Sunday Matinee: Consciousness- A Convo with Deepak Chopra and Stuart Hameroff

Ni hao Jedi Masters!

Lemme see if I can amuse you a bit before you get to the good stuff.  It’s thrilling that the inhabitant tends to a cordial disposition this morning so I’ll capitalize.  Guess we’ll chalk to up to Solstice energy.  When not seeking an archery lesson from the Lord of Ayodhya himself, as you folks probably know I enjoy lectures on a variety of subjects. What can I say, the different inhabitants have different interests. Lol

There’s a look of consternation on the face of the therapists, so lemme clarify – though the inhabitants are many, the knower of the inhabitants is one and the same.

Somewhere I learned that the faculty of discrimination by which the entire electro-magnetic spectrum, or the universal fabric of reality is understood, cannot be located anywhere on the entire spectrum of wavelengths.  Essentially, there are no signals for consciousness, none, zero, zip. There is absolutely no methodology by which you can test or know that you are aware of the fact that you are reading the musings of a bar-stool philosophizer with a number in his name.  Notice the subtlety; you can test that you are reading by resonance imaging, but not the fact that you know that you are reading. If you’ve come across contrary evidence or info on this, by all means please share the wealth.

Whether a person is conscious is testable but not his awareness of the fact that he is conscious. Similarly, while the rods and cones of an animal’s eye may be activated, you cannot test whether it’s aware of the information processed by its brain. Here’s one for later, how about a garage door opener? Once your clicker “wakes” it with an electro-magnetic yell, you CANNOT test that it doesn’t “know” the garage door needs to be opened.  I know, I know, “H3nry I think you had one brownie too many!” True dat, but on a fundamental level though, I’ve retained validity. The jury’s still out on sanity but we’ll keep that between us.

Quick bit before I let you go.  Benjamin Whorf provided the best definition of objectifying that I’ve come across, so as my old man would say, let’s not re-invent the wheel.  He defined objectifying as “imaginatively spatializing quantities and potentials that are quite non-spatial” and I think this an important qualification to raise.  The point I want to convey when listening to these lectures is to not objectify consciousness.  Consciousness is not an object or some “thing” external to you like a nail-clipper, it is non-spatial.  It is fundamental awareness.

The scientific method requires an object of experimentation to be applicable ergo scientists typically measure causal efficacy. The qualia or hard problem of consciousness, namely why am I having a conscious experience eludes scientific logic. My take is that you wouldn’t destroy William Blake with the scientific method, so why subject the Atman to such.  Different experiential constructs are grasped with different mental faculties. Michelangelo’s David and Newtons’ Laws of motion are interpreted with different methodologies and the former loses no merit by not conforming to reductionist principles. Ergo, I think it safe to say that the lack of a logical scientific method to quantify something does not render it necessarily illogical.

Speaking of Whorf btw, our language fails us in so many ways folks. Great injunctive tool for exchanging info as in “how to do something” but a lousy descriptive mechanism.  Whorf’s paper, The Relation of Habitual Thought and Behavior to Language makes for great reading if the White Widow comes calling, so if you’re interested, LINK HERE.  Whorf explains why our language essentially traps us and limits the manner in which we conceptualize reality.  He even goes on to discuss why relativity is easier to understand in the Hopi language due to the temporal tense-ification and objectifying to which we subject ourselves as English speakers.  We imprison our minds in a cage of temporal units that we’ve objectified and lined in sequential rows.  While the beauty of life lies in the repeatlessness of each moment, we’ve lost this with our prisons of repeating days, weeks and months. Say nothing of the second to second insufferable scrutiny to which we must succumb on a daily basis.

But enough from me. Enjoy the vid and if we don’t cross paths in the next few days, have a wonderful time in whatever manner you celebrate the holidays and I’ll catch you on the Hyd3 side. Seek the subtle amigos as the capacity for self-reflection stands above all machinations of the mind.

One love,

HJ

P.S. In the spirit of the holidays, I’ll let Aretha take you home.

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