What is consciousness?
(Healingtalks) This, first and foremost, happens to be a really vital question, especially when we are trying to help a diabetic person suffering from neuropathy (loss of feeling and awareness in some part of their body), dementia (as with Alzheimer’s patients) and metastatic cancer (where cancers spread silently, unconsciously to kill).
There is a whole movement to try to answer what is consciousness or to develop a real science of levels of consciousness that considers this the “hard question” or the hardest of unanswered riddles of science. Some call this the last major frontier of science. A discovery of what is consciousness will likely be the most significant finding of not only this century but the whole millennium.
Why pharmaceuticals fail to heal
The fact that we don’t really understand consciousness or a conscious mind is quite obvious in a typical modern nursing home where over half of the residents over the age of 85 suffer from Alzheimer’s.
Nobel Prize winning physicists have succumbed to Alzheimer’s, indicating the laws of physics don’t necessarily reveal what is consciousness. Also if you give an Alzheimer’s patient a cocktail of the very “best” pharmaceutical or synthetic chemical drugs, they tend not to work, indicating furthermore that the discoveries of chemistry also appear to fail us. Despite extraordinary efforts of modern science, we continue to have dementia patients walking the halls of nursing homes in zombie-like unconscious states. There is too often a dullness rather than brilliance to their eyes. “No one is at home inside” and to the extent that they may be unable to recognize their children or spouses. But the next miracle discovery in physics, chemistry or genetics may be around the corner about a higher consciousness mind! Without going into details, the current science of what is consciousness is, for me, quite unsatisfying. That emerging science as yet doesn’t help those in greatest need. Therefore if we can regularly effect a turnaround of Alzheimer’s,diabetes and cancer patients’ altered state of consciousness, this becomes an acid test. Personal opinion and ideologies matter less.
Towards a real science of consciousness
There are several international organizations working “toward a science of consciousness” and I have presented my ideas about what is consciousness at two of these organization’s conferences – one in Tuscon, AZ and the other in Taipei Taiwan. The usual academic approach is to define consciousness scientifically or within a conventional lab-generated understanding, e.g. some reflex reactions numerically expressed or electric and chemical reaction (neurons firing mostly in the brain) or via neuroscience. This tries to define what is consciousness within our most familiar or comforting mechanical models of nature. In my experience, we are going up the wrong alley so that such efforts are doomed to fail.
Single greatest discovery
The single greatest discovery of my own life offers a solution to this most stumping problem. It is an answer which, when applied, breaks through what I consider the deepest illusions (breakdowns in the integrity) of consciousness and can thus truly reverse chronic consciousness-illnesses in ourselves, in others, in our society at large and for the benefit of life on our planet. This huge discovery led me to make it a major aim of my life to bring out this understanding. The subsequent applications are again the acid test. Can we take someone from a lower to a higher state of consciousness via a real science? The shocking commentary here is: not within the model of science we currently have. Actually that model stands in the way.
In my youth I was a math prodigy. Then one day something traumatic happened. No, an apple did not fall on my head! Rather I had a high fever that caused my left-brain to shut down. This was similar to what occurred to Jill Bollte Taylor, a Harvard brain researcher who had a stroke and subsequent left-brain shut-down. For a while I was aphasic or could not talk in whole sentences as the left-brain is both the verbal and the mathematical. For myself from then on, however, I began to study the nature of consciousness as if it was the single greatest urgency of my life. This was because, for a while, I had lost not only typical left-brain skills but all of my inner bearings. I was lost in a new ocean of consciousness without an anchor. Looking fo an anchor I was greatly helped by living in a community called ”The Barn” and which taught me consciousness-observation techniques developed by the Russian philosopher George Ivanovich Gurdjieff. After a decade of pursuing such studies or trying to discover “what is consciousness,” I came to unique and independent conclusions. Among these was my deep conviction that consciousness is not just a human-possessed or elite attribute. I saw human consciousness as an off-shoot of the greater consciousness that belongs to all of life on earth an in our cosmos.
Secondly, and still more profoundly, consciousness expressed for me the “essence of nature” – and whether an element of nature appeared to be living or not. When something permeates through and through it forms an “essence,” like brown chocolate forms the essence of a brown chocolate bar. Thirdly for me, consciousness also forms nature’s universal relationship of connection. This is why it can assume the status of being an “eco-essence” as it permeates then throughout. Consider this, if two events are connected, might consciousness be the basis of that connection? Usually we think math-formula-defined or mechanical causality explains phenomena, but math symbols abstract how to separate elements of consciousness. This makes math-defined causality actually illogical, implausible, foolish and even impossible. On a far deeper level, for me it is the phenomenon of consciousness that connects all of nature’s surface appearances, and “together as one” (being a universal relationship of connection). Lastly that same consciousness, when concentrated, brings out the most profound of all natural phenomenon: living organisms or life!
Living organisms then express, display, and bring out nature’s essence, rather than machines displaying, expressing and bringing out mathematical order!
This is a revolutionary and profound shift in visions.
Implications of this revolutionary view
There are vastly potent implications to answering the core question, what is consciousness. Here we express a derivative consciousness-centered view of nature or where consciousness thus again is the essence of nature, not what is pictured with math-formulas integrated as one. This is a step beyond the philosophy of panpsychism.
Panpsychism sees consciousness as present within all of nature’s matter, but often as a subordinate attribute of matter or with matter and the mechanical orientation of chemistry, physics, and biotechnology remaining primary. The consciousness-centered view, however, creates an entirely different core understanding of nature. It departs from rather than creates another subsidiary branch of the 17th century-outlined view which was formed via the inspirations of Galileo, Descartes and Newton. It offers again a countering vision to that of chemistry, physics and biotechnology. It does not, for example, focus on atoms and subatomic particles and their interrelationships expressed mathematically nor on genes at the core of each cell. It sees all chronic illnesses as surface manifestations of inner lowered consciousness – especially diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s. Thus to reverse such illnesses we re-elicit entirely different natural approaches rather than surgery, radiation and chemotherapy/drugs in order to return us to connectedness, wholeness, and healing.
Since living organisms, not machines, are seen as representing nature’s depth-essence, this again forms a evolutionary consciousness and life-centered vision of nature.
Machines then and again no longer bring out or express a “discovering” of nature’s quintessence, nor the related mechanical principles via mathematical formulation as supposedly representing the laws of nature (Newton’s Principia Natualis Mathematica that guided the Industrial Revolution). They rather represent a math-constructed, and actually non-objective, culturally-created ideology for the depths of nature. Because math symbols point us to an exactly opposite essence in a reversal illusion nature simply by being symbols for how to separate all elements of consciousness, it follows then that we can predict unavoidable problems arising, especially with aggressive, self-certain global applications. These problems can be extremely serious. As I see it, they may actually threaten life’s long-term sustainability on Earth. The dilemmas include the development of atomic weapons plus a level of global chemical pollution that yields ubiquitous toxic residues. These can cause, among other things, the present pandemics of cancer.
Chemical cocktails bring out and represent this mathematical ideology and generally do not support consciousness or life in nature and ourselves. Thus drug-based medical care merely can mask surface symptoms (in lieu of depth-healing) while there is a simultaneous undermining of consciousness.
A compost heap or where all possible plants may be thrown in to disintegrate and later reintegrate to form new living plants, symbolizes an unbroken circle of unity in nature. However, throw in any large random mix of chemicals to test the whole math-based vision which creates synthetic chemicals and the circle is broken. Life in the heap dies. We see this with super-toxic waste sites. Nature’s premier unity is violated. For example, Monsanto’s Roundup is symbolic of the modern thrust that kills what is green around it.
Since the 17th century, we have followed a death-delivering or “thanoptic” vision of nature. The proof is in the pudding. Life extinctions on earth have skyrocketed. It is predicted that half of all species will be dead and gone forever by the end of this century. We are destroying Eden.
In regard to the healing arts or where healing connects us to wholeness and awakens consciousness, the mechanical approach fails.Thus surgery, which cuts the body apart, is not a true depth-healing/connective modality nor is the prescribing of chemical drugs or radiation. Again the proof is in the pudding as health pandemics (cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and other ailments) are on the rise.
A commercial society is one where monetary (math-bound) relationships dominate. It doesn’t matter who owns the means of production, (corporate or socialist rulers), not if they both follow the same essential vision of the 17th century and at the expense of the earth. The underlying worldview has not changed an iota. It is not life-centered. It is not concerned or knowledgeable about what is consciousness to help evolve our lives. At the same time, socio-political relationships have suffered intensely as a result. For example, the single person living alone is now the largest growing social statistic. At the same time the political arenas are ever more corrupted by monetary influences, in capitalist and socialist societies, that have both consolidated and merged their power and influence internally and externally around the globe.
Global mind change
The GREAT NEWS is that we can turn around all our greatest health, environmental, social and politically trends by making a global mind change. This means changing the deepest soul of our culture. Such a change occurred in the 17th century or in the shift from the Biblical to the current math-bound view. This was triggered by the discovery of an external reversal illusion by Copernicus (helio rather than geo-centricity) and corroborated by Galileo. We really need a similar global mind change.This is because our vision actually reverses, in my experience, the universal essence of nature – life and consciousness – and thereby creates a looming “culture of death” This is not something to take lightly. What is consciousness and derivatively what is life are among the most important if not the most important of all questions to ask in our times. This, therefore, needs to be answered with the greatest of possible knowledge and the deepest of wisdom.
- Tony Wright-Left in the Dark
- Our synopsis of Lorna Green’s revolutionary view of consciousness
- Outline of a life-centered and healing vision of nature