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Well Michael, now that you understand Black Panthers there’s probably only one hurdle left.

The wind blows where it pleases;
you can hear its sound,
but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going
So it is with everyone who was born of the Spirit
(except in the case of Democrats, when it always blows out of their rear ends)

This reminds me of Roger Penrose's Orch-OR model where the more matter entangled together, the richer conscious experience becomes. Also, in the Orch-OR model, conscious awareness occurs in discrete moments (I've heard of advanced Zen meditators reporting discrete moments of consciousness, lending support to this model). As brains get larger as you move up from lower animals to humans, the speed of consciousness also increases as more conscious moments flash by per second. And brains exist to provide an area of quantum coherence so that consciousness can interact with matter.

Orch-OR is pretty popular among physicists but neuroscientists, philosophers, and psychologists usually don't like it at all. It's an academic turf war; other disciplines don't like physicists trying to mix quantum mechanics into their fields.

To put this in more spiritualist terms, we could imagine awareness, as such, as a vast unity that is temporarily divided and subdivided into individual expressions. These individual expressions are real, but they are not the ultimate reality. Of necessity, awareness narrows in order to be expressed in individual terms. At some later point in the process, it widens again. This does not necessarily mean that individuality is lost. The tones, once sounded, may persist forever. After all, time as we know it probably does not apply to the realm of pure consciousness, so anything that exists may be said to exist perpetually.


Unfortunately, looking at the array of living and fossil animal forms and their different levels of cognition and awareness depending on complexity of organization, consciousness appears to have evolved. It is reasonable to suppose that this was because it was the most efficient and effective way for an animal to deal with the environment. It would be more efficient and powerful to have a "conscious" system with a sense of self, than an unconscious system with multitudes of individual stimulus/response networks. Sort of like the advantage of a general purpose processor over discrete hard wired logic.

This is naturally a materialist view of life and consciousness, but it appears to be plausible looking at the biology of animals, and doesn't seem to have anything to do with notions of consciousness being some sort of all-pervasive metaphysical principle. Of course these speculative observations would seem to conflict with the existence of what I have to acknowledge as very good empirical evidence for psi and an afterlife. I don't know how to resolve this conflict.

"The air rushes through these pipes and produces a variety of different tones depending on the circumference, length, and material of each pipe. Each tone is unique, but it's all the same air. And while the air is momentarily divided into separate pathways as it travels down the pipes, it recombines as a single current once it leaves the pipes."

This is a great analogy within a great a post.

"....no one can enter the kingdom of God
without being born through water and the Spirit;
what is born of human nature is human;
what is born of the Spirit is spirit...."

As an aside, the church usually takes this to mean something having to with baptism. IMO a totally wrong and politically motivated interpretation.

More to the point, though, my own sense is that the Jesus passage and some other sources point to the idea that differentiation does not arise only from the I-Thought only passing through various physical vessels (pipes) - though that is certainly *an* important source of uniqueness. Rather, it seems to me that there exists some kind of non-physical "pipes" as well, upstream from the physical ones (i.e. organization into oversouls/soul groups and then individual souls). What those are exactly and how they work is beyond me.

Still, I do think they are a mechanism. The Upanishads tell us that they are some how related to karmic forces.

Again, great post.


I agree with no one, great post! And it's nice to know my contributions have meaning here. I really do believe that Michael has a salon here that is doing work of significance in this area.

I didn't, of course, come up with the term "I-thought"; I got that from Indian thought. And the idea of a universal I-thought or consciousness comes from Averroes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Averroes).

My own innovation (if it is indeed original), is this: I think the I-thought *is* Reality in its perfectly evolved, resolved, and completed state. Although it gives us consciousness, we (and everything else in the Universe) compose it through our thoughts, actions, etc. So it is paradoxical that we help create what we use to create.

I think it is also helpful to tie the I-thought concept into that of dimensions of thought. The I-thought is dimension 0/∞: per Grof, it is both Void and Universal Consciousness.

Per the intention of the Universe, thought has evolved thus:

0D. No thought/the I-thought as Void.

1D. The experience of externality without interiority. First-order sentience.

2D. The experience of externality and interiority. Second-order sentience.

3. The experience of externality and interiority in terms of a self. First-order consciousness.

Note: What Jaynes was talking about in Bicameral Mind was actually the evolution from 2D thought in humans to 3D. It's probable that *some* people over a long period of time were able to experience 3D well before it became common. It seems possible to push some apes just a little bit into this region (they are the only animals besides humans that can recognize themselves in a mirror).

4D. Second-order (Astral) consciousness. 4D is inherently an unstable dimension, as is the Astral. People who reach this state tend to be really smart, psychic, or both but can have trouble keeping it together. I was talking to my girlfriend the other day about this topic, and she made the connection with mental illness. I was also reading another 19th century text recently that connected mental illness with evolution.

When you hear talk about "ascension," it's no coincidence that you never hear anyone point out 4D as an end goal. Rather 5D is. The shift from 2D to 3D is really massive, the shift from 3D to 4D less so. 4D tends to bring power and problems at the same time.

In terms of what 4D feels like, I think people experience it in different ways. I would describe it as "multiscenario consciousness." In 3D, thought is pretty slow. You can consider multiple options without relation to the self, but then in order to bring it back to the self you have to pick one and look at it. In 4D, you can consider multiple 3D blocks at once. You can look at multiple possibilities in terms of the self at once.

Just as there were 3D people in when 2D was standard, there have been 4D people when 3D was standard. Most geniuses and psychics have been 4D, probably. (Note that 4D is associated with higher intelligence but doesn't necessarily require or grant higher-level or normal cognition.)

5D. This becomes something qualitatively different from consciousness as we normally experience it. I'd call it, for lack of a better term, "multi-self consciousness." In this state, the multi-scenario-processing selves become observable in the matrix of consciousness, and you can pick which one you want to "be." Yet, it's much more than that, since you can also choose any "distance" between any of the individual selves or even "detune" from all of them. This is the goal of ascension--for now.

So we will never live in a world in which most people are 4D. We are trying to skip that level (perhaps out of necessity) and go from 3 to 5.

Why is 4D unstable? Which is, Why is the Astral the way it is? My guess is that it is so for mathematical reasons. All of the dimensions up to 4 are either 0, the unit (1), or prime (3). Is it because 4 is not a prime number? I also do not see anything in the lore about the 6th dimension being desirable; rather, it seems to skip to 7. Yet, the 9th dimension *does* seem to be desirable (could be Ascended Master level?). So perhaps it's the even/non-prime dimensions that are unstable/undesirable. Again, the exact reason why I know not. Spirit guides seem to be at the level 7 or higher, whereas 5 is pretty much where beginners are at.

The above may seem "out there," even to readers and commenters here, but I am seeing a remarkable concordance of experiences in A) the "myths" of ascension you can read online and B) the experiences of people I know who are actually working on 5D. It's pretty amazing stuff!

Meant to say, "or prime (2, 3)."

This is naturally a materialist view of life and consciousness, but it appears to be plausible looking at the biology of animals, and doesn't seem to have anything to do with notions of consciousness being some sort of all-pervasive metaphysical principle. Of course these speculative observations would seem to conflict with the existence of what I have to acknowledge as very good empirical evidence for psi and an afterlife.

The evidence of the OBEs, NDEs, apparitions of the living and the deceased, mediumship and people seem to remember past lives only requires the existence of a vehicle of consciousness that lingers after biological death, so we can think along the evolution living beings have become symbiotically with this physical but nophysiological vehicle to give rise to an afterlife.

Does it make sense in this context that reincarnation occurs because a "stream of consciousness/I-thought" once attached to a complex organism easier attaches (again) than a completely new one? Because of the previous experience of being brain bond?

Does anyone else here have the foggiest idea what Matt Rouge is talking about?

I.G. , "Does it make sense in this context that reincarnation occurs because a "stream of consciousness/I-thought" once attached to a complex organism easier attaches (again) than a completely new one? "

That's what I was trying to get when I spoke (above) to there probably being some kind of non-physical/non-cultural "pipes" as well.

I think Sheldrake's morphic fields point toward one type of non-physical method of organization of the I-Thought. With humans it's almost as if certain archetypes or sub-types are born as such. And these types expressed themselves very similarly across diverse cultures. You have the artist, the mystic, the warrior, the thinker, the healer, the laborer, the farmer, etc, etc. So it can't be all cultural conditioning.

Matt Rouge has talked about consciousness and what survives physical death as being informational content. This is a useful perspective. In light of Michael's post and our comments (your's and mine), I am wondering what the "glue" (or pipe) is that binds the informational content into a single distinct unit (i.e. James Lietenger or the personalities in Ian Steven's work).

"To put this in more spiritualist terms, we could imagine awareness, as such, as a vast unity that is temporarily divided and subdivided into individual expressions."

This is really good, Michael! I'm less attracted to the mention of information as "basic stuff," but this part is at the heart of my own worldview. It's what Grof means when he refers to the partitioning process, and what Plotinus is saying here:

"The entire universe exists in a continual outlflow from the One into created multiplicity, which is then drawn back to the One."

Great post.

I don't know for sure if this is the thread to post this. But, it seems to fit. Well, kind of anyway. The other day at work I went to the bathroom. As I was on the toilet I saw a small bug making it's way toward me. It was the size of a flea or a gnat. Anyway, I looked at it and it just stopped. Now, maybe it saw me and I moved a little. Still, it was obvious that it had a sense of "itself." At least I assume it did because it stopped in order to conceal itself and perhaps to see if it could avoid me. I've noticed this in insects before. A certain sense of "knowing" that they should stop their movement and try to conceal themselves. It's interesting and I've often wondered about what makes a individual and what "mind" actually is.

As for evolution of consciousness I find that many folks tell "just so" stories when it comes to evolution or religion. So, even though I accept evolution, I don't always accept the materialist view that often comes with it. I've noticed that people with a very straight face will say "Oh, I jumped when I heard that sound because of evolutionary memory of the species." Yet, if I say "I think I knew her in a past life, because we had an instant connection and I dreamed of someone just like her" I'll hear. What the? Are you crazy? How silly. To me either/or are both just so stories and neither is more "silly" than the other. Who know?

I think the pipes analogy is great, as is your deeper understanding of the Black Panther. It's reminds me of Mitt Romney, when he said that young people, faced with a terrible job market, should "just borrow $10,000" from their parents and start their own business. He had no idea how ridiculous this sounded to most people, because in his mind, it certainly would have been very easy to borrow $10,000 from his own father, a former governor and CEO of an American car company.

True enlightment I think comes when we could put ourselves outside of our ego history and really put ourselves in the shoes of another person, which most people can't seem to do.

Randy Gehling's NDE description has something to do with what this blog is about but I'm not exactly sure how.... By the way Randy Gehling was 10 years old,

""That was really cool! I kind of felt as though my body exploded - in a nice way - and became a million different atoms - and each single atom could think its own thoughts and have its own feelings. All at once I seemed to feel like I was a boy, a girl, a dog, a cat, a fish. Then I felt like I was an old man, an old woman - and then a little tiny baby."

http://www.near-death.com/experiences/animals04.html

"No one", do you think that we evolve from a pure "(reference-)point of awareness to an "I thought with an increasing amount of information/memory" attached to it? I think that might be a possibility. Maybe this is also a reason for cultural differences in NDEs and differences in reincarnation (as observed by Ian Stevenson, differences in the intervals of reincanration, birthmarks seem to be much more prevalent in some societies than in others etc.)? Maybe the development of a given culture and the shared subconsciousness of a given culture strongly depends on habits and memories of the individual souls and thus deepen the peculiarieties of a society? This is just a thought, I hope I could make sufficiently clear what I think, discussions like this become a little awkward when English is not your mother tongue :-)

Art, and yet the person having the cosmic experiences was still Randy Gehling and after the experience he was still the same person. This is what interests me greatly. Some kind of "glue" binds information, the consciousness, into a distinct entity.

Does anyone else here have the foggiest idea what Matt Rouge is talking about?

Matt is referring to the various planes of existence in the universe. According to Theosophy, the three-dimensional universe is only one plane of existence, as there are other planes of existence, each with a dimension more than the last. Each plane of existence reflects a state of consciousness:

Zero plane: protoconsciencia. Inanimate.

One plane: no introspective consciousness. Plants, insects, fish, etc.

Two plane: introspective consciousness. Birds, nonhuman mammals.

Three plane: auto-consciousness. Most humans.

Four plane: some genius and psychic, etc.

The four plane is also called the astral plane and is the realm of the majority of human beings to die. The more ascend in the planes, we reach higher states of consciousness.

"Art, and yet the person having the cosmic experiences was still Randy Gehling and after the experience he was still the same person." - No One
---------------

I'm not sure we'll ever be able to fully understand it in this life. I have this theory that the main purpose of life is to become a separate, unique, individual and teach the soul what it means and how it feels to be separate, something it can't learn in heaven due to those overwhelming feelings of oneness and connectedness that so many near death experiencers talk about.

Hi Michael,
I enjoyed this post and I think you and I think the same about this subject. However, could you please not allow political comments here? Barbara's comment about Democrats was not appropriate. At least she could have said "Politicians" and not been partisan.

Thanks,
Steve

"could you please not allow political comments here?"

I don't encourage political comments, but I don't ban them either.

In Barbara's case, she may have been poking fun at my own rather conservative brand of politics, though I'm not sure.

By the way, to address her point, I wouldn't say I agree with the Black Panthers, only that I gained a better understanding of their outlook. It's possible to see where somebody is coming from without agreeing with their viewpoint. To take an extreme example, I can understand some of the motives behind the German public's support for the Nazis in the 1930s, but that doesn't mean I think the German public was right.

Politics is just another way for the soul to experience separation. Little different from the myriad other forms of separation we experience in this life. We here in the physical universe can't begin to comprehend the feelings of oneness and connectedness in heaven. The soul learns here what it can't learn in Heaven, and what it can't learn in Heaven is what it means and how it feels to be separate. Life is one great big long lesson in separation, from the moment we are born and separate from our mothers till the day we die and our death becomes a lesson in separation to the loved ones we leave behind.

Juan is quite right.

I also think that the planes of existence are not just places but also modes of being. Thus, we don't just *go* to 5D--we *become* 5D.

A quibble: I don't think the Afterlife is in 4D, although I think lower vibrational beings can get trapped there after death. I think the Afterlife is 5D and higher.

Knowing that the split brain interpretation that seem to show two separate streams of consciousness has no general consensus as Titus Rivas pointed out.

Interesting post Michael.

"By the way, to address her point, I wouldn't say I agree with the Black Panthers, only that I gained a better understanding of their outlook. It's possible to see where somebody is coming from without agreeing with their viewpoint."

A nicely measured response, as always. It's great you don't get provoked, as this proves you're secure in your views.

However, it does seem to backtrack a bit. Didn't you imply that if you had been reared like a Black Panther you would probably have also been one of them? If so, it's not really fair to sit in judgement of their viewpoint. I suppose you must mean you sit in judgement of the way they were brought up. But then, they were brought up that way because their parents were, too...and that's why life on earth will never ever be all sweetness and light.

Juan - Theosophy? Really? Surely, their founder Blavatsky’s séances were proved to be fake. Also, their pronounced messiah Krishnamurti declined the post. Theosophy became Rosicrucianism, didn’t it? No, all this plane/dimensional stuff must have a more trustworthy source, I think.

That passage from the new testament has caused much confusion. In my opinion it was never translated properly fron the original palestinian aramaic.

I believe Jesus is simply trying to tell Nickodemus that the "real" person ie the "spirit" that cannot be seen (like the wind) must be "born" (ie "separate from" or "leave") from the flesh before it can see the kingdom of heaven. That's all, just a practical statement of fact..."Look Nickodemus, the real world is not here...you have to die to see it like being born again and that which "will see it" is invisable like the wind, but the wind is still there, do you understand ?"


In other words, you have to die in the flesh so that your spirit can be released to see the heavenly realms.

Unfortunately, this misunderstanding has led to all kinds of odd rituals such as the pouring of water over babies heads and the idea the one has to "think" in a differnt way to be admitted. Shame.

"Didn't you imply that if you had been reared like a Black Panther you would probably have also been one of them? If so, it's not really fair to sit in judgement of their viewpoint."

I don't see it that way. I'd say their viewpoint is based on a limited understanding of life's options. As I said, the fellow in the interview probably didn't get much of an education, had few or no role models other than gangbangers and the chronically unemployed, and may have been mentally impaired if his mother used drugs or alcohol. None of this suggests that his worldview is likely to be correct, only that it's understandable.

I'd also say there's a difference between moral judgment and intellectual assessment. That is, I might not judge the man as "bad," but I can still assess his ideas and general approach as wrong - i.e., grounded in a lack of information and unlikely to produce positive results.

It's also possible to judge someone's ideas as actually bad or evil, but still understand the person. For instance, a young boy indoctrinated by the Hitler Youth in Nazi Germany would have all kinds of ideas that are not just mistaken but morally abhorrent, yet it's easy to understand why the boy would believe what he does.

"Unfortunately, this misunderstanding has led to all kinds of odd rituals such as the pouring of water over babies heads"

Baptism seems to predate Christianity, though - at least if there's any truth to the story of John the Baptist. I'd guess the ritual was derived from the ancient custom of anointing a new king's head with sacred oil.

I also doubt that the Gospel of John was originally written in Aramaic. It's later and much more intellectual than the synoptic Gospels. The prologue shows a clear neo-Platonic influence. Jesus' condemnation of his fellow Jews is so savage (he calls them the children of the devil) that many scholars believe the author of this Gospel was not Jewish at all. He may have written in Greek, the international language of his day.

I thought all of the Gospels were written in Greek with only a few tiny quotes left in Aramaic (such as, "My God my God, why have You forsaken me?"). No?

I think you're right, Matt, though some scholars (the more conservative ones) argue that Mark may have been originally written in Aramaic. But for the most part, it's believed that all the Gospels were originally in Koine Greek, the everyday dialect. The Gospel of Mark is written in rather poor Greek, suggesting that the author was writing in a second language.

'IN the beginning all beings are Buddha.
Like water and ice, without water no ice, outside us no Buddhas.
How near the truth, yet how far we seek.
Like one in water crying, "I thirst!"
Like the son of a rich man wand'ring poor on this earth we endlessly circle the six worlds.
The cause of our sorrow is ego delusion.
From dark path to dark path we've wandered in darkness,

Thus one true Samadhi extinguishes evils. It purifies karma, dissolving obstructions.
Then where are the dark paths to lead us astray?
The Pure Lotus Land is not far away.
Hearing this truth, heart humble and grateful.
To praise and embrace it, to practice its Wisdom,
brings unending blessings. bring mountains of merit.
And if we turn inward and prove our True Nature, that
True Self is no-self, our own self is no-self, we go beyond ego and past clever words.
Then the gate to the oneness of cause-and-effect is thrown open.
Not two and not three, straight ahead runs the Way.
Our form now being no-form, in going and returning we never leave home.
Our thought now being no-thought, our dancing and songs are the Voice of the Dharma.
How vast is the heaven of boundless Samadhi!
How bright and transparent the moonlight of wisdom!
What is there outside us? What is there we lack?
Nirvana is openly shown to our eyes.
This earth where we stand is the pure lotus land!
And this very body, the body of Buddha." tHE SONG OF ZAZEN

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