Is "consciousness" overrated?

by Narkissos 36 Replies latest jw friends

  • quietlyleaving

    very interesting Narkissos

    I think I'm finally getting the hang of what you are getting at.

    BTW what is

    conscious, ek-static poetry

    the interent took me to Sartre - very long pieces

    On a side not - in the course that I'm presently doing we are looking at the relationship between art and worship and the engagement of the immagination.

    Also the relationship between LSD and heightened consciousness as practiced in the sixties. It is facinating that many of the people who gained heightened awareness through drugs gave them up and joined NRMS as the NRMS were less damaging to their health but enabled engagement/satisfaction through a similar sense of consciousness but of course perhaps not exactly the same.

    Looking at consciouness in the above sort of way I would say not it isn't overrated.

  • Satanus

    Perhaps, if they became religious about consciousness, then it would be overrated. Has ecqart tolle gone to far into it, and stayed there? Well, it's true that he lived on a park bench for some time, after his break through. On the other hand, he is doing quite well, isn't he?

    For myself, i have never found my search for being more conscious to be without it's rewards. I went the monkish route for a little while. It was a phase just after i lost my belief in the bible, wherein i started finding my true self. Bible belief was the last straw, the last block in my foundation of belief. It was very traumatic, letting that go of it. Letting my conscious be more free, at that time, allowed me to see another levels of things.

    Greater consciousness has made me feel connected w nature and other people too. As well, w the 'other side'. That's not to say that i dwell on those facets. I'm busy w work and this life, while being conscious of those other things at the same time. I'm not that involved w other people, nature, or the other side, simply because i don't see the need. The potential, the possibility to be is there, though. Perhaps, it's a matter of balance.

    The interesting thing about expanding consciousness and the mind, is that the mind is used to get there. Yet, once there, the mind shunted into the background. The mind is not to be trusted, totally. Afterall, has the mind always been right? As jws, we learned how to use our minds, and basically live in our minds. Is that not a good demonstration of the untrustworthiness of the mind? I'm not saying that thinking isn't good. Just that thought isn't the beall and endall of our human existence.

    Science is a good subject to bring into the consciousness discussion. Vivisection, the dissection of live animals was routinely practiced in the past. Science said that the struggling of live animals as the were cut up was merely reactions, not suffering. Today, science recognizes that live animals do suffer. That is a slight expanding of consciousness of scientists, in general. A look at the history of science shows a similar trend. While many scientists admit mistakes of the distant past, often they feel that now science has finally arrived. I am certain that further expansion of the consciousness of science will come, as it learns more.


  • IP_SEC
    I should probably reveal that I have a deepseated hatred of everything French,

    Sounds like an acute case of xenophobia. You should prolly have a doctor look at that for ya.

    Nark... Gonna take a while and a few more readings to wrap my mind around your post. Cant wait to get back to it later today when I have more time.

  • quietlyleaving


    I should probably reveal that I have a deepseated hatred of everything French,

    Sounds like an acute case of xenophobia. You should prolly have a doctor look at that for ya.

    I agree - stupid too.

    Having said that I've just re-read my earlier reply and it doesn't make sense to me anymore

  • zensim

    Nark: It sounds like you are bored with the whole deal but you haven't admitted it yet - so you are still trying to 'beat it'. It is not a competition you can win. Take time out to stop consciously observing the consciousness and just be the consciousness - allow the consciousness to live you. Go outside and wiggle your bare toes in the grass and play with your kids.

    It sometimes seems to me that we are caught in an insomniac's nightmare (oxymoron intended). We're afraid to "fall" "out" of consciousness -- no matter how painful consciousness may be. Even into the Buddhist nirvâna we can't help reading some consciousness -- and ironically miss the point.

    Of course we are afraid to fall out of consciousness - because we equate falling out of consciousness with being asleep (not awake to danger) or death (non-existence). We are basically afraid of what we don't know but think we know. So we are simply afraid of not knowing. And because we don't know what falling out of consciousness looks or feels like - we're afraid. It is a cycle that seems infinite. Are you asking how to break that cycle? I am afraid that it is one of those things that you cannot know until you know :)

  • Narkissos

    Thanks for the responses (including BTL, that sounded rather funny from here).

    jwfacts, thanks for the tip.

    I have enjoyed discussing with the advocates of mind/thoughtless consciousness (Satanus, jst2laws, zensim, although I acknowledge the many nuances between you) on other threads, both long ago and recently. Here I just tried to set out my own provisional view of the relationship between finite "consciousness" and whatever it is conscious of (including "oneself") as non-identical. My opening "disclaimer" was simply meant to acknowledge that my view is dependent on my native language and culture, and to point out why it (not just me) is reluctant to the notion of thoughtless consciousness.

    I'll try to briefly expand on ql's question though. If consciousness doesn't coincide with the "real," as I posit (although "I" belong to both as distinct "spheres" -- or circles, in Lacanian terms), then my conscious relationship to anything (including my own body) is one of exteriority, not identity. Consciousness is both part of the "world" and alien to it. So its only possible relationship to the world, beyond domination and fusion, seems to be one of poetical creativity which respects the distance (the infinite distance marked by the word "of," in "conscious of anything"). This poetical approach to the "real" may be no more, ultimately, than the lullaby allowing you to fall out of "consciousness" into the "unconscious real" (aka "sleep," or "death," which as long as we're awake and alive, are but metaphors) that is neither "dark" nor "silent" but not necessarily "conscious" either.

  • BurnTheShips
    In the midst of this representative structure the human "subject" emerges as sapiens sapiens -- he that knows that he knows... the play of reflection is potentially infinite and the subject can "know" everything but himself. "Observe" he who knows that he knows and you instantly become "he who knows that he knows that he knows"... think of that and you get one step further (or recede one step back )... and so on.

    Fun with recursion! I was reading Augustine last night and your post could not help but remind me of a snippet:

    Because in men who are justly loved, it is rather love itself that is loved; for he is not justly called a good man who knows what is good, but who loves it. Is it not then obvious that we love in ourselves the very love wherewith we love whatever good we love?

    Ok back to the matter at hand.


  • hillary_step


    I am going to begin a thread on the influence of modern French philosophers on Western thought, especially given that many misunderstand your posts and their intent. :)

    Watch this space......


  • BurnTheShips

    Je suis perdu!

    Tous nous sommes perdus--jusqu'a trouver pour l'Autre.

  • BurnTheShips
    I should probably reveal that I have a deepseated hatred of everything French, expecially thought patterns and then not bite on this one out of respect.

    That comment right there, somes up all that is wrong with America, and humanity in general.

    Lets just say the major reason why I supported a dumbfuck like George Dubya in our Iraq escapade was because what the French

    Which proves the point, closed minded hate makes you a dumbfuck.

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