Victory over Disharmony

Radio Telescopes – ESO – Chile

There wasn’t any reason in particular to step out into the mitigated darkness of late evening, other than to follow an urge to move past the sometimes bewildering blur my life has been of late. Somehow, as I turned my gaze to the canopy of stars in the cool autumn night, I felt as though taking an unexpected turn might send me off the path for a while. Any change of direction can briefly alleviate the pangs of our everyday unrealized desires, but I had no reason to expect any real change to occur no matter how blindly I turned from one avenue of chaos to another.

It has always seemed to me whenever the moment approached to make a bold choice, fraught with either danger or excitement, that I rarely felt able to engage my genuine inclinations to go in one direction or another. After countless clashes with just about every imaginable consequence resulting from what might be described as risky spontaneous surges in my past, I have become much less likely to shut down my brain long enough to follow such urgings. My heart and mind are often at odds in one way or another, but not because I somehow haven’t been able to work through the requisite deliberations regarding the consequences of disharmony provided by the clash of interests.

Artist Image by h.koppdelaney who writes: “This picture is my interpretation of the antagonistic energies and the unity behind.”

Several pressing matters have intruded into my daily deliberations of late, and it fascinates me how so many of the everyday matters of daily life jump out at me which have relevance to my investigations into consciousness. At times, the juxtaposition of several key elements is illuminating in a way no single confrontation of opposites could be, but more often than not, the cacophonous meshing of several different streams of consciousness is mostly just distracting, leading to confusion and uncertainty. The crux of the matter seems to be that the disparate elements vying for my attention all seem equally urgent to me in their own way, and that puts me at a distinct disadvantage that, in itself, I find fascinating.

What propels me to investigate human consciousness is clearly my passionate interest for the subject generally, but also due to a compelling drive to comprehend my own subjective experience, particularly in the face of what feels like an overarching imbalance of reductionist thinking which occasionally dominates the arena. Why I should be so concerned with the sometimes outrageous assertions of narrow-minded reductionist thinkers eludes me presently, other than perhaps to provide some degree of counterbalance for such extreme viewpoints which advocate a kind of “scientific fundamentalism,” that is equally abhorrent as any other form of fundamentalism.


What I am proposing in my own work, while clearly advocating my own interpretations with enthusiasm, is victory over the disharmony that seems to permeate the field at most every level. The quest to discover a fundamental theory of consciousness shares a degree of interconnectedness with every related discipline, and where we sometimes fail is when one side or the other dismisses a potential fundamental feature of our humanity, due to some sociocultural or religious paradigm, which in many cases is designed specifically to limit such connections. Discovery of a powerful and universal human nature which does not require social approval, cultural agreement, or a compatible religious dogma threatens the very fabric of these institutions.

Even the scientists, who often thrive on the secular nature of explanations, free from any cultural or even vaguely metaphysical influences, are threatened by the suggestion that consciousness may require the unity of scientific and spiritual notions, and vigorously resist any mention of the ineffable or the spiritual. What often results is the rejection by all sides of what the Buddhists call, “The Middle Path,” leaving compromise and symbiotic construction out of a comprehensive theory.

Denying the facts of science, rejecting sound empirical reasoning, and refusing to consider any suggestion of evolutionary or natural causes for complex phenomena, is just as absurd as dismissing the possibility of a non-physical reality existing as a vital component to our temporal existence. What can seem so apparent to us subjectively, that we exist as both temporal and spiritual beings, may not seem empirically tenable objectively, and many of the fundamental aspects of our physical universe, which science and mathematics illuminate so exquisitely say virtually nothing when it comes to our fantastically vibrant subjective experience of existence within that universe.

It is my belief that we cannot dispense with either viewpoint without diminishing both, and that we serve best the goals of progress and comprehension by seeking a middle-ground where both may flourish and create an opening for our future generations to expand and evolve beyond the limitations of the past.

2 thoughts on “Victory over Disharmony

  1. I also think we should include more of each area of thought with both sides in order to expand our understanding. I hope there is a movement like this going on in the years to come.

    The “middle path,” isn’t always the easy one…is it?

    1. Clearly, the middle path can be a challenge! Polarizing any issue never really seems to lead to a satisfactory resolution. I believe there are some hopeful signs that we may be starting to consider other viewpoints, and I have attempted to give equal consideration to views which differ from my own as well. The movement has begun, I think, but not truly in earnest just yet. I am hopeful though and your comment gives us some reason to think we are opening to this possibility.

      Thanks for your visit and for commenting.,,,,John H.

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