• Jack Cummins
    2.3k

    I think that the personal ego can be a problem. Actually, my own ego has had so many knocks that it is not particularly powerful, but just enough to keep me going. The interpersonal conflicts which we have probably are mostly trivial, but they can so easily be blown out of proportion. Some of my worst ones have been arguments by text, which have ended up seeming like text wars.

    Funnily enough though, a lot of my own interpersonal stress is not even really about my own personal issues, but about me feeling bombarded with other people's own problems. So, in a way, perhaps this is about helping others to see things in perspective, and beyond the limits of the personal ego.
  • Pantagruel
    1.6k
    So, in a way, perhaps this is about helping others to see things in perspective, and beyond the limits of the personal egoJack Cummins
    It is about that, but you can only control you. Trite as it may seem, there's a lot of substance in the Serenity Prayer. I've wandered more than once down the twelve-step path.
  • Jack Cummins
    2.3k

    I believe that you are correct to say that we can only control ourselves, and I think this is particularly important when others almost wish to overwhelm us. Sometimes, it is probably about standing back, and doing nothing. I think that I am better at reflecting after events, rather than in reflection in action. So, sometimes, I just need to slow down rather than act or speak before thinking carefully, and we probably need our quiet peaceful days, rather than being caught up in a constant battle with moment to moment stress. The times of reflection and contemplation are possibly as important as the peaks of transformation.
  • Pantagruel
    1.6k
    The times of reflection and contemplation are possibly as important as the peaks of transformation.Jack Cummins

    :up:

    Balance
  • Jack Cummins
    2.3k

    Okay, I will let you get on with whatever you are doing. It has been good interacting, and I am going to carry on reading Huxley's 'The Perennial Philosophy'.
  • Pantagruel
    1.6k
    Nice! That's on the shelf right next to me - must be a sign. I'm queueing this "up next"....
  • Jack Cummins
    2.3k

    I understand that you are saying that human consciousness is biased in favour of our emotional. So, are you trying to argue that the peak experiences are part of an overall coping process? I can understand that some of the peak experiences of people have occurred to individuals who are struggling. However, I think if the heightened states of creativity, and cosmic consciousness are reduced too much, there is a danger of missing their significance, even on a cultural level.

    Or, perhaps, I am misunderstanding the implications of your theory of self -organisation of consciousness. I am not wishing to elevate the ideas of certain creative individuals. I think that the whole area is a complex topic, which includes perspective on phenomenology and states of consciousness.
  • 180 Proof
    3.4k
    It seems our universe is a self-organizing one! This is its fundamental nature.Pop
    Ancient atomists (i.e. Cārvāka, Abderites, Epicureans-Lucretians) and daoists clearly thought so. This speaks to a philosophical depth – antiquity – of insight, but extrapolating to something like (a) 'causal-intentional agency' (e.g. pantheism, panpsychism) is wholly unwarranted and also, however non-transcendent, question-begging.
  • Jack Cummins
    2.3k

    It is interesting that ancient philosophers saw it this way and I am not opposed to the idea of self -organisation of consciousness. It is just so different from some ideas within Western metaphysics, which saw it the other way round, as probably stemming from some kind of divine order.
  • 180 Proof
    3.4k
    Except for the Cārvāka, the other atomists belong to the Western philosophical tradition albeit not the Platonic-Aristotlean-Stoic mainstream. Given the persistently insufficient evidence "disembodied consciousness", it follows that consciousness corresponds to bodily-states and self-organizes (as well as self-dissipates) just as bodies do. Want to transform consciousness, transform the body (e.g. drugs/alcohol & sobriety, love & hatred, ascetic living & libertinage, isolated & crowded, devout faith (worship) & dialectical thinking (praxis), exploited & exploiting, etc).
  • Jack Cummins
    2.3k

    It is probably that certain ideas have been pushed out of the mainstream of philosophy. I have read some but not that much of Bergson on creative evolution, and wondering if he sees consciousness as self -organising, or does he see it as being a reflection of some higher level? I am planning to read him soon, so I can find out, and it may be relevant for this discussion.
  • 180 Proof
    3.4k
    Sounds good, enjoy! Though I much prefer Schop's (intrinsic) Will to Bergson's (extrinsic) Élan vital as a self-organizing principle of consciousness (and nature), I'd found Bergson's writings deeply insightful and ideas quite clear.
  • Jack Cummins
    2.3k

    My interest in Bergson's ideas is mainly in connection with Huxley's ideas about mind at large as a filtering down process of a higher level of mind. However, I do see the questions of whether to see that it is interesting to think about consciousness as self organising. Hopefully, it doesn't lessen the importance of the development of states of consciousness, but just frames it differently.
  • Brock Harding
    30
    Talk of peak experiences brings to mind Plato's 'Allegory of the cave'. Check it out if you haven't already.
  • Jack Cummins
    2.3k

    I think that Plato's cave is very interesting in thinking about consciousness, and the grasping for reality. It may be that the cave metaphor has been a key aspect in the way in which we have thought about metaphysical reality as being a remote one beyond us, rather than as being immanent in nature.

    Perhaps it is not that Plato's allegory is not useful as a starting point, but it could be that it has been taken a bit too literally.
  • Pop
    703
    Or, perhaps, I am misunderstanding the implications of your theory of self -organisation of consciousness. I am not wishing to elevate the ideas of certain creative individuals. I think that the whole area is a complex topic, which includes perspective on phenomenology and states of consciousness.Jack Cummins

    If you are interested in perusing self organization, Neile Theise does a much better job of explaining it then I do.
  • Pop
    703
    It seems our universe is a self-organizing one! This is its fundamental nature.
    — Pop
    Ancient atomists (i.e. Cārvāka, Abderites, Epicureans-Lucretians) and daoists clearly thought so. This speaks to a philosophical depth – antiquity – of insight, but extrapolating to something like (a) 'causal-intentional agency' (e.g. pantheism, panpsychism) is wholly unwarranted and also, however non-transcendent, question-begging.
    180 Proof

    If you articulate specific questions, I will answer them. No need to beg. :smile:
  • Brock Harding
    30
    Excuse my ignorance but what is the purpose behind peak experiences if not to rationalise sensory input? I think we sometimes get our heads buried in the granular details of things and that close observation distorts our perspective - the observer effect. Hence my reference to Plato's cave allegory which, to me, takes a step back or broader perspective of the situation in the contemplation of forms.
  • Brock Harding
    30
    Plato's work is also interesting in the aspect that this is obviously a dilemma considered by earlier ages than ours.
  • Jack Cummins
    2.3k

    Thanks for the link. I realise that your topic of self-organisation of consciousness is probably slightly out of context in this thread, although I don't mind if anyone wishes.
  • Jack Cummins
    2.3k

    I am sorry if my discussion of peak experiences was not clear to you. I have found your comment during the night, but will write a fuller response tomorrow because It may be that the purpose of what I have written is not written clearly, for you and for others too. I am talking more about the processes of creativity and awareness.
  • Jack Cummins
    2.3k


    Strangely, even though I criticised Plato's cave as having possibly contributed to us looking for an understanding in relation to a divine order, I have just discovered in Arthur Versluis' discussion of perennial philosophy, a useful insight into seeing illumination through the use of Plato's cave metaphor. Versluis suggests,'If ordinary life can be likened to a cave, then to awaken is to go outside the cave from the darkness into the light of the sun.' He goes on to say that within perennial philosophy 'illumination includes but also transcends our ordinary discursive consciousness.'

    So, in this way, peak experiences can be viewed in the context of the process of waking up, or illumination. I am certainly not wishing to suggest that the peak experiences are just a form of pleasure, but, of seeing ourselves as being part of a bigger picture. I think that the topic just got a bit confusing when it moved into the question of whether consciousness is well-organising, which is more one of phenomenology and metaphysics.

    I began my thread with a discussion of Colin Wilson's writing on peak experiences, and this is connected to Maslow's understanding of such experiences. However, it is probably best understood within the context of people seeking greater self awareness, or even those within spiritual traditions, including states of enlightenment. It may take extreme discipline before we can ever reach such states, but it can be seen as a spectrum of potential higher states of awareness. While the peak experiences may be seen as the peaks, it is likely that the process involves obstacles as well. I hope that I am making the point of my thread a little clearer.
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