About This Blog

More than thirty years ago, after a traumatic personal experience, I began an exploration of the diverse areas of psychology, philosophy, and neuroscience, in an attempt to understand more completely the nature of the mind, as well as a review of the many cultural and spiritual traditions through the ages, in order to come to terms with my experience. Along the way, I became convinced that it was possible with the right approach, to not only determine how it is that we attain consciousness, but also to formulate ideas that might lead to a greater understanding of the true nature of our experiential awareness. While there is still much more to discover, I believe there are two essential components for coming to terms with what it truly means to possess human consciousness.

The first is that consciousness has progressed or evolved from the earliest epoch of our awakening as modern humans, even though, so far as we can tell, there has been no appreciable change in our brain physiology since that time. Whether or not we eventually discover some previously undetected difference in the future, what we have accomplished with our brains since modern humans first appeared, indicates at the very least, a steady increase in both the sophistication and the breadth of our capacities, which may point to an even greater potential as yet unrealized.

The second is an appreciation of the degree to which we can be said to share aspects of our present-day consciousness with that of our ancestors and our fellow inhabitants of planet earth. We are, compared to most other previous dominators of the planet, merely a fledgling species, having only tens of thousands of years over which to consider notable accomplishments based on our cognitive skills.

It is my belief that there must be a component to human consciousness, ascertainable by us, which is unrelated to any body of physical laws. Any theory of consciousness cannot be truly meaningful, in my view, unless there is some element within the underlying explanation, which points to our existence being more than just the result of a totally random cosmic evolution. While we may not presently have the capacity to grasp all the implications of cognitive existence, or even to fully comprehend the broad scope of the processes which make it possible, I find it unavoidable to conclude that whatever constitutes the full explanation, it must encompass much more than neuroscience, and cross over into realms which may not ultimately yield to empirical scrutiny.

The story of humanity is in every way an accumulation of knowledge and experience, and the resulting expansion of human consciousness. Even if the acquisition of consciousness was initiated by our acquisition of an adequately equipped brain architecture, the accumulation of knowledge and experience made available to us as a result of that acquisition, is entirely our own doing.

The bulk of my writing and the driving force behind it have always been about coming to terms with the sometimes inexplicable character of our subjective experience of life. All of the information and traditional explanations from years of schooling have left me with far more questions than answers. It has taken thirty years of searching and studying to even approach what might be described as a beginning to understanding. So much of what I have uncovered and concluded seems to point toward a universe far more expansive and mysterious than even modern physics has suggested.

Since, at least in the traditional sense, I am neither scientist nor scholar, all of my writing on the subject, while considered and deliberate, may not rank very highly in the pantheon of either science or philosophy. It nonetheless feels compelling to persist in gathering it and committing it to the page. It seems at times senseless to continue and at other times impossible to stop. There are very few individuals in the circle of those amongst whom I travel who have any interest or inclination for the subject, and it often feels like I am so lost and alone in my world of writing that I may never find an audience.

We are only now, in this epoch of humanity, beginning to come to understand the nature of human consciousness, defining our cognitive functions, developing a comprehensive picture of brain physiology, expanding the scope and depth of neuroscience, and figuring out how it all works. And in spite of all this progress, there are still huge gaps in our ability to explain how all of the neurological functions and synaptic activity and the electro-chemical balance of the brain and nervous system results in the richly diverse subjective experience of being alive. None of the science so far has been able to satisfactorily explain how any of these vitally important systems produce consciousness.

It is my theory, based on almost thirty years of independent study in all the related fields, that the “human spirit,” or whatever term you prefer, is the manifestation of the “divine”—the non-physical source of all life—and that there are capacities within us, as yet undetermined, which tap into this “non-physical” source and lead us to make connections to others, without being able to say precisely why, pointing to a profoundly spiritual component to life that we are only just beginning to discover. Even modern physics is beginning to allude to the necessity for dimensions outside of our familiar three-dimensional world. The fabric of space-time supporting all life and the physical universe increasingly appears to contain and rely upon elements and aspects beyond our current capacities of direct perception.

This blog will present samples of my efforts over the past twenty years to delve into the phenomenon of consciousness, from a variety of approaches, and includes both the definitive and speculative. I have made an effort to include a diverse spectrum of scientific and metaphysical thinking related to the subjective experience of consciousness, and how our greatly misunderstood spiritual nature relates to our cognitive and psychological temperaments. The term “spiritual” here does not imply any particular religious connotation, but rather addresses the aspects of sentient life which are non-corporeal in nature. The human spirit, (or whatever terminology you prefer,) is a highly subjective component in the equation, and as displeasing as it may be to the empirically minded among us, figures prominently in my ruminations. It is my belief that we will ultimately come to a point where we will be unable to avoid acknowledgement of metaphysical connections to existence in general, and to consciousness in particular.

The German poet and writer, Rainer Maria Rilke, (1875 – 1926) once advised a student of writing to seek an answer to the question; “Must I write?” If he could “meet this earnest question with a strong and simple, ‘I must,’ Rilke urged him to “build your life according to this necessity.” Within these pages, between the streaming thoughts that spew forth from within me, behind the flow of emotion and turmoil, contained in the subtle layers of meaning, and in the relentless questioning of every idea and image of conjured bliss and agony, lies the destination of each human spirit ever manifest in the phenomenal world.

I do not seek because I expect to find. I do not rise each morning and expect to live indefinitely. I do not continue to hope in the face of hopelessness because I expect a miracle. I do not live and love with any expectation of success or failure. I do not write for any other reason, other than the resounding “I must,” which issued forth from my inner world, when I sought out my own response to Rilke’s question. My journey is now underway.

January 2011

35 Responses to About This Blog

  1. “It seems at times senseless to continue and at other times impossible to stop.”

    I have experienced this countless times, and I AM one of those people who crave knowledge in this area, yet never feel to make progress in the grand scheme of things. And yet, I feel content in what I’ve learned. Life is still special to me, even if I’ve shied away from religion and the metaphysical aspect, and lean more toward the scientific outlook of existence.

    With all my heart, I hope that the level of consciousness that we posses is divine. I’m not positive it is, yet who am I to say that my guess is correct? I know I’m only guessing, which in itself is special. Consciousness, if it is strictly logical, is still special to me.

    As stated by a very close friend of mine:

    “Consciousness can choose what the energy within its body does. No other combination of energy can do this.

    “The dawn of consciousness was the dawn of purpose: events resulting from the actions of a conscious being have purpose, they are done for a reason. Events caused by non-conscious entities (avalanches, erupting volcanoes, yeast poop, etc) are not done for a reason, they are just done.

    “The dawn of consciousness was the dawn of choice. Previously, all forms of energy only had one path to follow: the one set out by the rules of the universe (ex: A ball at the top of a hill will role down the hill. Gravity provides the only option. This is energy without choice). A conscious bundle of energy has a choice in regard to the forces that act upon it (ex: A dog can run up the hill to catch the ball. Without consciousness, it would just stay sedentary at the bottom of the hill. This is energy with choice).

    “Consciousness is choice. Consciousness is free will. As simple as that.

    “Consciousness is more than just a realization that you are special. It is the reason you are special.”

    Ken Kesey once said:

    Don’t worry, there is an audience for this subject.

    • jjhiii24 says:

      Thank you for your thoughtful and insightful response to my essay, and let me reassure you that there are good reasons to continue to hope for the achievement of an expanded perspective regarding what truly accounts for our subjective experience of consciousness.

      As individuals studying the subject area, in order to gain a greater appreciation of this part of our nature requires serious study on a scale not often attempted due to the scope of the subject. Current wisdom still mostly considers the subject of consciousness to be primarily a philosophical issue, not well-suited to empirical scrutiny at present, but there are signs that scientists and philosophers of every sort are beginning to consider the possibility that consciousness is a fundamental property or force in the universe like electromagnetism and gravity.

      The scientific outlook or “logical” approach as you describe it is still fascinating in some respects, and the serious study of consciousness by neuroscientists and physicists is producing some very intriguing results that are actually encouraging to those of us who favor a broader understanding of consciousness as encompassing a great deal more than brain physiology, cognitive functioning, and neuroscience.

      In many of my postings, I have tried to point out a few of the more open-minded approaches by serious thinkers and have reported anecdotes of some of the genuine efforts to incorporate a wider realm of possibility in coming to terms with consciousness. There are still more stories to tell in this regard and I hope you will continue to visit here as I expand my own reports and thoughts on the subject.

      Your very interesting quotes will require a bit more contemplation on my part in order to respond, and I hope soon to add a posting addressing it more specifically. Keep an eye out for that and thanks again so much for your response.

      Warm regards…..John H.

  2. Kelly Robinson says:

    Hi there!

    I’m a lowly neuroscience undergrad attempting to do research on connections between creativity, meditation, and their neuronal pathways by doing some pre- and post- evaluations. I decided to do something totally random today and typed in ‘neuroscience’ in the tag search engine on wordpress. What a pleasant surprise when the first thing to come across was this blog! I hope you don’t feel so lonely on your wonderings on the human consciousness – perhaps I am not aware of what level you have delved into the subject – but I am sure you will be able to connect with more people on it.

    Anyways, I’m definitely going to keep following your blog, as I am deeply interested in your outlooks on the human consciousness. I was wondering what your thoughts were on human consciousness and creativity? Everything we take in from our senses is perceived in a unique way, and in essence, perception is one’s own moment-to-moment creation. Creativity is one of the most difficult aspects of the human species to pin down, yet it is what makes us distinct from any other species. Our neurons are creating new neuronal pathways every second, and it seems that one of the fundamental human joys is to create.

    Random interesting books if you’re interested:
    Proust Was a Neuroscientist – Jonah Lehrer
    Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain – Maryanne Wolf
    How God Changes Your Brain – Andrew Newberg
    Zen and the Brain – James Austin
    The Creative Mind – Shelley Carson


    • jjhiii24 says:

      Hello Kelly,

      First of all, Welcome! And congratulations on reading all the way through my introduction! I am delighted to know that my writing on this subject is of interest to you, and I hope very much to enjoy a continuing dialog with you about human consciousness or any subject that appears in my blog. There is nothing “lowly” about being a neuroscience student at Harvard either, so let’s not hear any more of that.

      Research in neuroscience is at the forefront of human intellectual endeavors in the 21st century, and slowly but surely, the scientific community–of which you are a vital part currently–is beginning to understand that creativity is a highly complex human activity that while supported by neural and cognitive functioning, clearly cannot be satisfactorily accounted for by brain physiology alone. However, it is VITAL that we understand the role played by the networks of neurons, the various brain regions, glial cells, and all of the essential inputs provided by our central nervous system. Your own research emphasis is of particular interest to me, as I have been working on a manuscript on the nature of human consciousness, and feel strongly that examining our creativity in that context is an excellent avenue toward understanding consciousness generally.

      Our ability as humans to be creative in the many diverse areas of the arts and sciences is an indication of a more complex phenomenon that would require a much larger treatment than what I could post here, but I have written extensively on the creative process and on what I feel distinguishes us from all other known species with regard to consciousness, and would be glad to share my insights with you and with the readers of this blog.

      Please stay in touch and let me know if there is any way that I can assist you in your research and studies in Boston. Looking forward to our continuing dialog.

      Warm regards……John H.

  3. Hi John – I really like this manifesto and the conceptual framework of your blog. I believe that each of us has not only a right but also a responsibility to develop our consciousness. It is important to develop one’s own consciousness in order to be happy (mind you sometimes being conscious isn’t exactly the most comfortable or happy place – but even so it’s still true in the big picture…) however, I think this development leads to all sorts of important social improvements as well, making this kind of endeavour belong not just to the realm of personal development but also something that can contribute to social change.

    There are a small number of people who are ‘conscious’ and still wreak havoc and cause suffering, but I think the vast majority of human-generated suffering is collateral damage that is more a consequence of not connecting to our higher nature via our consciousness than of any focused desire to cause pain.

    Most people aren’t evil or warped and yet we all end up condoning practices and doing things that we simply wouldn’t do if we were acting from a place of consciousness. There is now a suggestion in the field of neuroscience that becoming conscious makes us more empathic and therefore, obviously, more likely to work not only for our own well-being but also the well-being of others.

    In the Gulag Archipelago, Alexandr Solzhenitsyn says – “The Universe has as many different centres as there are living beings in it. Each of us is a Centre of the Universe…”

    That explains a lot!

    This talk is also very interesting. You might like it.

    [audio src="http://drdansiegel.com/about/audio_video_clips/uploads/01%20The%20Mind,%20Brain,%20and%20Relationship.mp3" /]

    Keep up the good work – Trisha

    • jjhiii24 says:


      Your kindness in sharing your thoughts about my writing is very much appreciated, and the encouragement I received from your response is a gift of great value to me. I downloaded the audio you linked in your message after listening to the first half, and agree that it is interesting, and Dr. Siegel’s official website clearly contains much of interest to me personally. I am anxious to pursue this lead you have given me, and to contribute here in my blog with the advantage of his inspirational and unique point of view.

      I also find it reassuring that you framed the idea of developing one’s consciousness as both a right and a responsibility, since there are many circumstances around the world in our 21st century, which suppress that right where it is needed, and discourage the endeavor where it is permitted.

      It has been my goal since the beginning of my writing efforts to contribute in a positive way to the development of my own consciousness in order to make an important contribution to the development of the same in my fellow travelers in this life. It has also been my own feeling that many of the “bad” things that happen in this world have been a direct result of “not connecting to our higher nature via our consciousness” rather than of “any focused desire to cause pain.” Once we achieve a certain level of understanding about our own nature, we begin to see how important it is that as many people as possible arrive at the source of their own nature as well.

      I look forward very much to sharing more of your insightful writing on all the subjects related to consciousness, and to gaining the benefit of your keen sensibilities as to how creating reciprocity leads to an enhanced ability to survive and thrive in our modern world.

      Warm regards…….John H.

  4. plainsmann says:

    A short p.s. ~

    After leaving my brief initial comment on your other page, and before heading back to the creative confusion that currently clutters my own WordPress locus, as the brand-new arrival” I am, I wanted to find the front door, so to speak, so as to better recognize it when returning sometime in the future. In doing that, I came across the ‘Home’ and ‘About This Blog’ selections placed in the header’s navigation bar, and ventured in both to give each a hasty once-over. Impressive. In the depth and range of their focus, and in the reasoned — almost refined — restraint both dress themselves in, especially given the intensity of the long-lived and still hotly glowing fascination out of which it undoubtedly comes.

    This alone, in a flash, gave me a glimpse of the larger vistas now surrounding me, and the rich possibilities present here, than I otherwise could likely have found my way to without traveling many months more. My sincere thanks for that. I see possibilities now I didn’t even realize were anywhere on the horizon. And that gives me an eye-opening release of energy I’ll use to jump back into getting my incomplete and paltry scratchings into some sort of orderly array — at least for starters.

    With gratitude, and best wishes from afar, until the next crossing of our paths,


    • jjhiii24 says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words, and knowing that they come from someone as accomplished as you gives me much encouragement.

      There is a fascination for me in the subject of human consciousness in particular since it is a primal force in our lives and an essential component of our understanding of life in the physical universe. I’ve only been blogging here for about a year, but I have been contemplating the subject and conducting research on my own for more than 20 years.

      You have a great deal to contribute to the WordPress community, and I am looking forward to sharing in your insights and musings as they arrive. I hope you will return as time permits and share your thoughts with me again.

      John H.

  5. Hi John – I would like to offer you the Liebster Blog Award – I don’t know if you’ll want to accept it but I definitely think you deserve it for your work!

  6. patricemj says:

    Hi John, I thanked you for awarding me the Liebster award and I also awarded it to you. No need to keep the cicle going with that….Just wanted you to know, I hope you are well. patrice

  7. patricemj says:

    Hi John, there are a lot of awards flying around, but you deserve this one, so I’m giving it to you, The Versatile Blogger award. I kind of hesitate to give you this as it is a bit of work to make a post and nominate people, but I would love to read your list of 7 randoms things about you. The rules for the award are on my blog. Happy Day!

  8. Priya says:

    Even if the acquisition of consciousness was initiated by our acquisition of an adequately equipped brain architecture, the accumulation of knowledge and experience made available to us as a result of that acquisition, is entirely our own doing.

    How splendid that you employed an unpleasant, traumatic experience to help you gain insights, rather than allowing it to bog you down to self pity. Kudos to you, John.

    • jjhiii24 says:

      Thank you so much for your comment and kind words. It has been quite a struggle actually to gain insights from my experience, and it has taken me a long time to get to the point where I feel reasonably confident in sharing what I have learned. I’ve had a fair amount of trauma in my life, and while struggling through such experiences isn’t always pleasant, it does give you a sense of perspective that is very difficult to come by without the struggling part.

      Your own life seems like it has been both challenging and adventurous in equal measure, and your writing has clearly benefited from both sides of the coin.

      I hope to spend some time reading more of your blog as time progresses, and I am looking forward to hearing from you again as you are able.

      Regards…..John H.

  9. patricemj says:

    Hi John, I hope you don’t mind but I “tagged” you in a game of MEME:firsts. Don’t feel obligated, but it would be wonderful if you want to play…I had fun writing my list. It’s strange to look back at one’s “first” of anything really. Hope you’re well….patrice

  10. Olletron says:

    Hello, I found you on Patrice’s blog and I strongly admired your writing style and the way in which you were able to coherently put your thoughts into words, so I thought that I’d follow you back here. What you have depicted in the above passage is a culmination of things that have always fascinated me. I don’t really know a lot about it at all, but I have a strong interest in what you have to say and therefore, I hope you don’t mind if I continue to read your work.

    Despite my interest, I often struggle with the fact that despite my understanding of everything that has been said and my eagerness to contribute, I cannot think of anything intriguing and beneficial to contribute and this saddens me. Regardless of this, please know that I find your writing fascinating; keep up the good work!

    • jjhiii24 says:

      Rebecca–(I LOVE your name!)

      You and I have more in common than our enjoyment of Patrice’s blog, and while your emphasis in your writing is a bit different than mine, I think you have a pretty interesting approach to writing yourself. You are much wiser than your years would indicate, and reading in your blog is so much fun that it sometimes escapes the notice of your readers that you are teaching us important life lessons.

      I understand what you mean when you say that you sometimes want to respond to a posting, but don’t feel your thoughts will necessarily represent a benefit to the discussion of a particular subject. There are so many great blogs here and so many talented and inspiring writers (like Patrice) that many times when I visit other blogs, I feel the same way you do. Even though your way of expressing yourself is different than mine, it is no less valuable and, in many cases, when I have taken a chance and contributed something even when I wasn’t sure it would be of benefit, it ended up doing so anyway.

      What I like to do when I’m not sure about my response to a particular blog post, is to write an email to the person and express my response just to them. This doesn’t always work, but it has worked quite a few times to reassure me that my contribution would be welcome. I can reassure you already that I would appreciate receiving your thoughts in response to any of my postings.

      If you come across anything in this blog that you would like me to explain better, please let me know. I would be glad to respond. ……..John H.

  11. Pingback: The Janus Face of Metropolis « Utopia or Dystopia

  12. Brent says:

    Why would we need to feel we are special? Since we have consciousness, we can choose not to react in the normal way, but to do what is counter-intuitive. But why would we do that? Maybe, in order to effect change or to make an impact? To feel important? To feel we are special? Maybe. I’m actually asking for an answer because I am curious.

    Also, are dogs conscious? Or are they not conscious, which makes every action a reaction to their environment? If dogs are conscious, do they need to feel that they (as an individual and as a species) are special? That they have a purpose greater than to make sure one species on one planet in one universe survives? It seems like humans do. But why? Why do we have this need? After watching videos of Kanzi, the Bonobo, and of people who have become best friends with tigers, bears, crocodiles, and other non-dog animals, I believe that animals are conscious to some degree, especially Kanzi.

    But what about our love for members of other species? It’s as if we admire the soul or spirit in the animal or human, regardless of what physical body it lives in. We love it’s personality, the way it acts and interacts with us. Also, why does it make us happy to see others (animal or human) become happy? Why are we attracted to altruism?

    I’m really just spitting out spontaneous thoughts here. If I didn’t have consciousness, I wouldn’t even be aware of a need like this; I wouldn’t have even had this thought. Maybe we need to feel special because it is our biology, and if we didn’t have this need, we wouldn’t help each other survive (which would have killed our species a long time ago).


    • jjhiii24 says:


      Thank you for taking the time to read my “about” page, and for commenting. I hope I will be able to respond in a way that justifies your interest in doing so.

      It is my view that human beings ARE special whether they need to be or not, by virtue of being in possession of a degree of self awareness unique (so far as we know) in the universe. Human consciousness is uniquely sentient in a way that no other known species has demonstrated thus far on our planet. However, it is clearly a matter of degree that separates us from all other primates on the evolutionary tree, and even dogs are conscious; just not enough to share in the same degree of awareness which provides us with our richly textured subjective experience of consciousness. This is not an estimation of our worth being any greater or lesser, simply a statement recognizing our unique cognitive abilities.

      I hope you won’t mind if I respond to your comment only briefly here. Your questions are very important questions to ask, and I would like to attempt to answer them more thoroughly in my upcoming post this week. I am very interested in your “spontaneous thoughts,” and I hope you will allow me to respond to them in my next posting.

      I hope your own interests allow you to return to my blog and to read some of my other postings which might relate to your comments. I have been working on this subject for a number of years now, and my blog has featured quite a few postings that relate to your questions.

      You seem like a bright and thoughtful person, and I am very glad you took the time to visit and comment. Regards……John H.

  13. Brent says:

    Thanks John. I really appreciate your responses. I agree that we are unique, especially because of our degree of consciousness.
    It seems that all life is programmed to behave in ways that promote it’s survival, and that Darwin’s theory, Survival of the Fittest, is the pattern that determines which life forms survive and which die.

    So then why do humans commit suicide if they are programmed to survive, like all other life? Are we the only species that commits suicide? Is our consciousness the missing factor in animals that allows us to commit suicide?

    Animals in captivity have been known to die due to loneliness–is this a form of suicide?

  14. katebortell says:

    I dont know if there are many out here in wordpress land that can fully comprehend your words. Your level of prose is such that the average person would have to have it interpreted by a college professor to make sense of it.
    I personally love it. It is refreshing and forces my mind to utilize every ounce of knowledge it’s ever attained to grasp fully your meaning. I cannot remember the last time my brain was challenged like this.
    I await more information with baited breath.

    • jjhiii24 says:


      Your review strikes at the very heart of the matter.

      While I have worked at this task for a very long time, attempting to formulate a comprehensive overview of human consciousness, and to compose a coherent narrative in which to express my findings, it does require a fair amount of the reader in order to follow along this same path. I have attempted in my writings over the years to distill the information down to the essential components. It is not a simple matter. It is a complex subject.

      I am constantly looking for ways to break it down and to draw the principles out into the daylight, but in all that time, no matter how confident I am in the conclusions I draw, it does require some familiarity with the subject to really appreciate fully.

      This is one of the reasons I have taken so long to bring this story to light. All of the writings I have posted in these first three years have been an attempt to bring the readers of my blog along gently and to point toward the inevitable challenge of presenting a theory of consciousness that at least gives some indication of how it came to be and how we have come to be self-aware creatures who have access to consciousness. Whenever possible, I try to illustrate my ideas with examples from my everyday life and memories from life experiences that touch on my thoughts about them.

      I have had some really great exchanges with some of the amazing writers and thinkers here at WordPress.com, and many times, my readers have suggested ideas for blog posts, or asked questions that led me to elaborate further on what it was that challenged them as readers. Lots of times, comments like yours force me to take a second look and to go deeper.

      If you read along and have any questions or would like a further explanation, I would be glad to respond to your inquiry as time permits.

      Again, thank you so much for your attention to my work……John H.

  15. Hi John, we share similar beliefs. I look forward to reading your other posts. ~ Dennis

    • jjhiii24 says:

      Thanks so much for your comment, Dennis. I have been working on this for a very long time, and I have had experiences both wonderful and awful that have given me insights into my subject area. I don’t get very many comments from people who think the same way as I do about the nature of human consciousness, so I thank you for letting me know that such people do exist….John H.

  16. What a wonderful summary and intro into “your” world. I’ve experienced only a handful of moments in reading where I felt like both the reader and the writer simultaneously, and reading your summary (among your other posts) was one of them. I, too, have many more questions than answers – it leaves me in awe at times. It seems some of our posts hinge on similar topics, but from different vantage points (I think we’ve even used similar photos). Thank you for sharing your experiences, insights, knowledge and perspective with us. Hopefully I am not just speaking for myself when I say that you are NOT alone…we are ALL on a similar journey, though some of us have differing perspectives, different starting points, and different ending points. Cheers to you and best wishes as the journey continues. May you continue to serendipitously connect the dots!

    • jjhiii24 says:


      What a wonderful treat to read your comment this evening! You have been gracious in your estimation of my work, and it seems that you are not only a talented writer with similar interests, but you are also a generous and empathetic person.

      That we are approaching our work from different vantage points seems hardly like a difference of much significance actually, but I agree that anyone who pursues an understanding of their questions, and a search for their answers, is likely to find themselves on a similar journey. Each perspective adds to the understanding of the journey of humanity and of the spirit, and sharing our experiences, insights, and knowledge contributes to the greater understanding which is only possible when we do share our journey with others.

      It is good to know that I am not alone, even if you are only speaking for yourself, and I hope we can continue to create opportunities for dialog and the exchange of ideas as we both pursue the connecting of the dots.

      Looking forward to sharing more as time permits…John H.

  17. Pingback: What I’m reading… ‘John’s Consciousness’ A blog by John Hyland | watching me watching you

  18. Jerry Gasche says:

    On Oct 13, 2013 you posted a beautiful photo of a man looking at stars. Man in the universe, which matches what my zen teacher has asked me to find–a progress image to meditate upon visually – something like my understanding of seamlessness of me into the universe.

    Jerry Gasche

    PS, is there a way for me to join your site. It’s excellent!

  19. Quite superb. How very, very closely your writing illuminates my own curious thought processes over the same period – roughly 30 years. I suppose I must first confess that my search for meaning began because of a lifelong tendency to suffer from what I suppose I must call depression. A cloud which all too often descends and makes the reality I inhabit a grey, featureless and pointless place to be.

    Like you I am a non-scientist and a non-philosopher. But again like you, more widely read than many. I am a firm, a very firm believer in science and yet I too am always drawn towards the mystical; perhaps hoping that some sort of divine exists.

    I have long wanted to sublime (in terms of Ian Banks and the Culture novels). I was fascinated many years ago to read David Deutsch and Frank Tipler – the latter who wrote a book called the Omega Point.

    I guess it is Tipler’s sort of world I would like to believe in. Or equally the world of The Culture. A world so incredibly far advanced that it is, in every sense, the equivalent of what we primitives would call “divine”.

    You have certainly found an audience in me.

    Anthony Garner

    • jjhiii24 says:


      You are generous in your analysis of my introduction here, and it does seem that we have a fair amount of common interests and experience generally, and I appreciate your comments very much. I believe it is possible to seek out a firm footing in and maintain vigorous support for our 21st century science, while still entertaining a reasonable interest in the many diverse voices and traditions which speak to the mystical or spiritual aspects of human existence throughout human history. In my view, they are not only compatible, but also not mutually exclusive. The divide in this arena is mostly one of competing views, which not only employ a completely different set of criteria, but which also cannot reasonably be approached from the same starting point. It is intellectually challenging to attempt to bring these two areas of study in closer proximity, but it is the task I have set for myself and I have every confidence that we will one day be able to do so if we persist in this work.

      I understand the appeal of the Culture novels, and suspect that the future may indeed be heading to some degree in the direction of what Mr. Banks proposes, but I’m not entirely sure I would be comfortable with the world he created in that series, nor do I suppose it is inevitable that it will turn in that direction. It also seems unlikely to me that Frank Tipler’s Cosmology is a reasonable substitute for what we describe these days as the spiritual nature of humanity. However we might wish to characterize his “informational body,” which might become a “human upload,” I cannot subscribe to the reduction of the human spirit to being simply a highly complex and “up loadable” entity. Our subjective experience of human consciousness, which clearly relies upon our enormously complex cognitive abilities and central nervous system for perception and memory and sustaining our physical existence, is a mechanism through which our awareness becomes temporally manifest, but which does not, in my estimation, “create” consciousness, nor does our consciousness “emerge” from throwing together enough data points into a sufficiently complex cognitive apparatus.

      Whatever the science of the future is able to accomplish regarding a recreation of the sophistication of the human brain, whatever they “upload” will not be human, nor will it constitute anything that could even compare to a “spiritual body.” It is, of course, a debate which will not be resolved in our lifetimes, but I suspect we may see the beginnings of the chaos which will result from over-reaching and rapid scientific advancement without sufficiently addressing and safeguarding the ethics and moral considerations of the consequences. A world so incredibly far advanced, if it does not employ equally advanced ethical and moral guidelines, may one day create the sort of world like the one Banks and Tipler describe, eventually reducing the true value of our humanity.

  20. Inspite of having felt lost and alone, this blog is here since 2006. That is what I see, and find it so inspiring. I look forward to keep coming here and try to take in a bit from the deep experiences being shared here. Am happy to have discovered this blog. Thank you,

    • jjhiii24 says:

      You are very kind to express your appreciation for my efforts here and I am also glad you discovered my blog. Please let me know if there are any questions about the topics here, since there are some which are fairly technical and discuss complex topics. You can always write to me via email if you don’t want to post in comments. Thank you so much.

      • Appreciate your kind reply. I am glad to learn that you even connect through emails. Should I have questions to ask, I’ll have lots always and probably won’t be able to decide which ones to ask first, shall try to ask. thank you very much. Kind Regards,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: