[Part 2, of 3]
You can be in my dream
if I can be in yours.
– Bob Dylan
This essay is a continuation of last week’s blog – ‘The Great Illusion’.
Let’s talk about RECOGNITION –
Suppose we’re awake … and we close our eyes for a while. Then we open them again … for JUST A SECOND (or just long enough to “take a snapshot”).
Here’s what happens (and we’re unaware of most of this) – First our brain creates a ‘raw work-up’ (called the percept: and this takes place in the back of the brain.) Then this percept interacts with our (many) cognitive categories … which are in the front of the brain. And some of these cognitive categories will resonate with what was in the percept, rather the same way that a sitar works.
[A sitar is an east Indian stringed instrument, a bit like a guitar, except that it is large, is played upright … and it has two sets of strings – outer ones (which are strummed) … and another inner set (the sympathetic strings … which are just beneath the outer strings; and these are NOT touched by the sitarist. But they vibrate – sympathetically – when a played string causes it to)]
When the percept connects with the front of the brain … it is as though the percept is being struck … and (on the basis of similarity) certain of the cognitive categories (lying quietly in our frontal lobes) are shaken loose (wakened up). And these are then connected to corresponding parts in the percept (recognition occurs). And THEN we become aware of it (but not before).
When a young child (who knows “kitty” … but who has never yet seen a squirrel) sees, for the first time – a squirrel … the child might say – “Funny kitty”.
[We will always (first) attempt to make sense of anything new … in terms of what we already know.]
But then (as he learns) the child will form a NEW cognitive category: “squirrel”.
Now let’s talk about the “requirements” for recognition.
How strict? … how demanding? are the requirements for recognition?
Must a certain percept be exactly like the contents of a (corresponding) cognitive category … in order for resonance (recognition) to occur?
No. It is NOT like that.
In fact, it cannot be like that.
Suppose that (when you were a baby, but old enough to be able to recognize your mother) … suppose that identicality (100% similarity) were (suddenly) the (generic / standard) requirement for your brain, in order for you to recognize something.
And your mother comes into the room you are in … would you be able to recognize her?
Because the lighting would have to be “perfect”, the angle of view would have to be just the same. Her clothes, her facial expression … (everything about her) would have to be just the same as always. And this can not happen. So recognition would NOT occur. You would NOT be able to recognize your own mother.
The whole world would appear to be brand new all the time, each moment. Such consciousness would be useless.
Our consciousness (recognition) MUST be sloppy … if it is to function at all.
We recognize something … when(ever) similarity is adequate … (NOT perfect /[identicality])
We are hardwired to make mistakes … to make misrecognitions.
It can NOT be otherwise.
If the requirements (for recognition) were too loose … too sloppy, we would make more misrecognitions (mistakes) than necessary.
But if we are to have an experience of the world as being continuous, then (the inescapable cost is that) we must be mistake-prone. Misrecognitions will (always) be common and familiar. (A part of Human Life)
When I first heard the Beatles song – “Yellow Submarine” … I thought they were saying “jealous of Marie”. (I heard it like that for a long time.)
Maybe no one else in the world had that same (misrecognition) experience. But … we are all familiar with (routine) misrecognitions.
What happens when we go see a (theatrical) play?
Even if the sets are very minimal, if the actors are skillful, we may easily “recognize” our experience (of the play) as reality. (And this is a “willing misrecognition”)
It’s the same with watching a movie. (Only these days, especially since the advent of computer-generated imagery (CGI) … nothing need be left to our imagination. A movie may now be made about anything at all – real or imaginary. (Imagination is the only limit.)
But when we go to see a movie (that we want to see) … we likewise (willingly) “recognize” it as Reality. We know that the movie is “not real”; but while in the theater, we ‘willingly suspend’ our disbelief. Mmm?
And how about dreams?
(I’m talking now about a “sleeping” dream … one we have at night, while we’re asleep)
Have we not ALL had dreams which (at the time of the dream) we EXPERIENCED AS REALITY?
I think this is NOT a rare experience, but something common to us all.
Sometimes (upon awakening from a dream) … we are ASTONISHED to find – that it was “only a dream”. (We were convinced – that what we were experiencing was REALITY.)
It is during our first year of life that we learn to be “awake” … and to dream. And (I’m pretty sure that) we learn to dream from being awake (and not the other way round).
In any case, these two states of consciousness (the Dream State … and the Waking State) … are (sometimes) equal in “Reality” (convincingness).
Our consciousness (you see) has ENORMOUS flexibility and versatility. It is capable of posing as anything at all! Mmm?
(It’s more impressive than CGI … any day)
Suppose some night we have a dream that we’re on a sailboat … and it’s a very “real” dream … very convincing. We can feel the wind in our hair, the spray on our face, the sun in our eyes, hear the flap of the sail, feel the movement and pitch of the vessel in the waves. But then … (upon awakening from this dream) we are forced to the realization that there was NO sailboat … NO water (etc.) … but that the whole thing was our OWN CONSCIOUSNESS posing as all these things! This is shocking … but we are forced to this conclusion.
If our own consciousness is capable of posing as a sailboat (and so on) in the ABSENCE OF ANY SAILBOAT … why should we think that it is NOT capable of doing so in the PRESENCE of an ACTUAL SAILBOAT.
If we actually DO go on a REAL sailboat (just as we did in our dream) … why should we think that these two (possibly identical) experiences are somehow unrelated? (that is – that one is a dream … and the other is NOT)
Well … they are related!
Both … are (essentially) dreams.
There is one difference between them –
One was only a dream) … while the other is a dream of our surroundings … in real time … (and induced by an actual sailboat (etc.))
The first one happened in the Dream State (with our head on our pillow); and the second one occurred in the Waking State (when we were actually on a real sailboat)!
The Waking State is (basically) a Disciplined Dream.
It’s a Waking Dream.
Like the Sleeping Dream … it is an inner experience.
We ‘recognize’ BOTH of them (at the time) – as Reality.
(It’s only when we AWAKEN from a sleeping dream … that we conclude that what we were experiencing … was actually our OWN CONSCIOUSNESS (posing as whatever).
I suppose – what I am trying to get you to do is to ‘awaken’ from your Waking Dream … that is – to (similarly) come to the realization that our waking state is (also) an inner experience which we (mis)recognize AS ‘Reality’.
This is how our consciousness WORKS.
Every moment that we’re ‘awake’ … we think we ‘see the world’.
(and, in a practical sense … we DO … but)
What we are actually experiencing is our Own Consciousness … posing as (whatever is around).
It’s a Projection.
And we (seem to) live IN it.
The REAL WORLD is (of course) … SHARED SPACE … a shared Reality.
that THING we’re looking at
(all day, every day … which we think is the REAL WORLD)
is (in fact) our OWN CREATION …
our own (personal / not public) DREAM
(of the world)
Also … we should realize (and appreciate) that –
in the same stroke …
(when we “recognize” our DREAM of the World AS the World)
our EXPERIENCE (ITSELF) disappears … (in favor of the world) …
and (thus) we DISOWN our experience !
Our (extravagant) ability to “see” the world …
this is a gift from our own consciousness.
Is it not so?
[You may want to have a look at the following excerpt from The Urantia Book. I have emboldened the passage regarding the First adjutant mind spirit (“Intuition”) … as (I am pretty sure that) it is the one which bestows upon all of us – the ability to “see” the world.
(and I suspect that this information is the (spiritual) solution … to the Brain-Mind Problem)] –
5. The Seven Adjutant Mind-Spirits
36:5.1 (401.5) It is the presence of the seven adjutant mind-spirits on the primitive worlds that conditions the course of organic evolution; that explains why evolution is purposeful and not accidental. These adjutants represent that function of the mind ministry of the Infinite Spirit which is extended to the lower orders of intelligent life through the operations of a local universe Mother Spirit. The adjutants are the children of the Universe Mother Spirit and constitute her personal ministry to the material minds of the realms. Wherever and whenever such mind is manifest, these spirits are variously functioning.
36:5.2 (401.6) The seven adjutant mind-spirits are called by names which are the equivalents of the following designations: intuition, understanding, courage, knowledge, counsel, worship, and wisdom. These mind-spirits send forth their influence into all the inhabited worlds as a differential urge, each seeking receptivity capacity for manifestation quite apart from the degree to which its fellows may find reception and opportunity for function.
36:5.3 (401.7) The central lodgments of the adjutant spirits on the Life Carrier headquarters world indicate to the Life Carrier supervisors the extent and quality of the mind function of the adjutants on any world and in any given living organism of intellect status. These life-mind emplacements are perfect indicators of living mind function for the first five adjutants. But with regard to the sixth and seventh adjutant spirits—worship and wisdom—these central lodgments record only a qualitative function. The quantitative activity of the adjutant of worship and the adjutant of wisdom is registered in the immediate presence of the Divine Minister on Salvington, being a personal experience of the Universe Mother Spirit.
36:5.4 (402.1) The seven adjutant mind-spirits always accompany the Life Carriers to a new planet, but they should not be regarded as entities; they are more like circuits. The spirits of the seven universe adjutants do not function as personalities apart from the universe presence of the Divine Minister; they are in fact a level of consciousness of the Divine Minister and are always subordinate to the action and presence of their creative mother.
36:5.5 (402.2) We are handicapped for words adequately to designate these seven adjutant mind-spirits. They are ministers of the lower levels of experiential mind, and they may be described, in the order of evolutionary attainment, as follows:
36:5.6 (402.3) 1. The spirit of intuition—quick perception, the primitive physical and inherent reflex instincts, the directional and other self-preservative endowments of all mind creations; the only one of the adjutants to function so largely in the lower orders of animal life and the only one to make extensive functional contact with the nonteachable levels of mechanical mind.
36:5.7 (402.4) 2. The spirit of understanding—the impulse of co-ordination, the spontaneous and apparently automatic association of ideas. This is the gift of the co-ordination of acquired knowledge, the phenomenon of quick reasoning, rapid judgment, and prompt decision.
36:5.8 (402.5) 3. The spirit of courage—the fidelity endowment—in personal beings, the basis of character acquirement and the intellectual root of moral stamina and spiritual bravery. When enlightened by facts and inspired by truth, this becomes the secret of the urge of evolutionary ascension by the channels of intelligent and conscientious self-direction.
36:5.9 (402.6) 4. The spirit of knowledge—the curiosity-mother of adventure and discovery, the scientific spirit; the guide and faithful associate of the spirits of courage and counsel; the urge to direct the endowments of courage into useful and progressive paths of growth.
36:5.10 (402.7) 5. The spirit of counsel—the social urge, the endowment of species co-operation; the ability of will creatures to harmonize with their fellows; the origin of the gregarious instinct among the more lowly creatures.
36:5.11 (402.8) 6. The spirit of worship—the religious impulse, the first differential urge separating mind creatures into the two basic classes of mortal existence. The spirit of worship forever distinguishes the animal of its association from the soulless creatures of mind endowment. Worship is the badge of spiritual-ascension candidacy.
36:5.12 (402.9) 7. The spirit of wisdom—the inherent tendency of all moral creatures towards orderly and progressive evolutionary advancement. This is the highest of the adjutants, the spirit co-ordinator and articulator of the work of all the others. This spirit is the secret of that inborn urge of mind creatures which initiates and maintains the practical and effective program of the ascending scale of existence; that gift of living things which accounts for their inexplicable ability to survive and, in survival, to utilize the co-ordination of all their past experience and present opportunities for the acquisition of all of everything that all of the other six mental ministers can mobilize in the mind of the organism concerned. Wisdom is the acme of intellectual performance. Wisdom is the goal of a purely mental and moral existence.
36:5.13 (403.1) The adjutant mind-spirits experientially grow, but they never become personal. They evolve in function, and the function of the first five in the animal orders is to a certain extent essential to the function of all seven as human intellect. This animal relationship makes the adjutants more practically effective as human mind; hence animals are to a certain extent indispensable to man’s intellectual as well as to his physical evolution.
36:5.14 (403.2) These mind-adjutants of a local universe Mother Spirit are related to creature life of intelligence status much as the power centers and physical controllers are related to the nonliving forces of the universe. They perform invaluable service in the mind circuits on the inhabited worlds and are effective collaborators with the Master Physical Controllers, who also serve as controllers and directors of the preadjutant mind levels, the levels of nonteachable or mechanical mind.
36:5.15 (403.3) Living mind, prior to the appearance of capacity to learn from experience, is the ministry domain of the Master Physical Controllers. Creature mind, before acquiring the ability to recognize divinity and worship Deity, is the exclusive domain of the adjutant spirits. With the appearance of the spiritual response of the creature intellect, such created minds at once become superminded, being instantly encircuited in the spirit cycles of the local universe Mother Spirit.
36:5.16 (403.4) The adjutant mind-spirits are in no manner directly related to the diverse and highly spiritual function of the spirit of the personal presence of the Divine Minister, the Holy Spirit of the inhabited worlds; but they are functionally antecedent to, and preparatory for, the appearance of this very spirit in evolutionary man. The adjutants afford the Universe Mother Spirit a varied contact with, and control over, the material living creatures of a local universe, but they do not repercuss in the Supreme Being when acting on prepersonality levels.
36:5.17 (403.5) Nonspiritual mind is either a spirit-energy manifestation or a physical-energy phenomenon. Even human mind, personal mind, has no survival qualities apart from spirit identification. Mind is a divinity bestowal, but it is not immortal when it functions without spirit insight, and when it is devoid of the ability to worship and crave survival.