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Saturday, August 01, 2009


Meditations on a Science of Consciousness*
Meditation I
The Starting Point for a Science of Consciousness

Crucial to the development of any legitimate “science of consciousness”—or, for that matter, any description of the modes of human consciousness which purports to be in any way “scientific”—is not only a clear understanding of the way in which the scientific method defines the “observer” —the origin of which can be found in a close reading of Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy; but, also, a serious consideration of whether both the “I” as defined by Descartes, and the “observer” as defined by the scientific method—that is, by classical physics, the Special Theory of Relativity, and quantum physics (but not, strangely enough, as implied in Wilhelm Reich’s Character Analysis); is, in fact and precisely, the purported-to-be ‘inertial frame of reference’ (The Evolution of Physics, Einstein and Infeld) for the establishing of a scientific description of the physical reality and human consciousness in the first place.
The origin of the “observer” as defined by the scientific method can be traced directly to the Cartesian “I think, therefore, I am”; which establishes the “I which thinks” as, beyond doubt, the ‘inertial frame of reference’ for the description of both human consciousness and the space-time reality. Under intense scrutiny, however, it is revealed that Descartes’ restriction of the definition of human consciousness to, exclusively, the “I which thinks” demonstrates, in fact, a severely deficient understanding of the variety and modes of human consciousness itself; the ultimate consequence of which is to introduce fatal inaccuracies into both the scientific method’s definition of the “observer” as well as science’s overall understanding of the full potential of human consciousness.
In his “First Meditation”, Descartes decides to ‘attack all of the principles upon which his former opinions were founded’ and to doubt ‘both the truth and the falsity (which, clearly, is at least the intimation of not a trivial violation of Occam's Razor) of everything that he has previously believed’, the ultimate result of which is to establish the “I which thinks” as not only the now widely-recognized fundamental unit of human consciousness; but, also, the conceptual foundation of Western philosophy and science. But to assert that the “I which thinks” is the only mode of human consciousness is, in the first place, to ignore the critically important opening paragraph of the “Second Meditation”:
“Yesterday’s Meditation has filled my mind with so many doubts that it is no longer in my power to forget them. Nor do I yet see how I will be able to resolve them; I feel as though I were suddenly thrown into deep water, being so disconcerted that I can neither plant my feet on the bottom nor swim on the surface.” (Italics added)
What must be acknowledged on the basis of these statements by Descartes, however—such an acknowledgement is, in fact, inescapable—is that, in addition to the “I which thinks”, there is also an “I” which ‘feels as though it were suddenly thrown into deep water…’ ; or, more accurately, an “I” which fears. (The fact that Descartes is able to acknowledge only that he ‘feels as though he were suddenly thrown into deep water’ is, in and of itself, an indication of at least an ‘unconscious’ denial of the reality of fear. In other words, Descartes merely acknowledges the feeling itself rather than directly naming the feeling as, specifically, fear.) And the simple fact of the matter is that the existence of the “I which feels (or fears)” is no less certain than the existence of the “I which thinks”--and, thus, Descartes could just as easily have said “I feel (or I fear), therefore, I am”--although Descartes clearly does not acknowledge the “I which feels” as being of the same ‘ontological value’ as the “I which thinks”. (In fact, thought itself is the manifestation of Descartes’ fear; or, as Krishnamurti says: “Thought is fear.”) But this is merely the beginning of the problem in Descartes’ progressively more serious limitations on the understanding of both the modes and the range of human consciousness.

While Descartes at least tacitly acknowledges the existence of the “I which feels” by stating, specifically, “I feel…”; he does not, however, acknowledge at the beginning of the “Second Meditation” (although this does occur later in the “Second Meditation”, after the establishing of thought as the foundation of the spatialized consciousness), even tacitly, the existence of an “I which doubts”. That is, instead of saying, specifically, “I doubt…” (although this is stated later), he specifically asserts that ‘his mind is filled with doubts…’ And the importance of this statement in revealing additional modes or characteristics of human consciousness beyond Descartes’ awareness cannot be over-stated.

To say that ‘my mind is filled with doubts’ is, in the first place, to postulate not only a ‘mind’ as, specifically, a spatially-localized consciousness—and this even prior to the postulation of a similarly spatialized consciousness referred to as the ‘thinker’—but, also, a ‘mindspace’ that can be ‘filled’ with doubts; thus attributing a quality of ‘thingness’ or spatiality to doubts themselves. At the same time, however, it must also be recognized that these doubts do not originate from ‘within’ that spatialized consciousness or ‘mind’; but, in some fashion, are to be understood as originating from beyond the boundary of that spatialized consciousness. And this leads to, initially, a number of further complications; but, then, a number of surprising discoveries with regards to the definition of both the “I” and the “observer”.

Although Descartes clearly does not acknowledge, much less attribute an ontological equivalence to the “I which feels” in comparison to the “I which thinks” —or else the foundational statement of Western science and philosophy would have been, pointedly, “I think and feel--or, more accurately, “I think and fear--therefore, I am”—[the absence of which, of course, has resulted in a widespread belief in physics as one of the “hard sciences”, whereas psychiatrists, on the other hand, should be ‘drummed out’ of the scientific establishment altogether (perhaps because they deal significantly and directly with the reality of fear itself)]; he also, only belatedly, acknowledges the existence of an “I which doubts”. Rather, doubts themselves are initially considered to be, in some way, not only non-spatial—inasmuch as they originate only from beyond the spatialized consciousness of the “I which thinks”; but, also, spatial—inasmuch as they are understood as ‘filling the mind’. But, just as the thought of the ‘thinker’ itself as a spatialized consciousness is held in the ‘mind’ of that ‘thinker’; so, too, Descartes’ attribution of spatiality to doubts themselves implies that, in terms of spatiality, doubts are similar to thoughts; that is, they must be held in the ‘mind’ of the ‘doubter’. In other words, Descartes’ initial avoidance of the term “I doubt” implies the existence of precisely an “I which doubts” (as he later implied) to counter-balance the “I which thinks”. And, thus, there are now three “I”s whose existence can be inferred from the Meditations on First Philosophy: An “I” which thinks, an “I” which feels (or fears), and an “I” which doubts (perhaps suggesting the underlying consciousness for the widespread belief among Christians that the Creator is a ‘Trinity’).

But, before it is concluded that the foundational concept of Western science and philosophy should then be: “I think, I feel, and I doubt, therefore, I am” (while acknowledging that the term “I feel” should be understand as, instead, “I fear” ); it is important, first, to examine not only Descartes’ understanding of doubt; but, also, how a more precise understanding of doubt demonstrates yet another mode or dimension of human consciousness beyond Descartes’ awareness.

To say that there is an “I which thinks”, an “I which feels” and an “I which doubts” is not precisely accurate inasmuch as both the “I which thinks” and the “I which feels”, in contrast to the “I which doubts”, have an independent existence. In other words, the “I” of both “I think” and “I feel” is not precisely equivalent to the “I” of “I doubt”. Rather, the “I which doubts” has merely a derivative existence dependent upon either the “I which thinks” and/or the “I which feels”. In other words, the very existence of the “I which doubts” derives from the function of doubt as an annihilator of not only thought (and feeling, although that requires a separate investigation); but a very specific thought: the thought of the “thinker”. Thus, doubt itself, as understood by Descartes, constitutes an existential threat to the “thinker” itself (and is the origin of the “malevolent demon” which Descartes imagines in his “First Meditation” as attempting to utterly deny his existence), which is the reason why, undeniably, Descartes experienced and expressed such severe psychological stress at the beginning of the “Second Meditation”. At the same time, however, doubt is not merely the annihilator of thought (and feeling); its very non-spatiality demonstrates the ultimate reality of a specifically non-spatial mode of human consciousness which, in the final analysis, requires a radical revision in the scientific method’s concept of the “observer”. (Even more of an existential threat to the “thinker”, however, is the ‘non-temporality’ of doubt. That is, whereas thoughts exist only ephemerally in time and space; doubt has a quality of the ‘eternal’, as well as a quality of death about it. In other words, the utter absence of thought has existed long before thought and will continue to exist long after the annihilation of thought.)


Summarizing the observations thus far, then, it has been observed that, in contradiction of Descartes’ exclusive focus on the “I which thinks” as the spatially-localized and fundamental unit of human consciousness; there are—contrariwise, in fact, and from a rigorously scientific perspective—three, at least initially, non-spatial modes of human consciousness: thought, feeling, and the annihilation of both thought and feeling through doubt. In other words, from a rigorously scientific perspective, there is neither a ‘thinker’, a ‘feeler’, nor a ‘doubter’. Rather, in accordance with Occam's Razor, there are only non-spatial modes of human consciousness consisting merely of thoughts, feelings (the principal feeling being fear), and ‘doubts’ (that is, while thoughts and feelings can reasonably be considered to be ‘things’ which, in some way, have ‘mass’; doubts are more similar to ‘anti-things’ not having any ‘mass’, but consisting of, in effect, the annihilation of such ‘things’ as thoughts and feelings).

But this very observation of thought, feeling, and the annihilation of thought and feeling through doubt requires, in and of itself, the existence of another mode of consciousness. And that mode of consciousness is the “observing consciousness”—a consciousness which, similar to doubt, is non-spatial and exists ‘prior’, ‘subsequent’, ‘apart from’ and completely ‘other than’ not only thought and feeling; but, also, the direct annihilation of thought and feeling through doubt. Thus, there is, in fact, neither any philosophical nor scientific support for the conclusion that human consciousness is a spatial entity. Nor, of course, is there any “observer”, but merely a mode of consciousness described as the “observing consciousness”--a mode of consciousness Revealed through the Vision of the “Son of man” and the Revelation of the “resurrection”, implied in Character Analysis, touched upon by Jungian analysts, and of which the “observer” of classical physics, the “observer” (moving at the speed of light) of the Special Theory of Relativity, and the “observer” of quantum physics, ‘entangled in the observation’ (Quantum Physics and Ordinary Language, T. Bergstein), are, in confirmation of the observations in Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, merely ‘special cases’.

Meditation II


On the Temporal Dimension of the Spatialized Consciousness

The statements of Descartes in his Meditations on First Philosophy clearly demonstrate that the “I which thinks” is a consciousness which is localized in space; that is, a spatialized consciousness typically referred to as a “self”. But, in addition, there is also a temporal dimension to that consciousness by virtue of the fact that, in actuality, it not only thinks itself into existence on the basis of reflection as a psychological reflex; it also depends upon reflection/thought for its continued existence. (As observed by Descartes in his “Second Meditation”:

Thinking is another attribute of the soul; and here I discover what properly belongs to myself. This alone is inseparable from me. I am--I exist: this is certain; but how often? As often as I think; for perhaps it would even happen, if I should wholly cease to think, that I should at the same time altogether cease to be. )

And, from these statements, it is to be understood that any purported ‘certainty’ to the existence of the spatialized consciousness is, in fact, merely ephemeral. Rather, the temporal dimension of such a spatialized consciousness is, in reality, quite short: The spatialized consciousness does not exist at all prior to reflection; it originates only with reflection; and it can be brought to an end as a result of either active doubt or, ultimately, the rapid, unexpected, traumatic, and complete annihilation of the the ability of self-reflection itself. (And, as Freud observed, the fear of death is the origin of what he referred to as the “ego”.) But there is an even more serious—in fact, a fatal—problem with the placing of spatial as well as temporal limitations on human consciousness: its flagrant contradiction of the Revelations in Genesis.


According to Genesis 1:27:


God Created man in the image of Himself, in the image of God He Created him, male and female He Created them.

And, according to the philosophers and theologians of the Middle Ages—as well as many hundreds of millions of Jews, Christians and Muslims today—the Creator mentioned in Genesis is typically referred to as a “Supreme Being”; the widely-accepted image of which is as a Consciousness which is infinite in both time and space.

Thus, for Genesis to say that “God Created man in the image of Himself” signifies that God Created man with a similar' consciousness, a consciousness unbounded in time and space; in other words, an “observing consciousness”--an “observing consciousness” which clearly, however, is not identical to the infinite Consciousness of the Creator; infinite Knowledge being a characteristic of that infinite Consciousness. Thus, the temporally- and spatially-localized consciousness described by Descartes; which, in essence, creates itself by reflecting upon itself and thinking itself into existence is, pointedly and emphatically, not the consciousness with which man was Created by God. In fact, by creating itself, the temporally- and spatially-localized consciousness is, in effect, the manifestation of the assertion that man is, in effect, equivalent to God (and, of course, that “man is higher than the Law”--from the Prophecy of August, 1979; which was sent to hundreds of media officials and thousands of religious ‘authorities’ in the United States; and to journalists and religious ‘authorities’ at, primarily, The Jerusalem Post). In other words, the loss of the non-spatial, non-temporal consciousness--and its replacement by a consciousness localized in space and time which derives from self-reflection/the thought of the ‘thinker’--is, in fact, what is typically referred to by theologians as “the Fall”. Thus, in fact, there has not occurred an ‘evolution’ in human consciousness; but, rather, a devolution of human consciousness from the non-spatial and non-temporal consciousness, with which man was Created, to the consciousness limited in time and space at the foundation of Western philosophy, science and religion.

To repeat: the self-reflecting consciousness of the “I think, therefore, I am”—the human consciousness localized in time and space, the human consciousness as described by Freud and other psychiatrists and psychologists—is not the human consciousness as it was Created by God. Rather, that consciousness was created by itself in opposition and as a reflexive response to the non-spatial, non-temporal “observing consciousness” Created by God. And, thus, all Jewish, Christian and Muslim theologians are advised to forget about any Revelations subsequent to Genesis 1:27. That is, if they contradict Genesis 1:27 by their belief in a human consciousness which is localized in time and space, all subsequent interpretations of the Revelations in the Torah, the Prophets, Daniel, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Gospels, the Nag Hammadi Codices and the Koran can only, and must necessarily be in error. (That is, more specifically, a choice must be made between human consciousness as it is defined by, pointedly, the secular humanism’ of not only Descartes; but surprisingly, and in fact, countless numbers of even Fundamentalist Jewish, Christian and Muslim theologians; and human consciousness as it is described in the Revelations received from the Creator.) In addition, however, the non-spatiality and non-temporality of the “observing consciousness” of humans is not to be considered as an infinite consciousness. Rather, the human “observing consciousness” must be differentiated from the, in fact, infinite Consciousness/Knowledge of the Creator.

Meditation III


The Modes of Human Consciousness Reconsidered

Going backwards through time, the modes of human consciousness are manifested in the three “I” countries of the Middle East: “I think” (the relevant iteration of which is Israel), “I feel” (the relevant iteration of which is Iraq), and “I doubt” (the relevant iteration of which is Iran); “I doubt” being understood, more accurately, and as described at some length in the Meditations, as “I annihilate (not by means of things’, but by means of ‘anti-things’) all thought, all sense perceptions, all biological sensations and all feelings (emotions)” (and, thus, to Western civilization, Iran is the “malevolent demon” of the “First Meditation” of Descartes).


Prior to the emergence of the “I which thinks”, the “I which feels” and the “I which doubts”, however, is a consciousness which is in the act of spatializing itself through self-reflection. And, prior to the consciousness which reflects upon itself as a spatialized consciousness is a non-spatial and non-temporal consciousness which is described as, by definition, unable to reflect upon itself because it has not yet reflected upon itself (that is, neither time nor space begins until the occurrence of this self-reflection). This is the consciousness symbolized in the Revelation of John as the “dragon”.


And prior to the non-spatialized consciousness which is unable to reflect upon itself is a non-spatialized consciousness capable of reflecting upon itself, and with the knowledge of itself as a non-spatial, non-temporal “observing consciousness” (See also, “Details of the Manifestation of the Fractal Prophecies of Daniel” in regards to the “kings of the East”), which is symbolized in Chapter 12 of the Revelation of John and Chapter 12 of Daniel with the Hebrew term “Mi cha el”—which, translated, means “Who is like God?”





Meditation IV


Revelational, Symbolic Representations of the Non-Spatial Modes of Human Consciousness

Having observed that the four fundamental modes of human consciousness—that is, thought, feeling, doubt and observation—are, in essence, non-spatial [although they can, of course, be illusionally and delusionally ‘spatialized’ on the basis of the concepts of a ‘thinker’, a ‘feeler’, a ‘doubter’ and an ‘observer’ (thus, the “observer” of classical physics, but not the “observer” of either the Special Theory of Relativity nor quantum physics)]—it then becomes instructive to note that these modes of human consciousness are, in fact, symbolically represented as, respectively, the “beast of the earth”, the “beast of the sea” (see the beginning of the “Second Meditation” of Descartes), the “dragon”, and by “Michael” as well as the “rider on the white horse” in the Revelation of John. And the first two of these modes of consciousness are also symbolized in Daniel Chapter 11 as, respectively, the “king of the South” and the “king of the North”.

At the same time, it should also be understood that the Revelations in the Revelation of John and Chapters 11 & 12 of Daniel consist, also, of fractal symbolic representations of events in the space-time reality--a conclusion which follows necessarily from the non-spatiality of human consciousness.
Meditation V
The Revelations in the Torah, the Prophets, Daniel, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Gospels, the Nag Hammadi Codices, and the Koran not only demonstrate and validate the conclusion of a rigorously scientific investigation that there is, in fact, a non-spatial, non-temporal “observing consciousness”—which, however, is not the Infinite Consciousness/Knowledge of the Creator; but, also, express certain knowledge with regards to both the Moral Truths and the Doctrinal Truths that have been Revealed through that consciousness.

Western philosophy, theology and science (physics, biology and psychology, for example), on the other hand, proceed from the assumption that human consciousness is, on the contrary, localized in both time and space; the ultimate consequence of which is the creation of a media, a political system, a legal system, an economic system, a medical system, a religious system (the ultimate consequence of Jewish, Christian and Muslim theology is a mutually-annihilating conflict between Judaeo-Christian civilization and Islamic civilization) and, not surprisingly, a military system firmly dedicated to the propagation and perpetuation of the spatialization of consciousness, duality, conflict, violence, extreme violence, and self-annihilating violence (suicide bombers and nuclear weapons, for example); the most likely consequence of which is, all things remaining the same, the utter annihilation of human civilization itself.
However, there are not only philosophical, religious, scientific and military implications of the non-spatiality of human consciousness; there are also economic implications of the destruction of the spatialized consciousness—some of which are described metaphorically in Chapter 18 of the Revelation of John, especially verses 9-24—and its replacement by the widespread awareness that human consciousness is, on the contrary, non-spatial and non-temporal.

Meditation VI**
A Brief Overview of the Modes of Human Consciousness

The Vision of the “Son of man” [received by, among others, Hagar (Genesis 16:13), Moses, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Jesus, Mary (The Gospel of Mary in the Nag Hammadi Codices)--and, interestingly enough, Mary, not the mother of Jesus, was also Hagar ‘raised from the dead’-- John and Mohammed]; and the Revelation of the “resurrection” (including the Revelation of the Memory of Creation--Genesis 2:7--and the revelation of the memories of previous lives--Isaiah 26:19, Daniel 12:2, etc.) Reveal and establish the existence of a mode of consciousness—hereinafter referred to as either the “observing consciousness” (Krishnamurti) or the consciousness of the knowledge of Truth—which is both ‘prior’ and ‘subsequent’ to, ‘apart’ from, and completely ‘other’ than the normal waking consciousness localized in space, limited in time to the biological life of a particular human organism, described by Western psychology, and originating in the Cartesian “I think, therefore I am”; or, more deeply, generally (and ‘classically’), the image or ‘geometric metaphor’ which underlies the common assumption of the existence of a “self” (which is considered to be ‘inside’ or ‘internal’) as opposed to a “not self” (which is considered to be ‘outside’ or ‘external’). [The previous sentence is best read without taking a breath.]
And the knowledge Revealed and manifested through this mode of consciousness asserts that, just as the reality of an electron is perceived/understood as either a particle or a wave; so, too, there are, generally or ‘classically’ speaking, two fundamentally different modes of human consciousness: 1) one for the perceiving/understanding of the ‘external’ reality; that is, the (primarily) linear consciousness, which is fundamentally dualistic—and whose principal focus is on the intellectual understanding of the ‘external’ space-time reality—consisting of the normal waking consciousness; and, 2) one for the perceiving/understanding of the ‘internal’ reality; which, in its extreme form, includes the (not exactly linear) chaotic consciousness described as psychosis, but which results from the rapid, traumatic, and complete collapse and annihilation of the structures (i.e., spatialization and temporalization), images, memories, thoughts and beliefs of the normal waking consciousness.
But this knowledge also asserts, upon initial examination, that there is a third mode of human consciousness—tantalizing clues to the reality of which can be found in the appreciation of nature (cats more than dogs, for example), music and art, satire, ‘archetypal dreams’ [archetypal or Jungian psychology of the ‘unconscious’ is, in fact, a branch of psychology midway between the “ego” psychology of Freud and a psychology originating in and focusing upon a description of the “observing consciousness” itself (according to Freud, there is an ‘area’ or a ‘compartment’ of human consciousness, both spatial terms, referred to as the ‘unconscious’, which is said to be “fundamentally unknowable”. In other words Freudian psychology and secular humanism in general categorically deny that there can be a time-reversal from the spatialized consciousness to the non-spatial/non-temporal consciousness with which man was Created; thus, inserting a “malignant demon” with “the flame of a flashing sword to guard the way to the tree of life”--see Genesis 3:24)], and even the ‘thought experiment’ at the foundation of the Special Theory of Relativity. And this mode of consciousness is an “observing consciousness” which is ‘prior’, ‘subsequent’, ‘apart’ from and completely ‘other’ than both of these common perceptual modes of human consciousness. And an important perception and understanding of this mode of consciousness is of the very origin of both the structures, images, memories, thoughts and beliefs of the linear, waking consciousness directed toward the ‘external’ space-time reality, as well as the images of the ‘non-linear’ consciousness described as psychosis—and whose existence is often not intuited, if at all, until only after the rapid, traumatic and complete collapse of the structures and the annihilation of the normal waking consciousness itself. (That is, more specifically, neither the normal waking consciousness directed toward the ‘external’ space-time reality—in other words, human consciousness as generally described and accepted as a scientific theory by Western psychology—nor the ‘non-linear’ consciousness described by Western psychology as psychosis and directed toward the ‘internal’ reality constitutes the end point of what is generally referred to as the ‘evolution’ of human consciousness.)
And, while the emergence of the ‘linear’, normal waking consciousness out of the ‘non-linear’ consciousness directed toward the ‘internal’ reality (as described by Western psychologists since Freud, for example) is crucial for the establishing of both an initial and ordered relationship between the individual and the space-time reality, as well as a rudimentary social organization beginning with the relationship between the child and its parents; the persistence of the image and the insistence upon the thought that the normal waking consciousness as described by the scientific method is, in absolute fact, the end point in the ‘evolution’ of human consciousness—that is, will forever be capable of not only determining with absolute certainty both all scientific truth and all Revealed Truth; but, also, differentiating with absolute certainty truth and Truth from falsehood and Falsehood—constitutes, ultimately, a lethal threat to the very survival of human civilization itself.
On the contrary, it is only with the emergence and widespread realization of the existence of the reality of an “observing consciousness”—as well as an acceptance of the Knowledge Revealed through that consciousness, and as manifested in, for example, the Torah, the Prophets, Daniel, the Gospels, the Revelation of John and the Koran—(which emerges, most often, against the background of the annihilation of the normal waking consciousness itself) that the full potential of human consciousness can be realized and there can be any serious hope at all for the future of human civilization.


*
-->This is a clarified and expanded version of an essay which was originally published in my book:
http://www2.xlibris.com/bookstore/bookdisplay.aspx?bookid=39997

**In the original version, this was Meditation I.

Michael

A previous version of this essay was published on this blog on November 1, 2008.