Author Topic: The Depth of Consciousness  (Read 8012 times)

Sealchan

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The Depth of Consciousness
« on: February 22, 2007, 01:45:06 PM »
The following is a link to my Masters thesis work, a study on the nature of consciousness and how (in a general way) to understand it. 

http://www.geocities.com/sealchan/depth.htm

I've just finished rereading it and must say that I still like it.  The work I did on this paper was an experience that has left me with a profound sense of accomplishment.  In it I have found my way to Jung's idea of the symbol from the personal starting point of many of my personal interests.   

I would welcome any questions or comments. 

In the context of Jungian thought, it is a detailed "reflection" on what the nature of a symbol is.


Susanna

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Re: The Depth of Consciousness
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2007, 03:29:22 PM »
Hi Sealchan,

Nice treatise. I now know better where you’re coming from in your dream analyses and how you arrived where you are. This is a certainly a passion of yours, and I have read that what one is passionate about is an expression of one’s soul. This dream forum will be a wonderful playground for you in your exploration of consciousness. And I personally look forward to your posts on general topics and your continuing analyses of my dream symbols.

I have BLACK ELK SPEAKS but haven’t read it yet, although I have read about several of his visions. I would say that he had a higher consciousness than most of his people. And why do we gravitate to sages, medicine men, shamans, gurus and mystics? To hear the wisdom of their teachings which is a wisdom of consciousness. It’s all a movement forward, to The Source, and to the center as you point out in your thesis. For me, knowing just IS. And it is a subjective experience like you write.

I relate consciousness to knowing God which some equate to supreme consciousness. It’s a process, and I have seen my own consciousness expand  by being more open-minded and receptive to everything around me.

Regarding eyes. My partner Sam feels a definite shift from right eye to left eye when he meditates. His right brain function is then turned on, so to speak.

Your discussion on a circle composed of circles and where is the center is interesting. It is a study for many to reveal our interconnectedness. The following also discusses the circle.

From Gustav Theodor Fechner in FOUNDERS OF MODERN PSYCHOLOGY by G. Stanley Hall: (the bold type is my doing)

“Life and consciousness never arose...but are original activities of the universe; they are two expressions of the same thing and differ only as a circle seen from within differs from one seen from without. From without all is manifold, from within all is unity, and both together constitute all there is. The soul is not punctual but is pervasive throughout all the body. Those processes immediately bound up with consciousness are psycho-psychic movements and they are primordial and cosmogenic.

The physical world operates under one law and we must assume that the spiritual world is no less so. There must be then, a priori, some exact mathematical relationship between the physical and the psychical, some law of concomitant variations, for all that is psychic is but the self-appearance of the physical; a material process runs parallel to every conscious process.”


The phrase “they are two expressions of the same thing” brought to mind your illustration of the upright rectangles in the thesis. And then, how my mind works, I see your 2 upright rectangles separated and all I think about is placing a generator in between them!!!

Thanks for sharing. The word that came to mind after reading your thesis was MERGER...

Susanna

Maria

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Re: The Depth of Consciousness
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2007, 09:10:52 AM »
(Dear Sealchan,

I have just read your thesis, and I enjoyed it!  (-)cheers(-)

When I read Black Elf's vision, and your thoughts about it, especially this part:

Quote
Approaching the center of any element of consciousness, a qualia, will, like consciousness itself (and other "whole" words like universe, life, and God) will bring us to the brink of an unreachable place. The unreachable place is the perspective beyond the whole, the perspective which explains why there is a "why". It brings you to the perspective beyond perspective which makes no sense in any way of knowing. The center is the circular knot that is ever untied but never completely; a direction we are to orient toward but not a destination to reach.

I somehow associated to the Mountain of Qaf, I don't know if you are familiar with Henri Corben's works...

Quote
1. "NA-KOJA-ABAD" OR THE "EIGHTH CLIMATE" [...] our authors use a term in Persian that seems to be its linguistic calque: Na-kojd-Abad, the "land of No-where." This, however, is something entirely different from a utopia.

Let us take the very beautiful tales-simultaneously visionary tales and tales of spiritual initiation-composed in Persian by Sohravardi, the young shaykh who, in the twelfth century, was the "reviver of the theosophy of ancient Persia" in Islamic Iran. Each time, the visionary finds himself, at the beginning of the tale, in the presence of a supernatural figure of great beauty, whom the visionary asks who he is and from where he comes. These tales essentially illustrate the experience of the gnostic, lived as the personal history of the Stranger, the captive who aspires to return home.

At the beginning of the tale that Sohravardi entitles "The Crimson Archangel," the captive, who has just escaped the surveillance of his jailers, that is, has temporarily left the world of sensory experience, finds himself in the desert in the presence of a being whom he asks, since he sees in him all the charms of adolescence, "0 Youth! where do you come from?" [...]He receives this reply: "I come from beyond the mountain of Qaf... It is there that you were yourself at the beginning, and it is there that you will return when you are finally rid of your bonds."

The mountain of Qaf is the cosmic mountain constituted from summit to summit, valley to valley, by the celestial Spheres that are enclosed one inside the other. What, then, is the road that leads out of it? How long is it? "No matter how long you walk," he is told, "it is at the point of departure that you arrive there again," like the point of the compass returning to the same place. Does this involve simply leaving oneself in order to attain oneself) Not exactly. Between the two, a great event will have changed everything; the self that is found there is the one that is beyond the mountain of Qaf a superior self, a self "in the second person." It will have been necessary, like Khezr (or Khadir, the mysterious prophet, the eternal wanderer, Elijah or one like him) to bathe in the Spring of Life. [...]

Na-koja-Abad is a strange term. It does not occur in any Persian dictionary, and it was coined, as far as I know, by Sohravardi himself, from the resources of the purest Persian language. Literally, as I mentioned a moment ago, it signifies the city, the country or land (abad) of No-where (Na-koja) That is why we are here in the presence of a term that, at first sight, may appear to us as the exact equivalent of the term ou-topia, which, for its part, does not occur in the classical Greek dictionaries, and was coined by Thomas More as an abstract noun to designate the absence of any localization, of any given situs in a space that is discoverable and verifiable by the experience of our senses. Etymologically and literally, it would perhaps be exact to translate Na-koja-Abad by outopia, utopia, and yet with regard to the concept, the intention, and the true meaning, I believe that we would be guilty of mistranslation. It seems to me, therefore, that it is of fundamental importance to try, at least, to determine why this would be a mistranslation.

[...]

The word Na-koja-Abad does not designate something like unextended being, in the dimensionless state. The Persian word abad certainly signifies a city, a cultivated and peopled land, thus something extended.  [...] Topographically, he states precisely that this region begins "on the convex surface" of the Ninth Sphere, the Sphere of Spheres, or the Sphere that includes the whole of the cosmos. This means that it begins at the exact moment when one leaves the supreme Sphere, which defines all possible orientation in our world (or on this side of the world), the "Sphere" to which the celestial cardinal points refer. It is evident that once this boundary is crossed, the question "where?" (ubi, koja) loses its meaning, at least the meaning in which it is asked in the space of our sensory experience. Thus the name Na-koja-Abad: a place outside of place, a "place" that is not contained in a place, in a topos, that permits a response, with a gesture of the hand, to the question "where?" But when we say, "To depart from the where," what does this mean?


http://www.hermetic.com/bey/mundus_imaginalis.htm


Love,

Maria)


"Thou speak'st aright;
I am that merry wanderer of the night."

(Puck)

Kafiri

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Re: The Depth of Consciousness
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2007, 10:15:14 AM »
Quote
=Susanna

From Gustav Theodor Fechner in FOUNDERS OF MODERN PSYCHOLOGY by G. Stanley Hall: (the bold type is my doing)

“Life and consciousness never arose...but are original activities of the universe; they are two expressions of the same thing and differ only as a circle seen from within differs from one seen from without. From without all is manifold, from within all is unity, and both together constitute all there is. The soul is not punctual but is pervasive throughout all the body. Those processes immediately bound up with consciousness are psycho-psychic movements and they are primordial and cosmogenic.

The physical world operates under one law and we must assume that the spiritual world is no less so. There must be then, a priori, some exact mathematical relationship between the physical and the psychical, some law of concomitant variations, for all that is psychic is but the self-appearance of the physical; a material process runs parallel to every conscious process.”


In accord with the mathematical relationship described by Fechner:

Quote

   The fourth mirror relationship, that of physics and matter, based on the same element as the reflection of light in physics, namely an arithmatical order.  Number, as Jung wrote, "is the predestined instrument for creating order, or for apprehending an already existing, but still unknown, regular arrangement or 'orderedness.'  It may well be the most primitive element of order in the human mind," (53) that is, the most primitive manifestation of the spontaneous dynamics of the unconscious psyche.(54)  In the deepest levels of the objective psyche there is probably an acausal orderedness with a numerical structure that is valid for both psyche and matter.  There in the lattice patterns of the numerical field, psyche and matter, we may conjecture, are continously mirroring each other, whereas in synchronistic events we become aware of this mirror-relation only exceptionally and then as specific happenings pregnant with meaning.(55)  Sychronistic events are therefore characterized by the intrusion into our "normal" state of consciousness a second psychic state, which usually remains below the threshold.(56)  In our normal state of consciousness we are seldom aware of the fact that the unconscious psyche makes a substantial contribution to our perception of reality and that we can never perceive reality as such....(Italics in original)
M. L. von Franz, Projection and Re-Collection in Jungian Psychology, Reflections of the Soul p. 195
Quote
=Susanna
The phrase “they are two expressions of the same thing” brought to mind your illustration of the upright rectangles in the thesis. And then, how my mind works, I see your 2 upright rectangles separated and all I think about is placing a generator in between them!!!

Thanks for sharing. The word that came to mind after reading your thesis was MERGER...

Susanna

"We lie loudest when we lie to ourselves."
      -Eric Hoffer

Matt Koeske

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Re: The Depth of Consciousness
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2007, 01:35:07 PM »
Some random thoughts . . .

It's interesting that, whereas numbers are an abstract creation (think, specifically of the zero), geometry seems to derive from a very intuitive place in our cognition.  And by intuitive, I mean to imply "unconscious" or "from the other".

But numbers are relatively easy for us to abstract from geometry . . . which strikes me as "intuitively" more about complex ordered relationships (i.e., angles, distances, etc.) . . . or about how things "fit" together.

I have occasionally wondered about some of the core "magical" numbers.  Specifically 3 and 4.  3 and 4 are enormously "relational" numbers, numbers with distinct shapes that we can easily grasp and manipulate in our conscious, short-term memories.  And other numbers that can be derived from 3 and/or 4 also tend to have magical significance, e.g., 7 and 12 especially.  But also 10 (3+4+3), etc.

It seems "right" somehow that 3 and 4 are two different relational portrayals of wholeness for us.  3 as beginning, middle, and end . . . and as the minimum points with which to maintain stability (as in the tripod) or focus a force in a particular (fourth) direction.  4 as a balance of pairs or an equilibrium.

The alchemical Axiom of Maria tries to reconcile these two kinds of wholeness: ". . . out of the three comes the one which is the fourth."

I also think of the "Rule of Seven" in cognitive studies relating to short-term memory limitations. 

It is also worth noting that both 1 and 2 are also "terms of wholeness" . . . so 1 (the unity), 2 (the polarization or union of polarities), 3, and 4 . . . and perhaps, various combinations of these numbers help construct our sense of wholeness . . . the possible wholes.

If indeed there is a genetic restriction on short-term memory that confines us to these four wholeness terms (these "shapely" numbers), we might hypothesize that these are "instinctual numbers" for us.  Our intuition can, perhaps, make complex arrays based on the arrangement of these various wholes, each one equivalent to a One, a single piece our brains can move around.

Just think how much meaning we can construct with 1, 2, 3, and 4 alone (using either geometry or some kind of numerology).

I have nothing more to make of this . . . just the suggestion that these "magic" numbers are not numinous to us because they are somehow "divine", but because they are rooted in our instinctual, genetic make-up in a concrete and biological way.  They are numinous just like all the other archetypes feel numinous to us . . . because they trigger our instinctual selves and bring us an intuitive-emotional awareness that we are somehow both self and Other simultaneously.

So I guess I am saying that these numbers deserve to be called archetypes.

You can always come back, but you can’t come back all the way.

   [Bob Dylan,"Mississippi]

Sealchan

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Re: The Depth of Consciousness
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2007, 04:13:46 PM »
In this essay I combine cosmology, mythology, neurobiology and Jungian psychology as four perspectives on a particular topic.  This choice of perspectives (ways of knowing) is somewhat arbitrary in that not one of them is entirely necessary.  They just need to be different enough to allow for an easy deconstruction of any correlation of perspectives within the set.  Even the topic, depth perception, is embedded in the method that I use such that the method is "restricted" in its objectivity by being attached in a unique way to the topic.  But this just amplifies the uroboric quality of the whole thing. 

I have chosen the above topics because I am personally lead to and familiar with these subjects.  So here again in these perspectives relative objectivity I introduce my own personal interest in them as a further element of subjectivity.

I also think I could get somewhere by doing a "spectral analysis" of consciousness (in other words, write an essay on "the spectrum of consciousness")  that would probably include color perception, Hegelian dialectic, Jung's "third thing" and something about the 3 dimensionality of space.  In all of these there is a 3 dimensionality that suggests that consciousness must break a whole into an array of pseudo-linearly independent 3 factors with a special fourth which is found endlessly in myth, science, psychology and possibly in other areas of neurobiology besides color vision (or the 3 color-cone, 1 black-and-white-rod cell aspect of vision IS the physical basis for this archetypal motif).  The idea of a 3/4 fold spectral analysis is already somewhat embedded in the method I used in the Depth essay.


Sealchan

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Re: The Depth of Consciousness
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2011, 03:05:14 PM »
Here is a new active link to my Masters' thesis...

http://webspace.webring.com/people/ps/sealchan/depth.htm

Nowadays, to respond to my previous post, I would probably say that it is possible that the color opponent process describes a neural architecture/behavior that serves as a template for ordering of other four-fold cognitive categorizations of the whole of something.  Wholeness then would be mapped to four "cardinal" types or directions and the sense of four as representing a whole would be a cumulative awareness of the work of this sensory template aka intuitive perception.  Alternatively, some other neural system of discrimination might be the template, or the brain might, for some other systemic or mechanical reason, tend to prefer four-foldedness when dissecting "the whole".