Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Spiritual Flow-States of Consciousness


True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand 
about life, ourselves, and the world around us. — Socrates

In this post we explore flow state experiences in the context of a cocoon-like form of consciousness we can transcend. Examining the way we automatically name experience and how that behavior separates us from reality. As we continue to question our own consciousness within the inescapable context of our subconsciously orchestrated behaviors.

And to get a spiritual feeling of flow-state experience you might write a response to the paragraph above and explore that process. Did you think about what to write and find yourself looking at your thoughts as you wrote them down? And are you contemplating how any thought appears in your mind as we explore the non-conscious nature of human spirituality? 

Try typing your name with an attention + awareness that synchronizes your body-mind experience of time. Did you count time passing by using thoughts in your conscious mind? And as you did that, was there also an embodied sense of how you experience time? An unnamed, felt-sense of the 1, 2, 3, 4, quality of time we learn to name as six seconds? A subtle difference between our felt sense of time and our thought sense of time?

Do any numbers or words truly define the reality of your experience of time? And in a spiritual context, is imagination, language, and memory involved in the way thoughts appear within your mind? Is everything we do as adults a well-practiced flow-state experience? And was this thought and felt experience of time as automatic as driving a car, riding a bike, or walking? 

Three physical activities that all human adults are reflexively familiar with. Reflexive in the way of not having to think about how we perform behaviors like walking, talking, or writing. Because we all possess an extraordinarily adaptive capacity for learning different behaviors. 

The secret behind the history of our success as a species, no doubt? While in the spiritual context of adaptive realizations we can learn how to feel the flow-state nature of our consciousness. We can develop a felt-sense of using memory in such a reflex way  responses to stimuli that do not require conscious effort  we lose touch with reality.

Because being immersed within our mind-space sees us fail to notice the 4-dimensional reality of space-time. A perceptual problem related to the notion we suffer from an imaginary-blindness and why we are exploring attention + awareness, as a flow-state experience. While in the reflex context of imagination and memory, does your mind give birth to ideas?

As we explore the illusory aspects of consciousness implicit in spiritual sayings and why Einstein spoke of an optical illusion of consciousness. While from an Eastern spiritual tradition, this notion of our mind giving birth to ideas relates to what Gautama Buddha said and did not say about karma. With the elderly Buddhist monks I spoke to in Thailand saying, “Karma means right thought and right action in this one moment, bringing Karma to the next moment of being.”

And was this notion of our mind as the birthplace of ideas addressed in Plato’s THEATETUS dialogue? Where we read about Socrates’ via-negative path to spiritual truths. When Socrates says, “Come then to me, who am a midwife’s son and myself a midwife, and do your best to answer the questions which I will ask you. And if I abstract and expose your first-born, because I discover upon inspection that the conception which you have formed is a vain shadow. . . . Once more, then, Theaetetus, I repeat my old question, ‘What is knowledge?’”

To which Theaetetus replies, “he who knows perceives what he knows, and, as far as I can see at present, knowledge is perception.” And Socrates responds with, “Bravely said, boy; that is the way in which you should express your opinion. And now, let us examine together this conception of yours, and see whether it is a true birth or a mere wind-egg.”

Some philosophers suggest it's important to weigh up what is said and not said in texts crafted more with intuition than reason. Did ancient writers try to convey the non-conscious paradox of human experience, as in Plato’s words above? And are ancient texts important during our era of mass education and a more explicit sense of words and their meaning? Like an assumption that being conscious of the words eyes, trees, and water means I am fully aware of the reality these words can only signify?

And is the paradox of word signification and attention + awareness alluded to in the above excerpt from the Theatetus dialogue? Should we use deconstruction to  wonder how Socrates via-negative approach to spiritual truths applies to us?

Sure but the world is a radically different place today than it was when Plato wrote his dialogues,” you may think? Yet, as Joseph Campbell points out in his book THE INNER REACHES OF OUTER SPACE: METAPHOR AS MYTH AND AS RELIGION, our human anatomy has not changed in at least 40,000 years and therefore neither has the biological way we perceive reality? You may think about our faith in science and say it has lifted millions above the daily uncertainty of mere survival?

A faith exemplified and championed by Richard Dawkins, who wrote on TWITTER: “Surprised by a common reverence for Plato. Alexandria’s like Eratosthenes made superb progress. But what did Plato say that was actually right? And didn’t he mislead generations of theologians & philosophers into thinking you could find truth by making stuff up in an armchair? @RichardDawkins - Dec 17, 2019.”

While during December 2021 was mother nature proving that possessing a well-educated sense of being smart does not mean having the perceptual wisdom required to navigate our growing meta-crisis? What do you think? Was Plato a philosophic windbag with no understanding of human nature? Could Richard Dawkins show his depth of understanding by tweeting an explanation of how he walks and talks?

A personal experience that relates to attention + awareness as a flow-state experience and the non-conscious qualities of spiritual truths. As we contemplate these wise words of Plato, “he who knows perceives what he knows, and, as far as I can see at present, knowledge is perception?”

And wonder about Socrates' words, “bravely said, boy; that is the way in which you should express your opinion. And now, let us examine together this conception of yours, and see whether it is a true birth or a mere wind-egg?”

Alongside the thoughts of philosopher Daniel Dennett as we ponder his contemplation on what words are made of? "Are the words we speak made of air under pressure and are the words we read in books made of ink? To which we can add pixel size dots on large and small screens?" Dennet writes in his book BREAKING THE SPELL: Religion as a natural phenomenon (pp.. 80-81), "words are so familiar to us we believe they are as objectively real as anything else our eyes see."

An important context for understanding attention + awareness as a flow-state experience. And the idea that consensus-reality is illusory because it combines imagination, language, and memory to create an imaginary form of blindness. Not the literal blindness of not being able to see reality, but the imaginary-blindness that a too literal sense of words projects onto reality in a subconscious, reflex way.

And does the subconscious orchestration of behavior mean that our mind-space memory makes us slaves to rational suspicion? What is the true nature of consciousness? The truth about mystical, rational, or spiritual experience?

As Dan Dennett's atheist soulmate Sam Harris writes in On Spiritual Truths "millions of people have had experiences for which “spiritual” and “mystical” seem the only terms available." And in the context of Socrates' via-negative attitude to spiritual truths please watch a perceptual freedom video:

The video uses footage from the movie Blade Runner and a very good video on Plato’s Allegory of the Cave to continue our self-cross-examination of human consciousness. By asking questions of wonder about the existential wisdom in Plato’s description of prisoners in a cave with a raised way?

Contemplating the reason for this question of consciousness; “If I am right, certain professors of education must be wrong when they say they can put a knowledge into the soul which was not there before, like sight into blind eyes?” As we explore the notion that our human behaviors become so automatic we are blinded by our own experience and are slaves to rational suspicion.

Other video footage and images with text are used to ask perceptual wisdom questions like, Do you ever wonder how much you know about the unseen nature of your reality? Or how much knowledge of your nervous system you were raised with? Were you raised with an externalized sense of reality? Raised to believe you’re seeing reality through the map making nature of ideas? Ideas transformed into words? Raised to believe you know what you see because you can name it?

So, lets contemplate this notion of rational suspicion and the experience of attention + awareness, as spiritual states of consciousness. By examining the way we look and name what we see in this photo, with words, as ideas springing to mind in less time than it takes to fill our lungs with the oxygen so vital to the biological functioning of our brain.

As we reflect on spiritual truths about human nature by studying these wise words, “he who knows perceives what he knows?” Asking ourselves if we truly understand what we see in this photo by imagining ourselves being there? Do you know the biological make-up of trees and leaves, for example? Or the chemical make-up of water and soil in river banks? And are you feeling the purpose of Plato’s line about knowledge and perception?

And if we picture ourselves experiencing this idyllic scene, imagine pausing your automatic naming of experience to perceive the world beyond words? Adopting a Socratic way of being present by contemplating whether any thought about reality is “a true birth or a mere wind-egg?”

And if we took Socrates' question to heart and paused a reflex of disbelief to consider being the slave of rational suspicion, what then? Could we cure the imaginary-blindness created by imagination, language, and memory, with the kind of information that creates adaptive realizations? Could we use our smartphones to experience the via-negative way to spiritual truth? Becoming intrepid explorer's setting out to discover precious knowledge?

For example, you could type the words Consciousness as a Memory System into your smartphone search bar and look at the results. And you may see this one: and read the abstract of the authors Andrew E Budson, Kenneth ARichman, and Elizabeth A Kensinger’s paper on the subject of human consciousness as a memory system. Like me, you may begin to wonder about how you infuse any experience of attention + awareness with ideas created by memory?

Or be a pupil of Socrates by contemplating the perception purpose of his question “and if I abstract and expose your first-born, because I discover upon inspection that the conception which you have formed is a vain shadow?” Of your hand's reality?

Does this photo showing the physical dexterity of hands require a mental dexterity to recognize the truth in Socrates' question about ideas forming vain shadows? What was the first thing that popped into your mind at the first sight of this image? Are the signifying word's hand and hand's vain shadows in the context of understanding the experience of and living reality of our hands

As we think about how this notion of ideas forming vain shadows relates to spiritual truths and Socrates' "True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us?" Questions explored in the next post on the via-negative way of practicing perceptual wisdom & realized being.

Enjoyed this content? Please leave a comment and share with the links below.

No comments:

Post a Comment