View Full Version : Consciousness / Awareness / Intent

16th September 2011, 09:48 PM
I’m cobbling this thread together to collect my thoughts, and hopefully yours, on a very stubborn subject that resists most everybody’s attempt to make real sense of it.
I'm gonn'a jump in on the current of a long line of thoughts, and hope some background will fill in later.
Many years ago I had a habit of giving recitals and 'concerts' (intimate). One Sunday afternoon Stage Fright slapped me up side the head. It was very much like suffering a stroke - nothing would be the same again.

I had sat down at the piano, a polite hush in the room, and then, THEN! AND (drumroll) THEN! Not a single note would come to mind. I had a hundred people in the room, plus a local radio station recording and I am frozen stiff.
I put my hands on the keys and started playing. What? I can only describe it as a Jumbo Mumbo Gumbo - nothing made any sense. [Coincidently, this was my first OBE. In sheer panic I saw myself sitting at the piano, pale and for all the world dead.] This was momentary, of course, so I reconnected with my self]/i] and brought the foolishness to a halt. I thought of something I might be able to pull off, played it poorly and called an early intermission. I was too shaken to continue.
A while later I completed the program, but it meant nothing.
I decided after that fiasco that I simply needed to teach myself better. More and better practice was called for. I knew that I needed to teach my brain the music and that would be my insurance against any further embarrassment.
So I analyzed every measure. What key am I in? The first note is the 5th of the scale. The left hand describes an A minor chord. And I would keep this sort of detail up and through to the faraway end (when taken that way). I practiced my scales so I could slice ‘em up anyway you like. I could play two scales at once Presto.
What surprises me looking back is how long I kept this up. About a year; and a truth came to bear that I was afraid to admit. My brain was not capable of processing that much information (every note of thousands) fast enough.
I knew ultimately that I had to invest my faith back in that self, the one that drifted up to the ceiling of the music hall, the one beyond my rational reach, if I was going to perform again. It’s been said that the true treasure, the knowledge of one’s self, is buried deep in a cave and guarded by a dragon. And I guess it was my turn to face that dragon.
And I came up short. I never rediscovered that bet-the-bank-on-it confidence again after that afternoon. But, by limiting myself to public venues, preferably where alcohol was served - piano bars, restaurants, clubs - I ‘enjoyed’ a plenty long career. (As some of you are aware).
This story came to mind reading Aping Mankind by Raymond Tallis. His central thesis is that science, materialism and neuro-determinism (the notion that the workings of the brain/mind can be reverse engineered so that the sum of the parts is exactly equal to the whole) cannot account for Intent; for the one who initiates the firing of the neurons that taken together describe a thought and an action that the thinker becomes aware of.

The is an idea I am certainly in sympathy with and so the conflict of brain, mind and self, as a personal story, came to me as a metaphor or as a restating abstractly his message.

Bottom line, the question is: WHO was playing the piano? Was it supposed to be a concert of the firing of neurons that, for reasons unknown, suffered a seizure of some sort resulting in a ‘program’ gone awry to ultimately crash? That would be the materialist approach, I believe.

These thoughts originated in the “Blog” section, but I later realized the subject was more the nature of a thread. I have copied the three entries of the blog here: (I hope you read them and help me with this impossible subject).

on 7th September 2011 at 09:27 PM (63 Views)
I wonder what would happen if I could suddenly impart 'consciousness' on my kitty. I'll bet she'd freak-out. She'd be like a cat on a leash! But without the leash.

Is consciousness really adaptive? I'm torn on this subject (I've been reading Aping Mankind and other stuff) and I'm not sure where I fall on the matter?

Robert Bruce (http://www.astraldynamics.com.au/member.php?638-Robert-Bruce) - 8th September 2011 12:04 AM

All animals are sentient, conscious beings. All animals astral project when they sleep - I've watched this happen many times: cats, dogs, hamsters, birds.

Animals, like humans, have varying levels of intelligence.

I have also telepathically and clairvoyantly connected with many animals. They communicate...but mostly we don't hear them.

I also had a doberman pincer who, when he got old, could speak 20 or 30 words in full context. He'd greet us in the morning, ask for food, ask to go out, and would even swear at my dad at times - say when dad yelled at him to stop blocking the TV. At the time we thought 'wow, the dog can talk' and just accepted it.

The diehard materialists do not want this known, as it would grossly interfere with commerce. Who would want to eat a pig if they knew the pig was a conscious being with feelings?

This is not to preach that everyone should be a vegan. The Ouroboros symbol says it eloquently: 'life consumes itself'.
http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:A...H56zXjl-3KhJCA (http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRt6dD8lha7kKU64MScW4rjZw_jZoz8-_SKLNSjH56zXjl-3KhJCA)

http://www.astraldynamics.com (http://astraldynamics.com/)
Updated 8th September 2011 at 12:05 AM by Robert Bruce (http://www.astraldynamics.com.au/member.php?638-Robert-Bruce) (act of bob)
eyeoneblack (http://www.astraldynamics.com.au/member.php?1878-eyeoneblack) - Yesterday 04:40 PM
Thank you, RB
  What an amazing dog! And ditto on the pig reference. I hate eating pork, or more to the point, I hate that such an intelligent animal is raised for slaughter. BUT, I still eat pork (it'd be hard to give up bacon) justifying myself by the logic that the pig's dead anyway, might as well eat it. And that's one sorry excuse, I admit. I promise I'll try to do better, my enlightened friends.

  I'm totally with you on every point, but what I had in mind, if I had been more explicit respecting the conjecture that the cat would freak out, is SELF-consciousness; i.e. memories and a history, together with plans and doubts for the future. I'm wondering just how this 'leash' on our psyche (this feedback that tries to tell us Right from Wrong, what should or shouldn't be, what is bad, good, better or best) is adaptive to survival of the genes - of what evolutionary benefit is it? From a purely materialist standpoint it's hard to account for - presents a very real conundrum that I don't believe a materialist, which is Science, can sort out.

  Animals are smart. Does anybody doubt that? but their brains are hardwired. Like a toggle switch, they either do or don't, a decision which is most often conditioned by fear, hunger or the drive to reproduce; all having definite survival value. Higher animals are innately intelligent, but then we humans can't help but flatter their intelligence by projecting human thoughts and emotions onto their much simpler animal behaviors.

  Why do our brains (and ours alone) have large frontal lobes that presumably act in an 'executive' role, moderating our behavior? I think it must be accepted [i]a priori[i] that evolution selected for this attribute - self-consciousness, BUT exactly the role it plays in the propagation of the genes I'm not sure.

  Evolution is blind and dumb. It simply sorts out the winners from the losers by simple terms of survival. What does evolution care of cites, cars and rockets that probe the solar system? It is difficult for me to imagine a scenario relating to ancestral humans (hominids) where say, one tribe had developed what we might call a superego (self-consciousness and conscience perhaps represented by large frontal lobes) and another nearby tribe did not, and by virtue of that DIFFERENCE was at a disadvantage in terms of its ability to survive and disappeared from the face of the Earth.

  We know modern Homo Sapiens encountered Neanderthals in Europe and the latter lost in its bid for survival. (Actually there was likely some interbreeding, so in terms of survival of the genes, Neanderthal is still with us). We are likely to say Neanderthals weren’t so intelligent as Homo Sapiens and that’s why they didn’t survive. Maybe they didn’t have such great tools and weapons as there cousin species. But imagine this; what if Neanderthals simply weren’t as aggressive as their rivals and by virtue of THAT characteristic were simply wholesale slaughtered by Homo Sapiens.

  Is aggression another feature of a bigger brain that separates Man from Beast? Funny, but for all that frontal lobe supposedly mitigating behavior, Man is by far the most aggressive animal on the planet! Wow. I may have stumbled onto the answer; evolution of the brain selected for aggression.

Well, now that little insight rather puts the shoe on the other foot. This may be an ugly truth.

    I can’t see an end really to this line of thought, it’s such an enormous subject. Id like to return to the proposition of the cat and self-consciousness and conscience, but, later.

Again, Thanks for your input!


Ref: “Nature” 1Sept2011; “Taking Aim at Free Will” p23
[I]Aping Mankind Raymond Tallis 2011
Updated Yesterday at 06:21 PM by eyeoneblack (http://www.astraldynamics.com.au/member.php?1878-eyeoneblack)
Beek, would you mind if I copied your PM to me concerning ‘aggression’?

17th September 2011, 01:51 AM
You may find these interesting:

But the article that I was really looking for (which I read in a 'book' book, and not in the net) years ago, was a study in which they found that mothers who felt love for their unborn babies, who held them a lot as newborns had bigger frontal and prefrontal lobes than babies who were not held or wanted, and that there is a relationship between being held as a newborn and infant and cognitive function.
It makes sense in terms of evolution- a wanted baby has better chances of surviving to adulthood, so it somewhat makes sense that resources are then utilized and is able to develop 'intelligence'. But I don't know what any of it has to do with consciousness or the observer. It indeed is a big subject.


17th September 2011, 02:17 AM
A massive subject but I've read similar, CF.

Beek, would you mind if I copied your PM to me concerning ‘aggression’?

If you think it adds anything to the discussion.