Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Consciousness

Several times I am wondering if there is a primary idea where all my thinking could begin. I mean, if I wanted to erase everything and start from scratch and make a philosophical sense, or maybe an easily practical sense of things, myself, the world, my worries, everything but make it as less complicated as possible, what would be the primary idea to start from, the source of everything. Similarly as scientists search for the beginning of all, or the magic particle where everything begins.

Because sometimes my thoughts become more and more confusing, and I need to erase everything and rebuild. During times my mind passes through several things that I identify that they could serve as the primary idea. And then it doesn't make sense again. This time it's consciousness. And without consciousness I wouldn't even make these convoluted thoughts to begin.

Thoughts build on older thoughts, ideas that can be cultural, so I am born empty but my mind is filled with ideas about what is good or bad, sometimes I oppose or struggle these ideas because other powers are fighting inside me (desires? instincts?). I think the best thing to see it is to look at animals. Your favorite cat or dog or anything. I like to stare at them and imagine how free of all that burden they are. The burden of a higher consciousness. They don't even have a sense of ethics. They might not even have a sense of themselves, self feedback, like knowing that you are the one who is making these thoughts. Basic instincts run mainly.

Think about how much more rich world of a language we have that describes emotions, ethics, abstract ideas, how much more beautifully we perceive things, how alive we feel with our human consciousness. Yet it's also the root of all evil, a pandora's box, with all negative feelings, pain and sorrow. And because we can feel pain more lively, we understand the concept that someone can inflict more pain. Sometimes I watch the news and it makes me very sad that someone would torture or rape another human being in such bad ways, and it makes me ask why? But the answer is in consciousness. An animal would never understand the concept of torture because it just can't realize that it exists and neither have a more lively feeling of pain. And it can't be thrilled by the idea that it could inflict much more pain just for the kicks. Animals do inflict pain when killing prey but as much as necessary for their survival. It is really consciousness that have created such complicated societies, great ideas (and convoluted, non simplistic ones too), makes us really enjoy a more alive existence, but it's the same source that also makes our civilization put too much creativity into how one could inflict as much unimaginable pain as possible. It's a bliss and then it's a curse.

But do we need to go dark here? No. Consciousness is our primary characteristic and we just have to learn to live with it. I am just trying to make an emphasis here about one primary fact that can make lot's of sense about the human condition (and it's the primary thing that differentiates us from animal anyway) and how it breeds all complex ideas, society, good things and evil things. Good and evil are another bunch of ideas after all, understood by human consciousness. Universal laws don't carry ethics. All life on earth could be wiped out by a cosmic event and the universe wouldn't shed a tear. If I erased every existing idea in my mind so that I start rethinking about everything from scratch, one of the primal points would be consciousness this time. Before that, natural laws, and there comes the complexity of life and instincts. Human condition is a combination (or conflict) between the lower instincts (survival makes most sense sometimes) and higher consciousness.

The other thing that bothers me again is that there seem to be different grades of consciousness in humans. Of course I am not sure about that, for I will never be able to investigate and feel another person's consciousness while comparing it with mine. If we could do that it would be a revolution for understanding each other. But just being able to understand myself and see how different I can be affected by things that go easy with other people, and discover other highly sensitive people around I can conclude that there must be something in here. Of course I am not claiming that other people are lacking consciousness as much that they are robots (another impossible thing to investigate, as a philosophical and scary thought it's interesting). All human consciousness seem high enough, whether it's under or oversensitive. There are a lot that I want to discuss but will leave it for another time though. Like, that oversensitivity can make you so overwhelmed with some things that you avoid it, for example socialization, so moderately sensitive people might have the best performance in a social environment (also explains why socialization is casual talking and not more intense passionate talking, something that I make the mistake to fall into frequently, moving from total silence to excessive monologues in an instant). Also music. I realize I like music with so much emotional power, but most of the times I prefer to listen alone or with headphones. I am feeling so overwhelmed to listen my kind of music with other people. Also a reason that in the past I was not into listening music even if I wanted so much. Too overwhelmed, I had those feelings I called "shynesses (plurar)" but it was just emotional overwhelm.

p.s. I find out by this great Vsauce video (also that classic question many of us had, if my yellow is the same as your yellow) that this idea of never knowing how your consciousness feel to me consciousness, never been able to experience things from another person's reality, it's called Qualia. Now, that's quite interesting to get into and see what philosophers had to say about.
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