Conscious II

What is it, in the end, that induces a man to go his own way and to rise out of unconscious identity with the mass as out of a swathing mist?  Not necessity, for necessity comes to many, and they all take refuge in convention. 

I always worked with the temperamental conviction that fundamentally there are no insoluble problems, and experience justified me in so far as I have often seen individuals simply outgrow a problem which had destroyed others.  This 'outgrowing', as I formerly called it, on further experience was seen to consist in a new level of consciousness.  Some higher or wider interest arose on the person's horizon, and through this widening of his view the insoluble problem lost its urgency.  it was not solved logically in its own terms, but faded out when confronted with a new and stronger life-tendency.  SoGF 91

... the greatest and most important problems of lie are all in a certain sense insoluble.  They must be so because they express the necessary polarity inherent in every self-regulating system.  They can never be solved, but only outgrown.  SoGF92

... of those persons who quietly and, as if unconsciously, grew beyond themselves, I saw that their fates had something in common.  SoGF92

Indolence of which a man is conscious and indolence of which he is unconscious are a thousand miles apart'   SoGF91

The step to higher consciousness leads us out and away from all rear-guard cover and from all safety measures.  The individual must give himself to the new way completely, for it is only by means of his integrity that he can go further, and only his integrity can guarantee that his way does not turn out to be an absurd adventure.  SoGF 95

In anaeshtheisis, consciousness is cessated.  The body still functions and the brain responds to certain impulses (i.e. flashes of light), but the person awakening has no idea whether they have been out for 5 minutes of 5 hours.  Stuart Hameroff. 

If you want to understand consciousness figure out how anesthesia works - it's a mystery.   The mystery is that no one is quite sure how it works or where we go when we're put under.  It's as if their consciousness doesn't exist and then it comes back. 

Microtubule - Postulated role in consciousness

In their controversial Orch-OR theory of consciousness, Roger Penrose and Stuart Hameroff postulate that microtubules in neurons conduct quantum-level manipulations of matter which produces consciousness, based partially on some observations of Gamma Synchrony that indicate that information may propagate through the brain much faster than a chemically mediated neural network would physically permit. Max Tegmark disputes the relevance of these observations, and the matter remains open to debate. David Chalmers [5] argues that quantum theories of consciousness suffer from the same weakness as more conventional theories. Just as he argues that there is no particular reason why particular macroscopic physical features in the brain should give rise to consciousness, he also thinks that there is no particular reason why a particular quantum feature, such as the EM field in the brain, should give rise to consciousness either. While at least one researcher claims otherwise, Jeffrey Gray states in his book Consciousness: Creeping up on the Hard Problem, that tests looking for the influence of electromagnetic fields on brain function have been universally negative in their result.[6]

A feeling of safety and peace has been reported in almost all near death experiences.  Does this attest to a soul that accepts it fate?

So when you think about the soul ... It's conceivable that when a patient has a cardiac arrest, or dies, the quantum information that involves consciousness isn't necessarily destroyed - it may actually leak out and remain in the universe, and remain entangled.  If the patient is revived it can go back in and the patient had a near-death/out of body experience, but if the patient dies, it is conceivable to me that that entity which you could call the soul remains entangled indefinately.   So it is conceivable that the soul is a real entity in terms of quantum information imbedded in the fundamental level of the universe.  Stuart Hameroff

It turns out that babies are more aware of their external surroundings and inner world than adults are. 

When someone says”  Just Be.  The thing is, you always are: just be-ing.  What they are saying is:  Just be (like a leaf floating on the wind, or a boat drifting at sea).  What consciousness is: is for a man to be able to steer his own ship.  To determine without external influence.  Consciousness is the leaf deciding what to become. 

The conscious mind moreover is characterized by a certain narrowness. It can hold only a few simultaneous contents at a given moment All the rest is unconscious at the time, and we only get a sort of continuation or a general understanding or awareness of conscious world through the succession of conscious moments. We can never hold an image of totality because our consciousness is too narrow; we can only see flashes of existence. It is always as if we were observing through a slit so that we only see a particular moment; all the rest is dark and we are not aware of it at that moment. The area of consciousness is a restricted field of momentary vision. AP 8

Consciousness is very much the product of perception and orientation in the external world. AP 8

I would say the thing that comes first is obviously the unconscious and that consciousness really arises from an unconscious condition. In early childhood we are unconscious; the most important functions of an instinctive nature are unconscious, and consciousness is rather the product of the unconscious. It is a condition which demands a violent effort. You get tired from being conscious. You get exhausted by consciousness. It is an almost unnatural effort. AP 8

Preconscious / Subconscious


 Today we have the idea of a two-story psyche, so to say.  Down below lies the unconscious, while the conscious individual is above.  Now, if I ask you what were you doing at 10:30 pm on such and such a day, you might not be able to recall for the moment.  However, if you look in your date book and see “Party with So-and-so, “ it comes back very vividly.  Here is something that’s not in your conscious now but is available; Freud calls that the preconscious. 


If, however, I asked you what toy you played with on the third day of your life, you would not be able to find that out.  That memory is way down in the unconsciousness, in what Freud calls the subconscious, the realm of thoughts and memories that are totally unavailable to the conscious mind.  The important thing is that all of the primary imprints from the first four years of your life are down there, and by that time your little mind is all set. 

Now, down in the subconscious is an “I want” machine that Freud calls the id.   P2B 53

We are the only creatures on earth who can change our biology by what we think and feel.  We possess the only nervous system that is capable of an awareness of the phenomenon of aging. 


    Cosmic Consciousness,445c57f7&icp=1&.intl=ca&sig=fdww9_cJOttlM8SCPAVHCw--

    God Consciousness

 God would know whether Schroedinger's cat was alive or not. 

“Man’s consciousness was created to the end that it may (1) recognize (laudet) its descent from a higher unity (Deum); (2) pay due and careful regard to this source (reverentiam exhibeat); (3) execute its commands intelligently and responsibly (serviat); and (4) thereby afford the psyche as a whole the optimum degree of life and development (salvet animam suam).”

David Chalmers believes a way to understand consciousness is to think of it in layers.  Layers constructed from the data our senses are gathering.

"Consciousness has all of these different levels.  First of all there is primary consciousness which is consciousness of the things around you.  I look out, I might see someone I might see what's around them - that's my first level consciousness.  But then, if I stop and reflect, I can be conscious of my consciousness.  I can become conscious of what I'm thinking about, and then we've got consciousness within consciousness.  If I reflect again, I can start to be conscious of the fact that I am conscious of my consciousness.  Then you get consciousness that contains consciousness that contains consciousness.  We're 3-levels deep.  In principle, you could repeat this until infinity". 

Morphic fields


As I hope the reader can see, it is not necessary to invoke any of the buzz words of consciousness studies to explain consciousness: no quales, no tubules, no quantum phenomena, no cosmic consciousness. Nor is there any need to dismiss the problem as illusory or unsolvable. A simple, non-dualistic, empirical, and naturalistic perspective, a perspective which goes back all the way to the ancient Greeks, is all we need.