So I have been thinking about how consciousness, phenomenology, mindfulness, and paradigm shifting interface.
Through phenomenology, awareness, and mindfulness, paradigms become identified and can shift. This shifting shifts our perspective and awareness as well as how we feel about something. As perspective shifts ones feelings about a situation shifts and as our feelings shift our perspective shifts – so that each can affect the other.
Consciousness then shifts through this process – our consciousness as related to our awareness. This is a multilevel event. So that as we become aware of our feelings, our paradigms, our values and our actions we may have the opportunity to evolve our consciousness – shift our perceptions and our actions. The issue of awareness is subtle and profound. It is not simply awareness on a sensory level but also cognitively and mindfully.
So when you are developing your mindfulness, and applying this to your actions, thinkings, and perceptions you are actually shifting your consciousness. You are changing your perceptual world both subjectively and objectively.
This is an evolution of consciousness that takes the form of a spiral inner and then outer. First you observe a shift, then you internalize this observation, and then instantaneously you feel an internal shift that guides your outer movements and behavior.
So if consciousness is defined this way:
Consciousness a noun, is defined as 1. The state or condition of being conscious. 2. A sense of one’s personal or collective identity, including the attitudes, beliefs, and sensitivities held by or considered characteristic of an individual or group: Love of freedom runs deep in the national consciousness. 3. Special awareness or sensitivity: class consciousness; race consciousness. 4. Alertness to or concern for a particular issue or situation: a movement aimed at raising the general public’s consciousness of social injustice. And 5. In psychoanalysis, the conscious
Or from Wikipedia this way:
Consciousness is a term that refers to the inter-relationship between the mind the world with which it interacts; awareness that is subjective in nature, a sense of selfhood; the ability to feel or experience wakefulness, and the executive control system of the mind. The origin of the modern concept of consciousness is often attributed to John Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding – (Locke, 1960). Locke defined consciousness as “the perception of what passes in a man’s own mind.
The literary author William James is usually credited with popularizing the idea that human consciousness flows like a stream, in his Principles of Psychology (1890). According to James, the “stream of thought” is governed by five characteristics: “(1) Every thought tends to be part of a personal consciousness. (2) Within each personal consciousness thought is always changing. (3) Within each personal consciousness thought is sensibly continuous. (4) It always appears to deal with objects independent of itself. (5) It is interested in some parts of these objects to the exclusion of others”.
A similar concept appears in Buddhist philosophy, expressed by the Sanskrit term Citta-saṃtāna, which is usually translated as mindstream or “mental continuum”. In the Buddhist view, though, the “mindstream” is viewed primarily as a source of noise that distracts attention from a changeless underlying reality.
For our purposes the mindtream is anything that is ongoing as in consciousness attention or awareness.
Stream of consciousness writing offers the experience of being within the person’s perception of events – in his mind or thoughts. In psychological counseling this type of journaling allows a person to see or review how he experiences another or a situation and recognize habitual reactions that are not useful. It is a form of writing meditation that allows for a shift in perspective or an internal paradigm shift.
And phenomenology is defined:
Phenomenology is a method of inquiry that attempts to examine the structure of consciousness in its own right, putting aside problems regarding the relationship of consciousness to the physical world. This approach was first proposed by the philosopher Edmund Husserl, and later elaborated by other philosophers and scientists. Husserl’s original concept gave rise to two distinct lines of inquiry, in philosophy and psychology. From a philosophical perspective phenomenology has largely been devoted to fundamental metaphysical questions, such as the nature of intentionality (“aboutness”). From a psychological perspective, phenomenology largely has meant attempting to investigate consciousness using the method of looking inward or introspection; looking into one’s own mind and reporting what one observes. This method fell into disrepute in the early twentieth century because of grave doubts about its reliability.
The methods of phenomenology are simply a type of mindful meditation. Very useful in reviewing one’s behavior and what causes one to act in a specific way.
Introspectively, the world of conscious experience seems to have considerable structure. Immanuel Kant, a phenomenologist, asserted that the world as we perceive it is organized according to a set of fundamental “intuitions”, which include object (we perceive the world as a set of distinct things); shape; quality (color, warmth, etc.); space (distance, direction, and location); and time.
I have written about this as seeing in 4-D.
Then it is through these processes that we develop our sense of self, time, place in the world, goals, and success/failures. The idea of mindfulness then is using these processes to assist you in your own internal development to meet external goals and aspirations which change as you focus your mindfulness, incorporate shifting paradigms, and respond to the world in the present moment.
Despite the large amount of information available, the most important aspects of perception remain mysterious. A great deal is known about low-level signal processing in sensory systems, but the ways by which sensory systems interact with each other, with “executive” systems in the frontal cortex, and with the language system are very incompletely understood. At a deeper level, there are still basic conceptual issues that remain unresolved.
Mindfulness is about working with the energy of your perspective and then shifting that perspective to see anew. It can have this universal quality wherein the individual becomes increasingly interconnected in his or her understanding of others. Through this it can lead to what the Buddhists refer to as the One. That what we do to others we do to ourselves; that other and self are not divisible and so that 2 plus 2 equal not 4 but One.
The evolution of ones own consciousness is about shifting not only your perspective but how you perceive and enact your values.
This is a powerful thing.
If consciousness can evolve, then this evolution can be effected through meditation and mindfulness.
How to do this and what shifts your perception and leads to the evolution of consciousness? More to come in Evolution of Consciousness II.
See you tomorrow.