Biocentrism: Theory of universe centered on consciousness

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Re: Biocentrism: Theory of universe centered on consciousnes

Postby ashley72 » Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:03 pm

Critiques of Jaynes's theory, if they are to be taken seriously, should at least attempt to offer more compelling explanations for each the following phenomena:

1. The Saliency and "Normalcy" of Visions in Ancient Times. Why have hallucinations of gods in the ancient world been noted with such frequency? Based on mainstream psychology's understanding of hallucinations, hallucinations should have been very rare and only noted in individuals identified as mentally ill. Yet much of the action in the Iliad is prompted by what seems to be auditory and visual hallucinations of gods. The notion that the gods were simply a literary device seems highly unlikely in light of the fact that evidence for similar hallucinations (hearing the voices of gods or other entities) can also be found in the Greek Epic Cycle, the writings of Herodotus and Hesiod, Plato's descriptions of Socrates, the books of Old Testament, and early texts from Egypt and Mesopotamia (e.g. personal gods). Critics of Jaynes's theory fail to offer an explanation for the important role of hallucinations in the ancient world.

Image
King Ur-Nammu making an offering to the moon god Nannar.

2. The Frequency of "Hearing Voices" Today. Why do auditory hallucinations occur more frequently in the general population than was previously known? If hallucinations are simply a symptom of a dysfunctional brain, they should be relatively rare. Instead, they have been found in normal (non-clinical) populations worldwide. This would seem to indicate a genetic, previously functional basis, as indicated by Jaynes's theory. Critics of Jaynes's theory have offered no alternate explanations for these findings.

3. Imaginary Companions in Children. Why do between one-quarter and one-third of modern children "hear voices," called imaginary companions? Further, researchers have identified a "conscience-related" variety of imaginary companion concerned with issues of behavior and telling right from wrong. This is what Jaynes's theory would predict. Critics of Jaynes's theory, as well as mainstream psychology, have altogether failed to offer a persuasive explanation for this widespread phenomenon.

4. Command Hallucinations. Why do patients labeled schizophrenic, as well as other voice-hearers, frequently experience "command hallucinations" that direct behavior — as would be predicted by Jaynes's theory? If hallucinations are simply a symptom of a dysfunctional brain, one would expect they would consist of random voices, not commentary on behavior and behavioral commands. Critics of Jaynes's theory have never addressed this issue.

5. Voices and Visions in Pre-literate Societies. Why are auditory and visual hallucinations, as well as divination practices and visitation dreams, found in pre-literate societies worldwide? In the absence of Jaynes's theory, one would expect that these phenomena would be infrequent at best, if not rare. They are noted by anthropologists, but generally not explained. Critics of Jaynes's theory either do not take up this question or operate under the misconception that hallucinations and divination practices have not been found in pre-literate, pre-industrialized societies.

6. The Function of Language Areas in the Non-Dominant Hemisphere. Why is the brain organized in such a way that the language areas of the non-dominant hemisphere are the source of auditory hallucinations — unless this provided some previous functional purpose? This prediction by Jaynes (his neurological model of the bicameral mind) has now been confirmed by dozens of neuroimaging studies over the past decade. Most researchers have noted these findings, but have failed to provide a theoretical basis for why this would be the case, while others have deferred to Jaynes's theory. This issue has not been addressed by critics of Jaynes's theory.

7. The "Religious" Function of the Right Temporal Lobe. Why is right temporal lobe implicated in auditory hallucinations, intense religious sentiments, and the feeling of a sensed presence? Jaynes's bicameral mind theory is the only one that I am aware of that provides an explanation as to why this would be the case. Critics of Jaynes's theory have never mentioned this fact or provided an alternate explanation.

8. Visitation Dreams. Why do ancient and modern dreams differ so dramatically? Studies of dreams in classical antiquity show that the earliest recorded dreams were all "visitation dreams," consisting of a visitation by a god or spirit that issues a command — essentially the bicameral waking experience of hearing verbal commands only during sleep. This has also been noted in tribal societies. It is not until after consciousness develops that dreams take on the conscious narratization we are familiar with today. Thus modern dreams are consciousness operating during sleep, and the study of dreams in the ancient world add further confirmation of Jaynes's dating for the development of consciousness. These differences between ancient and modern dreams are not widely known and this issue has never been addressed by critics of Jaynes's theory.

9. The Inadequacy of Current Thinking to Account for the Origin of Religion. Why are the worship of gods and dead ancestors found in all cultures worldwide? Mainstream cultural explanations for why a belief in gods emerged would suggest that these beliefs would be far less universal. Critics of Jaynes's theory fail to address this issue, presumably deferring to mainstream explanations of the origin of religion that are both unpersuasive and fail to account for the entire range of evidence (e.g., personal gods, neurological aspects). Worse yet, some reject Jaynes's theory based on their own latent God beliefs.

10. Accounting for the Ubiquity of Divination. Similarly, why were divination practices also universal? Further, why so much importance was placed on oracles throughout cultures such as ancient Greece. Mainstream theories fail to explain the ancient obsession with the will of the gods. For example, for nearly every major decision described by Herodotus, the will of the gods is sought via the oracles. What could account for the widespread proliferation of idols if not as hallucinatory aids? Divination, oracles, and idols are simply accepted as a curiosity of the ancient world, without explanation. Critics of Jaynes's theory have failed to address this issue.


Jaynes's theory of a previous bicameral mentality accounts for all of these phenomena, and, in the complete absence of persuasive alternative explanations, appears to be the best explanation for each of them. As one professor once said to me, "There is either Jaynes's theory, or just 'weird stuff happens.'" The next time you are debating someone about Jaynes's theory, ask them to provide more persuasive alternate explanations for each of these phenomena.
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Re: Biocentrism: Theory of universe centered on consciousnes

Postby rideforever » Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:38 am

You are really into this stuff aren't you !

Frankly a theory this stupid can only exist if you ignore some basic things like the material I posted last. The whole foundation of the work is clearly ignorant of basic historical evidence.

I notice that ... you ignored it.

You see, you have a lot in common with JJ and that is why the theory resonates with you. You and he are able to both ignore straightforward evidence and not notice that you are doing it.

You just drive straight by.

Most of the threads you start are one way. You basically post your most recent theory you have discovered and all your ideas about it.

Thinking, understanding, listening ... these are of no interest to you. It is a one way broadcast.
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Re: Biocentrism: Theory of universe centered on consciousnes

Postby tod » Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:18 am

coriolis wrote:This that we are doing here is language and thought and it is the only "evidence" there is for human consciousness while at the same time being the exclusive substance of that consciousness.


Yes. "Human consciousness" is entirely defined by thought. Thought is the "exclusive substance" of that 'consciousness' (the appearance of thought appears to exclude actual consciousness). Being 'a human consciousness' is to be a thought-to-be self that is so called 'self conscious' ('conscious' as self-image in language-image-thought - ie, the appearance of thought).

What Ashley72 has pointed out is the huge "blind spot" that has been ever present in what most people would refer to as "human consciousness".


The huge blind spot is that so called "human consciousness" is entirely in mind and that what is conscious of this is not in mind.
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Re: Biocentrism: Theory of universe centered on consciousnes

Postby ashley72 » Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:01 am

rideforever wrote:Julian Jaynes bases this bicameral theory on the idea that ancient people (before about 3000 years ago) where not conscious or introspective - as we are today supposedly. For some reason he uses the Bible as a reference for ancient culture, even though many books and rememberances exist from far beyond that time.


Lets see what Julian Jaynes had to say on this matter....

Consciousness and the Voices of the Mind ~ Julian Jaynes

Consciousness is not a simple matter and it should not be spoken of as if it were. Nor have I mentioned the different modes of narratization in consciousness such as verbal, perceptual, bodily, or musical, all of which seem quite distinct with properties of their own. But it is enough, I think, to allow us to go back to the evolutionary problem as I stated it in the beginning and which has caused so much trouble in biology, psychology, and philosophy. When did all this ‘inner’ world begin? Here we arrive at the most important watershed in our discussion. Saying that consciousness is developed out of language means that everybody from Darwin on, including myself in earlier years, was wrong in trying to trace out the origin of consciousness biologically or neurophysiologically. It means we have to look at human history after language has evolved and ask when in history did an analog ‘I’ narratizing in a mind-space begin. When did language evolve? Elsewhere (Jaynes, 1976a) I have outlined ideas of how language could have evolved from call modification, which has been called the ‘Wahee, Wahoo model’ and is at present in competition with several others (Maxwell, 1984). But such theorizing points to the late Pleistocene or Neanderthal era on several grounds: (1) such a period coincides with an evolutionary pressure over the last glacial period for verbal communication in the hunting of large animals; (2) it coincides with the astonishing development of the particular areas of the brain involved in language; and (3), what is unique in this theory, it corresponds to the archeological record of an explosion of tool artifacts, for we know that language is not just communication, but also acts like an organ of perception, directing attention and holding attention on a particular object or task, making advanced tool-making possible. This dating means that language is no older than 50,000 years, which means that consciousness developed sometime between that date and the present. It is fortunate for this problem that by 3000 B.C., human beings have learned the remarkable ability of writing. It is therefore obvious that our first step should be to look at the early writings of mankind to see if there is evidence of an analog ‘I’ narratizing in a mind-space. The first writing is in hieroglyphics and cuneiform, both very difficult to translate, especially when they refer to anything psychological. And therefore we should go to a language with which we have some continuity, and that is of course Greek. The earliest Greek text of sufficient size to test our question is the Iliad. Are the characters in the Iliad narratizing with an analog ‘I’ in a mind-space and making decisions in this way?

First, let me make a few generalizations about the Iliad. To me and to roughly half of classicists, it is oral poetry, originally spoken and composed at the same time by a long succession of aoidoi or bards. As such, it contains many incongruities. Even after it was written down in about 800 B.C., perhaps by someone named Homer, it had many interpolations added to it even centuries later. So there are many exceptions to what I am about to say, such as the long speech of Nestor in Book XI for example, or the rhetorical reply of Achilles to Odysseus in Book IX. But if you take the generally accepted oldest parts of the Iliad and ask, “Is there evidence of consciousness?” the answer, I think, is no. People are not sitting down and making decisions. No one is. No one is introspecting. No one is even reminiscing. It is a very different kind of world. Then, who makes the decisions? Whenever a significant choice is to be made, a voice comes in telling people what to do. These voices are always and immediately obeyed. These voices are called gods. To me this is the origin of gods.


Image

rideforever wrote:If we do even something rudimentary such as look at the oldest known text according to Wikipedia we find the following text from "The instructions of Shuruppag", a text now 4500 years old -before Jaynes watershed, wish includes the following :


Julian Jaynes wasn't just looking for the oldest text in human civilisation. He was looking for early texts which might be easily deciphered, so he could determine whether they showed a shift from Bicameral Mind => Conscious Mind. The Greeks around the time the Iliad was written was one such text that fit the criteria he was looking for - Bicameral Mind. There may well have been other texts from eastern civilisations which also recorded shifts at early time periods. BTW, this part of the theory is only pinpointing the approximate date of the origin of consciousness, and has no impact on how consciousness evolved from language and metaphor. The origin of human consciousness may well have occurred at different time periods... due to the varying ecology of languages.
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Re: Biocentrism: Theory of universe centered on consciousnes

Postby ashley72 » Fri Nov 23, 2012 7:12 am

riderforever wrote:If we do even something rudimentary such as look at the oldest known text according to Wikipedia we find the following text from "The instructions of Shuruppag", a text now 4500 years old -before Jaynes watershed, wish includes the following :


When you do something rudimentary... you can get a very immature & undeveloped picture. :wink:

Julian Jaynes felt that Cuneiform script, one of the earliest known forms of written expression, was too difficult to translate in respect to testing his hypothesis regarding the Bicameral mind. Since the Sumerian language has only been widely known and studied by scholars for approximately a century, changes in the accepted reading of Sumerian names have occurred from time to time. Because of the script's polyvalence, transliteration requires certain choices of the transliterating scholar, who must decide in the case of each signal which of its several pose-able meanings is intended in the original thing.

MS in Neo Sumerian on clay, Babylonia, ca. 1900-1700 BC, 1 tablet, 12,3x6,5x3,0 cm, single column, 45 lines in cuneiform script.

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Re: Biocentrism: Theory of universe centered on consciousnes

Postby rideforever » Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:33 am

ashley72 wrote:he could determine whether they showed a shift from Bicameral Mind => Conscious Mind. The Greeks around the time the Iliad was written was one such text that fit the criteria he was looking for - Bicameral Mind. There may well have been other texts from eastern civilisations which also recorded shifts at early time periods. BTW, this part of the theory is only pinpointing the approximate date of the origin of consciousness, and has no impact on how consciousness evolved from language and metaphor. The origin of human consciousness may well have occurred at different time periods... due to the varying ecology of languages.


The oldest text we have clearly shows introspection, meaning that humans seem always to have been introspective according to the evidence. So the theory is not supported there. There is no date at which point you can say humans have become introspective, they seem always to have been.

Secondly he says that currently man is conscious, and offers no support for this. It is accepted without investigation.

Ashley - are you conscious now ? Or is all this activity just the automatic functioning according to your education ?

It is a strange thing when people try to understand what is happening inside them, by looking in a book.
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Re: Biocentrism: Theory of universe centered on consciousnes

Postby coriolis » Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:35 pm

rideforever wrote:It's interesting that you hold "language" and "thought" to be evidence of your consciousness ... have you not experienced yourself outside of language and thought ? Have you explored yourself ?


There is no self outside of language and thought -- language and thought are what define self and other.
The argument is, of necessity, tautological.

rideforever wrote:Most spiritual paths suggest the dropping of language and thought to connect with the inner primordial state, which is unblemished. Meditation is normally conducted in silence with the body still for this very reason. Mouna is a yogic period of silence in order that you can discover what is inside you.


Whether Ramana, Nisgardatta, Tolle, or any others are doing it, when one strays into language and thought to express what is beyond language and thought one has moved further away from, not nearer to, the "truth of the matter".

rideforever wrote:What you are talking about is simply identification with the body and society. You take language and thought to be you - to be your existence - and so give them this high respect, you think this is your consciousness.

The "blind spot" you talk of is very interesting because it shows that you have not connected with the source. You say that there is no existence outside of language/thought. And that is correct, unless you have discovered Shunya / the Present Moment / I Am ... and abided in it until such time as it becomes permanent. This is the purpose of the spiritual search. After that point you are always "alive" and "present".


You're still not grasping the fact that you are swimming in a sea of mind whenever you think, speak, or write and anything occurring in that context is "of that context".
Look deeply inside yourself and try to find yourself.
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Re: Biocentrism: Theory of universe centered on consciousnes

Postby ashley72 » Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:59 pm

coriolis wrote:You're still not grasping the fact that you are swimming in a sea of mind whenever you think, speak, or write and anything occurring in that context is "of that context".


He's also not grasping the absurdity of relegating the scientific discipline in one hand, whilst unashamedly trying to rely on it in the other. :lol:
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Re: Biocentrism: Theory of universe centered on consciousnes

Postby rideforever » Fri Nov 23, 2012 5:56 pm

coriolis wrote:There is no self outside of language and thought -- language and thought are what define self and other.
The argument is, of necessity, tautological.

This is not my experience. I do experience myself as being outside of these things, and this has been developed through yoga and meditation. This is the same experience as those mystics you mentioned, I can attest to it.

coriolis wrote:Whether Ramana, Nisgardatta, Tolle, or any others are doing it, when one strays into language and thought to express what is beyond language and thought one has moved further away from, not nearer to, the "truth of the matter".

Well, we are just using what is at hand. I am not "straying", just using these tools. Was the Buddha straying when he explained the Dharma ? No he was just using what was at hand. What problem do you find with it ?

coriolis wrote:You're still not grasping the fact that you are swimming in a sea of mind whenever you think, speak, or write and anything occurring in that context is "of that context".

If you are saying that you can't be sincere when using language ... then why are you using language ?

I don't have a problem using language to express what is beyond language. Why would I ?
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Re: Biocentrism: Theory of universe centered on consciousnes

Postby Sighclone » Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:45 am

My well-thumbed first edition, eighth printing of TOOCITBOTBM reminds me that Jaynes' arguments concern the appearance of, then the presence of self-awareness as fundamental to consciousness. First there were aural gods, now there is the right brain, to grotesquely over-simplify.

What is more interesting to me is the relationship between awareness and materialism. Which is to ask, in a Berkelyan kind of question: Since we appear to alter matter by looking at it (viz. via complementarity / Copenhagen Interpretation), does awareness precede everything, especially including brain tissue?

Gary Weber's endlessly interesting blog includes a brief discussion of this here:

http://happinessbeyondthought.blogspot. ... e-god.html

In that post is a link to an equally interesting interview with Fred Alan Wolf by Deepak Chopra. It is 21 pages long, and the URL below might get you past all the Google checkpoints to read it.

https://docs.google.com/viewer?srcid=0B ... &a=v&pli=1

But we are kind of stuck here in our human consciousness, chock full of self-referential thinking. Like Dumbledore says to Harry Potter in the purgatory scene in the final movie: "just because it's in your head doesn't mean it is not real...."

If the lepton or quark is aware, how the hell could I know that, since one of its properties, like maybe spin, has to change when I turn on my microscope?

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There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce
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Re: Biocentrism: Theory of universe centered on consciousnes

Postby SandyJoy » Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:00 am

It's really rather obvious. Awareness is Changeless and matter changes. So Awareness comes first and matter exists within Awareness. Matter is powerless and Awareness is Absolute. Evil Despots can bomb the hell out of every city in the land, but Awareness remains Unchanged.

I can think good thoughts or bad ones and Awareness is not altered one iota.

Seeing the Truth is a little like the image of the old lady and when you shift your perspective a little you see a lovely young woman.

At this point I see Awareness as My Identity and This Awareness is the Unbound Changeless Light that abides Here and Now Always as the Self I Am.

No matter how much I rearrange the world, Awareness is not changed. Awareness is obviously Absolute and matter is obviously not. It's really very clear and easy to see.

At this point, I can't see it any other way now, it's just to plain and simple and easy to see.

It just takes a little thought on the subject; Let's say I could time travel and I went back or forward in time. Awareness would not go back in time, It would be the Same Awareness Here or 'there'. Awareness is timeless and contains all time. Time-matter-space are subservient to Awareness. So, clearly Awareness comes First and all thought and things are within It.

Ok, that is just a short take on it, but I think you see what I am saying. It is impossible for Awareness to be inside matter because Awareness is Changeless and Absolute, Immutable, Pristine, Omniscient, and Omnipresent. Matter is not. Matter is subject and powerless to Awareness.

I love that matter is powerless because the Self I Am is Awareness and therefore I am not controlled by things, events, circumstances, time.

Ain't it great, I am in Love with Life and It is In Love with Me. My Identity and Yours is this One Big Infinite Awareness that belongs to God, One Mind, Single and Only. Happy Easter!! Rise Up in the Light of Christ Consciousness, Your Eternal Identity.
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Re: Biocentrism: Theory of universe centered on consciousnes

Postby SandyJoy » Sun Mar 24, 2013 6:43 pm

Here is the Beautiful thing; no matter how much we think we are not 'enlightened' or no matter how much we think we have to "wake up", all that thinking and all that desire to know and all that need to find peace and healing and help, all that is happening because YOU Are Aware, because You are Here. Because You are the Flawless Perfect Light of Awareness Right Now.

The Beauty, the incredible Love is that You can not think or know or wish or want anywhere else but Here and Now as God's Divine Awareness.

Here and Now are synonyms for Awareness, they are all the Same thing. You cannot escape the Fact that Awareness Is a Perfection that was and Is "before" the world was" We awaken to this Fact and See that Awareness Includes all things and all thoughts, but You and I, our Identity is Not the form or the tangible 'things' --- We are the Light (another word for Awareness, Consciousness) we are the Light that is Being All That Is. Light, like when we say the "the light went on" and I understood. Understanding, Knowing, Light are the same words for Consciousness and Consciousness is the same word for Presence and Presence is the same word for Life and You cannot deny that you are Living.

Jesus said "I and the Father are one. He said "if you see me you see the Father" "Me" is Awareness. Awareness is Our Identity, Unbound and Untouched by the that which is within It. Jesus said " I am in the Father and the Father is in me" A Pure statement of Truth that God and God's Awareness is All That Is and All That I Am

"I am the Way, the Truth and the Life" and "No one comes to the Father except through me" Again, Who is the "me"? "me" is not the body, It is the Identity which is Awareness, Infinite Light Itself. Awareness is Our "Me" and Awareness, Consciousness belongs to God Alone. Identity, Life, Light, Being, Awareness is Who and What You Are. What is the Father? It is God The Absolute Ineffable Isness That Is without beginning.

God's Awareness includes Its Self Knowing of All that Is and all that is not and God Knows the difference. God is the Mind that creates all that we call matter, But matter is really Light, It is thought appearing solid. The tangible world of time and change is the Light of Divine Mind appearing Here within God's Awareness.

Mind, Awareness is not residing inside the form, all form is within the Mind of Godhead All. The Absolute (God) is the Only Light of Intelligence that we SEE Here as this Present Awareness, we Are this Divine Intelligence right now, already. Awareness, Consciousness Is God's Only and It is Here, right now, It is the Awareness you are, right here , that is Aware or Conscious of reading these words. How much closer to God can you be?

Jesus, understood his Identity as Awareness, Thus saying He is the Child of God , he was the Living Christ, Christ is another word for Knowing I Am One with this Living Presence of God. Christ Consciousness is Always Who We Are, even when we do not see or know. We are Always One with God as the Awareness of God. Jesus spoke from the subjective view, having his vision clear as being one with God, understanding his Divine relationship to God.

He was saying in all ways, that You are What He Is, one in the Same One; the Living Awareness of Godhead All. It says somewhere to "Let that same Mind that was Christ Jesus Be the Mind of You."

Awareness, and You; You find God when you find you Are This Living One, This Living Presence, as your very Awareness Here and Now.


"Who by taking thought can add one inch to his stature?" Jesus asked. "Take no thought . . ." said He. Why? because 'thinking' cannot alter or change the Awareness that all this thinking is taking place within. All the thinking, good or bad, is not happening to Awareness, but is happening because we Awareness.

The burden of everything is lifted, we are free to run and skip in the Joy of Knowing Who We Are.

And in the Light of This Consciousness that Is Always and Forever the Changeless One which Clearly Is Previous to all things. Thoughts are things and things are thoughts, we let them be the expression of the Living One but do not authorize them with power that they do not have.
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Re: Biocentrism: Theory of universe centered on consciousnes

Postby Yidaki » Fri May 16, 2014 10:55 am

I find it fascinating that we (humans) are continually trying to figure out what life is really about. We may perceive this, believe that, have a theory on this, but in the end it doesn't really matter. We will never understand life's mysteries whilst we are here on Earth. Who knows though? Maybe I am wrong on that too. The only truth that has resonated with me recently is that fact that we are awareness, the one life, consciousness looking out. We can try to break this up into a billion PhDs, but I doubt that will help us understand it any deeper. That is the mystery of life.
"Wisdom comes with the ability to be still. Just look and just listen. No more is needed." ~ Eckhart Tolle
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Re: Biocentrism: Theory of universe centered on consciousnes

Postby Phil2 » Fri May 16, 2014 3:13 pm

SandyJoy wrote:It's really rather obvious. Awareness is Changeless and matter changes. So Awareness comes first and matter exists within Awareness. Matter is powerless and Awareness is Absolute. Evil Despots can bomb the hell out of every city in the land, but Awareness remains Unchanged.

I can think good thoughts or bad ones and Awareness is not altered one iota.



Well said Sandy.

Reminds me Ramana Maharshi saying (from memory, not exact quote) that the Self is like the movie screen in a theatre: the movie might project scenes of violence, wars, nuclear explosions and natural destructions ... yet at the end of the movie, the screen is unchanged, untouched by all those scenes ...

... and RM added: what you are is like this movie screen, but you are also the audience (the observer), the light, the projector and the operator ...

:-)
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