Getting Wet

January 27, 2010 | Leave a Comment

Category: Art, Society, Unconscious, Web

Exploring human origins and social change paradigms is far more than the specialty of evolutionary biologists and anthropologists.  To understand our origins, it is necessary to understand human consciousness, human consciousness as it relates to prehuman consciousness, and whatever alternative consciousness is necessary to put the other two in context.  In other words, to understand ourselves and our society’s changes, let’s consider an alternative intervention.  Let’s try less dry explorations.  Let’s get wet.

What began as a creative exercise several years ago has evolved into an unconscious routine.  I used to make believe, or run an “as if” frame, that said that if society is changing according to a hidden yet overarching dynamic, the future could be intuited or predicted by patterns or trends observable in the present.  I’d place myself in a meditative space and listen.

The deepest, most impact-filled presupposition that I live with is Descartes’ conclusion that because I am aware, I’ll accept that I exist.  Next in importance is this presupposition:  Because I experience feeling part of something larger than myself, I will accept the experience as valid, even though I began meditating almost 40 years ago with that experience as a goal.  In other words, I accept spiritual experience on a relative basis, based upon the fact that by seeking spiritual experience I assume that it exists.  As a student of Ericksonian hypnotherapy and as a follower of the work of the psychoanalyst/dolphin researcher/altered-state specialist John C. Lilly, I can relate to Lilly’s basic premise, “What I believe to be true is true or becomes true, within the limits to be found experientially or experimentally.”

Although there is a suggestion here that truth is relative, there is also a suggestion that our mind/self is so powerful a creative force that truth can be designed.

Listening for patterns, I sit in a deeply relativistic place, aware that my unconscious presuppositions deeply inform the patterns I can be aware of, and I am aware that my choice to believe that there is overarching pattern impacts what I perceive.

I theorize that there is primary process consciousness (the one time, one place, no opposites consciousness displayed by protohumans, small children, animals, the unconscious, dreams and the autistic), split consciousness (normal waking consciousness) and a third consciousness that features aspects of the other two.

So, when I engage in the exercise of seeking understanding, I use “as if.”  Placing myself in “as if,” also called “don’t know mind,” I encourage the emergence of patterns.  I get wet.  I’m playing with the notion that this kind of getting wet is becoming common.  I’m playing with the idea that grasping human origins and social change is best conducted outside an academic environment and inside the Internet, where the process of communication is showing signs of primary process, split consciousness and the unnamed transcendent third position all at once.

One of the current default beliefs among academics is that art was a contingent, accidental, emergent feature that resulted from the evolution of our unique large brains, language and self awareness.  Geoffrey Miller has suggested that perhaps we’ve got that direction reversed.  Miller writes that art drove our evolution.  I agree, and I would go a step further.  That which we experience as art is a direct reflection or manifestation of very early ontogenetic embryonic epigenetic process.  Art was encouraged to emerge in the adult of our species via neotenic runaway sexual selection, which emphasized song and dance.  Human adult consciousness in no small way reflects the actual creative process of life on earth.  Art is a direct reflection of that process.  We think like life creates.

Right now we are creating the Internet.

I’m thinking that the best way to understand ourselves is to share.  Giving our conjectures to the Internet, an automatic citation system embedding idea lineage into its very fabrication, we can relieve ourselves of the academic compulsion to father or mother every idea into a peer-reviewed journal, with every parent knowing exactly where every child is.  Yes, there is anonymity and loss of identity when words or works of art emerge and proliferate without it being obvious who might have been an “owner.”  This is the wet world of the Internet.  Boundaries are far less distinct.  Ownership is less important.  Control is not possible.

If we are going to understand human origins and societal evolution, we have to give up control.  The third consciousness that provides an understanding of the other two is one that presupposes that former boundaries can disappear.

For many, the question is:  How can we understand something if we don’t draw lines?

It’s OK to draw lines.  We just draw them with our temporary minds.  And, observe.


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