Thursday, February 16, 2006

A Constant Awareness

Listening to some inner source, worlds come forward that were once forgotten. Other worlds come from a world of not yet known---rising from the mists of consciousness, defying the analysis of brain scans and cognitive research. Defying the claims of those who suggest their inquiries into the "feeling of what happens," explain the mysteries of a very private state of being, my own awareness weaves a curious path through whatever realities may border on and intersect with an objective world that may or may not exist.

Even if we may discover some chemistry that inexplicably produces awareness in the form of consciousness, there is a distinction to be made between consciousness and awareness. Yet, for the most part cognitive "scientists" seem to avoid awareness as a condition of being that may be different from consciousness. Instead we have many "levels" of consciousness, some articulated and others implied. At first we are drawn to these arguments that somehow link the chemistry of the brain to our awareness of being. But the more we read, the more we become aware that we are in the presence of modern day shamans whose talismans and amulets are convoluted semantic incantations that are not actually in touch with "reality"--- but rather argue existence from the perspective of objective reality, an objectivism that has no room for spiritual perception or experience.

Though much has been made of the claims of Damasio's The Feeling of What Happens, there are critics who suggest that his current theory may be at a dead end and perhaps should be abandoned. For myself, I have always regarded the title of his work more provocative than his actual attempt to explain consciousness in terms of individuals whose brains have been impaired. I am sympathetic to Damasio's analysis within the limits of his practice. We may have inched forward to some understanding of the brain, but current boundaries of scientific inquiry seem oblivious to domains hidden in the mysteries of the mind.

At the root of my existence is my awareness of being, which may yield a deeper explanation of my experience than core consciousness and extended consciousness, even though it is somewhat at odds with the rhetoric of current day studies of cognition.

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