... From: Mark Peaty To: MindBrain@yahoogroups.com Sent: Friday, April 01, 2005 11:18 PM Subject: [Mind and Brain] Naive realism - truth in illusion? or inApr 7, 2005 1 of 1View Source
----- Original Message -----
From: Mark Peaty
Sent: Friday, April 01, 2005 11:18 PM
Subject: [Mind and Brain] Naive realism - truth in illusion? or in truth - an illusion!
"For years now I have accepted that the best explanation of me being aware of being here now is that my brain creates within itself a model of self in the world and, while I am awake, it keeps updating this model. Consciousness as such is what it is like to be the updating of this model of self in the world, no more and no less."______________________________
�Bravo! yes! Yes, the brain processes represent a constant updating of the brain's existing in a conscious state - but there is no separate *consciousness* which *belongs* to the brain, no medievalistic *soul* or *mind* or *spirit* or *consciousness * that goes bump in the night and plays musical chairs with poltergeists and visiting pixies and hobo gnomes.
A Radical Critique of Cognitive and Neuropsychological Approaches to the Study of Human Consciousness:
A Mystical Psychology and Science Perspective
By Christopher P. Holmes, Ph.D. (Psych)
Zero Point Institute,Ontario, Canada
These two opening remarks on consciousness from the forum represent a completely erroneous understanding from my perspective, as a clinical psychologist, scientist and mystic.
�I think, therefore I am,� Descartes� declaration epitomizes the dualistic errors of contemporary thought. Modern psychology became �the science of behaviour and mind,� and dismissed the idea that human beings had a heart and soul, or spirit, or any �immaterial mind� to connect to the material body�another simplistic dualistic formulation of �the ghost in the machine.�
Modern psychology has given the �I think� of Descartes, primacy over the �I AM,� the deeper awareness of Being. And now, the scientists think that the brain in the head produces the only level of mind, and creates consciousness somehow, undefined, hrough neurological processes. You even imagine that consciousness is due to the brain creating �a model of itself,� as you go about minding your day.
The consciousness of Being, the I Am, is more primary than the thinking and cognitive processes, and �consciousness� is not a product of mental activity, or of the brain. An infant is �conscious of Being� long before he is able to mentally construe himself in language and thought, and go around minding your own business. This is what the head centred scientists do not seem to realize. Of course, they would dismiss any concept of consciousness as related to the Heart and blood as simply poetry or music, or religious superstition, but this in fact is the idea at the heart of mystical teachings.
Modern science considers that the brain/mind produces consciousness-even though no-one can explain what consciousness is, where it �seat� might be, if it has one, or many, or how it could be produced by its �neural correlates.� Modern consciousness studies are in such a quagmire, a virtual tower of Babel. Consciousness is not simply a cognitive process, but a �deeper awareness of being�- which we are trying to understand.
Your views of the brain as creating a model of itself and that this somehow is consciousness, are representative of 50 years of cognitive approaches to consciousness studies. Before that, there was a complete neglect of consciousness studies for 50 years-under the behavioural influence, when Watson could not see a soul in a test tube. All of this has also been due also to the acceptance of superficial Darwinian ideas about 'evolution' by random material processes, and the dismissal of the possibilities of a human soul and spirit-whatever these might be.
Nowadays, as I�ve said before, anyone can write a book on the nature of the human mind and consciousness and simply illustrate it with a picture of the brain, and everyone claps, and declares that this is �real science,� like Carl Sagan celebrating the romances of science and Broca�s Brain, and declaring that there is not �one iota� of evidence for any immaterial mind, or consciousness, spirit or soul. John Horgan writes a book on �Rational Mysticism,� and he illustrates it with a picture showing blood patterns in the brain. He doesn�t consider that �mysticism� could have anything to do with the Heart and blood, or a study of physics and metaphysics. People have become so conditioned in psychology today to accept on faith, or blind authority, this dogma of �the head doctrine,� that the brain produces consciousness by material/energetic processes
Until psychology was defined as ��the science of behaviour and mind,� as it is in contemporary times, its ancient meaning was the �science of the soul.� The issue of �the soul� is in modern times also the issue of consciousness, although they are different, and the nature of the heart. It is only western thinkers who have followed Descartes who thought that any �immaterial soul� would have to be connected to the body in the head, and relating it to the pineal gland, a singular gland roughly in the centre of the brain. In contrast, all esoteric psychologies elaborate the relationship of the �soul� and �consciousness� principles, and �I,� to the Heart--the I am of Descartes� intellectual formula.
Mystical psychologies maintain that humans can experience varied levels of the awakening of consciousness, inner quantum shifts, through Self Realization, and then further levels of conscious development- varied samadhis, experiences of unity with the cosmos, spiritual and divine consciousness. Mystical psychologies regard consciousness emerging from within the deep substrates of Being, and it is certainly not a fortuitous byproduct of matter/energy processes of the brain.
Why do we think that contemporary thinkers on consciousness necessarily know so much more about the inner nature of human consciousness, than do all the saints, swamis, yogis, Sufis masters, mystics of the esoteric psychologies of humankind, who have been described as the daring inner explores of such realms? What do the head doctrine theorists think about what the Dalai Lama says about the origins of human consciousness-as related to the �indestructible drop� within the heart-a minute Space Particle, illumined by the Mind of Clear Light? Do they know, or even consider such a view, even possessing such fine cortex as they celebrate? What do you think of what the Dalai Lama says, compared to your generating consciousness out of your mind and brain, and while you think about yourself constructing your world. I�ll tell you something of this.
�Consciousness' has to be distinguished from the cognitive processes involved in your 'minding' of the world, Yogis call these the 'monkeys of the mind,' described as an obstacle to Self realization and the further awakening of higher consciousness. Of course, all the thinking does increase the blood flow to the brain, and consciousness to become more 'intellectually centred,� while reducing the blood flow to your feet, which go cold, and of which you are then unconscious.
The central fallacy of the head doctrine, as I call it to contrast it with the heart doctrine of all the esoteric teachings of psychology, seems quite self evident in self study, guided by discerned analysis and self awareness. Do you really feel in yourself that your consciousness is only up in your head? To me it now all sounds so strange and silly. And yes, I do know about the sensory motor strip, and other facts of science, which are misinterpreted in their roles.
Scientists and philosophers, from my perspective as a mystic and scientist, confuse the 'psychological functions' of thinking, feeling and sensation, with 'consciousness.' This is one of the fundamental mistakes in modern so-called scientific consciousness studies, and it goes back to William James, who identified the "stream of consciousness" with the "stream of thought.�
The human experience is that consciousness is not confined to the head. Hardly anyone ever points to their heads to localize the �I,� although the idea of the cognitive theorists is that particular areas of the cortex are the key to the self-experience. Neurological processes in the brain do provide elements on the �object side� of consciousness, as when I am conscious of this, or that, or of doing some mental manipulation. However, the subject side of consciousness is completely misunderstood and ill-conceived, and then simply equated with the objects or �contents� of consciousness, and overlooked and neglected the �hard problem of consciousness.� This all goes back to William James, who distinguished the �I� and the �me,� but he also took his �me� as his �I� and failed to conceive how the I could be of a different order or substance than all his thoughts, feelings and sensation taken together as the �stream of consciousness.�
Further, western psychologists do not think that �consciousness� could be �substantive� or anything in itself, which could exist separately from the material body. In this view, as scientist Asimov declares, when molecular arrangements of the material body disintegrate at death, �I will cease to be.� This is the assumption and superstition of materialist psychology, which is completely unfounded upon any true understanding of consciousness, or understanding of other contemporary physics and scientific investigation, and in spite of the massive scientific evidence for all kinds of other psychic and para-normal phenomenon, which are inexplicable in terms of the existent framework of understanding, or rather, I would say the framework of misunderstanding. Modern psychology and consciousness studies are certainly a virtual Tower of Babel, as Gurdjieff might say.
If we consider consciousness as related to blood flow, illuminating different energetic/material processes of the neurons, then this provides a interesting view on how to approach what Chalmer�s calls the hard problems of consciousness-the subject side, and a way of approaching the �hologram� of the whole human being!
Modern psychology has no conception of the deep origins of human consciousness from within the grounds of being, and yet such an astonishing idea is actually consistent with the most advanced ideas in modern physics, information and computer science, and studies of the quantum realm. It is the modern head doctrine itself that has no foundation in theoretical science, completely ignoring the study of the overall human being as a quantum system, and never considering the actual physics and metaphysics of consciousness and the heart. The heart itself is a quantum computer-in science now, it is so considered. Why would we imagine that the consciousness of a whole quantum system, would simply be localized in one part-the head. Have you never felt your pulse, or your heart beat?
Further, there is a whole other autonomic nervous system, outside of your head brain, centred in a series of major plexes within the body, which I would say is more the neurological basis for emotional experience, than limbic areas. So why cannot your famous consciousness exist in relationship to the electromagnetic processes of the solar plexus, or of the heart plexus? Why is it that only neurological activity in the brain are considered to produce consciousness, but not neurological activity elsewhere, even if you think that the neurons produce consciousness, as you do I gather. The central nervous system, the autonomic nervous system, and the electromagnetic centre of the human being-in the heart, must all be considered as to the role they play in regards to �consciousness,� and the electro-magnetics at the heart of being.
Consciousness does not consist in 'minding' self, construing your reality and such, as you imagine. In fact, such processes are regarded as obstacles to the awakening of consciousness, within all of the mystical traditions. Consciousness is light, and it functions to 'illuminate' different parts of the body, emotional centre and mind. Just as there is light in the external world, which illuminates things which it is not, so also, there are forms of 'inner light' which allows awareness of thinking, or of a full stomach, or of the feet, or of one�s heart ache. To understand such possibilities we would have to explore the complex physics and metaphysics of what is 'consciousness,� and what is light.
The fact that the body is represented on the sensory motor cortex, does not necessarily imply that our normal consciousness of these bodily area resides only up in the cortex. As different parts of the organism require energy, there is increased blood flow and consciousness to those areas. Consciousness is not simply confined to the head but flows, or circulates, potentially through the whole organism. When a person does different cognitive task, these are ensouled and enlightened through the blood, and part of the brain lights up, providing contents for conscious experience. The modern neurological correlates of consciousness do not somehow manufacture the consciousness-and there is no scientific evidence that they do. It is simply an assumption that the brain produces consciousness, but the issues of consciousness remain the central unsolved enigma at the heart of psychology and science - or should I say, at the head of modern science!
Modern scientists even focus on studying emotions in the head, as though love and compassion, hurt and despair, are all processes of the limbic system, and could not have anything to do with the heart, the central electromagnetic source of life in the body. Do you go home and tell your sweetheart that you love her or him with all of your limbic system, or midbrain processes, or with �all of your head�? She will send you to a psychiatrist. Psychology today has almost completely ignored the study of the heart, as the central computer in the human quantum system. Meanwhile, everyone is trying to find consciousness, and its neural correlates only in the head.
Most consciousness researchers approach the study of consciousness with the mind with simplistic patterns of dualistic thinking, and through the observation of external material processes, but do not explore the dynamics of consciousness through any form of inner self-study, or through any of the mystical/spiritual practices designed to illustrate the issues and illusions of consciousness and Self. Eastern and esoteric psychologies of consciousness are far ahead of modern concepts when it comes to understanding the inner dynamics of human consciousness. Further, such teachings actually allow for the application of modern theories in physics to the study of consciousness. Compared with the esoteric psychologies, I would describe the modern form and the head doctrine, as �Mickey mouse psychology.�
Your consciousness can be in your head, your heart, your hands, and elsewhere, even in your stomach, a primary centre of conscious experience in many people. Think of consciousness as being-self-awareness, circulation through the blood and possibly existing throughout the whole of your organism, and not simply confined to the brain construing yourself. What you consider to be the nature of consciousness, your thinking and minding your own business, is the exact mistake explained within the mystical and spiritual teachings of psychology, of confusing consciousness with the mind. Mystic Blavatsky writes �The mind is the great slayer of the real.�
From a mystical/spiritual perspective, human beings have a three and seven fold nature�they function primarily mentally, emotionally and physically. This actually reflects the �three modes of nature,� or the three �gunas; in Vedic teachings, wherein all manifest phenomena are described as having a triune nature as material, energetic and intelligence principles. So a human being has a head-intelligence, a heart-the energetic and emotional principle, and a body, the material nature. So also in physics, in modern times, the world is not simply thought to be composed of matter and energy, but information and quantum intelligence is regarded as latent everywhere within space.
Whereas spiritual psychologies distinguish a triune head, heart and hands, modern dualistic psychology has so far only distinguished the mind and body, or mind and brain, or consciousness and unconscious. Theorists debate endlessly in dualistic ways about the issues of consciousness, mind, self and science. Even if they conceive of a spirit or soul, they think that it is a question of an immaterial something to connect to a material something. Such a statement is so stupid really in the light of science itself! � The idea that there is nothing �immaterial�-considering the theories of physics concerning quantum fields, is pretty na�ve after the billiard ball Newtonian science, a century ago. Hello. !
One of the most persistent descriptions of consciousness within the mystical literature is that consciousness is light, some form of inner light that arises from within the depths of being. Such divine or spiritual sparks are described as �inherently self-illuminating� like the sun. Such light is physical, and has a physics and metaphysics to it, in how it manages to illuminate the worlds of the heart, and minds, even within different planes of a multidimensional universe through different subtle bodies. In mystical teachings, the light of consciousness can experience through the three vehicles of intelligence, emotions and the body, but has to be considered as �separate� from the material side of nature. Consciousness illuminates the three modes of nature, so that a human being can be conscious of their minding, or of their feelings and emotions, or of their sensations and movements. Consciousness as �light� is one way of understanding the hard questions of consciousness, the subject side. One can directly experience the light of consciousness, and this is why humanity is claimed to have had enlightened teachers, who taught the ancient wisdoms of the Heart. Consciousness has to be distinguished from the activities of the mind, and related to the deeper level of the I Am pixel, within the higher dimensions of the Heart.
To understand the nature of human consciousness, one has to approach it from a scientific, instead of pseudo-scientific way, and realize that the Human being is a quantum system as a whole, and the Heart itself is the central quantum computer, while the mind secondary. The experience of what I AM, is, as a pixel emerging out of higher dimensions through the quantum dynamics of the Heart. This inner light sources, and the influences of the jiva-atma, or individualized spirit soul, spreads out from the Heart through three channels and seven centres, such that consciousness can pervade the body, in fact seven possible bodies.
There is a whole science of consciousness and physics hidden within the ancient wisdoms if we are able to discern these.
The Scientific American features an article asking �ARE YOU A HOLOGRAM?� and they picture the universe as a holographic image around a person�s head! Perhaps the human holograph would involve the whole human being, and the heart is clearly the centre of a human being as a quantum system and quantum computer. Pearsall (1998) estimates that the electromagnetic volume of the heart is approximately 5000 times that of the brain. Of course, the Scientific American article on the Universe as a Hologram, says nothing about how the mind or consciousness might function as a hologram, or about consciousness. They do not seem even to imagine that a human being might be such a �pixel� in higher dimensions, and that their own physics and model of holography, can be applied to understanding the zero point origins of human consciousness.
Karl Pribram, a holographic head scientist, once declared �there are no laser beams in the brain,� and consciousness researchers do not think seriously about taking consciousness actually to be light, an aspect of its �substance� -as the mystics have suggested for millennium. To understand consciousness might thus have to do with understand the physics of light, and how indeed, human beings are �pixels� on a screen of higher dimensions, in a holographic universe. The modern psychology of consciousness has no solid basis in theoretical physics-while the mystical teachings offer exactly such an approach-to the physics and metaphysics of consciusness.
Compare the Dualistic Thinking of modern times, the thinking in twos, to the 1-3-7 analyses of mystical Teachings. Instead of the dualistic body and mind of modern psychology, mystical psychologies regard humans as having a 'triune nature' as embodied in all cosmic phenomena. They can function mentally, emotionally and physically-in accord with the three modes of nature-of intelligence, energy and matter. Consciousness is a fourth element, and is associated with 'light.' In mystical views, there is an inner source of light and vitality, called the spiritual soul, the I or pixel in the Hologram of the universe, and this pixel is described as "inherently self-illuminating," like the Sun. A Point source of light consciousness -- which is inherently self-illuminating, a fine pixel for life in a Universe which is a Hologram, And the One became Three and then Seven, as light is divided by a three sided prism, to produce a spectrum of 7 colors. So also, the inner light of consciousness emerges from zero point sources, and illuminates the processes which take place through seven planes of being. The Dalai Lama describes 49 planes of being, a quantized system, of 7 dimensions, each sevenfold again, created through generations of causes and effects as creation emerged out of nothingness.
When I read modern theorists discussing always the dualistic nature of reality, the body and mind, or the material self and immaterial self, or consciousness and unconsciousness, mysticism and science, I can only chuckle in light of the triune and sevenfold analysis inherent in the ancient wisdom teachings.
In mystical teachings, you exist within 49 interpenetrating planes of existence, emerging within-without from a zeropoint source out of the apparent Nothingness-or Void/Plenum. The intelligence, energies and materials of nature are created on all of these planes of being, as the mechanisms for the creation of virtual worlds surrounding a central I, the pixel of higher dimensions, the 7 dimensional God particle, described by mystic Blavatsky, the Dalai Lama, and Leon Maurer in his studies of the Secret Doctrine, and modern science.
So which view of human consciousness offers us a more possible comprehensive model of human existence in all of it�s depth. The modern scientist who says there is no evidence for any immaterial self to connect to the body and mind, or the mystics, describing the inner circulation of light through a hierarchy of broken symmetries in higher dimensional space, in a sevenfold quantized manner, spinning worlds and the webs of life creating virtual realities out of virtual particles within the quantized spaces of nothingness.
In mystical teachings, the knowledge of the whole is latent everywhere through out every point in the universe, and a human being, is capable of being illumined by such secret and sacred knowledge. Mystics declare as above, so below, and describe the individual living being as a microcosm of the macrocosm. So, just as the material universe arose from a singularity condition, so also have the mystics described the zero point origins of human consciousness-from such a void/plenum within the deep substrates of being. The Sufi saint declares: �"Know that since God created human beings and brought them out of nothingness into existence, they have not stopped being travellers."