Monday, April 14, 2008

Reality is ... what?

For the most part, humans do not create the conditions into which they become conscious. Persistent consciousness, that is, processing of events, thoughts, and sensory input with persistent memory of same, does not begin until well after initiation of life for almost all people (allowing for extraordinary cases reported in Buddhist literature).

This interesting observation leads to the conclusion that consciousness is not essential to human life, much as we might forget this at times. Beyond that, as we go through our lives, we are often unconscious. We sleep. We daydream. We look at one thing and walk into something else.

We cannot pay attention to all sensory input at every moment, but must continuously select that part to which we attend. It has been said that, of the million or so inputs to our senses every moment, we attend to about 70.

Thus, one might say that we are mostly unconscious.

Ahem. This puts things in perspective, doesn't it? The only way to use our consciousness is to focus, or, in other words, to become unconscious of many other things.

So, then who/what is running the show?

[pause for reflection]

What, then, is consciousness? This part of us does not seem to be that connected to a massive part of our surroundings each moment.

Awareness seems to us to be continuous and organized, in general. We seem to be in control of our actions and, sometimes, our thoughts. We seem to form opinions on our own. We think we're pretty smart most of the time.

But we're also mostly unconscious.

This reminds me of the fact that solid materials are overwhelmingly empty of 'hard' substance, being made of molecules which are 99+% space in which tiny wave-particles fly about at indeterminate (sic) speeds.

Reality is not what it seems, it seems.

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