Author Topic: Consciousness  (Read 2964 times)


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« on: July 06, 2007, 04:46:01 PM »
The following is an abstract.  This is as dense a summation as I have ever made on my understanding of the nature of consciousness.  I present it here as a probably inedible chunk of philosophical meat.

If anyone is so moved, please respond to this with the following:

1.  Questions like "what do you mean by _____?"
2.  That sounds like <insert philosopher, thinker, book, etc...>
3.  Your statement: ______ sounds right/wrong because of _____

This abstract is like an old wad of gum that I have been chewing for years.  Embedded in it are ideas that I have clearly formulated, others I have not clearly formulated, some that I have grounded and others that I have begged, borrowed or stolen.  I offer it here for anyone who has the taste for someone else's old gum  (-)smblsh(-)

On Consciousness

   Much of the nature of consciousness can be derived from a symbolic analysis of a concept.  A symbolic analysis is a rational deconstruction of a concept by the careful arrangement of contradictory statements leaving behind the unconscious, undifferentiated, irrational presence of the concept without the support of rational meaning.  The further a concept is symbolically analyzed the more of its general form is diluted until one no longer has a clear conscious sense of that concept’s ultimate meaning.  Instead, one has the idea that in a particular context the concept has a clear meaning, but that this conscious meaning diminishes as the scope of the concept is considered in the context of more and more perspectives.  What is left of the experience of the concept is a sense of a meaningful word stripped of any clear formulation.  This places the knower in a contradictory state of wanting to simultaneously place value in the concept as well as be unable to justify that value.   All concepts are similarly reducible through symbolic analysis to a similar state of ‘significant ambivalence’.
   What is revealed about the objective character of conscious by a symbolic analysis of a concept is that what is required to strip a concept of rational content also reveals what goes into the formation of the conscious concept.  By revealing this underlying structure we can develop an objective understanding of consciousness.  We come to a vantage point where we can potentially resolve the mind-body problem.  This is due in part to an understanding of the character of order as it emerges from a complex, adaptive substrate of two kinds: 1) brain-neural activity and structure and 2) social-linguistic activity and structure.  The complexity of such a system all but guarantees that even if an objective reduction of mind to brain is possible, it will be impossible to completely describe one.   The nature of consciousness then becomes translated to an analysis of the concept of order.  Such an analysis of the concept of order also succumbs to the above claim that a broad analysis of a symbolic kind on this concept will also yield a bare unconscious, irrational fact to the individual knower.  One is then left with a solipsistic impression of the reality of mind altogether.
   By virtue of the unlimited paths one may take from meaning to unconscious core of any given concept, the various characteristics of consciousness can be repeatedly encountered and constellated in such a way that one can confidently come to an objective understanding of consciousness.  These objective qualities of consciousness are what C.G. Jung referred to as archetypes.  Archetypes reflect objective qualities of the physical brain and its form and structure which lends a quality of inner necessity to the otherwise general freedom of the human imagination.  Human knowledge in the form of mystical, mythological and otherwise spiritual truth contains, in a relatively revealing form, the character of archetypal knowledge.  By a comparative analysis of spiritual truths and other psychological productions of the human mind as well as a scientific examination of related topics, it is possible to circumscribe consciousness in a rational way until it is realized that conscious is an emergent order which can create, feed and destroy itself, it is an invention of an underlying substrate with a dualistic center, and it is a mysterious central fact of human experience.  Even the widest thrown net of explanation cannot surpass the need to solipsistically address the phenomenology of consciousness is.  That this is true is, in and of itself, as meaningful as it is seemingly meaningless.