around us, and even in us, in our minds, lies too many computations to count - too many effects from the past and the present/past that brings out our consciousness in 'this' way/
For me, most of the time, the world is amazingly meaningful. I am a person, born to embody a story of meaningful existence. Meaning is born with man. The deeper meaning, I think, is that we represent the activities of a process that began before the big bang. Contingency, the way this affects that, has led over billions of years to the emergence of a creature that grasps meaning. But the creature is not merely a creature. His or her mind was and is simply a "point" of awareness, surrounded by a sea of unconscious resonance, embodied as chemical processes held together by the magic of electromagnetic bonding.
The amazing thing, I think, is that it is quite logical to conceive of ourselves as a 'progression' in evolution in that the universe is conscious THROUGH us, implying, as those hippy new agers sing about, that our consciousness really is a deeply meaningful development in the story of time.
Time does this. Time, I wonder, might have something deeply meaningful about it.