I recently encountered an amazingly good television presentation on the PBS station in my area called, “Independent Lens: Aware: Glimpses of Consciousness,” and wanted to share some of my thoughts about it with my readers.
While I naturally endeavor to present good quality video on this subject, the folks at PBS have really set a pretty high standard with this program. I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in the subject and hope to review it a greater length at some point in the future.
I will be travelling this week to South Carolina to visit family and friends and have been quite busy with family matters these past few weeks, but I will try to get some work done while on my trip, and the location promises to provide some great opportunities for video content in the episodes to come.
See you soon….John H.
4 thoughts on “Independent Lens: Aware: Glimpses of Consciousness”
Thanks for directing me to the PBS documentary. Curious stuff indeed!
Agreed. There are a number of areas of investigation going on now in reputable scientific research in support of our increasing interest and need to understand ourselves, and it is encouraging to see this renewed interest among serious thinkers and in university settings. We must seek if we hope to find.
Sadly I can not seem to access the documentary from the UK. Perhaps I could buy it – the website isn’t really too clear.
On psychedelics I experimented a while ago, for a number of reasons. Primarily in the hope of curing the black and chronic depression I have suffered from since earliest childhood.
The cure did not occur despite the hopeful and exaggerated euphoria coming from the research teams worldwide. Perhaps it will work for some people – I hope so.
The other main reason was my fascination in the nature of reality and a hope that I could peer through the doors of perception. I did peer through the doors, hoping perhaps for a glimpse of a creator or at least some sense of meaning.
In the experiences I was aware of a “door” and constantly sought access to the other side. I never quite made it through. I never found a god, although the experiences were as profound as so many people have described.
There was often a sense of omniscience and profound euphoria. Perhaps we are on a path to such heights and these entheogens provide a glimpse of what may be to come.
Perhaps the biggest benefit to me was to help me to work out what I really think about the world. To accept that most of what people seek is senseless and worthless. It has certainly led me ever deeper down the contemplative path and although my depression can still affect me severely, perhaps the experiences made me realize that such moods are a mere mask and can be tolerated.
I am sorry that the program apparently isn’t accessible as a matter of course, except if you are willing to pay for it. It seems urgent to me that this information and the explanatory power it contains should simply be available without cost for anyone who wishes to view it. My own access came as a result of a paid subscription to a streaming service which includes the PBS channels. Perhaps after some time has passed it will eventually become available on YouTube or something, but in the meantime, I suppose if you have some sort of windfall or robust return on one of your investments, you may find it worthwhile to invest in it. There are other offerings which address these issues on the internet, and my main interest in this particular program came about because it is a very recent offering and includes a fairly broad range of ideas.
I recently have been rereading a book by John Horgan called, “Rational Mysticism,” which addresses the investigations into the use of psilocybin, and its apparently successful track record in granting relief for those afflicted with chronic depression, although it seems equally apparent that it involves a regimen of regular use generally speaking, and this is not always a practical approach for everyone. In this documentary, the scientists at Johns Hopkins report significant progress generally, but as you say, it’s not a cure-all.
I have been working on a blog post concerning alternative methods for creating “gateways” to our inner worlds, and ultimately it seems that each of us has a unique outlook, a unique set of challenges, and must strive to find our own unique solution to our circumstances. What works for one may not be as effective for another, and while we may inherit particular human capacities as descendants of our familial lineage, at some point our species needs to actively incorporate a progressive capacity for an expansion of our understanding, and the use of entheogens needs to be part of that progress, especially when we see how effective and potent these components can be in leading us “ever deeper down the contemplative path.”
Your efforts to gain “access to the other side,” may not have produced results of the sort you mention, but your description of them as “profound,” in the way so many others have indicated, points to the importance of entering into such endeavors without specific expectations. Whatever we may encounter when we breach the threshold of the “doors of perception,” I suspect it will not be a god that we find necessarily, but rather, a much greater appreciation of the limitations of physical existence generally, as well as a glimpse of the bounty which surely must exist in the realms beyond the physical ones.
The offerings on your blog pages are often reflective of a profoundly spiritual nature, which is uniquely your own, and which does not conform to the expectations of others. This places you squarely on a spiritual path unlike any other, and it is likely that the results of your efforts will not conform to any preconceived notions.
As always, you have my heartfelt best wishes for whatever it is you seek and hope you will continue to pursue the contemplative path.