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Posted: 25 Jan 2014 05:40 AM PST
I'm pretty well committed to sitting out whatever comes. I don't have any money, don't even have a car. I don't own a piece of property in the mountains. I live in a mobile home that's very little protection from anything. My wife is disabled. I'm not going anywhere, and whatever's coming will take me along with everyone else.
What was it Annette Funicello said? "Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful." I'm probably as well prepared to hunker down as anyone in my neighborhood. At least, we could bunker in for a couple weeks if we had to. Like I said, a 50-year-old doublewide won't protect you from much. I also make good use of my small yard, and grow enough food and medicine to have a real impact on our budget. I have a semi-decent barter network, and I'm able to make most of my own household products such as soaps and cleaners, skin care, etc. If the SHTF, our big problem will be water. There are three rivers in the county and several good creeks, but I'm not particularly close to any of them. All the rivers are dammed upstream, so they're not the natural features they once were, and the water is polluted by agriculture.
I don't have a problem with sitting, but I'm old. I have had a pretty long and interesting life, and the idea of moving on to the next stage is intriguing in its way. I have kids in their 20s, and I wish I could do more to prepare them. We live in interesting times.
Posted: 13 Jan 2014 08:08 PM PST
Posted: 18 Nov 2012 12:00 AM PST
Hard factual data is not the only thing that should be valued as useful knowledge
On Nov 5, I wrote in this blog that:
I know that President Obama will win the 2012 electoral college tomorrow by almost as wide a margin as in the election of 2008.
My editors unpublished the post because it may have seemed too much of a pro-Obama "personal/ideological rant." To my mind it was a rant in favor of magical thinking. It used objective data but the entire point of the article was that using objective data in combination with magical thinking gives you a better grasp of the whole truth, or holistic truth.
Using this combination I came to the conclusion more than two months before the election that President Obama would win big! I had used the same kind of thinking in February of 2007 to know that Obama would win the 2008 election in the first place
In a post on Feb 11, 2012 entitled Barack Obama and "The Magic of Reality" I wrote:
Posted: 26 Oct 2013 11:28 AM PDT
Once we have become subconsciously adjusted to a sense of an "I" rooted in being, rather than an "I" driven by the impulses of the five senses or lured on by the ramification of thought and the novelty of the conscious state of mind, we have successfully positioned awareness on the threshold of superconsciousness.
Before we seriously focus deeply within, we experience superconsciousness in a general way—usually as something like a no-problem zone of inner space in which everything just seems to be okay. Because this nonspecific enjoyment of alrightness feels quite "natural" to us, we are left to assume that we are at least temporarily functioning in an "unnatural" state of mind when life does not seem to be "okay."
If we accept "natural" to mean inherent and "unnatural" to mean acquired, we will be inclined to perceive our superconscious state of mind to be inherent, and therefore the same for all of us, while we understand our subconscious and conscious states of mind to be acquired, and therefore different for each of us (since each of us acquires differently according to our individual experience).
Obviously, just living in a physical body demands an externalization of awareness out of "inherent" superconsciousness into "acquired" conscious and subconscious states of mind.
When we roll out of bed in the morning to brush our teeth and shower, each one of us must necessarily leave our inherent superconsciousness to live by thousands of little personally acquired memories. Although certainly we might manage to do all of this with a subconscious sense of superconsciousness, which would be wonderful, our waking life is still primarily an acquired existence formed consciously and subconsciously.
From this we can see, while we are awake in the physical realm doing physical things, the superconscious is at best only available to us as a secondary influence filtering through our subconscious to feed the background of our daily life with bliss, confidence, calm, compassion, inspiration and the like.
Tapping into superconsciousness in this way is wonderful to be sure. But to thoroughly experience this richest part of us, we must fully withdraw from our conscious and subconscious states of mind, enter the spiritual realm, and be there completely. Under normal physical circumstances, this cannot be accomplished easily. During periods of time set aside for the practice of a yoga that includes deep meditation, however, it can be.
During such withdrawal, we strive to become immersed in those magnificent qualities of being—bliss, love, stillness, balance, peace, power, rapture, joy and awareness. Just holding the "I" centered in any of these qualities invites Samadhi, intensifies an internal correction of wrong perception and unresolved memory, and programs our subconscious to flood our external life with an unfettered superconscious support that can and will sustain us even during our most trying times.
If we can then come out of this withdrawal to remain two-thirds within during the waking hours of our life, our subconscious will assist rather than block a more continual superconscious influence upon our physical life. This two-thirds-within positioning of awareness is easily attainable. In fact, it is so attainable we can be there and not know it.
Take, for instance, an elderly lady, washing dishes, humming a song and looking out her kitchen window at two robins nibbling sesame seeds off a bird feeder. As that lady rests in the bliss of now, enjoying the warmth of soapy dish water, the touch of slippery plates, the tap-tap pecking of the birds, and the sweet delight of humming her song—all at once—is she not a perfect example of the conscious, subconscious and superconscious states of mind working together harmoniously as one?
Moving like this in life is not difficult and does not demand that we have a completely resolved subconscious. Even with a huge backlog of karmic "issues," we can work with ourselves to live and move easily, receiving superconsciousness like a welcome guest when it comes, awaiting it patiently when it doesn't.
Dealing with life in this manner, ever so lightly leaning upon and occasionally withdrawing completely into our internal nature, we invite our superconscious to more and more consistently come forward through our subconscious into our conscious states of mind until, finally, we are feeling at least a little bit of superconsciousness all the time.
When we have lost our sense of superconsciousness, we can get it back by simply becoming aware of that loss. Just that. With this simple adjustment of awareness—just recognizing and acknowledging we have temporarily lost our sense of inner bliss during a frenzy of mental or emotional distraction—we gift ourselves the only moment the now needs to help us gain back our option to feel and follow the rhythm and rhyme of our own intuitive mind back in and through inner realms to our superconscious home base.
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Posted: 10 Jan 2014 08:25 AM PST
5 Major Eras of Human Development
It should be noted that the major stages of evolution of human consciousness adheres to the twenty tenets, thus there exists an overall continuity toward evolution, from the physiosphere to the biosphere to the noosphere. One is able to outline predominant world views of the various epochs of human development. These stages may be summarized as archaic, magic, mythic, rational or existential that can be correlated with the major stages of technological and economic development, which are foraging, horticultural, agrarian, industrial and informational. For instance, within foraging societies, more commonly known as the hunting and gathering stage, the roles of men and women were sharply delineated and separated, in which the male performed the hunting and the women conducted the gathering and child raising. It is approximated that 97% of foraging societies followed that rigid pattern. There was a particular emphasis placed on either the male or female value sphere. Foraging societies originally emerged between a million and four thousand years ago. Certain tribal cultures at the time lived an ecologically sound life whereas others did not, which was resultant in the extinction of numerous species. Modern day lineage in any country can be traced back to their tribal ancestors, which could only be established through the beginning or agriculture to prevent the extinction of countless animal species, allowing the tribes to transcend to a new way of living as well as being, as it may. In consequence, there was a shift in status within the family unit during the horticultural epoch. 80% of the nutrition would be produced by women as the men still continued to hunt. These societies provided an equal status to men and women. Interestingly, the lineage of those tribal societies is more often than not traced through the mother. One third of these societies had female only deities, particularly the "Great Mother" in her various forms. Most of these locations possessed a horticultural background, which began around 10'000 BCE in the East and West. In the Agrarian stage, a profound shift in culture began with the introduction of the plow. Subsequently, these societies had the most highly sexually polarized structures of any known societal type. Not due to the interference of a particular gender, but the most effective form of organisation that could be applied at the time. When men began to be the sole provider of food, the deity figures in these cultures switched from female-orientated to to mainly male orientated. Over 90% of agrarian societies had primarily male deities. With the industrialisation, the first and foremost technological means were developed in order for humans to rely upon the power of machines rather than their own strength. It removed emphasis upon male strength, replacing it with gender neutral engines, allowing for the women's movement to emerge. Gender roles no longer determined the roles within society. Although the primary cause for ecological devastation still remains. Ignorance. Whereas tribal ignorance is merely capable of inflicting limited damage, industrial ignorance can wipe our an entire quadrant of space or more. Modernity and Post-modernity become two sides of the same coin, continually striving for further technological advancement regardless of the cost. However, in order to understand post-modernity, one has to understand the fundamental Enlightenment paradigm, which is represented by the notion that you have the self or the subject on one side and the empirical sensory world on the other and the valid knowledge consists in the construction of maps of the empirical world. If both correspond with one another, the result is then viewed as truth.
The Big Three
Within the book History of Everything, Wilber describes the basic divisions of the four quadrants. Everything on the Right Hand can is described in "It" language. All on the Upper Left is described in "I" language, whereas everything on the Lower Left is defined as "We". In sum, the "It" language is objective, neutral, encompassing mostly value-free surfaces. It is the standard for the empirical, analytical approach. In other terms, it is monological, describing objective exteriors and their interrelations, such as observable surfaces and patterns that can be viewed with the senses or their instrumental extensions. Here, information is defined as negative entropy, in which presence or consciousness is not required. However, the "I" language represents the presence of the individual or subjective awareness. All that is on the Upper left is basically described within the "I" language of interior subjectivity. For example, the subjective component of any holon is the I-component. This self becomes greater with increased depth, yet this component cannot under any circumstances be described within it "it" language, which would convert the subject into a mere object, which has led to countless dehumanizing results throughout history, especially considering consciousness control experiments with children below the age of five. Whether these objects are singular or whether they are collective strands within the web, history has educated humanity that reductionism can result in dreadful catastrophe. Subsequently, the third language, is the Lower Left, the cultural and intersubjective dimension. It is represented by the collective world view that is associated with a particular time, location and culture inhabit. These perspectives naturally evolve, thus archaic, magic, mythic and ration standspoints can be discovered here. In conclusion, at the very minimum, mankind has these three fundamental languages, which differ from one another, addressing the various domains. The failure to differentiate these languages has caused a profound amount of confusion. Thus, Wilbers concept of the Big Three is a simplified version of the four quadrants, since both Right Hand quadrants are objective exteriors or "its". Consequently, for the sake of simplicity, the four quadrants can be dealt with as the Big Three.
In reference to the fundamental Enlightenment paradigm that reduces all "I" and "we" to its, which reduced the three languages to merely one, as a form of subtle reductionism. In essence, it reduced all of the Left Hand dimensions to their Right Hand correlates. In conclusion, according to theorists from Weber to Habermas, modernity entirely differentiated between the Big Three for the first time in history. Various domains such as morals, science, self, culture and nature were no longer syncretically fused. Yet in order to achieve integration, one should seek solutions by regressing to mythic or magic indissociation of the Big Three, where self, culture and nature were not yet differentiated. Hence, one will discover manners in which to integrate mind, culture and nature in the postmodern world. Within the spiritual themes, the notions of Buddha (spiritual realizer), Dharma (Realized truth) and Sangha (Communal realisation) begin to surface as consciousness evolution continues into the higher domains of existence.
Difference Between Stages and States of Consciousness
Wilber refers describes the basic structures of consciousness in nine variant stages, including sensation and perception (sensoriphysical), impulse and image (phantasmic-emotional), symbols and concepts (representational mind), concrete rules (rule/roles of mind), formal-reflexive, and vision-logic (integrative), following the transpersonal stages of psychic, subtle and causal. However, the highest stage of all is non-duality, although it could be argued that it is not a stage at all, yet in practice it truly becomes a stage of consciousness. With each stage of development, the individual develops a reformed view of the world. The world is transformed and can be rediscovered anew. However, the stages and states are clearly interlinked, each individual, due to the nature of the psyche, will experience them differently. As stages of development are rather similar to states of being, they are often illustrated similarly, yet their essence can differ when one examines the pathology of the individual. For instance, if dissociation is severe at certain stages of development, the processes of self-development can come to a halt. As Wilber describes it "More often than not, the self will simply limp along down the road, dissociation and all. It will continue to develop, it will continue to climb the basic structures in expanding awareness, however haltingly or however wounded. It may bleed all over the place, but it keep climbing." This elaborates upon how an individual can be stuck at a certain stage of development, whilst continuing to expand their state of being. Yet, since the individual is literally bound at that stage, there is limited room for expansion, which in severe cases can be increasingly visible the more time progresses. Nonetheless, it is also rather simple to mistake a state of being for a stage of development or vice versa, especially if the individual is at a dubious age. For instance, if a childhood sociopath slips through the cracks of the system until teenage years, it is more often than not impossible to diagnose them as such through the means of psychoanalysis due to the similarities in behaviour during that stage of development. However, sociopathy is in essence, a state of being, a view of the world that can expand according to stage of development, yet the state of being can persist and even hinder them from attaining higher stages of development. It should be noted though that a recent study has shown that sociopathic tendencies were and are increasingly common within Zen Buddhism. Yet, Jung noted that there is a distinction between emotional detachment or non-attachment in comparison to raw sociopathic tendencies. As a side-note, sociopathic inclinations can be curved by attending to the state of being as well as stage of development simultaneously, hence there is a profound importance in distinguishing between the two conceptions.
Psychology of the Ego
There is a distinction between the true self and the false self or persona. Within the psychological stages of development, the ego forms a centre of gravity, as it may. It represents the drives, the likes, the dislikes and the desires of the individual. As the ego often functions based upon past experiences and learnt behaviour, it may hinder the individual from progressing throughout the stages of development, however it should not be viewed as a negative component of consciousness. Nonetheless, it should be noted that evolution could be viewed as a general decline of egocentrism, which expresses a general decrease of involvement of the ego within spiritual development. The ego provides a form of anchor for the self during the lifespan of the individual, at times it can even become the centre of the self. It is the preconceived identity that has been incorporated into the self on a conscious level. However, the ego is not a static component, it can mature during stages of development and can take on various roles until reaching a point of transcendence whilst the individual progresses through the stages of spiritual development. The ego within psychological development, for instance, can take on the role of satisfying certain desires or all desires no matter the cost. Yet, there is another side to that coin, which mostly occurs during the early childhood. In the words of Howard Gardner "The young child is totally egocentric, meaning not that he is incapable of thinking about himself. The egocentric child is unable to differentiate himself from the rest of the world. He has not yet separated himself from others or objects. Thus he feels that others share his pain or pleasure, that his mumblings will inevitably be understood, that his perspective is shared by all, that even animals and plants partake his consciousness." Hence Gardner felt, there was a general decline in egocentrism during human development. Throughout the stages of spiritual development, the individual returns to a somewhat modified viewpoint of almost exactly the same conception. Nonetheless, as the child matures, it no longer treats the environment as an extension of itself. The world and the child have become differentiated, although the emotional self and the emotional world have not yet become distinctly separate. With the conceptual self, the self has become a conceptual ego that cannot yet take the role of another. Although once it can, it will. As Wilber describes it, the shift between a sociocentric to a worldcentric perspective becomes a transcendence of the shallower and a disclosure of the deeper. It becomes a battle between enlightenment and the ego, as it may.
Four Quadrants of Space
Wilber states that a part of the coming transformation will involve an alteration in consciousness and a change in institutions. Consequently, it would involve the incorporation of a new worldview, encompoassing a technological, economical base with the emergence of a new sense of self including behavioural patterns. Whether it is realised or not, the phenomenal world consists of a wide variety of holachical maps that consist of the same territory. By comparing and contrasting the differences and similarities, Wilber intended to discover the single and basic holarchy that all of them were attempting to represent. Yet, the more he was attempting this, Wilber discovered that these various holarchies possessed undeniable similarities, yet also profound differences, however the exact nature of these differences did not seem apparent at all. Eventually, he concluded that they were actually four different types of holarchies, thus four different types of holistic sequences. He began to refer to these as the four quadrants. He then arrived at the conclusion that these types of holarchies have a rather simple foundation. These four types of holarchies are in actually concerned with the inside and outside of a holon, in both its individual and collective forms. Inside, outside, singular and plural are one of the simplest number of distinctions that can be made. Consequently, these very basic features, which are present in all holons provide us with the four quadrants. All four of these types are dealing with aspects of holons, which keep aggressively and insistently showing up on the various maps around the globe. If one begins to observe the individual holon, in both its interior and exterior, which is represented by the Upper Left quadrant and the Upper Right quadrant, each level trancends and includes its predecessor. Each level includes the basics of the previous level and then adds its own distinction and defining characteristics and its own emergents. It should be noted that each of these follow the twenty tenets. The exterior aims to concern itself with appearance of the cell, atom or organism, including its evolution, whereas the interior concerns itself with internal, emotional aspects. It refers to the interior depth, which is consciousness itself. For instance, certain basic kinds of interior awareness go hand in hand with various exterior forms., such as irritability, which is the capacity to actively respond to environmental stimuli originates with cells. Sensations emerge with neuronal organisms. Perceptions begin to develop with a neural cord. Impulses, however, originate with a brain stem and basic emotions with a limbic system. This is clearly also a subjective holarchy.
Individual holons exist only in communities of similar-depth holons, Wilber refers to these as communal holons that are always associated with individual holons. This communal aspect also possesses an interior and exterior, which is referred to as the Lower Left and Lower Right. The cultural, refers to all the interior meanings, values and identities, whereas social refers to all of the exterior, material, institutional forms of the community. In a general sense, cultural refers to the shared collective worldview and social refers to the material base of that worldview. For instance, "if consciousness is depth and depth goes all the way down, then shared depth or common depth goes all the way down, hence culture goes all the way down." In other terms, if holons share outsides, they also share insides, their culture, as it may. For example, the study of what holons can respond to is essentially the study of shared world spaces. For example, within a pack of wolves, as they possess a limbic system, the interior correlate of which is certain basic emotion. Thus, a wolf orientates itself and its fellow wolves to the world through the use of basic emotional cognitions through a sophisticated emotional signal system. Yet, anything outside that world-space is not registered. Consequently, the transformation that Wilber refers to is that of consciousness.
Left Hand Approach Versus Right Hand Approach
From the beginning of each quest for knowledge, the various approaches toward its discovery have fallen into one or another of these two categories. Interior or exterior, which is basically a Left-handed versus Right-handed approach. All that is categorized as being on the Right hand is objects or exteriors that can be seen empirically with the senses or their extensions. They are all surfaces that can be seen. They all possess locations. It could be termed as a monological approach, as the interior irrelevant to this specific approach. It not necessary to communicate with the subject or object. One is basically reduced to an object of observation. Naturally, this scientific approach is not erroneous, but it is merely one side of the spectrum. The Left hand, however, is not observed in such a simple manner, as it is largely an interior dimension without physical locations. One therefore attempts to get closer towards the consciousness. In essence, there is no other means to reach the interior except by interpretation. This approach requires communication and expression in order to become comprehensible. Henceforth, a rather distinct difference between both approaches is that surfaces can be observed whereas depth must be interpreted. Furthermore, psychoanalysis is basically an interpretive or Left Hand approach, whilst classical behaviourism would be classified as Right Hand or empirical approach. For instance, dreams are interior events that are composed of symbols, which can only be analysed by interpretation. Freud's notion of the talking cure on the other hand would be described as being dialogical, not monological. In conclusion, all therapies that are based upon communication are fundamentally based upon a single principle, the attempt to discover a more adequate interpretation for ones own interior depth. The Upper Right quadrant approaches, such as behaviourism or biological psychiatry at their extreme do not wish to associate themselves with interpretation, depth, interiors and intentions, their interest solely concerns itself with the observable, empirical and exterior behaviour. There is no attempt to reveal the meaning of the symptoms. The correction of the chemical imbalance of serotonin, for instance, may restore the physical balance of the body it would not relieve depression that has been interiorly caused until adequate interpretation of those regions of consciousness has been conducted.
Ascending and Descending
There are a wide variety of interpretations in regards to spiritual transformation and spiritual illumination. The experience itself would be direct and immediate. However, eventually, the individual will return to an ordinary state of consciousness, which is when the individual will begin to interpret the experience and its depth. Consequently, how this experience is interpreted will govern how the individual approaches others with this illumination, especially how the experience eventually affects the self. For instance, whether this experience was transmental or transpersonal, the individual would eventually orientate themselves according to the experience. The individual is not merely composed of spiritual components, there are also physical, psychological and emotional components and so forth, hence if the individual cannot integrate it with the rest of the consciousness, as it cannot be adequately interpreted, the experience contains no meaning, as it contains no comprehension. It should be noted that one of the basic rules of interpretation is that all meaning is context based, therefore any attempt to interpret the experience, the individual has to ensure that the context against which the individual interprets the experience is as full and complete as possible. Ideally, an all quadrant interpretation from the context of the cosmos in all dimensions would be preferable, however countless individual analyse these experiences based on the realities of simply one quadrant, which often results in the loss of the fullness of the experience.
Numerous individuals interpret these spiritual experiences basically in terms of the higher self or higher consciousness, incl. Archetypal forms or enneagram pattern and so forth, whereas they are more often than not oblivious to social and cultural aspects of the experience, becoming a "self-only" interpretation that does not adhere to the more materialistic quadrants within existence. Others prefer to interpret mostly in terms of the Lower Right quadrant. The ultimate reality becomes the empirical web of life, Gaia or the biosphere, in which all holons are reduced to being merely a strand in a web. These approaches neglect the interior states of consciousness development, reducing all Left Hand components to Right Hand strands within the empirical web. Nonetheless, all of these one quadrant viewpoints contain a moment of truth, which is that fragmented interpretations tend to abort the spiritual process itself. One may only arrive at an adequate interpretation of enlightenment, if one were to include all four quadrants. Wilber states that the intention would be to find oneself in sympathetic attunement with all aspects of the Kosmos in order to discover the truth in all four quadrants and gain a deeper perspective within the layers of existence.
During the higher or transpersonal stages, the spirit that was present throughout the entire evolutionary process becomes increasingly conscious of its own condition. It was originally subconscious, but became self-conscious and then superconscious, unfolding more of itself and enfolding more of itself at every stage. This is the path of conscious ascension. The path of enlightenment. The path of becoming… A path that does not necessarily concerns itself with this particular realm of existence, primarily it consists of compassion, kindness and understanding. Hence, a descending path represents the exact opposite, a path that mainly focuses its energies upon the physical world that it perceives. For instance, the ascending movement, is a motion from the many to one, a movement in which all forms of manifestations lead back to a single source. A groundless ground, the absolute, through the ascending path, one therefore rises to the comprehension of this. In consequence, it should be noted that Lovejoy concluded that both of these currents, ascending and descending, were united and integrated in the concepts of Plato. However, on the descended grid, salvation in the modern world is represented in the form of pure immanence. There exists no higher truth, no ascending current, nothing transcendental at all, in fact. All which is higher or transpersonal has become evil incarnate, as it opposes the descended grid and fuels the dominance of the descenders. At the beginning of the book, Wilber stated "Whereas ascenders had dominated the scene up to the Renaissance, all it requires was decisive shift in consciousness to unleash the Descending path, which burst forth from its thousand year confinement, exploded on the scene with a creative fury that would remake the entire Western world and in the process permanently substitute one broken God for another." Conclusively, the descending path is marked by conventional, ecological ideals that pertain to the structure of the modern world, whilst it is a prime contributor to the current ecological crisis. Although evolution itself is a self-correcting agenda, it requires time to operate accordingly.
In conclusion, the difference between both paths appears clear. They are opposite directions. Ultimately, the path determines the view of the phenomenal world partially. Although the mass commonly decides the path of overall consciousness, each individual is provided with the freedom to select their own path. It may be more convenient to remain on the descending path, as the downfall is imminent within the conception, it becomes a self-fulling prophecy. Nonetheless, the individual within such a viewpoint will be confronted with unconscious aspects that they may not be prepared to face, as it differentiates from their conscious belief structures. Nonetheless, each individual will eventually have to select their path within society, as one cannot tread both paths simultaneously without severe contradictions within the personality.
Prior to Time
Wilber explains that the Seer or the Witness is prior to birth, prior to the body, prior even to the Big Bang. It never enters the stream of time. However there is a paradox here. "Prior to" actually means existing first and is therefore a temporal concept! How can this ultimate consciousness be "prior to", "first", "unending" etc. when those concepts can only have meaning with relation to time? The concept of the self exists within time and space. It is confined by and thus obeys by its laws and conventions. Yet, the spirit itself in non-linear in nature. It remains outside of the temporal space, as it may. However, Ken Wilbers concept gives rise to a rather significant point within human development. That which is prior the present self and that which is prior to the individual consciousness differs at the core. The source is often referred to as being outside of time itself, thus it would also be of non-local origin. Within Buddhism, the development of the seer, the inner witness becomes imminent in order to attain spiritual enlightenment or Buddhahood. This inner witness is basically a persona within the self that does not identify with present circumstances. It merely observes that which occurs in the present moment. Its response is more often than not one of curiosity. Whereas, another part of the mind may be judging or categorizing the experience, the witness perceives everything from the premise of allowing and trust in an ordered universe. It is represented by an open mental stance, not closed or contracted. In Buddhism, developing the inner observer becomes a foundational element of their teachings. Besides providing support, the observer aid in the management of stress and anger more effectively. Within a reactive state of mind, the body secrets chemicals that cause inflammation, the major cause of degenerative diseases and ageing. By using the witness/observer with its innocence, openness and trust, we can sail through adversity in a healthier way. However, it should be noted that Buddhists, Yogis and Sages spend years meditating upon that very aspect in order for it to emerge more clearly within their mindful practices, which encourage conscious living on a daily basis. Nonetheless, one of the notable differences between Hinduism and Buddhism is that Hinduism holds faith in the existence of the eternal and indestructible soul or Atman, whereas Buddhism does not believe in the concept of the soul or Atman. Most of the speculative philosophies and darshnas or various schools of philosophical thought in Hinduism attempt to answer enquiries, regarding the existence of consciousness and its development. Yet there is no unanimous opinion among them as to the nature of the soul and its relationship with the Absolute. The individual souls are stated to be different from the Absolute. However, this is not an universal standpoint. According to certain traditions, the Absolute does not exist but only individual souls, thus consisting of the Absolute as whole. Among those who believe in the existence of the Absolute, certain individuals believe that the Absolute and the individual souls are the same while others believe them to be different. Furthermore, certain traditions hold that although the Absolute and an individual soul are the same, they do have some subtle dissimilarities which cause them to be distinct. One could conclude that these perceptions are the same from one perspective and different from another. From a rather scientific standpoint, David Bohm perceived that the view of quantum theory and relativity contradicted one another. Conclusively, to him this contradiction implied that there existed a more fundamental level in the physical universe. He claimed that both quantum theory and relativity pointed towards this deeper theory, which he formulated in terms of a quantum field theory. This more fundamental level was proposed to represent an undivided wholeness and an implicate order, from which arises the explicate order of the universe as we experience it. Bohm's proposed implicate order applies both to matter and consciousness. In addition, he suggested that it could explain the relationship between them. Mind and matter are here seen as projections into the explicate order from the underlying reality of the implicate order. In his attempts to describe the nature of consciousness, Bohm discussed the experience of listening to music. He concluded that the feeling of movement and change that makes up the experience of music derives from both the immediate past and the present both being held in the brain together, with the notes from the past seen as transformations rather than memories. The notes that were implicate in the immediate past are seen as becoming explicate in the present. Bohm viewed this as consciousness emerging from the implicate order. Bohm viewed the movement, change or flow and also the coherence of experiences, such as listening to music as a manifestation of the implicate order. He stated that he derived evidence for this from the work of Jean Piaget in studying infants. He explained that these studies show, young children have to learn about time and space, as they are part of the explicate order, but have a hard-wired understanding of movement, since it is part of the implicate order. He compared this hypothesis of hard-wiring to Chomsky's theory that grammar is hard-wired into young human brains. Newton's laws of motion and Maxwell's equations for electromagnetism adequately explain ones everyday, large scale classical world. However, at small scales in the quantum realm (and the boundary between the quantum and classical realms remains mysterious) objects may exist in two or more states or places simultaneously, more like waves than particles and governed by the quantum wave function. This property of multiple coexisting possibilities, known as quantum superposition, persists until the superposition is measured, observed or interacts with the classical world or environment. Only then does the superposition of multiple possibilities reduce, collapse, choose or decohere to specific, particular classical states. Conversely, quantum superpositions and reduction are used technologically in quantum computing. Whereas conventional classical computers represent digital information as bits of either 1 or 0, within quantum computers, quantum information may be represented as quantum superpositions of both 1 and 0. While in superposition, "quantum bits", as it may, interact with others via the means of nonlocal quantum entanglement, allowing computational interactions of enormous speed and near-infinite parallelism. After the computation is performed the quantum bits are reduced, such as by environmental interaction/decoherence to specific classical bit states which constitute the solution. Quantum computing may be essential for certain tasks, yet what does it mean for an object to exist in multiple places or states simultaneously? The puzzle of quantum superposition baffled science, moreover the fate of isolated superpositions remains unresolved. One solution was put forth by Hugh Everett in his multiple worlds view. Everett's idea was that superposition is a separation in underlying reality, that the universe at it's fundamental level splits, or separates, and that each possibility branches off to form a new universe, a new reality. Thus, according to this view, there exist an infinite number of parallel universes corresponding to the infinite number of superposition possibilities which have ever existed. Assuming for a moment that the multiple worlds view is correct. How do we envision the separation of the universe or the individual? How do we envision the structure of reality? At rather small scales, space is not smooth, but quantized. Imagine viewing the ocean from an air-plane. The ocean surface may look perfectly smooth. However if you were in a small boat on the ocean surface you'd be tossed about by the roughness of the sea invisible from high above. Similarly as we go down in scale from the size of atoms (10-8 centimetres) empty space seems smooth until eventually scientists discover granularity at the "Planck scale (10-33 centimetres, 10-43 seconds). There are several types of descriptions of the Planck scale, such as string theory, quantum foam, and loop quantum gravity. In the context of loop quantum gravity, Penrose portrayed the Planck scale as a dynamical spider-web of spin. Taking spin as an irreducible, fundamental entity, spin networks define spectra of discrete Planck scale volumes and configurations which dynamically evolve and define space-time geometry. The amount of potential information in Planck scale spin networks is vast; each Planck scale volume, or pixel of reality may be shaped by huge variability and non-local interactions. In addition, it should be noted that their sheer number is enormous, there are roughly 10107 Planck volumes in the volume of a human brain, far greater than the number of particles in the universe. As previously mentioned, Everett's multiple worlds view describes separations in underlying reality. For simplicity and illustration one can condense the 4-dimensional space-time with a basement level of Planck scale spin networks into 2-dimensional space-time, consisting of one spatial dimension and one time dimension. This space-time is slightly curved, in accordance with Einstein's general theory of relativity, in a way which encodes the gravitational fields of all distributions of mass density. Each mass density, each object or particle effects a space-time curvature, albeit tiny for small objects. Consequently we can view any mass in one location as space-time curvature in a particular direction, and location of the mass in a different location as space-time curvature in another direction. Therefore quantum superposition of a particle in two locations may be considered simultaneous curvatures in opposite directions. As in the multiple worlds view, the space-time separates into two opposing curvatures, resulting in a bubble within the underlying reality. In Penrose's view superpositions, or space-time separations, bubbles are unstable. Ultimately, they will eventually reduce or collapse to one particular curvature or the other. The instability is inherent in the properties of space-time geometry and quantum gravity, constituting an objective threshold for an isolated quantum state reduction, hence objective reduction. In the Penrose formulation, objective reduction due to the quantum gravity properties of fundamental space-time geometry occurs at a time "T" given by the Heisenberg indeterminacy principle E=h/T, in which E is the magnitude of superposition/separation, h is Planck's constant over 2π, and T is the time until reduction. The magnitude E is related to the gravitational self-energy of the superposition and may be calculated from the amount of mass "separated from itself" and distance of separation. Since E is inversely related to T, small separations/superpositions (if isolated) will reduce at a long time T, and large separations/superpositions (if isolated) will reduce quickly. For example an isolated superpositioned electron would reduce by or only after 10 million years. A large isolated superpositioned object such as Schrödinger's mythical one kilogram cat would reduce by or after only 10-37 seconds. The point is that Penrose objective reductions are self-organizing events occurring at the level of as well as in the medium of fundamental space-time geometry in which proto-conscious qualia may be embedded. Accordingly Penrose or events could qualify for occasions in a "wider field of proto-conscious experience". Thus Penrose or events are potentially equivalent to Whitehead "occasions of experience", Leibniz configurations and in some ways to Barbour's "Nows". Nonetheless, events require fairly stringent conditions, such as superpositions and space-time separations must be large enough to reach threshold in a brief enough time period, yet able to be isolated or protected from disruption by environmental decoherence. In quantum computers the superpositioned quantum bits are likely to be electrons of extremely low mass and hence incapable of reaching or threshold in a reasonably short time. Instead, the superposition is interrupted by decoherence when the computation is complete. Thus the threshold is never reached and quantum computers as presently envisioned will not be conscious by this criterion. On the other hand probable events may occur cosmologically due to very large scale superpositions, e.g. in neutron stars, or the early universe. Presumably, these probable events, which would occur at very fast time scales, would lack any organized information and while they may be very briefly conscious would have no cognition, intelligence or memory, which in essence is rather similar to the concept of limited consciousness. Pieces of information that are maintained within the regions of the unconscious, whilst the conscious mind remains aware of only very few bits and pieces. According to Penrose, outcomes selected in probable events are chosen neither randomly nor logarithmically, but non-computably, i.e. influenced by "Platonic values" embedded in Planck scale geometry. As probable selections are non-computable, or non-algorithmic, they are irreversible from the standpoint of classical information. Thus each probable event ratchets forward classical information in space-time, effectively creating conscious perception of a forward flow of time. A sequence of probable events or conscious moments occurring in the brain could therefore give rise to the familiar stream of consciousness. As the previous metaphor of time and space is gradually concluded, the nature of consciousness is unravelled and the concept of time appears less elusive than previously conceived. Yet it is also a widely believed fact that one can experience all of time occurring at once, from a perspective that is outside of space-time itself. A timeless space, as it may. Fred Alan Wolf describes this as a subtle, transpersonal domain that does not adhere to space-time in the manner that this plane of existence does. In accordance with Wilbers viewpoint, the individual consciousness may be bound by memories of life after life after life, once one reaches the deepest layers of the self, one shall discover that which is beyond all. Beyond temporal or spacial confinements. Beyond priority. Beyond fabrics of the phenomenal world. To that which is beyond perception. That which even is beyond existence itself.
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