The Consciousness and Noise

“Consciousness is incompatible with multi-tasking. . .” ~WWW:WATCH by Robert J. Sawyer

The Universe Is In Us by Tahar AbroudjameurPerhaps this could be reason as to why I don’t like noise and why the brain cannot process beyond a certain volume of noise or static. Perhaps the act on the brain is like multi-tasking, due to the number of stimuli required to be processed. At a certain level, this noise invades rather than soothes. In other words, it throws the brain into an erratic state, discombobulation. It’s the difference between the brain handling series of stimuli while in nature (or some other quiet environment) as this is not so much a great noise so does not tax the brain. In a social environment (or a noisier environment), the brain is forced to compute several constructions simultaneously, but like the eyes suffer saccades. For example, while in a mall or McDonald’s, the brain must compute (i.e., process) the bright lights, the colors, the hardness of the booth, the various sounds from the kitchen area (the ice machine, the fry beep, voices from the employees), voices from customers both inside and outside at the drive-thru window, all while trying to write or read or converse. All activities that otherwise Into The Cosmos by Exper Giovanni Rubaltellirequire concentration, and the brain simply cannot keep up, so crashes (the brain doesn’t really do this, I merely make use of the analogy to illustrate better my meaning). The brain crashing is the equivalent of shattering or breaking down (a kind of dissociation, or splitting) and is no longer able to function (why there is a loss of time when this happens and entering into a fugue-like state) optimally. Too much stimuli, indeed. I know when I lived outside in the woods and when I would enter an establishment once out of the woods, I experienced this kind of dissociation frequently. It is the same when entering any kind of arena in society, i.e., social institutions, social gatherings, social agencies, the brain needs concentration in order to hold onto consciousness as well as to attain higher levels of consciousness. Perhaps this is why monasteries are not located in cities, why retreats are always located in remote areas, well outside civilization, and why sanitariums are often surrounded by nature. In civilization, it is more difficult for the consciousness to live in harmony. If so, what is lateral thinking really? Perhaps, closer to multi-dimensional cognition.

However, McDonald’s (and other such establishments) were not created to be an environment of thought and conversation. Interaction is manufactured for eating and any movements associated with eating. In McDonald’s commercials, customers (other than the narrator) are always eating and smiling. McDonald’s is meant to be a noisy environment, where thought is not likely to happen. Only mindless eating, creating repeat customers. The function of McDonald’s as a place of eating, is to make it a fun, exciting experience eating McDonald’s food. Bring the family, bring the kids, brings your friends. McDonald’s wants you to do one motion, repeatedly. . . eat.

Shopping Ma(u)ls are no different. The purposeful design of every Spheres by Nova-Imagesshopping mall is to lead you into stores to buy. Repeatedly. As many times as possible. A shopping mall’s deliberate function is to create for you the illusion of a fun and exciting experience buying. Bring the family, bring the kids, bring your friends. Bring grandma. Every occasion can be marked with a buying experience.

Both McDonald’s (and other such establishments) and Shopping Malls are constructed to be loud, noisy environments to attract and keep your attention. Inserting into an unquiet mind instructions to buy and how to feel about the experience. The mind is busy noticing every advertisement, designed to attract your attention, sometimes on a subconscious level. With noise, McDonald’s and Shopping Malls can bombard your mind into oblivion, or, in other words, a highly suggestible state. Like traffic lights ‘influence’ the flow and congestion of traffic, Shopping Malls ‘influence’ you not to think about anything for any period of time. The idea is not to think, only Buy.

Because of the way the brain works if it hears a sound, especially the sound of a human voice, then it wants naturally to listen, which requires the brain to start attempting to decipher what is being said/conveyed and to start ascertaining meaning, processing, it sets to the task automatically. Well, what if there were a room full of voices, full of conversations, how does the brain process them and retain, especially if it is an unfamiliar environment? Unless the body goes from one conversation to the other, spending only a few seconds at each, perhaps it could process this,  but for how long? It simply cannot process them simultaneously, all at once. One at a time, would require effort but it could easily be done, especially if only a few tidbits need to be conveyed and the meaning is immediately understood (not complex, i.e. not requiring a great amount of thought to understand. This is why it would be harder at an unfamiliar place, such as a foreign country and the native language were unknown). In other words, not much sustained conversation is required.

Untitled by Jon MartinMcDonald’s and Shopping Malls like it very much that you act like an infant or a toddler, entertained by a bombardment of amplified false notions. Verbs transmutated into nouns, like grammatical alchemy. Harry Potter has nothing on the neuroscience packaged into the design (the look, the feel, the ambiance) of a shopping mall and McDonald’s. From color to how many steps it takes for you to arrive at the counter from the entrance. An eating zombie, cowering, like a baby, from quiet and responding predictably to introduced stimuli.

“The behavior of organisms including human beings is predictable & therefore controllable. Give me a baby and I can make any kind of man” ~John B Watson

For me, this noise is not necessary, which is good, because I don’t want it. What actual and real enjoyment could be had surrounded by noise scrambling the brain, completely motivated by emotion and dramatic representation of those emotions regardless of their relevancy? Within quiet, however, the consciousness is like a chaotic stillness. Unpredictable in its motions, yet calm. The absence of static; a dynamic tapestry of randomness.

“Once I rose above the noise and confusion, just to get a glimpse beyond this illusion.” Carry On Wayward Son, Kansas

Consciousness Awakening by Ralph Buckley

Artwork (in order of appearance)–

“The Universe Is In Us” by Tahar Abroudjameur
“Into The Cosmos” by Exper Giovanni Rubaltelli
“Spheres” by Nova-Images
“Untitled” by Jon Martin
“Consciousness Awakening” by Ralph Buckley

11 thoughts on “The Consciousness and Noise

  1. When a hacker wishes to break into a system they bombard it with a large number of connections so that it crashes and so they can get inside. In the same way modern life is fast and we are bombarded to such an extent with stimulation our brains crash; we become stupid and easily controllable. Those coming from a slower natural environment get distressed quickly and turn tail and run like any animal would from such an environment.

    • Exactly! An excellent analogy to what I’m saying in the post. Yes, the bombarbment renders the brain inoperational (the crash) and stupidity (a stupor) results, precursor to the highly suggestible state.

      And, yes, those who are more familiar with a slower, natural environment (quieter and more stable then) immediately notice the noise and are overwhelmed, much the same as animals are disturbed when something invades the forest.

  2. The place we are currently living in is an absolute noise nightmare. We moved here because it was on a twenty acre green belt in the middle of the city, and we figured our cats would have room to roam. We had no idea we were moving into a dog kennel, as almost every resident has one to three dogs per 493 square foot unit. The windows are original late 50’s glass, with almost no sound barrier, so 24/7 it’s people talking, loud music, sirens, dogs barking, and the coyotes.
    Yeah, coyotes. The poor things have outgrown their territory, and are WAY over populated. Local wildlife officials say they can’t trap them to move them, as they are too smart for that. They have even become aggressive against humans, which I am pretty sure is a sign they are starving. We hear them off and on, howling very loudly, which really gets the dogs going as well. So, our cats can’t go outside, as they most apt will get eaten, and we are bombarded with constant noise.
    Yes, it makes meditation difficult when it is all the time. I will say though that I am able to meditate under any conditions, have even done so at a live punk show, lol. I mastered that raising two children, whom I rarely had a break from, due to their having been homeschooled. I promised myself I would always be there for them when they needed me, so I learned how to stay in a state of meditation with frequent interruptions. I completely agree though that constant noise is unhealthy, and have experienced the same disorientation/hyper stimulation thing after going from the woods to the city. Cities have never been healthy places, and I sure look forward to getting out of this one. 🙂
    Good post!

    • Thank you! 🙂

      Yes, it is possible to achieve a state of mindfulness in which a meditative mind is possible even in the noisiest of environments. This is something that I am not able to do, however. Like you, I prefer the surroundings of dense, thick forests, wild animals and wildflowers, mountains and cliffs, waterfalls and animal runs. In this environment there is more life teeming beneath the surface and yet this is a different kind of noise. It is dynamic and not like the static noise of an indoor/city environment.

      What’s more disturbing, is that much of this noise goes unnoticed, simply becomes a part of the regular, familiar background. Like highway hypnosis, lulled by the rhythm of apparent sameness, like being in a constant fugue state. This, too, is a noise to the point of vapidity.

      Thank you for the great, conversational comment.

  3. Great post, Niko. My wife and son are very sensitive to external stimuli. I have, unfortunately, been desensitized. Your post makes me want to become more mindful of my environment. It also makes me want to take my sons out in nature rather than the mall. Thank you.

    • Kozo,
      Extreme hypersensitivity to stimuli is almost always caused by heavy metal poisoning, which pretty much everyone has these days. It is very cheap to deal with this though, by taking 4 double 00 capsules of kelp powder a day. Kelp powder is about 6-$8 a pound, and capsules off ebay are very inexpensive, about $12 for a thousand. My detox mixture is comprised of a tesaspoon kelp powder, and a teaspoon of spirulina mixed in water or juice once a day. Kelp powder alone in juice taste like a swamp, so I don’t reccomend it without the spirulina. These supplements also give you a large portion of the minerals your body needs.

    • Hiya, Kozo. 🙂

      Oh, I would much rather venture into nature than the mall. I cannot remember when last I entered a shopping mall. I, too, am very sensitive to external stimuli.

      The next time you and your sons take a walk in nature, don’t forget to post the adventure on your blog. I wonder what gurus you would find there? 🙂

  4. […] No question for question brings pause, and in pause, there is no motion. When there is pause (or in another essay under another name could be called quiet when contrasted with the need, the compulsion for constant noise however […]

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