First- and second-order awareness

A place for anything that doesn't fit into the existing forums

Re: First- and second-order awareness

Postby lmp » Sat Jun 20, 2015 11:06 pm

rachMiel wrote:A question that keeps rearing its ? for me is:

What, if anything, is the "value added" (to the human experience) of second-order awareness?



First, lets say we are aware and then the second-order awareness means we can stay there, we are that awareness and we do not stray from it and so forth. I'm just trying to acknowledge that I feel I understand what you mean by 2nd order awareness, that we return, acknowledge abide as that.

And what does it add? Well if the human experience or daily life continues to often or mainly be a (I'm not sure what word to use here, I don't wisg to sound to negative) deteriorating experience then perhaps very little is added. The question is rather if our perception of life can change in such a way that life (daily life, the human experience) takes on the qualities of awareness.
lmp
 
Posts: 194
Joined: Tue May 29, 2012 7:23 pm

Re: First- and second-order awareness

Postby ashley72 » Sat Jun 20, 2015 11:45 pm

Perception is a hell of lot more complicated than two orders of awareness....

For starters we have all these broad concepts: senses, attention, awareness, perception, consciousness, meaning, experience & pattern recognition which all overlap in many ways....and for sure I've left out heaps of sub-concepts.

When you start to break all these concepts & sub-concepts down & fit them into a cohesive scientific theory you realize fairly quickly that most If not nearly all but a couple are redundant.

My guess is "meaning" will probably play more of a pivotal role than consciousness in the future... in understanding how we experience the richness of the human senses.

You here a lot of people say... What does it mean to experience "blue" or the wind blowing against your "hair". Visual scenes are all categories which can be broken down right to the assembly of nerve endings in the rod & cone photoreceptors comprising of the visual system in the human eye.

In the end, all roads lead back to "bunch of nerve-endings."

Awareness is unification of all these nerve-endings.

One might then ask... how does a system that comprises of billions of nerve endings have agency or free-will & hopes & desires.

The most plausible theory to date is Douglas Hofstadter... who believes that layers of categories (concepts) build up until the highest level starts twisting back on the lowest level, whereby a strange loop of self reference forms.... which gives the illusion of free will or agency to a bunch of nerve-endings.

Now if you already believe like me that discrete particles don't actually exist, & physical reality is merely made of standing waves (particle-like wave forms)... It's a bit easier to imagine how a strange loop might exist in a very large complicated system of oscillating waves. Because if it's unified it's not so much a loop but a unified marriage of oscillations which brings about free-will for those system of oscillations which are unified.

Note: Most people who don't study Physics or Chemistry realize that every single physical material element in existence is derived from the fusion of hydrogen under extreme heat & pressure. Furthermore, the hydrogen's commonly found isotope protium is the simplest element comprising of just one electron (standing oscillating wave) & one positron (most likely another electron oscillating out of phase). So all material things are comprised totally of oscillating standing wave density.

Now you may have heard of the Tao Te Ching.... which has as its symbol the famous yin-yang... Positive /negative Electron / Positron or black/ white. Up / Down. Self / no self

The truth is not always beautiful, nor beautiful words the truth. Tao Te Ching
User avatar
ashley72
 
Posts: 2533
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:24 am

Re: First- and second-order awareness

Postby rachMiel » Sun Jun 21, 2015 12:39 am

Enlightened2B wrote:'I AM......THAT'. (Nisargadatta didn't like the name of his book and wanted to change it to simply 'I AM' which likely would have made more sense)

I didn't know that, thanks for sharing. "I am" works better for me. It's hard not to equate (consciously or unconsciously) "I am that" with a subject/object division ... and this is clearly NOT what Nisargadatta meant.

My difficulty with "I am" goes deeper, because the "I" throws me for a loop. It does not compute in the context of exploring the ultimate nature of existence! I realize that Nisargadatta did not mean "I" = small self ... but it still bugs me.

What works best for me is to take the "I" and "that" away and leave simply:

am

But this probably isn't the sexiest title for a best-selling spir'tual tome. ;-)
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...
User avatar
rachMiel
 
Posts: 2420
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:46 pm
Location: Pittsford

Re: First- and second-order awareness

Postby rachMiel » Sun Jun 21, 2015 12:43 am

lmp wrote:And what does it add? Well if the human experience or daily life continues to often or mainly be a (I'm not sure what word to use here, I don't wisg to sound to negative) deteriorating experience then perhaps very little is added. The question is rather if our perception of life can change in such a way that life (daily life, the human experience) takes on the qualities of awareness.

And what does it add to our human experience if daily life takes on the qualities of awareness?
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...
User avatar
rachMiel
 
Posts: 2420
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:46 pm
Location: Pittsford

Re: First- and second-order awareness

Postby lmp » Sun Jun 21, 2015 1:16 am

In my case, let's take three examples.

Freedom in action, in the sense that where I previously found myself compelled to do certain things in a certain way to achieve a certain result, I now see that if I dont do it that way the only difference is that something else is going to happen or be the result. Life is unfolding, moving forward regardless of what I do or not.

Beauty in sense perceptions, with a certain stillness or absence of strong reactions there is, to me, a greater quality of beauty in the world. Beauty is there in the greater interest in the sensations than in the thoughts that come regarding our sensations.

Peace, in the sense of not being occupied by a lot of problems there is time of real leisure that in itself has great value. It's like if one values the last day of a working week, some relief from working, but rather it is a relief in a more general sense from having troubles.

I know you asked the question, but what would you yourself say?
lmp
 
Posts: 194
Joined: Tue May 29, 2012 7:23 pm

Re: First- and second-order awareness

Postby rachMiel » Sun Jun 21, 2015 1:58 am

Aha. To me, what you're describing is how daily life benefits from the fruits of awareness (waking up) rather than from the qualities of awareness (pure receptivity). Semantics, right? :-)

> ... what would you yourself say?

Hmm ... good question.

The first things that come to mind for the benefits of a finely honed awareness are: intelligence, sensitivity to environment (which includes other humans), ability to discern real from not-real, and to see the whole rather than fragments.

So, yes, plenty of good things come from awareness, from living consciously.

But, for me, what I've been calling second-order awareness isn't quite the right flavor of awareness to yield these benefits. Maybe I'm "doing it wrong" ... but when I practice awareness of awareness = conscious knowing of my present experience, it undermines my freedom to simply experience what I'm experiencing. It's as if someone is looking over my shoulder, monitoring me. It imposes a layer between me and the experience, divides into witness/witnessed. Does this ring a bell for you?
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...
User avatar
rachMiel
 
Posts: 2420
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:46 pm
Location: Pittsford

Re: First- and second-order awareness

Postby Baba Bozo » Sun Jun 21, 2015 2:03 am

rachMiel wrote:And what does it add to our human experience if daily life takes on the qualities of awareness


To the degree we are focused on thinking about ourselves we are adding bricks to the wall of our own little prison cell. Some of this is the inevitable price tag for being human. Some of it is necessary. But more is not automatically better.

QUESTION: Where does the problem we are trying to address arise from? Does it arise from the content of thought? Or does it arise from the nature of thought?

If we think the problem arises from the content of thought, then we will seek to replace bad ideas with good ideas. This is the ancient battle of ideology which has been underway for thousands of years. And yet, after all this time, after so much investigation by so many brilliant minds, we still haven't found the thought content which will bring peace to human beings. As example...

Tolle is a very intelligent and articulate person with some excellent thought content to share. He is acknowledged worldwide as an expert on these topics. And yet, as you guys keep ignoring, he still feels a need for money, power and fame. And because he has that need he will experience fear, and because he fears he will suffer, whatever might happen to his money, power and fame. All that great thought content, and Tolle is still human.

The reason is...

The problem we are trying to address arises not from the content of thought, but from the nature of thought. And thought is a non-negotiable necessity of human life.

The reason that endless centuries of investigation in to these topics has not delivered the peace we seek is that the illusion of separation that plagues us is built in to the fabric of what we're made of, thought.

Any idea or insight you may come up with here will be immediately infected by the inherently divisive nature of what that idea is made of. There is no clever little trick by which we can maintain "I", the person who seeks peace, and be finally forever rid of division and conflict too.

We need only read the title of Tolle's best known work, The Power Of Now. The title doesn't read "The Power Of Planning For The Future", which is what all these discussions are all about.

We can escape conflict in the now by taking a break from that which is causing the conflict, thought. That's great news!

But then we will have to return to thought to function as human beings, and when we do, the conflict will return.

Tolle tells us to accept what is.

That is what is.

We are thought.

Thought is inherently divisive.

To think, is to suffer.

We can't fix it. But we can manage it, and we can accept that managing is all we can do. Managing, traveling to the now, can be accomplished with simple mechanical exercises.

If a reader should conclude that the problem they are trying to address arises from the nature of thought itself, they may discover that all this fancy thinking then becomes unnecessary.
User avatar
Baba Bozo
 
Posts: 66
Joined: Wed May 27, 2015 12:57 am

Re: First- and second-order awareness

Postby lmp » Sun Jun 21, 2015 3:01 am

rachMiel wrote:
But, for me, what I've been calling second-order awareness isn't quite the right flavor of awareness to yield these benefits. Maybe I'm "doing it wrong" ... but when I practice awareness of awareness = conscious knowing of my present experience, it undermines my freedom to simply experience what I'm experiencing. It's as if someone is looking over my shoulder, monitoring me. It imposes a layer between me and the experience, divides into witness/witnessed. Does this ring a bell for you?


It doesn't ring a bell and I don't know what to ask in order to make it clearer.

I'm quite used to though the situation that two people don't quite know exactly what the other is trying to say. It's quite difficult to conversate in a clear fashion. One way is to start with a very small thing and build on that. 2nd order awareness is not a very small thing, easily understood in the same way.

What I think is a way of describing what I took your 2nd order awareness to mean is, for instance Rupert Spira suggests 'become interested in the experience of being aware' and if that interest does come about it becomes like a loop of sorts. If as you say there is a practice on your part (I personally think the word interest is related to practice) well it doesnt seem strange to me that what is ordinarily experienced seems to freeze a little or go out of focus or divide into witness/witnessed, since there is a slight attempt at focussing somewhat elsewhere. But I'm far from sure that I'm sharing your experience of what you are describing.
lmp
 
Posts: 194
Joined: Tue May 29, 2012 7:23 pm

Re: First- and second-order awareness

Postby tod » Sun Jun 21, 2015 3:30 am

As currently seen here:

There is actually only one awareness. (rM's) 1st order awareness is awareness in thought only, IOW not actually. All 1st order, ie human awareness, is only in thought.

The human can emerge from human consciousness (thought) (rM 1st order) into consciousness (rM 2nd order) by seeing that consciousness/experience is not actually experienced by any human. IOW nothing is ever experiencED nor experiencING; there is just experience 'moment to moment'.

The beauty of this insight is that the notion 'Tod' is becoming more indistinct, more nebulous, more 'not here', more a figment of imagination. 'He' is becoming less anxious, less worried, more open, more 'just a wisp' - nothing important. 'He' is becoming clear that he (if he is thought about) is only a thought. I (as I am) (not Tod) do not actually have experience, I am it.

The real meat of spirituality after awakening, is understanding how we can enact our free will as I AM, to consciously experience the life most aligned with our nature. I feel we all come here on a path. Once that path to awakening happens, the choices are endless potentially.


I as I am do not have anything, I am anything that is experience 'at this moment'. If I talk about experience 'at this moment' as if it is mine then I am back in thought. I am conscious experience that is life 'this moment'; this is 'my nature'; I am experience as it is. There is no other experience.

If it is thought that there is other experience, I am obviously in thought, not conscious.
tod
 
Posts: 612
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 11:25 pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: First- and second-order awareness

Postby dijmart » Sun Jun 21, 2015 4:12 am

Love your post tod! I completely agree!! I was going to say something along the lines of a shift in perspective and still feel that way, but what you said fits the bill even better. I find it difficult to put any words to it honestly.
Last edited by dijmart on Sun Jun 21, 2015 4:27 am, edited 2 times in total.
Take what you like and leave the rest.
User avatar
dijmart
 
Posts: 2078
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:35 pm

Re: First- and second-order awareness

Postby dijmart » Sun Jun 21, 2015 4:23 am

However, 1st order awareness and 2nd order shift back and forth for me depending on my attention in the moment. So, I get engrossed in thought without witness presence, but shift back to witness when the mind chatter stops or slows down. Actually, the witnessing is always there it's just whether there is conscious awareness of it or not.
Take what you like and leave the rest.
User avatar
dijmart
 
Posts: 2078
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:35 pm

Re: First- and second-order awareness

Postby Enlightened2B » Sun Jun 21, 2015 6:22 am

rachMiel wrote:What works best for me is to take the "I" and "that" away and leave simply:

am


Taking the 'that' away works for me of course, which was the point of my post.

But, I can't get around the fact that.....there's an 'I' here. You can reduce it all that you'd like, there's always going to be an 'I'. That 'I AM' though ultimately, is the same 'I AM' as you, or anyone posting in this thread. It's Being itself, experiencing itself as.........

However, I have no problem with 'Amness' or 'Isness'. I've used it all interchangeably. Because, I feel Amness or Isness is no different than I AM. It's important not to get too lost in concepts I feel. The importance is understanding that we are not 'what we think we are'. The I AM that I AM, is not Mike (this mind/body). It's Isness itself. It's existence itself.

The problem I find with saying there is no Self at all (which is similar to saying there is no I AM), is that you start to delve into nihilism (not you personally, just people in general).

I've read enough reports of non physical experiences in NDE's and such that for me personally, as far as this particular subject, there's no convincing me anymore that there is a Self and possibly multiple Selves (who knows). There is an I AM. However, subject/object is an illusion. But, again I have no problem with amness or isness. It's all the same for me.
Enlightened2B
 
Posts: 1885
Joined: Wed May 15, 2013 10:51 pm
Location: New York

Re: First- and second-order awareness

Postby Enlightened2B » Sun Jun 21, 2015 7:09 am

E2B: The real meat of spirituality after awakening, is understanding how we can enact our free will as I AM, to consciously experience the life most aligned with our nature. I feel we all come here on a path. Once that path to awakening happens, the choices are endless potentially.

tod: I as I am do not have anything, I am anything that is experience 'at this moment'. If I talk about experience 'at this moment' as if it is mine then I am back in thought. I am conscious experience that is life 'this moment'; this is 'my nature'; I am experience as it is. There is no other experience.

If it is thought that there is other experience, I am obviously in thought, not conscious.


I actually don't disagree with anything you're saying here, but I'm not really sure how it relates to the part you quoted me.

I'll explain what I meant in that quote above in case anyone was confused by it.

Realizing the I AM, is Self Realization as I see it. But, in my opinion, is merely one step. Eckhart Tolle and many of the non-dual teachings don't delve any further, which is why I find them very useful, but only to a certain extent.

I can only suggest for mere consideration that there is more to possibly consider about our human experience than merely realizing that 'we are not our thoughts'. I AM realization is only useful to realize that whatever arises, is perfectly valid....because it merely JUST IS. It's a huge step for sure and for some people, it's all that is needed (and my main focus right now).

Yet, understanding how manifestation works really can and has been life changing for many other people (including myself) as well in the realization that we very much have free will and free will is and always is at play whether we believe it or not, especially with Self realization.

I, as I AM, don't have to have anything to manifest consciously or unconsciously. It happens on its own with intent and attention. Of course, there is nothing to have because whatever arises....merely is....what is. And I AM is....what is. There is nothing separate from....what is. But, that doesn't mean that we don't create our experience in any moment. Just because experience is not separate from us, does not mean we (as I AM) don't create it. That's what the human experience is about in my opinion. Self Realization first, and then creation through intent. Thought is the ultimate creator. So, manifesting consciously, provides endless options for experience.

Just my take.
Enlightened2B
 
Posts: 1885
Joined: Wed May 15, 2013 10:51 pm
Location: New York

Re: First- and second-order awareness

Postby Baba Bozo » Sun Jun 21, 2015 12:15 pm

I am a yam, I am, I am...
I am a yam this yam I am...
Yammering for yams I think I am...
But only a yam I am...
So it seems unlikely.

Image
User avatar
Baba Bozo
 
Posts: 66
Joined: Wed May 27, 2015 12:57 am

Re: First- and second-order awareness

Postby rachMiel » Sun Jun 21, 2015 1:22 pm

There once was a man who said though,
It seems that I know that I know,
What I'd like to see,
Is the I that knows me,
When I know that I know that I know.

— Alan Watts
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...
User avatar
rachMiel
 
Posts: 2420
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:46 pm
Location: Pittsford

PreviousNext

Return to General Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest