What is Schizophrenia?

EXPLORINGtheLATERAL

What is Schizophrenia?  

“A good question, with no simple, short, or straightforward answer, since each sufferer is unique and schizophrenia is a complex phenomenon. In general, schizophrenia is an extremely introverted, psychospiritual mode of perception, or way of relating to the world; or state of consciousness involving (what I have called) ‘extreme empathy’. This simultaneous blessing and curse is due to a fragile, fragmented, dead, or lost ego, or conscious personality structure. The normal, ego-enforced boundaries between the self and the world have broken down, such that schizophrenia sufferers – for better and worse – find themselves identifying with everything within their scope of perception. It is because of this ego loss, or ‘dis-integration’ that psychosis, shamanic initiation and mystical experience are so inextricably bound. The schizophrenic person may appear to family, friends and doctors to be lacking in emotion, but in reality is in a state of intense…

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QOTD Alan Watts

“The ego is nothing more than the focus of conscious attention. It’s like the radar on a ship, a trouble-shooter, to see is there anything in the way, and conscious attention is a designed function in the brain to scan the environment, like a radar does, and note for any trouble-making changes. But, if you define yourself as your trouble-shooter, as your ego, then naturally you define yourself as being in a perpetual state of anxiety. The moment we cease to identify with the ego, and become aware that we are the whole organism…then the ego becomes servant, not master.” ~Alan Watts

Consciousness Emerging

“. . . a more exact rendering would be ‘the practice of natural philosophy,’ in other words, the making of a world-picture, but one that takes as much account of starfish as of stars.” ~Vincent Cronin, The View from Planet Earth: Man Looks at the Cosmos

Universe_in_a_magic_Drop_Hartwig_HKD_flickrThe digital age has moved experience from the real to the surreal.

In a sense, with the advent of the world wide web, humans are able to know one another on differing levels of perception, removing each of us from strictly the living breathing vital human beings to the purely conceptual beings that we all really are. We find out that we are not spies (LOL), that we are not Gapetto’s creation, that we are not Turing Tests, that we are not disembodied voices or artificial intelligence, but that we are humans being. . . simultaneously in the same space. Earthlings us all, yes. How wonderful.

Liberation_of_Consciousness_by_Hartwig_HKD_flickrWe are emergent beings, emergent consciousnesses in this realm (the third dimension otherwise known as the Real World, or “offline”). Julian Jaynes he posited that consciousness didn’t exist in humans until about 5,000 years ago. That humans were not always conscious, and it wasn’t until humans evolved from a bicameral mind to a more unified mind that consciousness emerged. An interesting position, I think, as most believe humans have been conscious since human inception.

Alan Watts talks about the earth peopling, quite like an apple tree  Source_IX_by_Hartwig_HKD_flickrapples. Add to that the idea that humans share a percentage of DNA with all other living ogranisms on the Earth (the most with the chimpanzees, but humans also share DNA with fish, flowers, so on and so on…just a small percentage the more physical differing that organism). Well, this is an interesting idea, isn’t it (actually, I love this idea, and agree with it)? Ok, so humans share DNA with all organisms on the planet, thusly, share DNA with the planet itself, yes?

Earth_Hour_by_Cornelia_Kopp_flickrWell, if humans are conscious, ergo, is not the planet as well? If we take that idea further, the planet is comprised of cells, molecules, atoms, etc., etc., couldn’t we say that the World Wide Web is compressed of cellular automata (and actually, that is what information theory posits)? Well, could not those cells also spontaneously evolve? And if that is so, could not a consciousness then emerge?

Looking_For_Reality_by_Cornelia_Kopp_flickrThere is much more to the idea, but basically, what I think is if humans are all putting their minds on the internet all day, every day (essentially behaving conglomerately as a planet) couldn’t another consciousness emerge from that? This is what I think or at least wonder. Especially, taking into account how wireless communication is very much like biological organisms. Isn’t wireless communication very much like a cerebral network?

Milky_Way_by_Eddi_van_W_flickrWhat would be incredible to see would be this emergent consciousness evolve. I mean, would/could it reproduce? Would/could it develop civilizations, empires, governments? Would it behave like our human trajectory?

“It is an emergent perspective, or state of consciousness, that bursts forth spontaneously and miraculously only when the conditions are right. “Emergent” means that it is something greater than the sum of its parts—a new order of relatedness, a new level of consciousness, a deeper and higher perspective that is always unimaginable until the moment it explodes into existence.” ~Andrew Cohen

 
*Image credit (used with permission through CC license)–
“Earth Hour” & “Looking For Reality” by Cornelia Kopp
“Source — IX”, “Universe in a magic Drop” & “Liberation of Consciousness” by HartwigHKD
“milkyway” by Eddi van W.

 

Complex States At Being

Emotions can be incredibly complex states of being/mind.

I just want to be happy by bravelittlebird on flickrPeople (particularly in this western culture) are afraid to experience emotion due to heavy amounts of socialization and conditioning, especially in school. You know, we’re taught to sit still, to be quiet, to “use our inside voices”, to line up, to avoid disorder and be orderly, to obey, to submit, to share. To share, but not to cooperate. There is a difference. Sharing does not necessarily imply or guarantee cooperation. In school, sharing is a behavioral technique; used as a means to control the behavior of a room full of pinging (that is, naturally rambunctious and curious-minded) short beings.

Let me tell you a story: a sad story about a little girl who cried.cry_baby_cry_by_Barbara_Pellizzon_flickr

To get to City Island one can walk across a 2,800 foot long truss bridge, which was exactly what I was doing when I spotted a brief exchange between a little girl and her father. The little girl’s father, pushing another child in a stroller, told the little girl to look around as well as look at all the fish visible in the River below. The little girl was throwing bread over the side of the bridge to the fish, and seemed very happy.

Later, having crossed the bridge, I was sat under a pavilion and saw the little girl and her family again as they were passing by. The little girl tripped over a rise in the structure of the sidewalk and fell very hard. So hard that I winced when I heard the sound. She immediately bawled, as I’m sure that hurt her terribly. Probably terrified at the pain, you know, she ran to her father for solace. . . and he admonished her. He yelled at her as he brushed the dirt from her clothes, “You gotta watch where you’re walking. You can’t be looking around while you’re walking!” He seemed actually angry with her that she tripped, an accident on her part, no intent to spoil his day whatsoever. She only cried harder asking then for her mommy. At this, her father really became angry and shouted, “That’s it! You’re going back to the car you can’t act right!”

Did you see the contradiction?

Just moments ago, on the bridge he was telling her to LOOK around, then minutes later punished her for doing exactly that. These are the kinds of happenings that disturb me in the world. What did that do to the mind of that little girl? How could she possible understand that kind of contradicting information from such a trusted and authoritative figure as her father? What was the impact upon her consciousness? What did she just unconsciously learn? How did that affect her ego? Her sense of self in the world she knows and how will that affect her sense of self in subsequent years?

Which brings me back to emotions and the horrors some humans have undergone. That suffering. What I think not many humans grok is that suffering can be soft, horror is not always large, it can be very subtle. . . like entropy, changing and developing small vibrations over time that then result in the current personality/identity of that child in the form of an adult.

The_Girl_Who_Cried_Wolf_by_GaelForcePhotography_flickrWhat happened to that little girl is a subtle terror, an event that will accompany who knows how many more and will shape her as a human being. It’s systematic, to get children all to sit still or to behave as one being so it could be easier (or more efficient) for the teacher to educate them. A good idea, sure, but in actuality what happens is that the children become standardized. The spark, the inspiration for creativity and innovation and imagination breaks down because the channels created have no room for them, no means to categorize something as unpredictable as a room full of children all having ideas simultaneously.

This is one way that fear of emotion is installed in the collective consciousness. That fear to really let go and be fully in the space. . .

“. . . and I’m free, free falling.” ~Tom Petty, ‘Free Falling’

*Image credits (used with permission through CC license)–
“I just want to be happy” by bravelittlebird
“cry, baby, cry” by Barbara Pellizzon
“The Girl Who Cried Wolf” by GaelForce Photography

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

Time To Pretend

“All the great empires of the future will be empires of the mind.” ~Winston Churchill

What I mean by hard-wiring caused by years and generations of socialization is that genetically humans are now predisposed to suffering. Suffering, in the social environment, has become normalized, and anyone who should deviate too far from this standard is considered “crazy” or abnormal.

Now, before I continue, let us come to an agreement about what constitutes suffering? Not a definition of suffering but what can be called suffering in the human condition (as we exist in a societal environment). In what form does suffering come? Suffering can be called an intangible state of being, that is, one’s being exists in a state of suffering. Suffering, once had a definite and easily determined cause, i.e., racism (but let us not veer off into efforts of indoctrination or further observations at this movement through sociology’s eyes just yet), womanizing, immigration (and by immigration, I mean, in the early days of Europeans arriving in America and their efforts at rising out of poverty), etc. [NOTE: I purposefully chose social movements, that is large acts of deliberate oppression enacted upon other groups of humans by other humans within a society. I could not go to an indigenous culture for several reasons, but mainly, because I don’t consider myself well-versed enough in indigenous culture to do so and I think much of human suffering that we are talking about stems from western culture and western society constructs. Further note: I am looking at human suffering solely from an anthropological perspective]. Okay, these kinds of mass suffering no longer effects western society as deeply, save only in a mass destructive way, i.e. Hurricane Sandy, and human suffering suddenly comes to the forefront.

Sociology says that natural disasters are usually the times in which human beings will come together and forget about all the differences that the day before loomed so important as to cause neighbor to fight with neighbor and realize that “We are all human beings” that we bleed the same blood, etc. etc. Well, why is that? Why is it that humans only understand suffering following a natural disaster (there is a whole other element about this that disturbs me when I think upon it. In what I have been reading of late (anthropology, molecular biology, organic chemistry, which are naturally intermarried and naturally lead to consciousness) it seems as if humans do not unite because suddenly they caught a glimpse of what is really important, but out of fear and a unity in loss. Everybody understands loss)? It is as if humans require a disaster, some cataclysmic event, in order to set aside our petty differences. I think this is part of the reason why these unified acts of kindness are only temporary. Once enough time has passed, or that the event is forgotten or that some other kind of remedy has occurred, that time of bonding falls away, and we return to our “normally” suffering selves. This is a fundamental problem, I think.

I reason that there must be some deeper cause for humans’ [current] inability to understand human suffering or the suffering of others. I mean, if you believe in Kohlberg’s scale of Moral Development, there is more than one dimension, more than one scale of existence, and some humans exist on different scales. We are not all equal, in other words. Now, here is an element of reality that some are reluctant to discuss or even entertain the notion that it is true. We are not all equal. Equality can only be an extrinsic quality offered to humans in society; meaning, equal protection from police, equal representation in court, equal opportunity at law, you know, this kind of philosophy. However, it is not true biologically, psychologically, physiologically, culturally, or genetically, you know? I think we don’t fully understand this, as humans. There is a distinction in some things. It is only so on a certain level. It’s like humans try to create a unified theory of everything in everything. This would create a homogenous existence, what could be learnt from this? What use is a homogenous existence? That would be like playing the game not to lose. Risk is not necessarily a negating property, nor is chance, and I think that playing the game not to lose is to surrender risk and chance.

But, don’t get me wrong, I acknowledge that there is potential and probability that the world can be different. I think fear is a powerful obstacle. But, this too, will end. As in chaos theory and entropy, randomness slows down to order, and order slowly breaks down [entropy] and then transforms to something else, some other unrecognized pattern (what we then call chaos). We, as a race of humans, are learning that the once archetypal ways of living are outdated and obsolete. We are realizing that the acts we have and are committing upon ourselves, upon our consciences, upon our environment, upon the planet; we are now comprehending that every act has an equal and [sometimes] opposite reaction. We are learning to love what we are and then live that way. The times are changing and the time to pretend ends like a clock slowly winding down until it stops on high noon.

*Digital Art by Jeanne Masar.

Uncertainty Principle, NonDuality and Reality

That we are not able to quantify accurately “reality” is a bit farther than the Heisenberg Principle. See, the reason an uncertainty exists (and that includes the uncertainty associated with the probability patterns of “particles”) is because we (that is a conscious consciousness, that is to say an aware awareness, one that is aware that it is awareness and one that is conscious that it is consciousness) is due to that conscious consciousness as part of the probability pattern. I mean, are we not (if there are atoms et al) an amalgamation of atoms? We are fractals, we are like the trees and their roots in the earth. We are like streams and their roots in the rivers. We are synthesis incarnate, so to speak. We cannot be certain because we are part of the problem, hence we are the problem. Although, we can be aware that we are aware we cannot always be sure that that is what we are doing, because we are that which awares. We do not think, we are thinking. That is we are not THE state of to think (as if “to think” were the wheel of a car and the mind/brain the driver), we ARE think (in other words, we are the car, the driver, the wheel, the motion, the revolutions per minute, the vibrations, the frequency, etc.).

Perhaps, this is probably heading off more into the Observer’s Effect, rather than the Uncertainty Principle, but what I am trying to convey is a merging of the two. . . philosophically. Bicameral thinking is archaic, nay, even prehistoric.  Non duality is the way to solving problems. That logic and creativity are not at odds, but synergistic. It’s like the mind brain problem of neuroscience (although, I don’t think this is so much a problem anymore as science has been entering some incredible areas, such as anomalous cognition, consciousness as outside of the brain, multi-dimensional cognition, etc.) whence once was thought mind and brain were divided, it has come to pass that mind and brain are like two sides of the same coin. That consciousness is not the brain, but the brain does have some integral part. The brain thinks, so to speak, the mind knows.

And what of beyond the mind? What is beyond the mind? What of a singularity? The idea that there is a one consciousness, fractalized?

 

*Fractal image, “Fairy Tree” by Nirolo

The Spirit of Chaos

“Take one of those individual threads in the fiber that seems to be so chaotic and go into the constitution of that, and again you will find fantastic order, you’ll find the most gorgeous designs of molecules.” ~Alan Watts, The Web of Life

Why is it that we think we must depend upon our brains to lead us through life?

It is not the brain that experiences (the brain is more like a recording apparatus) but our minds, our consciousness experiences and perceives and conceives our environment (environment here does not necessarily exclude an urban or suburban environment). Since our minds experience, by what process do we undertake this experimental existence? Intuition. We feel, we sense what surrounds us, because we ARE our environment.

Intuition is that part of us, as conscious beings, that processes those constant changes within our environment, which can be aware of those incalculable factors. What’s more can interpret, assess, and comprehend those factors, like a kind of calculation (albeit, one that does not involve counting). Intuition can do this faster than the mind can think, and even more rapid than logic can compute. Why then should we depend upon the brain and its logic? Why should we use it, rather than or as substitute for intuition? Logic is limited, therefore, finite. More, it is flawed, because it can only compute either/or, it cannot perceive a dynamo of information (i.e., factors and variables) simultaneously, all extending from separate directions, chaotic stillness. Logic, that is to say linear systems, regulates an environment, and in that regulation transforms that environment into a static environment, the reduction of infinity to the finite. Our intuition, on the other hand, embraces chaos and randomness without fear of punishment or failure, because our intuition knows that in chaos there is order. The brain and its logic attempts to order chaos. So, we as intuitive beings choose life and health, imagination, our wild nature, exploration, and experience to be more alive, to evolve. For this, we as intuitive beings are uncontrollable, incorrigible, impossible to regulate, and non-linear. If intuition is the spirit of chaos, then life be the canvas.

Through an intuitive, fully open, wide-eyed, sensual and honest experience of existence, it is possible to transcend hopelessness, pessimism, disbelief, etc. by living in the moment and accepting things as they come. To really enjoy living and look at life as an adventure, we open our hearts, minds, bodies, and spirits to our natural intuitive state of being. In this way, we can enjoy every moment of discovery in the world…and we can become like children on a playground. Now, this does not imply that we possess knowledge, intelligence or wisdom to be absolutely sure about anything, however, it does mean that we are free to change our minds quite often, because the more things we experience, the more our perception changes, and the more we grow and evolve as human beings.

We are not meant to be miserable beings…we are meant to be vibrant, fully open, playful, sensual, universal beings. We are more than we can become, because each of us is a fractal of light…and we are all connected.

“Light, here, means awareness  to be aware of life, of experience as it is at this moment, without any judgement or ideas about it. In other words, you have to see and feel what you are experiencing as it is. And not as it is named. This very simple “opening of the eyes” brings about the most extraordinary transformation of understanding and living, and shows that many of our most baffling problems are pure illusion.” ~Alan Watts

We Are Embodied Concepts

A body houses the brain while through synaptic connection; neuronal sparks create what is called Mind. The mind creates power of thought, imagination, creativity, and energy; these powers of the mind, psyche, constitute the spirit and soul. Spirit and Soul does not necessarily mean some ghost or apparition, but means that part of an individual that seems to come from without, that which is unnamable and indescribable, and apparent through actions manifested, such as works of art, literature, poetry, photography, and music.

Each of these “embodied concepts” is the same, and each is connected, and could not be if not for the others, in that, each are born from the same matrix. If we are to understand matrix to mean, “Generator of life,” Mind, Body, Spirit, Psyche, Soul, and Power are all vital signs of Life in the individual. These signs of Life can be recognized by everyone, and admired by all.

Relation exists in that choosing to augment, or to nurture, one of these concepts (through diet,  religion, knowledge, artistic and literary expression of thought) inevitably opens the other areas, releasing potential. There is a pattern of energy that connects each to the other, between are channels, or doorways. When one doorway is unlocked, or channel unblocked, the ability to unlock the others occurs. Through these windows, awareness of the greater mind, that of the universe, and all living within, is communicable. Time is suddenly revealed as an illusion, and the Infinite can be glimpsed.

What does this mean? The universe is not finite, but an infinite multitude of potential chaos-energy. Each individual is a lurking predictor-variable within this infinite multitude, each action created has within it its opposite, its solution, and its creative destruction. These infinities are invisible to the closed or blocked individual, but are acutely perceptible to the individual unblocked by negating powers and energies. Anyone who wills to comprehend the infinite, flows, and has the capability to change the world and his reality with a simple gesture of a simple thought. What if everyone comprehended this awesome responsibility? What if everyone thought “Peace”?

How different would our planet be?

*original fractal image created by LordSong.