Ten Years of Blogging

 

The New Year has unfolded in an especially tumultuous way so far, and the tides of wellness and illness in our country seem to be fluctuating wildly as the pandemic rages and the new American presidency gets underway, but underneath it all, in several important ways, there is a continuity of sorts that we can tap into if we simply take a few deep breaths and step back away from the extremes that have characterized the past few months.

 

 

No one could have known what would occur when the unwitting travelers carrying the deadly virus eventually started arriving in America and infecting others to such a widespread degree, spreading out eventually across the world.  We can analyze the various responses to the virus in retrospect now, but ultimately, we have to deal with the circumstances as they exist presently.  It seems, at least for now, that we know what we must do, and concrete steps to combat the virus are being taken.

 

 

The circumstances leading up to the violence in our nation’s capitol in early January are being thoroughly examined and analyzed, and although the reckoning with tracking down those responsible is underway, the indications are, from our national response to it all, that it will need to be addressed in a number of different ways, not just by seeking justice against those who carried out the violence. 

 

Underneath it all are urgent matters which must also be addressed, not the least of which is the relentless barrage of misinformation that stoked the flames of outrage, as well as the extremists at the heart of the attack, who up until recently had been mostly an underground fringe element.  However one wishes to parse the conversation surrounding who is to blame, it will be even more urgent to expose the root causes and take steps to reverse whatever maladaptation resulted when these components exploded into violence.

 

Regardless of whatever your political inclinations might be, and no matter what we determine in the process of investigating and responding to these urgent matters, we must resolve to make whatever course corrections are necessary and possible.

 

In my previous posting, I was trying to come to terms with the “daunting difficulties” and “serial struggles,” represented by the awful events of last year, before I knew about the uprising in January. The bitterness and division of the last months of last year, spilled over into the beginning of this year, but this past week, we began to see a whole new direction for new possibilities being shown by our new American administration.  While we know that the climb back to a condition of constructive progress will be steep at first, in the long run, we have cause for optimism, and we can remain hopeful if we are determined to bring about a hopeful resolution. 

 

 

Now more than ever, it also feels very important for me to continue my own efforts here in exploring and expanding our understanding of our true nature, as well as encouraging everyone who visits here to reconsider any limiting or narrow view of what may be possible in our efforts to enrich that understanding.

 

We can only make constructive progress in our society by being more inclusive with regard to our approach to differing viewpoints, and we can only expand our understanding of our true nature by deepening our awareness of what lies within us, and to explore our “inner evolution,” as I have described it, with an open heart and mind. It’s clear that our societal challenges have become of more immediate concern to us all, and must be dealt with urgently now, but it is equally important to attend to our inner life, and to connect to the core of our individual and collective being.

 

 

Within the context of world events, which includes the recent chaos and division within our own country and elsewhere, we are reminded how the full scope of those events can affect us, even if we don’t participate in them directly.  This effect can also be felt when we seriously consider the events and discoveries throughout human history.

 

With the Ship of the Imagination hovering close by, host Neil deGrasse Tyson walks along the beach – a landscape which will one day surrender to the churning cycles of birth, destruction, and rebirth mandated by the laws of nature. COSMOS: POSSIBLE WORLDS on National Geographic. (Cosmos Studios)

 

I recently began reviewing the National Geographic series, “Cosmos: Possible Worlds,” the second edition of the original series, hosted once again by Neil deGrasse Tyson, telling the stories surrounding our current scientific worldview.  I’ve taken great interest in the subject matter, which is often reflective of the vitally important events of history, and how they shaped our current level of understanding of the sciences. Much of what has occurred in the past has a direct bearing on our world today, and it is clear that without the efforts of those who came before us, our world might be dramatically different, and far less advanced in the degree of knowledge and wisdom available at the touch of a button, or the swipe of a screen.  

 

In a review of the series by Steve Greene on Indiewire.com, he makes a keen observation about the importance of the contributions by our predecessors:

“Many of the individuals and groups that challenged and then shaped our perception of nature were rebels in their day, fighting against a majority that either distrusted them or were threatened by the lessons they sought to spread. “Cosmos: Possible Worlds” doesn’t pursue explicit parallels within our modern relationship to scientific ideas, but it nevertheless warns of the perils of both gradual and concentrated attacks on those who’ve dedicated their life to understanding the workings of the natural world.”

 

 

Here at John’s Consciousness, I sometimes feel as though I am also “fighting against a majority,” when it comes to the ideas I’ve expressed and the stories that I tell as I explore my own “inner evolution.” Over the last ten years, beginning in earnest in January 2011, I have documented the results of both my personal experiences and dedicated research related to those experiences and I have endeavored to formulate a coherent narrative that illustrates the combined efforts of more than thirty years of writing on the subjective experience of human consciousness.

 

After decades of research, study, and contemplation and having expended an enormous amount of effort and energy in the process of discerning what might possibly be behind our extraordinary human subjective awareness of existing as a physical entity in the physical universe, for me personally, as well as for many prominent thinkers throughout human history, the reality is that while our subjective experience of being alive requires the cooperation and integration of physical systems in order for our temporal existence to register with sentient creatures such as ourselves, it is NOT…and I repeat…NOT in any way certain, by any criteria or judgmental standard, that those physical systems are the absolute SOURCE and PRIMAL DRIVING FORCE responsible for that experience in the first place.

 

It is much more likely, in my view, that our physical existence is founded upon and derives its significance from a source as yet to be established with certainty, which may very likely require an extraordinary stretching of our intellectual and psychological capacities for establishing even the beginnings of a rational or empirical proof. Our current inability to demonstrate or define categorically the source of all Life and Consciousness does nothing to negate the possibility, whatever it is that defines it or explains it, that there may still be an ineffable and non-material source that produced all that we perceive with our senses, and all that we observe in the vast universe beyond the Earth.

 

 

In order to begin to understand how our subjective experience of being alive is even possible in the first place, we clearly do need to consider the gradual development of the complex macro-structure of the brain by examining the various stages of mammalian, primate, and hominid evolution, each of which contributed essential individual brain components, and how that development over millions of years facilitated the gradual sophistication of cognition and higher order thinking.

 

However, once these complex structures and extraordinary cognitive talents were sufficiently developed, it might also be possible to accept intuitively, that it then became possible to utilize them in accessing a much broader intellectual and psychological plateau, and to establish a connection to what we describe as human consciousness or “the subjective experiential awareness of being alive.”

 

This then allows us to hypothesize about the important contributions of specific emergent properties which are a consequence of the evolution and structural hierarchy of the network of various brain regions, while still allowing for the interaction with what C.G. Jung described as “the transcendent function,” or “non-physical substrates,” rather than characterizing the results as simply the “emergence of life and mind from matter.”

 

 

Beyond the decade of attending to these important areas of study and contemplation, I have also been fortunate to participate in a richly rewarding and mutually beneficial role as a grandfather to eight wonderful grandchildren, whose ages range from twenty years to two years along.  In each of their lives, I have been present from their first few days of life, and in some cases, in the very first hours of their existence.  A few of them spent their early years in our home, as their parents worked to establish their own homes.  

 

 

Family life within the confines of my own dwelling are more or less routine and predictable, and the aspects which I find most often helpful usually occur in solitude, when I am purposefully choosing the activities for the day.  Most recently though, I have enjoyed even more the privilege of being an occasional caretaker for the youngest of them all, a lovely young lady named Juliette.  Given the circumstances in the world presently it seems impossible to feel anything but gratitude for the opportunity to do so.  There is a kind of wisdom built into the human life cycle that brings grandparents together with their grandchildren, as they will inevitably become instructive to each other, in ways that might never be anticipated.

 

In spite of the fact that I am a little more than thirty times further along in age than her, it is clear that she has much to teach me. While I have already received much instruction from raising six children to adulthood myself, the dynamics of “grand” parenting are quite different generally, but I have been humbled by the astonishing and effortless power she has to inspire and delight. 

 

My subjective experience while in her presence is so clearly demonstrative of the existence of Jung’s “transcendent function,” as well as the invisible bonds that support all life on this planet, and it gives me great encouragement to suppose that I am on the right path with my writing work.

 

 

In the months to come, I hope to expand on the ideas and previous efforts here in a way that will contribute in a positive way to my own understanding, and I invite my readers and subscribers to follow along as I navigate forward.

About jjhiii24
Way back in 1973, as a young man embarking on the journey of a lifetime, I experienced what Carl Jung described as “the eruption of unconscious contents,” which compelled me to seek the path I continue to pursue to this day. The path of discovery has led me through an astonishingly diverse range of explorations in philosophy, science, and religion, as well as the many compelling ideas in the literature and scriptures of the cultures of the world. There is, in my view, a compelling thread made up of components of each, that runs through the fabric of life. The nature and study of human consciousness has been a compelling subject for me for more than twenty years. I have spent a great deal of my time and energies trying to come to terms with my own very particular “inner experience” of life, and to somehow understand how the events and flow of my temporal life have directly been influenced by the workings within. Sharing what I have come to understand about my own “Inner Evolution,” has tasked my intellect and communications skills in a big way. I am only just beginning to feel confident enough in the results of my study and contemplation to express the many various aspects of what I have uncovered within myself. I am hopeful that my own subjective and personal experience of my own “human spirit” will resonate with others, and encourage them to explore their own.

4 Responses to Ten Years of Blogging

  1. Congratulations on reaching X, and I must say that there are only a very small amount of blogs that I get excited about when a new post appears, yours is definitely one of them, so long may your posts continue.

    I think the times we are in are unprecedented (certain in my XLIX years of existence thus far), especially in the UK, where we have been locked down for the best part of one year and will likely be for another, and on that basis we are, in my opinion going through a period of devolution.

    Sure, technology advances at the same rate, but the human experience is heading in the opposite direction at the same speed.

    Locking 95% of healthy people up in their homes for months in end, only to leave for supplies removes the ability for connection and the use of technology to replicate human contact is barren of feeling, being in the physical presence of others (like your grand children) can never be the same over “Zoom”.

    I’ve traveled the world, experienced geographies, cultures, languages and philosophies of others and it is that very approach that has expanded my own consciousness to what it is today. That is all gone now and may be the case for a long time to come. Whilst I’m sort of ok with it because I have had the opportunity to “live”, my younger and healthy children haven’t. Nor have others of their age, so it is reasonable to conclude that as travel stops or becomes very difficult and onerous, they may not “evolve” as much as I have.

    For me, there is a very clear and present danger, that our liberties, freedoms and ability to subsequently expand our consciousness are being limited by the government and by big business. I don’t know a single person who has been truly ill with Covid, yet two people we know took their own lives last week out of isolation and despair.

    It will be interesting to see how this all pans out, but the hope for a fair, just and equal system looks bleak.

    I watched George Carlin / Bill Hicks last night (to lighten the mood) and their timelessness struck an immediate chord, 30 have gone by and still the exact same rules of the game apply, that governments stink the world over and we are in an endless cycle of repetition, could this be the eternal return, I sure feel like Phil Connors in Punxsutawney right now! Let’s hope that groundhog of yours points to an early Spring!

    • jjhiii24 says:

      “Liberty is the power to do everything that does not interfere with the rights of others: thus, the exercise of the natural rights of every individual has no limits save those that assure to other members of society the enjoyment of the same rights.”

      –excerpt from “Plan of a Declaration of Rights,” by Thomas Paine, 1792

      Thank you so much for your kind words and it is also my hope to continue to provide postings going forward. It has been challenging to deal with the reduced opportunity for face-to-face socializing, but even the “Zoom” option is something of a wonder for those of us who grew up with no such option. It isn’t the same, but it can be a big help when no other option is available.

      There truly is cause for concern regarding the spreading of this infectious virus, and while no one wants to be restricted at length in the manner which the experts seem to think is necessary to stop the spread, if by doing so we can turn the tide against the virus while the vaccine distribution gets further along, as challenging as it is to adhere to those restrictions, if we can see the long term benefit for our fellow citizens, as Thomas Paine framed it, to “assure to the other members of society…the same rights,” then perhaps we can continue to hold out a while longer. We are also restricted here in similar fashion, and must adhere to the restrictions where I live as well. Essential travel in my case includes assisting my son who has a medical condition that requires assistance periodically.

      Six people in my immediate family circle have been infected with the virus, and one has died as a result. The suffering the others have endured you would not wish on anyone. It seems likely that we will eventually get to a point where it will once again be safer to venture out, and in the meantime, we must find ways to cope with the difficulties such measures create. Now more than ever, we need to discover our inner strength, reach out to others in our social circles to lend our support, and look for opportunities to enrich our own personal spaces to compensate for the differences in our usual social connections.

      Like you, I am already accustomed to conducting many of my daily routines in a degree of solitude, but there are limits to what we can endure at length, without some degree of interaction in some manner. Our modern society is not designed to conduct itself in this way, and the younger generations are less able to cope in some ways. It seems we need to figure out some way to correct this trend, and perhaps the place to start is in reducing our reliance on technological tools, and to reconnect on a more personal human level with our fellow travelers, and with our own inner life.

      “Liberty and order will never be perfectly safe, until a trespass on the constitutional provisions for either, shall be felt with the same keenness that resents an invasion of the dearest rights…”

      James Madison, in a Speech to Congress, 1792

      I do not subscribe to some of Carlin’s hyper-cynicism, nor do I enjoy Mr. Hicks “dark humor,” especially, but we don’t have to accept either as definitive of what comes next. We can steer a different course if enough of us decide to make the changes needed to produce a different result. Let’s hope that Groundhog Day this year will indicate a lessening of suffering for the world and a true renewal of the promise of Spring!

  2. “an ineffable and non-material source that produced all that we perceive with our senses”
    Well that is certainly my hope John.

    Ten years of blogging is quite some achievement – I’m not sure I will last that long. Certainly I have more or less ceased to be interested in blogging on financial markets.

    As per Infinity Beckons, I too fear that society is badly in need of change. You will probably be bored of hearing that from me. I do not subscribe to any sort of conspiracy theory but I do feel that inequality in this world of ours needs addressing.

    I yearn for the numinous while being all too well aware that our physical survival on this earth depends on more mundane matters such as food, shelter and medicine. As you know, I hope for a post scarcity society where those essentials will be available for all and not just the big guys.

    But a better society depends much on the sort of enlightenment you and I seek for ourselves. And a spreading of those more enlightened views on the meaning of life and existence.

    That meaning has nothing to do with the terrible events we have witnessed in your country over the past four years. Let us hope that your new leaders are more enlightened than the damaged and dangerous characters who have ravaged Washington over the last four terrible years.

    • jjhiii24 says:

      It’s curious to me how many of those who insist that everything can be or will eventually be completely explained by physical laws and scientific inquiry, often simply dismiss the ineffable without hesitation. It is completely reasonable to me to consider the knowledge we’ve gained through empirical methodology in light of the progress we’ve made in each of the sciences, but the whole of human history is replete with compelling indications of additional layers of being that point to a subjective reality inexplicable in empirical terms. That we cannot demonstrate it definitively through traditional methodology is not dissuasive in my view, but I still embrace what can be ascertained by science. In fact, the narratives describing scientific breakthroughs often describe vitally important progress achieved through paying attention to hunches and intuitions, which have no a priori basis for pursuing them. The exquisite beauty apparent to anyone investigating the wider cosmos or in the quantum realm is a fair indication of a much broader foundation to the universe than the mere knowledge of light waves or quantum theory.

      Consideration of your thoughts regarding the need for changes in society are urgent and timely, now more than ever, and you express them frequently with an enthusiasm that I find compelling and engaging. Every voice raised in support of improving and preserving our world, by having compassion for others, and through expressing the need for correcting our current shortcomings to ensure our future as a species is more important than ever. I hope you find the inspiration and determination to continue with your writing for as long as you are able. These past ten years have been both challenging and rewarding for me as a blogger here on WordPress.com, and spreading more enlightened views is an important part of what you and I seek for ourselves. There are many others who share this view and every voice matters.

      There is a palpable sense of relief in our country, now that a new administration has come on the scene, and there are many indications of greatly improved leadership and more enlightened ideas being offered. It will likely be a struggle in a number of ways to turn this ship around, but our captain is much steadier now, and the rudder is coming around as I write.

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