Awareness vs. Brain

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Re: Awareness vs. Brain

Postby domokato » Sat Dec 06, 2008 3:35 am

Glycine,

Why would the brain generate consciousness? What is its evolutionary purpose? Consciousness is just an observer. It doesn't do anything but watch. The brain has no reason to create "you".

Becoming present and silencing the mind allows you to know your own nature. You observe the observer and know it for what it is. Judging only creates the illusion of knowing. On the other hand, observing without judgment is true knowing. Removing everything you can remove from experience leaves only yourself behind. Then you can know yourself.

Try this: as you lay in bed tonight, before you fall asleep, observe everything. Observe your breathing, your bodily sensations, your thoughts, your senses. One after the other, recognize that each one is not you. Each one of them adds to your experience, but is not the experiencer, you, the silence. You are the observer that is observing all of these things. After recognizing those things for what they are, what is left? Nothingness. You.
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Re: Awareness vs. Brain

Postby Glycine » Sat Dec 06, 2008 3:56 am

domokato wrote:Glycine,
Why would the brain generate consciousness? What is its evolutionary purpose? Consciousness is just an observer. It doesn't do anything but watch. The brain has no reason to create "you".


Thank you, Domokato. You speak just like ET and Adya. It's wonderful. :)
My mind can generate all kinds of explanations. For example:
From an evolutionary point of view, I think that the brain generated consciousness before it generated a thinking mind. The feeling of existence, of "you", was a very important survival mechanism. I think that we as humans got so caught up in thinking that we forgot about the awareness we always had.
Nevertheless, as I mentioned in a previous post, I think it is time to reintegrate it in our daily lives, and acknowledge its simple yet miraculous "presence".
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Re: Awareness vs. Brain

Postby Sighclone » Sat Dec 06, 2008 9:24 am

OK dk: Go read Backwards. :D

WW and I have been exploring (academically) what I refer to as "the middle zones" -- the astral plane, channeling, psychic phenomena, Near-Death Experiences and Out-Of-Body-Experiences. For better or worse. It is not necessary to be enlightened to have most of these experiences/powers. The classic author of OOBEs is Robert Monroe; another credible book is "Soul Traveler" by Albert Taylor.

Both of these authors assert they have travelled many miles while "out' of the body. So let's say you leave your body and go through the walls of the house across the street. You have never been in that house. But while OOB, you notice where the rooms are, the staircases, and the carpet/wall colors. Then you go "back" into the body. And you have memories of those rooms, which can be called up from your mind. (1) What/who looked inside that house and (2) how did that information get back into your brain?

Namaste, Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce
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Re: Awareness vs. Brain

Postby Glycine » Sat Dec 06, 2008 2:44 pm

Indeed, some out-of-body experiences would be a good proof that the brain is just a sensing organ, and not the site of awareness.
I'm wondering weather Eckhart or Adya have ever mentioned out-of-body experiences. Does anyone know?
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Re: Awareness vs. Brain

Postby HermitLoon » Sat Dec 06, 2008 2:45 pm

As part of "The Great Design" the brain generates memory - in all living creatures - a useful tool for navigating the world of form - the physical world.
In humans language is learned (imposed) on memory and creates an artificial link between experience and being - THINKING - (we always think in WORDTHOUGHTS - LANGUAGE) - and a sense of "self'" - "Ego" - arises.
This entire process is what is called the mind - and when combined with instinct and emotion and the five senses it is more broadly called consciousness - all part of the "Human Experience" - the world of form.
Awareness is beyond - not linked to the world of form - to "wordthoughts" or mind or memory - or even consciousness itself - and yet pervading all experience.
The first step in "awakening" is to realize that wordthoughts are not reality or truth.
The final step is to realize - through direct experience - that awarenes is.
This is "The Peace that passeth all understanding".
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Re: Awareness vs. Brain

Postby James » Sat Dec 06, 2008 4:34 pm

To understand life begin with the source of it. All of creation is consciousness created, consciousness maintained, consciousness sustained. Matter including the brain, has no life of its own, no intelligence of its own. The brain arises out of consciousness not the other way around. So yes it seems like the brain has consciousness, and it does, as does all of the form world, yet it is not the source of it. Brain is an aspect of Mind (intelligence) but it is only a localized aspect of an infinite intelligence ("the word made flesh"). And Mind is an aspect of Consciousness.

Now If you can use the brain as an instrument to interpret the physical senses, analyze, reason remember then you must be separate from the brain/mind, correct? What is that is aware of the Mind? See if you can locate yourself in the brain or any other part of the body. What are you when the mind is still? If you could sit in a dark room with absolutely no sensory input, and the mind became still, what would remain? What would still be aware?

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Re: Awareness vs. Brain

Postby Webwanderer » Sat Dec 06, 2008 5:16 pm

There are some who would say that OBE's are just another experience. While I would agree that that statement is generally true, to include the adverb "just" discounts its greater significance. In light of this dialog on awareness vs. brain, such experience can lay to rest any definitive conclusion of the brain being the origin of awareness.

OBE's are strong evidence that being transcends the brain as origin. Danison, and litterally thousands of others like her, have reported their own personal experiences of NDE's (Near Death Experiences). My own investigation over the years indicates there is no significant difference between OBE's and NDE's. Those with well developed OBE skills can interact quite freely with those who have permanently left the body through death.

While this type of experience is not necessarily awakening, it certainly offers one a glimpse of the greater nature of being, and offen leads to awakening. To assume or conclude that the brain merely creates these experiences as perceptions of transcendent awareness is a hard case to make to anyone who has actually experienced it. It's no different with awakening in general. Anyone who has recognized the distinction between clear presence awareness, and the egoic attachment to thought, is not likely to give up such clarity for a return to a life exclusively of illusion.

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Re: Awareness vs. Brain

Postby Sighclone » Sun Dec 07, 2008 11:00 pm

Thank you my friends WW and J!!!!

I always enjoy your use of mind/words/language...my life is always enriched.

Now - I do intend to have an out-of-body experience. Whether I go to The Monroe Institute (TMI) or use some other crutch/guide, I don't know yet. It will probably be in January. I have to finish Monroe's three books first.

I have had those "paralysis" experiences (as have many others) where you are sort of awake, but can't move a muscle...and also very lucid dreams of flying...I'm about ready to take off...I think.

Namaste, Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce
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Re: Awareness vs. Brain

Postby domokato » Mon Dec 08, 2008 7:44 am

I tried having an OBE for the longest time with little success. However, after reading PON, I think I have a new understanding of the process and I've decided to start trying again. Good luck to us both, sighclone! :)
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Re: Awareness vs. Brain

Postby HermitLoon » Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:36 pm

One "out of body experience" might be to realize our True Nature as both the apparent reality of the mind-created consciousness of mind/body/universe
AND
the absolute reality of eternal, unchanging, omnipresent Pure Awareness that IS.

The idea "I am a body" exists only in the mind.
There is no need for "technique" or "efforting" to "change" anything.
Simply surrender in still, thoughtless silence to the realization of our True Nature - to that which we already are.
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Re: Awareness vs. Brain

Postby Glycine » Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:49 pm

Thank you, James - I always enjoy reading your posts.
James wrote:Now If you can use the brain as an instrument to interpret the physical senses, analyze, reason remember then you must be separate from the brain/mind, correct? What is that is aware of the Mind? See if you can locate yourself in the brain or any other part of the body. What are you when the mind is still? If you could sit in a dark room with absolutely no sensory input, and the mind became still, what would remain? What would still be aware?
J.


Here is the answer from my thinking mind: the brain is not a single organ, with a single function - it has many regions with different function, that can work independently of each other. For example, our thinking mind cannot control directly the parts responsible for digestion, heart rate, blood pressure, etc. Many functions of the brain are highly automated - after we learn to walk/bike/drive we don't need to think about them, some part of the brain takes care of these tasks in an automated fashion. Our thinking mind is actually a rather small part of the brain.
Similarly, the part of the brain that generates awareness is separate from the thinking mind/brain, and can function very well (even better) when the mind is still. When we don't have sensory input and the mind is still, the awareness nucleus can flourish. I can locate myself in the "awareness part" of the brain - this part does not use words, but generates a subtle feeling of being alive.
Last edited by Glycine on Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Awareness vs. Brain

Postby Glycine » Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:08 pm

Thank you all for these thoughtful insights. I feel lucky to have found this forum.

While I still can’t convince my thinking mind that the brain is not the generator of awareness, I definitely don’t want to go back to a life of “egoic attachment to thought” – as WW wisely said.
I have definitely been transformed by reading ANE and posts on this forum, and I don’t want to return to a life of illusion, a life lived in my head.
I enjoy the short periods when the mind is still, and, apparently, I can observe more of the world around me.
Similar to Sighclone, I can experience those "paralysis" episodes when I can think by I cannot move my body. I never had any OBE or NDE – I’m looking forward to hear about Sighclone’s experiments in January.

Since I can’t convince my thinking mind but I greatly enjoy being present, I decided to ignore my mind for a while. I discovered that I can be relaxed and aware even though my mind mumbles from time to time that this is just another dream. I will let you know how my story unfolds.

Cheers,
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Re: Awareness vs. Brain

Postby James » Mon Dec 08, 2008 6:00 pm

WW and Andy
Although I have never personally had NDE's or OBE's, I can understand the significance of them to those that happen to go through that. Many years ago I experienced a few intense and profound altered states episodes that happened unexpectedly and spontaneously through a deep letting go in meditation. They temporarily changed the way I perceived the physical body, and this helped initiate a stronger interest in awakening. Andy additionally you may want to experiment a little with sensory deprivation, if you have access to an isolation chamber, or simply sitting in a completely dark quiet room, for an extended period of time, 1-2 hours or whatever is comfortable without straining. Then apply Ramana's "let what comes come, let what goes go, and see what remains" or is unchanging. Adya elaborates on this approach in his True Mediation CD's and book.

Glycine
Cheers back at you, thank you for initiating this lively discussion.

You said:
Since I can’t convince my thinking mind but I greatly enjoy being present, I decided to ignore my mind for a while. I discovered that I can be relaxed and aware even though my mind mumbles from time to time that this is just another dream.


The mind does a great job of hypnotizing us, seducing us into believing the dream state is reality.
Ignoring as you say or disengaging from mind is a good idea, Tolle emphasizes that over and over again as one of the first and paramount steps for awakening. Many here know the story by now of how Eckhart's awakening occurred, overnight he suddenly and spontaneously found himself dis-identified with mind. Most of us will experience this disengagement in a more gradual way, although it can occur in many small instants of Now realization. We discover that we can't think our way to enlightenment, but we can access the stillness already present in the moment, Presence. Some of us have found ET's recording Gateways To Now to be very helpful in this regard, he gives suggestions for three portals to Presence 1) The inner energy field of the body 2) Silence, and 3) Acceptance. It is very relaxing to listen to and is interspersed with soft music.

Enjoy
J.
"Awareness is already present, already here, already now; before you try to be more.... In that recognition there's no effort, there's just acknowledgment"..."Awareness is not something you can understand, it's something you are."
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Re: Awareness vs. Brain

Postby domokato » Mon Dec 08, 2008 8:04 pm

Glycine wrote:While I still can’t convince my thinking mind that the brain is not the generator of awareness, I definitely don’t want to go back to a life of “egoic attachment to thought” – as WW wisely said.

You cannot convince your mind because there is no objective proof one way or the other. The evidence is totally based on subjective experience, which is why you'll find ANE in the Metaphysics section of the bookstore, as opposed to the Science or Philosophy sections. And that's why Tolle recommends experiencing it for yourself instead of just believing what he says. Regardless, why should you convince your mind of anything? Your mind is your tool. It doesn't need to "know", and it can't know. Only you know. And you only know one thing: you are. You exist.

You can't convince your mind that it is the generator of awareness either, so just forget about it :)
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Re: Awareness vs. Brain

Postby Glycine » Mon Dec 08, 2008 8:32 pm

domokato wrote:You cannot convince your mind because there is no objective proof one way or the other. The evidence is totally based on subjective experience


I can convince my mind with several objective proofs. For example, when somebody is anesthetized (maybe for surgery) or the brain is knocked-out for whatever reason, the awareness and the mind take a break as well.
However, I decided to ignore these proofs - at least for a while, and enjoy the present.
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