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February 18, 2020

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Brian, you are a prolific reader!!!

“One of the most ridiculous things about religions is that they usually consider humans to have been created by God in God's image. This is clearly not true, given the fact of evolution. Like every species, Homo sapiens is different from other forms of life, but not better or worse than those other forms.”

Yes, I don’t know which “god” they are referring to when they say humans have been created by God in God’s image.

But I think the term consciousness is used quite liberally. What is consciousness anyway? What are brain waves? Do they extend from our bodies to the brains of others? From animal brains to other animal brains who seem as if they think almost telepathically without language.

Just recently I’ve become fascinated by human language itself and the limitations it can impose.

Language, like science, is evolutionary. Concepts and illusions are both formed and destroyed by the power of language. Language is humanity’s most powerful tool.

“ Language is, today, an inseparable part of human society. Human civilization has been possible only through language. It is through language only that humanity has come out of the stone age and has developed science, art and technology in a big way. Language is a means of communication, it is arbitrary, it is a system of systems. We know that Speech is primary while writing is secondary.

Language is human so it differs from animal communication in several ways. Language can have scores of characteristics but the following are the most important ones: language is arbitrary, productive, creative, systematic, vocalic, social, non-instinctive and conventional. These characteristics of language set human language apart from animal communication. Some of these features may be part of animal communication; yet they do not form part of it in total.”

https://neoenglish.wordpress.com/2010/12/16/characteristics-and-features-of-language/

"One of the most ridiculous things about religions is that they usually consider humans to have been created by God in God's image."

All things are created in the image of life. We are literally projected from a Microscope pattern that keeps shifting. That tiny pattern builds a world containing living relics from the past, reproductions of ancient artifacts, hidden treasures and Easter eggs waiting to be discovered within each of us, but which are mostly undiscovered our entire lives.

We contain patterns and pieces of billions of other creatures from the distant past.

We think we are living in the now, but all the machinery and its workings are antidiluvian, and we still barely understand them. We are surrounded by old tech. These bodies? We are living in a reproduction of an ancient machine.

These thoughts and behaviors we think are entirely ours, bespoke? In truth we are off the rack.. A single copy from a series of nearly identical clones. Every thought, every emotion, every human dynamic is basically pumped out of a mold hundreds of thousands of years old.

And none of it of our making. All that design /build goes on without our conscious knowledge billions of times every moment. The knitting and the deconstruction, 24/7.

Our awareness is largely tangential and infantile by comparison. What we create is a crayon drawing by comparison. Without a designer, without even thinking, nature designs far more brilliantly. Without an engineer nature tests and refines in perfect accord with all physical laws. No one is at the wheel. But it all builds perfectly.

That's genius beyond genius. The method is flawless.

We are all made of that stuff. But like a beauty queen, we bask on the glory we didn't design, we didn't make, but which was handed to us.

How we define ourselves? We take ownership and pride in what we didn't create and don't actually own.

That's the illusion. It's not just God that doesn't exist. Our illusions about ourselves are illusion and self - delusion.

We are in denial about what exists. Because we can't shrink it into our tiny brains.

And we are in denial of who we are, because we, as defined by our name, our our individual careers, relationships, accomplishments, are far far less than we make of ourselves.

Yet what is in this form, when we put aside our definitions, is astounding stuff.

What does exist? So much more.

When you look at your computer, your car, your business plan, your treatise, your story, your article, you think this is truly something human created, that song you wrote, that painting you made, human designed, human refined, a human accomplishment.

Ah, no. Everything we do, just like all things insects and subatomic particles do, is the predictable outcome of nature. Whatever these biological thinking machines come up with us actually just another result of the forces of nature. Every thought, trigger and response is a part of a machine built hundreds of thousands of years ago.

So many variations, and over time the most functional survive, with so many trial and errors in nature. Humanity, with all its thoughts and accomplishments, is just more of that. These are part of nature. The distinction between natural and artificial is a gross overstatement. A stupid misunderstanding. It is all nature.

Hi !

Consciousness is prior to manifestation and our brain is simply one of the myriad of manifestations in Consciousness.

Consciousness, functioning as 'brain', or frog for that matter, sees itself in relation to various manifestations of itself it encounters which it sometimes fails to recognize as itself.

Frogs are just frogs frogging. They don't analyze it. We brains do the brainy stuff and continually fool ourselves.

Thus, Self and 'other' are born.

The search for self begins in a sea of 'other', always seeking what it already is.

Separation and the resulting suffering and anxiety appear.

Awakening is seeing:...

The Universe is Conscious.

'Primordialy' this Consciousness is undifferentiated.

Consciousness moves (will) and space, time, and duality is manifest.

Thus, the Universe of objects with which Consciousness identifies itself as itself is born.

This sometimes creates the sense of self and other when in actuality there is neither.

There is only Consciousness appearing as itself which is no-self because if Consciousness had a self that self would be other!!… key point.

We are that Consciousness. (by now you are realizing that?)

In reality, there is no 'we'. It is just a term for communication in the duality of appearance.

There is no before or after Consciousness.

If there was 'before' Consciousness, 'now' would never arrive because 'before' has no end. "Now' would never get here. When does 'before' begin? How far back can 'before' go?

See what I mean? Before is now!

There is no 'after' Consciousness (now) because there is always only now no matter how far in the future you conceive it.

In other words, when you get there, it is still now. So, there is no getting 'there' which is impossible to get to since you are already there now.

There is no there there. There is always only here no matter how long you wait!

Consciousness rests.

Space and time disappear.

As a result, objects and duality cease.

The manifest Universe disappears.

The undifferentiated state persists...until It, Consciousness, moves again.

That's It.

Yet NASA says they still haven't found any indication that life -- any kind of life, even a microbe -- exists beyond this planet.

Scientists have found the map of evolution, but still say they don't know how life arose from gases and rock.

Nor is there a scientific explanation for consciousness. Theories, yes. Explanations, no.

We may not truly believe in a God. In fact, I doubt that most religious people truly believe in a transcendent reality. If they did, they'd be totally fearless of death. But on the other hand, how many materialists or atheists truly believe that life is a colorful collection of atoms going nowhere? Their valuation of life's meaning and desire for existence is itself proof that they see life as more than the sum of material things.

I think Jordan Peterson is on to something when he says that religious belief is common to most people, whether they subscribe to religious dogma or completely disavow it.

It’s impossible not to believe in evolution when you consider the fact that all of life has been in a continual state of evolution since life began. Our biology is evolving (sometimes devolving). Animals and plants—all species are constantly adapting and passing along the DNA of those adaptations to their offspring. It’s part of survival. It has been going on since the beginning of time and will continue until the end.

Consciousness is another thing. Hard to quantify something like consciousness.

I don’t know if this is evolution or devolution but it’s really interesting.

“Human height has steadily increased over the past 2 centuries across the globe.”

I toured some of the famous mansions on plantations in the Deep South many years ago and what struck me most was how “doll like” the furniture seemed. Furniture was smaller because people were so much smaller in both height and width.

https://ourworldindata.org/human-height

Brian

Had a look at what you posted from Le Doux (a neuroscientist). First thing that comes to mind is whether or not he has researched any spiritual paths, been in nature a lot and/or is a meditator? If he was I might be more receptive to his take on consciousness, which from the quotes you give he believes is a function of the brain only?

He (Le Doux) says ‘behavior has mostly been generated by nonconscious systems, and that behavior, even in humans, should be assumed to be nonconsciously controlled unless proven otherwise’. What does he mean by a nonconscious system? Something that is not conscious? I suppose he’s talking about human evolution being driven more by necessity and ‘external factors’ rather than choice? My thinking is that this is part of the problem with us humans - If we were more tuned into/conscious about these ‘systems’ we could well have more control on how we choose to react and therefor what our behaviour will be? I presume he is talking about such behaviour when he mentions anthropocentrism and anthropomorphism however saying the latter is about attributing too much to animals I don’t really get in the context given.

I follow your argument about memory in regard to experience, and that this is a strong point Le Doux’ makes in regard to how humans survive and evolve. Le Doux says: ‘Separation of the history of emotions and other states of consciousness from the deep history of survival circuits allows us to see our place in this ancient story’. So part of the link as far as I can tell is that it is important to limit excess information that could impede/reduce connection with our survival strategies. Such info relates to events with emotional charge etc that may not be recorded correctly - fair comment.

I wonder what Le Doux means by ‘other states of consciousness’?

My view is that his view is limited and that we can only get to know the whole story when we have access to all available information. I reckon his use of the term ‘survival circuit’ could well be another name for the brain’s DMN or Default Mode Network, which to my current understanding is a kind of consciousness filtering system employed by the brain as a survival aid. However, when you look at what Pollan wrote and what is said about it by other neuroscientists, a lot of folk consider it to be the seat of the ‘self’ as it appears to govern a lot of behaviour that generates such.

You (Brian) talk of conscious awareness being the tip of the iceberg. I’m assuming the picture involves a tip with a vast unknown bulk below. How about it being a tip with a vast expanding bulk above?
I.e. the bigger picture is chopped down so to speak by such things as the DMN which helps generate this self with all its belief in separation and need to survive. As has been discussed several times on this blog various drugs can alter this perception. As can deep immersion in ‘nature’ a cool look from an ‘awakened one’ and of course meditation.

As tucson reminded us:
‘We brains do the brainy stuff and continually fool ourselves.
Thus, Self and 'other' are born.
The search for self begins in a sea of 'other', always seeking what it already is.
Separation and the resulting suffering and anxiety appear.
Awakening is seeing:...
The Universe is Conscious.


This makes so much more sense to me.

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