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God Or Consciousness


Inthedark
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I had better start by apologising for the spelling error in the title of the thread. Brilliant start!

 

Moving on quickly then, I have often heard it stated that God gave us free will. The freedom of choice to live as we see fit.

 

When "we" choose have we really chosen? Who does the choosing? Free will is a complicated topic for discussion. I have read that the conscious mind can only tackle about 5 things at the same time, plus or minus 2, depending on the individual. The vast majority of what we think about whilst making decisions is done without our knowledge and carried out by the big brain, the unconscious mind.

 

There are many studies that have shown we decide on many things before we know we have decided (i.e. the unconscious mind has somehow leaked it to the conscious mind, at which point we think we have just decided).

 

Having to make decisions consciously about a "plethora" of things might not be as black and white as we think.

 

Just a thought.

 

Is that otherness beyond the ego something more than we have ever imagined?

 

 

Unconscious Decision-Making | Psych Central News

 

So who is in charge of this bag of blood and bones anyway? I found it a little disturbing, but needed to know more.

 

Anyone have an opinion on the above findings, with regard to how we actually operate as a biological and spiritual entity?

 

Does this validate the pre Constantine Gnostic Christian movement in any way?

 

smile.gif

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I think if we have any free will it is highly constrained by genetics, social factors and experiences, none of which we have much control over.

 

How this might relate to gnosticism, I have no idea.

 

George

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I watched the video and recalled reading about the same thing in a New Age book I read on consciousness. What the video fails to take into consideration is how the nerves along the body and the spinal cord interract with stimuli. There are some really weird things in the mind-body connection, though I'm not certain what it has to do with free will.

 

While I agree, in part, with George's statement, I'm not sure to what degree social environment, genetics, and experience influence free will. Yes, there are constraints, but I think we can do make decisions to the best of our ability and within these constraints. IMO I am not predestined be anything particular or behave in any particular way because of constraints.

 

I, too, fail to see any connection with gnosticism; but that could be because I don't have enough information.

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I'm not sure to what degree social environment, genetics, and experience influence free will. Yes, there are constraints, but I think we can do make decisions to the best of our ability and within these constraints. IMO I am not predestined be anything particular or behave in any particular way because of constraints.

 

Yvonne,

 

I don't think you (or any of us) are "predestined" for anything. But, we are, IMO, predisposed to make certain decisions based on these factors. Genetics effects our intelligence and maybe aspects of our personality. It certainly effects the family and social climate we are born into. Our society imparts a number of values as well as likes and dislikes (think food, music, hair styles, etc.). And, of course personal experiences (like education, war, religion, etc., etc.) help shape who we are. All of these are the background against which we makes decisions.

 

George

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I think if we have any free will it is highly constrained by genetics, social factors and experiences, none of which we have much control over.

 

How this might relate to gnosticism, I have no idea.

 

George

 

We are free to make decisions within the constraints you outlined, which of course means our free will isn't free as such.

 

The goal of reaching One consciousness being a Gnostic goal, being selfless, losing the ego, like Jesus appeared to have done, climb the staircase. Does the finding that our subconscious makes decisions for us, more than the scripts used by memory, actually consider data and make a decision without us being aware, does this finding prove the mystic notion that we are not who we think we are but a crude primitive version of the divine consciousness and through a process of self discovery we can connect with that consciousness and climb the staircase.

 

I suppose this is what I'm getting at in my muddling way!

 

Thanks for correcting the title Dutch and thanks for your comment Yvonne.

 

:)

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The article says that sometimes the best solution arises in the unconscious and sometimes it doesn't. I think Dr. Quantum makes the science apply to his world view. (Is there another part?) I think there is a connection with everything in the universe but I am too egalitarian to say that my piece is primitive. I live today in the cosmic complexity that has been evolving for 13.7 billion years. There was less complexity 4.5 billion years and even less at the big bang. But since we and the Divine other are evolving together, if I am crude and primitive so is the divine.

 

I think that the consciousness realized through meditation or other mystic practices is an heightened awareness and not related to unconsciousness. This awareness, which arises from a quieting of the ego or at least the left brain, allows us to see more clearly into the internal reality by which all the universe is related. This vision would seem to include that which we call subconscious. I think.

 

Maybe

 

Dutch

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I agree that we are a product of simple systems repeated over and over with feedback loops, which has over time created complex systems, including us humans. I can't deny we were all born in dying stars. What I am interested in is consciousness, our subconscious and the apparent ghost in the machine as it were. Neither a dualistic nor materialistic view can account for this (current) mystery.

 

I read some things Dutch posted about process theory which I found very interesting but I have to think about that some more before I can form an opinion.

 

The fact that we in some facets operate as an automaton with regard to some decisions I find remarkable. This is not breathing, this is a decision made about an object, context and it's values without our knowing. Is this evolution finding efficiencies and freeing up space in the brain? Is it something else?

 

Christ consciousness is another way of describing the enlightened individual in Christian terms. A heightened awareness as you say. The realisation of the oneness of the universe and you're part in that as universe. So am I right in thinking that you agree that the subcouscious makes decisions for us on a daily basis, as the science suggests, but you do not believe the subconscious is the "otherness" we sometimes feel and that it is infact simply a heightened awareness of our everyday consciousness?

 

I dunno.

 

:)

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The fact that we in some facets operate as an automaton with regard to some decisions I find remarkable. This is not breathing, this is a decision made about an object, context and it's values without our knowing. Is this evolution finding efficiencies and freeing up space in the brain? Is it something else?

 

I think there are very good reasons in evolution for our automatic decision making mechanisms. Non-human animals get by very well without higher reasoning in their decisions and behavior. They operate mostly on instinct, learned behavior and experience. Humans add a little reason to the process. But, that reason is, IMO, constrained as well.

 

Basically we could not have survived if we had no built-in, default reactions to stimuli. If early humans had not automatically assumed danger when they saw a snake or a tiger and had to stop and think about it, we wouldn't be here today. If we had to stop and think about every step we take, we would never make it to work in the morning. If we had to stop and reason through every little choice we make, we would be mentally locked up and never, or very slowly, arrive at a decision.

 

Whether evolution is the product of "something else" is another, and more difficult, question.

 

George

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I think there are very good reasons in evolution for our automatic decision making mechanisms. Non-human animals get by very well without higher reasoning in their decisions and behavior. They operate mostly on instinct, learned behavior and experience. Humans add a little reason to the process. But, that reason is, IMO, constrained as well.

 

Basically we could not have survived if we had no built-in, default reactions to stimuli. If early humans had not automatically assumed danger when they saw a snake or a tiger and had to stop and think about it, we wouldn't be here today. If we had to stop and think about every step we take, we would never make it to work in the morning. If we had to stop and reason through every little choice we make, we would be mentally locked up and never, or very slowly, arrive at a decision.

 

Whether evolution is the product of "something else" is another, and more difficult, question.

 

George

 

Thanks for that George. The article in the first post suggests that our subconcious does more than make instinctive choices about matters of survival. It suggests that the age old addage of "sleep on it" has some substance. A complex decision involving different levels of problem solving and several potential outcomes can be carefully considered and weighed up in our subcouncious without us ever being aware of that process. Our conscious mind may then "decide" with most of the "grunt" work having already been completed by the subconscious.

 

As Dutch pointed out, sometimes the subconscious doesn't make the most appropriate decision, so it is as fallible as the rest of us.

 

This is not a script being run by memory, for instance like when you drive or shave, this is complex decision making. I find that quite fascinating, clearly!

 

My daughter needs the computer. I'll pop back later.

 

Regards

 

Paul

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I think what it appears to be inferring is that consciousness could be inherrant in matter at all levels of evolution as experience, the level of which is dependant upon the level of complexity of the matter. So a rock has a very limited form of consciousness in that it's atoms "experience" an envoronment and existence, although obviously not self aware; we humans on the other hand are on the same scale of development but at the other end of that spectrum having evolved to a point where we are sentient beings. In this way all things within the universe are in process and relative. Is that it Dutch in lay persons terms? I would appreciate it if this is not correct, if you would be so kind as to give me a steer. Much appreciated.

 

Is our consciousness god or divine?

 

Regards

 

Paul

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Paul,

 

I am making all up. :) Let us make it up together.

 

 

So a rock has a very limited form of consciousness in that it's atoms "experience" an environment and existence

About the rock Charles Birch would point out that a rock like a chair is an "aggregate" and in its self is not an entity internally related to other entities. The atoms in the rock are related to each other internally and us to them. The cells in the moss on the rock are internally related to us also.

 

Charles Birch

But atoms also compose brains. On the same principle, should we not ascribe to atoms a property which will be consistent with their function as elements composing the brain which is the locus of mental activities? And surely the only property of atoms which could provide what we are looking for is some form of mental activity in themselves.

Birch, I think, would use the word mental rather than consciousness. Perhaps then consciousness is an evolved complexity of these mental activities

 

evolved to a point where we are sentient beings

 

We have to respect the labels people claim but I do not know how Carl Sagan is not spiritual. This is from about 6:00 minutes in Episode 1:The Shores of the Cosmic Ocean

Some part of our being knows [that the cosmic ocean lapping up on the shore of the earth] is where we came from. We long to return. And we can. Because the cosmos is also within us. We're made of star-dust. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.

 

Bring the drums. Bring the singers Take off your shoes. Let's dance!

 

The [cosmos] is our beginning.

The [cosmos] is our ending.

 

The [cosmos] is the star dust present within us.

With the [cosmos] we are participating in the consciousness of the universe.

The [cosmos] is beckoning us into the future.

 

The [cosmos] is our beginning.

The [cosmos] is our ending.

 

Substitute freely for [cosmos.]

 

 

Dutch

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Consciousness is open to a number of definitions, but it is usually assumed that consciouness and awareness are near synonyms. A rock does stand in relation to the rest of the world by efficient causation. A sentient being stands in relation to the world by efficient and final causation. Conscious, aware beings have the capacity to plan and modify their future, rocks do not.

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Indeed. I think we are possibly more connected and reliant on - in relationship maybe with the rock than we often realise. There seems to be an interdependancy and connectedness that we often overlook, or quickly rationalise and move on, without properly considering what that connectedness means in regard to our existence and that of the universe. Consciousness is part and parcel of the whole isn't it.

 

Regards

 

Paul

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Indeed. I think we are possibly more connected and reliant on - in relationship maybe with the rock than we often realise. There seems to be an interdependancy and connectedness that we often overlook, or quickly rationalise and move on, without properly considering what that connectedness means in regard to our existence and that of the universe. Consciousness is part and parcel of the whole isn't it.

 

Regards

 

Paul

 

Yes, I think so. Perhaps that is what Micah meant to say "...walk humbly with your Lord".

 

Myron

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