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Toward A New Science Of Consciousness

In our ongoing series of posts on consciousness here we focus on the movement towards  a new science of consciousness. To envision that, we really need to carefully define our two key terms: science and consciousness.

It is word derived from the Latin “scientia” meaning knowledge. Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary refers more specifically to a “knowledge attained through study or practice knowledge covering general truths of the operation of general laws, esp. as obtained and tested through scientific method [and] concerned with the physical world.”

Forms Of Science
Here we refer to both a) the strict discipline that uses “the scientific method” for observing and experimenting rather than just vaguely believing in something about our world, and b) the body of knowledge that results from applying this method. There is also pure science looking for facts and applied science seeking applications of those facts tied together to form theories.

All words are pointing tools used to separate elements of our consciousness, and consciousness itself might point to the whole unseparated whole. Webster, not surprisingly, gives several definitions for consciousness. These include a reference to any quality or state of being aware, whether of what’s within or outside; and whether of sensation, thought, emotion or again the whole of all conscious states – and whether we are awake, aware, present, oriented or in dream and altered states. Lastly, and alternatively, it refers to the upper level of mental life of which the person is aware as contrasted with unconscious processes.”  The etymology of the term conscious comes from an ancient Latin word conscius which means “to know.”

Thus the terms scientia (knowledge) and conscius (to know) thus beg for a marriage.

Contrast To Create Identity
Because “consciousness” partly refers to just about everything we ever have or could experience, or the medium thereof. It thus seems to be something very non-distinct. We, nevertheless, can give it a distinct identity via the quite stark contrast to “unconsciousness.” This is similar to defining a level of darkness by the level of the absence of light.

Close Association With Human Consciousness
Also we cannot experience consciousness in other life form. Thus we can only infer something like that exists (as by observing how animals act the way we do) . Otherwise the term “consciousness” is tied to just human awareness – and especially within our brain, including the higher order self-aware ways the brain might function.

Toward A Trans-Personal Definition Of Consciousness
Let us consider, in this context, the following alternative definition. It sees consciousness in an broader context than even the whole of what we humanly experience. Namely it postures consciousness to have some trans-personal and trans-human qualities as belonging or proprietary to all of nature. This is awfully hard, if impossible to prove with finality since we cannot really ever go outside of our own consciousness. We cannot do that trick anymore than we can jump over our own knees. Thus perhaps this is merely a pure inference. It is derived, however, of a kind of detached observation and therefore can form a quite sane theory. It is a theory of consciousness which can further be put to practice and even tested. This is why there is such a true need for a science of consciousness, namely and again to test such theories or to tell us which might be valid or not.

The definition here states that: consciousness forms the potentially universal relationship of connection in nature It thereby can form nature’s core essence  or what holds all of nature together as one to derivatively define its essential essence. This is like chocolate making up the essence of a chocolate bar.

Implications Of This Definition/Theory For A Science of Consciousness
The above definition and theory has some profound implications. If valid, if begs for a really new science of consciousness – and for that matter, a new science of nature as such. It focuses away from the presence of the western way of envisioning all of the essence of nature – as with the periodic table of elements or with the view of matter or energy defined mathematically predominating. The latter points primarily to a physical, machine-like world and wherein consciousness seems dispensable. It might either be of secondary, derivative, emerging,  irrelevant, or shadowy value. In more extreme views, consciousness is appears unreal, a phantom or the ghost in the machine.

Why Propose A Non-Mechanical Science of Nature?
How do we focus away from this western vision with our new definition in hand? There are two main ways. First, we don’t start with the intellectual bias of assuming that math symbols will exclusively lay open the bosom of nature. For the distinct identity of those symbols – those pointing and consciousness biasing tools –  is that they abstract  how best to separate all elements of consciousness, and b) the physical world is exactly what those symbols best point to or bias our attention towards. They cause us to prefer giving attention to what is most clearly separate in our awareness and also thus having separating surfaces in our vision. This is definitely the physical or material world or what is composed of “matter.” The assumption is that this scientific view is not a metaphysics or ideology of nature. But let us counter-culturally consider that  it is!

A Different Root Vision
Rather than starting then with this math-bound apriori metaphysics – an ideology that preferentially points towards certain directions – let us instead look more at the experience of both what is distinctly connective and separative consciousness – and in a pre-physical pure and raw experience of consciousness. Why chose this first duality? One side, the connective, points to the underlying oneness of nature, and the other as systematically away. Thus the origin of this duality is directly from nature’s oneness – as a true duality should and must be. This is why we don’t use words or pointing tools like yin yang, or matter, energy – each derived from a different cultural perspective.

Right/Left Brain Split
This alternative duality is easily correlated to the differences between our two main brain hemispheres, something well documented in empirical psychology.  The thesis here is that neurons do not produce this split in brain consciousness, or consciousness as such, but rather just tune in like a radio to the more primordial, connected, ocean of consciousness that precedes the separative-seen or surface-perceived physical world of our senses.

If taken seriously, the above view creates a deep and profound revolution in our whole knowing and understanding of nature as such or essentially. This is why a scientific study of consciousness can be so pivotal and important for different fields. This especially applies to the healing arts that treat consciousness ailments. Integral healing is usually a connection to wholeness, and if we do not understand the very root foundations of connection in nature, we will also not know how to truly, integrally and deeply heal ourselves and our loved ones. We can only treat them symptomatically because the understanding is surface-bound. Secondly, if science is exclusively associated with the quantitative study of what is but physical and material, and if at the very same time our new alternative definition of consciousness holds true, then any mechanical or traditional science of consciousness will predictably  fail.  It will fall flat on its face because it takes a very different, non-mechanical, non-mathematical, and non-consciousness-separative approach. This whole notion aims to overturn, to revolutionize, to form a global mind change in relation to the vision promoted by Galileo, Descartes, and Newton and which really established the inner foundation for our modern industrial/commercial civilization

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