Brilliantly blue sunlit skies combined with especially brisk winter temperatures this morning, and presented me with two seemingly contradictory experiences simultaneously. As I sat alone at my desk, sunlight streamed through the windows of my home office, and I could feel the warmth of its rays on my hand as the pen I was using glided across the page.
Wherever the shafts of light penetrated the room, objects in its path were gradually caught in the glow, and almost appeared to be lit from within.
In spite of this celebration of illumination, the room itself is usually on the chilly side this time of year, and when I briefly opened the window to investigate a problem with a recently installed fifty-foot Ethernet cable, I encountered a surprisingly robust degree of damage to the screens, apparently caused by one of the neighborhood squirrels.
Sure enough, not only had the animal penetrated the screens, but for some reason it decided to make a meal out of the wire which ran over the window sill.
It’s no wonder that there wasn’t any signal getting through, but even holding the window open for just those few moments reminded me that no matter how warm the sun appears and feels inside, winter currently reigns supreme in the world outside. It took me a few minutes to warm back up at my desk, and as I contemplated continuing with my work, I took notice of how the sunlit scene in the room had changed in just those few moments. The movement of the light throughout the day is subtle; even watching at length, I could not detect any motion at all. Only when I turned my attention temporarily elsewhere and then once again returned for another look, could I see how the area of light had shifted along the floor.
All of this activity resulted in prompting me to consider my recent review of three books by Dr. Robert Lanza, in which he describes at length his theory of Biocentrism. It’s fascinating reading if you are interested in human nature as well as the nature of the reality within which we exist. Since these subjects are both central to my own deliberations, I’ve taken a keen interest in exploring them.
Of particular note is the third book in the series entitled, “The Grand Biocentric Design.” The subject itself is quite complex and requires some appreciation for quantum theory and modern theoretical physics, but Dr. Lanza takes great pains to describe his ideas fully and his explanations are clearly written to reach a broad range of readers.
In chapter nine, Dr. Lanza gives a number of detailed and plainly written examples of how our perceptions of phenomenal events are not always revealing of the true nature of those events, and when I encountered the phrase, “If a tree falls in a forest,” I knew I was about to encounter ideas that would alter my own. He makes a reasonable case to reconsider the nature of sound, and points out that while sound waves created by a tree falling travel through the air, they are only “rapid, complex pulsations in air pressure,” and are “in and of themselves…silent.” Our brains respond to the vibrations of our tympanic membranes and convert those signals into specific sounds.
He rightly points out that “all sensory data is processed in the brain,” and even extends this idea to conclude that “time and space are projections created inside the mind.” He points out that we humans often “place ourselves in a radio-static mode, attuned to no sense whatsoever, lost in the internal world of our thoughts,” and concludes that:
“As far as we know, humans are the only animals who cease attending to their external awareness in this way, attending instead to our own thinking—or even, as you’ve done while reading this book—thinking about thinking.”
“…a part of us is connected to the dandelion, the loon, and the fish in the pond. It is the part that experiences consciousness, not our external embodiments but our inner being. According to biocentrism, our individual separateness is an illusion. Everything you experience is a whirl of information arising in your brain. Space and time are simply the mind’s tools for putting it all together.”
Indeed, the conclusions he puts forth give a great deal of weight to our experience of consciousness as being central to our very existence in the first place.
It has been a long and oftentimes tumultuous road from my beginnings as a human person, when I first realized that I could think and therefore know that I exist. In retrospect, as is often the case, I can see much more clearly how convoluted my path has been, and, in a way, how all the twists, turns, reversals, and leaps forward contributed to my current arrangement of predicaments and advantages. The tide has ever-so-slowly turned toward a modest increase in advantage, and away from the firestorm of predicaments which often characterized my youth.
As a mature person now, approaching my seventh decade of life, it seems that my fortunes have finally started to settle down a bit, and while opportunities for chaos still exist in some ways, my footing is far less precarious. I tend to consider alternatives more frequently now, looking ahead further than only a few feet in front of me, when it comes to choosing my actions.
What is still unchanged, after all this time, is my insatiable curiosity about the nature of my personal reality, and how it relates to the larger reality of both humanity and the cosmos itself. My intense interest in these ideas is a direct result of my desire to understand myself and the experiences of my personal life, which have been frequently inexplicable to me, or which presented me with profound questions regarding the cause and purpose of having them in the first place.
In the past months of isolation and distancing, I have spent a great deal of time considering the work I have already done and also contemplating the work I still have yet to do. In the months to come, I hope to share as much as possible with those who visit here and to encourage everyone to give some attention to their own individual experience of consciousness.