I think about consciousness a lot.
Stay with me here for a minute.
I think about thinking, about how we do it, what it means, whether it's some kind of big waiting room with doors that open to other...er, I don't know...planes of reality (gag). You must know what I mean. No? Me neither.
Here's a diary entry of mine, about consciousness. Read it and behold the nerdish hell that is my mind. My brain wears pocket protectors and really thick glasses... It has never known a woman's touch...It has an encyclopedic knowledge of Star Trek The Next Generation episodes:
"Do we have to build a relationship with ourselves? Maybe this is one of the missing pieces in the puzzle of consciousness. ..
Humans are relating animals. We form family units and clans and packs and nations and gangs and continents and ‘the West’ and ‘the Middle East’ and ‘the Far East.’ We grasp our universe relationally—that is, through metaphor. What is language, but the representation of a thing through another thing (a word). We are conceptual, and concepts are ideas (thoughts) about things (objects, principles). Relating is fundamental to our consciousness of the world around us, and our place in this world—and thus our consciousness of ourselves, or our self-consciousness.
[Editor's comment: Lost yet? I am. And I'm me. I can imagine this isn't easy for you either...]
We differentiate ourselves through this quality of self-consciousness. We are the animal that can wonder about the nature of its own consciousness. But how do we know that we are truly self-conscious and not just reacting instinctively to external stimuli, something even amoeba do, albeit in a relatively complex way? And if we are truly capable of self-consciousness, how far can we take it?
Having a relationship with yourself might be a key to unlocking the mystery of self-consciousness. Maybe your degree of self-consciousness is even proportionate to the quality of your relationship with yourself.
Why is it that we put so much time into building relationships with others, yet the vast majority of us put absolutely none into our dealings with ourselves? (The great irony of this is that many of our relations with others serve self-centred ends. We might be the conscious animal, but we are still as self-serving as baboons.) If I fall in love with someone, I think about him constantly. I want to be with him, talk to him, understand what he thinks, know what he’s all about. Do I ever feel this way about myself? Shouldn’t I? Maybe I need to fall in love with myself.
Does this seem like the gateway to arrogance? When I fall in love, I may believe my lover to be more than he really is. But eventually I see the warts. If the love is true, it endures the warts and I even start to enjoy them once in a while. I have this relationship with my husband. Maybe this is the kind of relationship I should also have with myself.
But my life is more than just me. It’s the others in it and the events, moment to moment, that catalyze reactions in me—internal and external, positive and negative, physical and emotional—these are the components of my life. Me, others, and events. Can my relationship with each be melded into a single entity? Would this allow me to operate from a higher level of self-consciousness?..."
And it goes on like that for some time, let me tell ya. Still, I like this idea of building a relationship with yourself. Basic as it may sound, it's not so straightforward when you try to sit down and have a chat with yourself. There's the awkward silences, the tendency to fall back on 'how about that crazy weather....'
A lot of mysticism is about forgetting yourself, or being mindful of the moment, tuning in to the physical self. It's good for chillaxin' but I'm not so sure about the idea of ignoring reality as a means of takin' it higher. This is starting to sound like a bad 80s hair-rock ballad, so I'll stop here.
This blog is dedicated to Gizzy, in the hopes that my idiocy will eliminate his fears of putting incomplete thoughts into the ether...