BECOME AN EXPLORER OF CONSCIOUSNESS –
EMBARK ON THE ULTIMATE ADVENTURE
Anyone aware of being aware with a sense that there is more to life than conventional notions of how things work qualifies as
an explorer of consciousness.
There is probably nothing more definitive of life than consciousness. Our sense of self and the world in which we find ourselves are experiences in consciousness. Yet our current understanding of consciousness does not match its actual relevance to our existence. To qualify as a truly ground-breaking answer to the question of what consciousness is, it should be capable of awakening humanity to its innermost nature and significantly raise awareness of our connectedness to all of existence. If the current debate around consciousness is anything to go by, it seems that the exploration of consciousness is still wide open.
‘To boldly go where no man has gone before’, was the motto of those who ventured into deep space aboard the star ship
in the once
popular Star Trek TV series. No doubt the exploration of space is an exciting
prospect and is often referred to as the final frontier. But in terms of
finding answers to questions topping the lists of scientists, philosophers, metaphysicians
and just about anyone with an inquiring mind, the exploration of consciousness
is probably the most fruitful and significant domain to be explored. Enterprise
Explorers of Consciousness are faced with several challenges. One of these is reflected in the following quote by D T Suzuki, Japanese author: ‘The contradiction so puzzling to the ordinary way of thinking comes from the fact that we have to use language to communicate our inner experience, which in its very nature transcends linguistics.’ Yet, however much language may be a problem when attempting to capture in words that which is beyond our typical time space experience, the most daunting of challenges in the exploration of consciousness is the mindset factor.
In the end, whatever information enters our awareness via our physical senses, intellect and/or intuition, the “picture” we wind up with is entirely the interpretation of mindset. To all intents and purposes it is our perspective that determines what is true and real. Hence the claim that, arguably the most empowering skill a human being can acquire is the ability to change his or her mind at will – to master mindset – the mastering of perceptions. .
1 THE MINDSET FACTOR
To change your world, change your mind. In order to see the glass as half full, and experience it as such, requires that we first change the angle of our perspective.
How far can we take the idea that it is all in the mind – that we create our own reality?
3 THE MEDIUM OF EXISTENCE
The catalyst for existence – the medium which gives meaning, relevance and value to reality, is the variation, change and difference factor (VCD).
4 TIME DEPENDENCY
It should be self-evident that time is one of the most relied on and taken for granted means of orientation utilized by all forms of life.
5 VALUE EVOLUTION
Progress is not the result of socio-economic or technological revolution or development. The catalyst for real progress is a shift in mindset. For this to occur, values need to adapt or evolve.
6 THE MIND: AN INSTRUMENT OF CONSCIOUSNESS
In an ocean of infinite possibilities mindset is relied on to provide the best possible orientation – the best possible reality – the most feasible truth.
7 TIMELESS INSTANT OF CREATION
There are two fundamental states of consciousness; consciousness that is un-oriented and consciousness which is oriented.
8 UNIVERSAL CONNECTEDNESS
There seems to be consensus amongst scholars throughout the ages that a “connectedness” exists between all in existence.
9 SPECTRUM OF ORIENTED CONSCIOUSNESS
The spectrum of oriented consciousness reflects the scope of human potential. Un-oriented consciousness is beyond evaluation and measure.
10 GOD BY ANY OTHER NAME
“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”. From Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet in which Juliet argues that the names of things do not matter only what they are.
11 CHANGING CONDITIONS
Generally speaking, great empires of the imperial as well as the corporate kind are created, they endure and then decline. Why?
“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough”. (Albert Einstein)
More often than not when the nature of reality, consciousness, the mind and the origins of the universe are described it is in terms of specialized vocabularies – the esoteric language of a particular teaching, doctrine or belief system. The intention here is to accommodate inquiring minds regardless of background and orientation by keeping the language as simple as possible.
Who hasn’t had the desire to fly like Peter Pan or Superman? It’s not as if we don’t have an idea of what flight is like unaided by mechanical means. Most of us have, to some extent, experienced the sensation of flight in the dream world. In some cases the experience was so real that, on awakening, it took a minute or so to realize that we had a binding contract with gravity.
Nonetheless, in spite of gravity’s hold on the physical body, there are options outside the dream world which may be explored by those wishing to experience the sensation of flight. Simply find a spot where birds are known to congregate. Find a place to sit and make yourself comfortable. Select a bird perched close by and focus your attention on the bird. Really focus – transfer as much of your consciousness as possible into the bird – become the bird, so to speak. Should you have adequately identified with the bird, and it eventually takes off don’t be alarmed by the sudden rush of adrenalin as you experience the bird’s flight.
And the point is? Consciousness, through the mind, is capable of reaching way beyond conventional ideas of what is possible. Depending on the set of our mind, it is possible to change our mood from deep depression to unbridled joy in no time at all. Doctors and psychologists, even though they don’t fully understand it, are confronted daily by placebo and nocibo phenomena – the power of the mind to heal as well as cause illness. .
Not only does beauty lie in the eye of the beholder but so does the meaning, relevance and value of everything. Mindset, an instrument of consciousness, is the source of the reality we perceive and experience. In other words; should we change how we look at our world – how we see it – so also will our experience and responses change.
“Every man takes his own limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world”. Arthur Schopenhauer.
It is ultimately our sense of self against which we measure and determine the meaning, relevance, value and truth of everything, and as it turns out the self we believe we are is a mindset construct. .
Several concepts covered here is conventional wisdom while some ideas will be recognized as similar to notions which have been around for generations. In some cases the thinking goes back thousands of years. Be that as it may, the general hypothesis, several ideas and suppositions dished up here are unique and original, capable of taking the “explorer” beyond the conventional human perspective of how things work, – beyond typical human orientation.
Throughout the ages inquiring minds have asked, ‘what is the truth behind existence – what is really real?’ The supposition here is that this question is unanswerable until we first understand how we decide what is true and real.
So, how do we determine what is real – how do we arrive at our conclusions about the truth of our world and existence?
When addressing human perception and experience – when looking to discover how we decide what is real – three factors in particular cannot be ignored: the brain, the mind and consciousness. Some will say that the mind is simply an aspect of a brain that has evolved since the beginning of life on earth. The mind and consciousness are seen as emerging during evolution of the brain and neurological phenomena. The implication of this is that consciousness is an illusory by-product of evolving life, and the mind merely a reflection of brain activity.
On the other hand, there are those who reject the theory that the mind and consciousness are merely derivatives of the brain. To them the view that mind and consciousness are evolving biological adaptations is typical of a mindset oriented in material realism. Many see consciousness as always having been in existence and the mind as a manifestation of consciousness and not merely an aspect of the brain.
It should come as no surprise, however, that humankind’s material orientation – humanity’s compelling physical experience – will favor the brain as the source of how we see and experience existence. This assumption accepts the brain as the source of mind and consciousness.
The approach that is presented here differs in that the brain is seen as having its part in how our world is seen and experienced. However, whatever the information obtained through biological sensors—the physical senses—its meaning and relevance is determined by mindset, which in turn is a manifestation of Consciousness. In short, the mind uses the brain but it is essentially mindset through which Consciousness interprets and defines whatever we become aware of.
In the end it’s a simple chicken and egg question. What came first, consciousness or the brain?
It is postulated here that a study of the brain will take us just so far in understanding how things work, while a study of the mind will take us considerably further. But, in the end, it is the exploration of consciousness that is the key to understanding existence beyond the physical realm, as well as the key to staying in touch in an ever-changing physical world.
The human perspective
Whatever our questions and answers about the universe, existence or the meaning of life; they will invariably reflect the human perspective – the prevailing mindset – the bias of the scientist, philosopher or mystic asking and answering the question. The idea that our observations may be subjected to a hidden personal frame of reference or paradigm is generally not factored into our quest for answers.
It may be argued that what distinguishes the scientific approach from all the rest is that by “proving” its observations and conclusions science eliminates mindset bias. However, the flaws in this assumption become glaringly obvious once the true significance of the mindset factor is realized.
- Mindset determines how we look at our world and consequently how we see it. How we see our world determines how we experience it which in turn determines our responses and behavior.
- Whatever it is we are looking at it is possible to change our perspective and see it differently, opening the door to a different reality – different experiences and consequently different responses. .
The premise here is that the value and validity of answers and information can not necessarily be determined by the “proof” on which it is based. Regardless of proof it is invariably subject to the mindset factor. The real value and validity of answers and information depend on the extent to which it puts us in touch with ever changing circumstances – the extent to which it is relevant in an ever changing world. This is what a functional mindset is; a mindset which keeps us in touch in a world in which today’s “truth” will not be tomorrow’s truth. Choices and decisions emanating from a functional mindset are optimum. A dysfunctional mindset puts us out of touch; it is inclined to hold onto truths which have passed their use by date. Choices and decisions emanating from a dysfunctional mindset tend to be wrong. .
It is typical to think that finding answers to the really hard questions about existence is a complex and specialized undertaking or, simply impossible. However, this attitude is likely to change once it is realized that the primary obstacle to coming up with answers to the most difficult of questions is invariably the prevailing mindset.
Mastering mindset; understanding its role in determining our orientation and realizing its function as the shaper of the “reality” we perceive and experience, is the key to moving from a worm’s eye view of existence to a bird’s eye view. It is the key to awakening the wizard and sage present in all of us.
Since the “reality” we relate to is first and foremost a mindset construct for the purpose of orientation, the supposition here is that as long as a truth keeps us “in touch” and functioning within the context of the life we are living, then that truth, to all intents and purposes, is the truth.
On the other hand, if the “truths” – the reality – to which we subscribe have become oppressive, no longer adding value to our lives – no longer expanding our awareness or keeping us in touch with the world around us, it is probably time to change our minds and reach for new truths on the metaphorical ladder to a wider perspective.
The quest for Nirvana, Heaven, total freedom or the unifying principle of everything is essentially a secondary inclination. Our primary inclination is to give expression to the most defining property of consciousness; creation. In this we succeed to the extent that we are “in touch”. In touch with what? In touch with the defining source of our life experience – the source of our perceived and experienced reality – whatever we believe that may be.
Along with a functional mindset – being optimally in touch – comes an increased probability of making the right choices and decisions in an ever changing world. Not to mention the increased possibility of synchronicity – moments in which things just seem to go our way – when the laws of nature seem to be suspended in our favor.
We are not told here what is true and what isn’t; that is up to the reader to decide for them self. Nonetheless, hopefully the reader will discover that in mastering mindset new realities open up. Consequently, a wide range of new life experiences to choose from appears on “life’s menu”.
Mastering mindset; understanding mindset’s role in determining our orientation – realizing its function as the shaper of the “reality” we perceive and experience is the key to enabling us to change our minds – the key to self-creation.