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Senior Thesis Presentation: Deconstructing and Reconstructing the Self: The Metaphysics of Consciousness in the Anthropocene Epoch
Terms in this set (28)
Time moves forward: we need a new way of understanding our relationship with Earth/Nature
*nature is a powerful tool for contemplation itself
-refer to past era - how/why has it gotten this way?anthropocene geological era - Natures current statues: biodiversity is diminishing and biogeography and ecosystems around the globe seem more and more similar to one another mainly due to invasive species that have been introduced around the globe either on purpose (crops, livestock) or inadvertently.
Way of working with (remedy) Find a way to link spiritual practice with such problems because these problems are much bigger than human contribution. We need energetic healing in form of the collective consciousness.
Experience: Coming out a TBI - loss of mind, ego, intellect, senses, body
*Much appreciate for the operation of such systems as I watched them come back into life
*Realize: With tragedy comes opportunity
Practiced meditation as a way of healing / Eventually turned into a practice of understanding consciousness / what we really are
Yoga (meditation) philosophy offers insight to the understanding of consciousness and the inevitable connection consciousness has to nature.
Sankhya: Purusa & Prakriti (deconstructing the self to understand the self and our role)
Purusa: eternal & idea we are witnessing consciousness / distinct yet identical
Prakriti: notion of insentient and active nature that included all manifestation and emerges out of a root prakriti that is unmanifest
Sankhya/ 3 Gunas -which interact within and permeate all of the manifest world and unmanifest Prakṛti.
-certain qualities or moral virtues that are imbued in one's complex world of experience but also factors in the process of the creation/ manifestation of the world.
1. Sattva :The qualities of illumination, pure thought, pleasure, lightness, and clarity
2. Rajas: The energetic or active quality, associated with stimulation and sometimes pain
3. Tamas: The quality of indifference and the state of inertia; Tamas is heavy and enveloping, and is predominant in the subtle essences, which are the source of the gross physical world.
Must use Viveka : Discriminating insight or knowledge to perceive these subtle strands / discernment is basis for recognition
-Buddhi: The intellect characterized by the abilities of insight and ascertainment. (arise out of unmanifest prakriti)
-Ahaṃkāra: Literally, the "I-maker," the Ahaṃkāra is the ego or self-awareness that emerges out of Buddhi
-Manas: The mind, which emerges out of the ego
-5 sense organs
the five sense organs, including the eye, ear, nose, tongue, and skin.
-5 organs of action
the five organs of action, the voice, hands, feet, and the organs of excretion and generation.
The subtle elements, namely sound, touch, form, taste, and smell, from which the more concrete gross elements emerge.
- 5 gross elements
The five gross elements, earth, water, fire, air, and space.
NonDual Saiva Tantra as another example to deconstruct the self to understand the self:
Five layers of self: point is to show suffering arises as a result of failure to perceive the whole of your being and it's natural hierarchy
1. stuff : equate i-ness with object
2. body : identity defined by physical body
3. heart/mind : pure consciousness contracted into thoughts and feelings
4. vital energy: breath is the means by which the mind extends itself throughout the subtle body
5. the core: enables us to experience the divinity in all things, b/c it is divinity itself (all layers are expressions of this core)
5 Acts of creation: 5 acts involved in the universal process are the movements of our individual process:
1. SRSTI : creation, emission, the flowing fourth of self expression
2. STHITI : stasis, maintenance, preservation
3. SAMHARA : dissolution, retraction
4. TIRODHANA : concealment , forgetting
5. ANUGRAHA : revealing, remembering, grace, revelation
***these 5 acts take place on all scales, from the grand macrocosmic processes of the creation and dissolution of the entire universe to the moment to moment processes that create and dissolve your subtle inner experience
EXPERIENCE: after TBI, was interested in perception and the ways we can altar perception to experience more.
Cognitive therapy / brain wave measurements
Why aren't we understanding the way the earth is is how we are?
**nature is a powerful tool for contemplation itself
Metaphysics of perception/awareness
Consciousness and perception (awareness):
stream or moment of isolation?
Buddhist Abhidharma philosophy: each moment of awareness arises contingent upon a hit of physical and mental processes and in turn condition the arising of the next moment of awareness (6 kinds of awareness: visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, tactile, mental)
So, every moment of consciousness not only perceives a certain object, in the sense of a particularly sensory or mental appearance, but also characterizes that object in various way (pos./neg.). SO, every moment of consciousness is about or directed towards an object of experience
How were aware deeply conditions whats were aware of.
Consciousness is also goal directed- approached object with intention or motivation.
Each moment of consciousness is a structured cognitive event, involving atlas a minimum of feeling, discernment, intention, attention.- each moment arises and passes away in rapid succession > can we measure these mind moments?
Mind the gap: NEUROSCIENCE
is perception continuous or discrete?
-If perception is discrete, unfolds at successions of perceptual frames with a gap between each dream and the next one- then, predict: whether two distinct events will be judged as simultaneous or sequential depends not just on objective time but on relation between timing of each event and the way perception falls into discrete and successive frames. > what you perceive as one event happening now, depends not just on objective time but how you perceptually frame them.
is brain self organizing system with its own complex internal rhythms vs, brain as a sequential processing computer
-recorded brain EEG alpha rhythms. when lights presented at the positive peak of the alpha rhythm, they were seen as in apparent motion, but when presented at negative peak (opposite phase) they were seen as simultaneous.
>Whether visual stimulus is consciously detected or not depends on when it arrives in relation to the phase of the brain's ongoing alpha and theta rhythms. (more likely to miss when stimulus occurs during the trough of alpha wave; more likely to detect when alpha wave crests)
*support idea perception happens through successive periodic cycles instead of continuous process.
Another study: when ongoing theta rhythm reached a certain phase, a stimulus presented just afterwards was more likely to catch the wave and be detected.
Attention samples information periodically
Can we train attention?
hypothesis: long term meditation practice may increase the sampling rate of attention by tuning certain brain rhythms, specially the theta oscillation associated with attention.
WHY MEDITATION IS IMPORTANT! It allows us to perceive these subtle energies. To understand their presence and work with them to better all acts of creation. (self > planet)
We need to learn about how to get to expanded states of consciousness (through meditation) because (ralph metzner)
-each state of consciousness involved a qualitatively distinct and different mindpsace and subjective time stream ; to fulfill life's purpose & attain happiness, we need to learn to recognize the states in which we find ourselves and learn to navigate our way through them with conscious intention
*expansion vs. contraction
-perception and apperception : the reflexive awareness of the experiencing subject and understanding of associated elements of context.
-any journey in subjective mind space, however induced, certainly involves an expansion of awareness- as do journeys of exploration outer geographical and cosmic space.
-our field of potential perceptual awareness is spherical around the body; not only surrounds but interpenetrates the physical body at every level- organic, cellular, molecular, atomic, subatomic. It can be recognized as a polarized electromagnetic antenna system, receiving and transmitting information-packed energies of diverse vibrational frequencies in the multiple worlds of reality.
IMMANENT (existing or operating within; inherent.) vs transcendence
(more pg. 290)
Reducing valve: functions to keep awareness focused on ordinary realities we need to survive, but when this reducing valve is deactivated we can have access to a vastly greater mind-at-large
Conclusion: Humans have full capacity in awareness to bring attention to ... world problems?
experience: healing from brain injury when could have died
-we need to use all our potential to shape shift the future, for future generations, by understanding consciousness through meditation, ? finish
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