All Posts Filed in ‘Philosophy

Post

The human brain can be split and two fields of consciousness then occur…

2 comments

.

.

.

.

.   This post probably will not be very popular.  However, that is OK by me; such is the nature of human conditioning.  Popular posts might tell you how wonderful everything is, how splendid and noble your efforts are, and how love is everywhere.  I say that there is not nearly enough love in the world.  There is plenty of beauty in the world, I feel… but there is not nearly enough love.  Honestly, so many of us are indifferent; so many put up with wars, nuclear armaments, pollution, overpopulation, suffering of people and animals, etc., without doing much of anything at all about it.  We have to do a lot more to make things better here on this planet.  If enough of us make a difference and change things for the better, then maybe love will be everywhere; but right now (honestly) it isn’t.  I sure hope that one day it (i.e., love) will be everywhere!

Some of the important things that we must be leery about, in our passage through life, are organizations and old-fashioned traditions that steer us into the complacency of being mere followers.   Many of us might maintain that we do not merely “follow the crowd”; but so many of us do so, unawares, not really seeing or realizing how we blindly follow the manner, habits, and cold indifference of others.  We chronically copy others, yet think that we are independent… not mere followers.  Some of us are warmly caring… but not nearly enough of us are.

What I’m about to tell you isn’t going to be what you’ll like to hear (i.e., read).  It goes against people’s grain, so to speak.  Bear with me on this; but don’t continue to read if you are easily disturbed.   It goes, if one examines deeply and objectively,  against much of what a lot of us have been told — and what was ingrained into us — about the afterlife (i.e., heaven or reincarnation or some such stuff)…  and about free will, conditioning, and awareness.   However, don’t — upon reading about it — merely allow yourself to get depressed, melancholy, and disheveled.   One’s life can be eternally significant, despite what occurs concerning the human brain.   Despite what the following may imply… one can still become imbued by the eternal.  

I learned about it many years ago, while in college.  I had read  extensive articles about it; and it caused me to really delve into different aspects and avenues of spirituality involving understanding the whole of existence.  It — what the articles were about — certainly was shocking to me.  The articles dealt with how surgeons severed the corpus callosum.   The human brain is, in a big way, a lot like the two halves of the inside of a walnut.  Connecting the halves is what is known as the corpus callosum.  Surgeons have had to sever the corpus callosum in certain individuals — such as those suffering from certain forms of epilepsy — in order to try to keep the severity of the seizures down.  In patients who have had their corpus callosum severed, the right half of the brain does not know what the left half of the brain is thinking (and vice versa).  In other words, two fields of separate consciousness are created (following the surgery)… when initially there was one.  This type of surgery has occurred many times; it is not some kind of theoretical proposition or fluke (one-time) occurrence.

People, following such surgery, exist as two separate minds within one body.  Instances have occurred wherein a man (following having his corpus callosum severed) was trying to pull his pants up with his right hand… while his left hand was trying to pull his pants down.  (Each field of consciousness had something different in mind!)  Another (similar) man was observed trying to strike his wife with one hand, while the other hand tried to stop the opposite hand from hitting her.

Does this have deep implications about life for us?  You bet it does!   The implications extend far beyond what most care to look into; however, it would be prudent if they did look deeper.   Many are afraid to look deeper.  I, for one, looked deeper.   I am glad that I did (look deeper).  The implications are extensive.   Does it negate the possibility of eternity for us?   No, it does not!   However, merely looking at life in our standard, old-fashioned ways — as we have always done in the past — may not be prudent (considering this).  We have to change the way we look at things.  Otherwise we will become more and more fragmented inwardly and outwardly (not entirely unlike the unfortunate patients of the brain surgery).  Many people don’t wish to change; but change we must!

 

Walnuts black by José Luis Hernández Zurdo

Walnuts black by José Luis Hernández Zurdo

Post

Don’t follow anybody…

3 comments

.

.

.

.

.    We’ve followed leaders for millions of years… and look where it has gotten us!  Don’t follow anybody, neither politically nor religiously.  So many of us drift through life, needing to be lead.  A person who needs to be lead is an insecure person, much like a shadow.  (We are not advocating some kind of crazy anarchy!)

A true democracy is one which exists beyond dogmatic leaders.  In such a society, people could vote, referendum style, on key issues periodically, through the usage of, for instance, computers.  Instead of having stuffy, life-long political barons, we could (jury-duty style) have responsible people work in groups of 12 (or thereabouts) to, on a temporary, rotating basis,  regulate and coordinate the voting and election results; that would be a true democracy (and no “politicians,” no feigning baby-kissers nor totalitarians need be involved).

Religiously, so many of us, too, want to be lead.  But is true religion what one can be lead in?  You can be lead to a dead thing.  But you cannot be lead to a dynamic, truly living (non-stagnant) thing.  It may very well be that the truly sacred is not what any concocted, fabricated, man-made path can lead to.  However, so many of us stay on our separate, fabricated, traditional paths (that were handed down to us like a pair of old pants).  In a separate path, one easily looks at others (who are not in it) with an air of superiority and separation.  The truly sacred may not be what can be touched by what remains in isolated groups, which separate themselves from other groups (causing more friction and division in the world).  So many of us want to be where we can easily be “told.”  But if truth is never merely second-hand… it cannot ever merely be told from one to another; being told is receiving something in a second-hand way; real truth is never second- hand.  Shadows are second-hand.  It may be that one has to discover it (i.e., truth) anew (freshly and directly) for oneself each and every moment.  

.

.

from Stephen Crane:

.

.

A learned man came to me once.

He said, “I know the way, — come.”

And I was overjoyed at this.

Together we hastened.

Soon, too soon, were we

Where my eyes were useless,

And I knew not the ways of my feet.

I clung to the hand of my friend;

But at last he cried: “I am lost.”

.

.

*****************************************************

Wild Flowers by Thomas Peace 2013

Wild Flowers by Thomas Peace 2013

********************************************************************************

eternalfountainofyouth.com

********************************************************************************

Post

Beyond the superficiality of apathy…

10 comments

Beyond superficiality of the mind… may exist the profound depth of insightful, direct, compassionate perception.  Perception that is not (often) compassionate is the kind that is not (often) the result of keen and profound awareness or insight.  Such perception — without compassion — is often rather callous, machine-like, indifferent, limited, and therefore, superficial.  In order to be indifferent, apathetic, and unconcerned about the feelings and well-being of others, one must be psychologically bound in a limited, constrained, and fixed  frame of mind.  Such a frame of mind is little and small… because its concern involves only one little square within the entire chess-board… not the entire field.  One does not care much about what happens to others… because, for one thing, one is likely to be concentrating almost entirely on oneself (as what is important).

All limited fields, including the limited field of merely concentrating on oneself, must be curbed by narrow, fixed demarcations.  Such demarcations and boundaries often are not fluid; they are not dynamic, nor are they all-encompassing.  What is heavily bounded often does not have a lot of depth.  Not to be judgmental, but there are all too many people who are quite content to remain fixed in limited fields of concern, having little regard for the well-being of the whole (i.e., well-being of the earth’s many life forms).  Being separated from others involves fragmentation… a fissure and a disjunction  from them.  This separation can be learned (such as via barbaric educational or primitive parenting practices) or it can be the result of certain biological qualities of the brain (as a result of biological/genetic inheritance or by cerebral chemical malfunctioning).

Some very social animals, such as monkeys and higher apes, tend to (at times) be rather compassionate (to a limited extent) to members of their own group or pack.  This sharing within the group tends to benefit members within the group, and it extends order and mutual survival for all.  Even some insects (such as ants) engage in instinctual sharing and group consciousness; they even create ladders (constructed out of many of themselves, as bodies clinging to bodies) so that other members can transversely move across difficult crevasses/chasms.  Bonobo  chimpanzees, a subspecies of chimps, have a brain anatomy that is significantly more developed, with larger regions assumed to be associated with the process of feeling empathy; they easily sense distress in others, and “feel their anxiety,” which makes them less aggressive and more empathic than their close relatives (i.e., the regular chimps and some of us humans). Bonobos have a thick connection between the amygdala, an neural area that can spark aggression, and the ventral anterior cingulate cortex, which helps control impulses. This thicker connection enables them to better regulate their emotional impulses, and to get a better grip on their behavior. I love how Bonobos are so full of empathy for other animals.  One, for example, lovingly held an injured bird and kept it warm, until it was able to fly over the enclosure fence.

For us humans, to be shaped (mentally) by the edicts of society allows only for a very limited depth of insight and true compassion.  Although there is sharing… society, currently, incorporates a lot of separative, competitive, and rigid views.  Dynamically transcending these views may be necessary for a profound depth of insight, and for real compassion, to manifest.  Society, currently, often deeply admires the man who is very financially successful, competitive, and dominant over others; such success often involves a rather ruthless, cutthroat, and machine-like mode of affairs.  Real compassion crashes through the superficial perspectives (of normalcy) and intelligently goes where recognition and awards are of little value and meaning.  The immature need to be “recognized”; the need to be given “awards”… involves ostensibly concentrating on a little, limited, fixed self.

eternalfountainofyouth.com

Photo below… by Thomas Peace (Left click on the photo and scroll down to see it enlarged; left click on the “middle” of it again to enlarge it more; hit left return-arrows, twice, to return.)

Lily with Ant photo by Thomas Peace c.2013

Lily with Ant photo by Thomas Peace c.2013

Post

On looking at life anew…

8 comments

Life involves much more than having many symbols (i.e., thoughts) about it.  Many of us go through life looking at everything through a screen of symbols and images.  We recognize things merely via these symbols and images (that we were taught).  To look freshly — without all of these blasé, worn-out images — is to really live.  Otherwise, one is merely looking through (and with) the old, dead known.  Direct, youthful observation only takes place without the contaminated past interfering.  Such observation is, in itself, alive and free.

Structured and “learned” observation is never really of freedom; it is never implicitly free.  Many merely look via the ways and modes that they were “taught” to look.  Little wonder, then, why so many become bored, weary, melancholy, and depressed.  They are not looking with what is joyous, fresh, alive, and spontaneous; they are looking with what is old, stored, categorized, and of the past.  The beauty of existence and life is in its spontaneity and “nowness”… not in a remembrance of what “was before.”  Go beyond what all the pundits have taught you.  Go beyond what you stored and accumulated.  Leave the dead past and perceive freshly in the “now.”

The next time you see the beauty of an animal, or a face, (or a tree)… please do not merely look at it via labels, classified-learned patterns, formulated systems, and antiquated memories.  Please do not merely look with a lot of that “learned space” that exists between the perceiver and what is being perceived.  Without all that baggage, maybe (if you’re lucky) you’ll actually be in relationship with what is observed.

eternalfountainofyouth.com 

“Beyond Labels”…   pic by Thomas Peace (Left click on the photo and scroll down to see it enlarged; left click on the “middle” of it again to enlarge it more; hit left return-arrows, twice, to return.)

"Beyond Labels" photo by Thomas Peace

“Beyond Labels” photo by Thomas Peace

Post

Memory is Always Old…

1 comment

Memory is always old and of “the past.”  It involves symbolic images and words in a recollection of past occurrences, past things, past events, and past experiences.  Memory is usually heavily conditioned by the learned patterns that society has shaped within us.  The memory bank is an accumulation of these past (learned) things and past experiences. Things are categorized within us, according to how we’ve been taught.  We often merely see things through a process that is dictated through the learned screen of memory. Recognition is often largely memory reinforcing itself.  Being more than something that is second-hand… involves going beyond all this in a fundamental way.

This arrangement (of memories) can become rearranged (and reshuffled) and, in having done so, relatively new things and ideas can become established.  Such a rearrangement can either be very beneficial (to life on earth) or not very beneficial, or somewhere in between.  People come up with all kinds of ways to “sell” or “profit from” their ideas.  This profitability either is motivated to benefit the self or to benefit humanity and life (or both); oftentimes it lies somewhere in between.  A truly wise man, however, deeply perceives that the self is not, in truth, separate from the rest of humanity (and life).  Such a person’s motivation may not lie within what was merely learned via past experiences and via various types of stored memory.  This is because real insight can spring into existence (in a serious person) regardless of what past memories and experiences existed previously.

Deep and profound insight cannot be purposefully brought about by any method, system, or procedure.  Otherwise such insight would merely be the formulations of (or partially formulated by) a plan.  Planning takes time, and deep insight exists beyond the realm of what can be concocted in time.  True insight is timeless.  It is a profound, spontaneous explosion beyond what one had learned or experienced via memory. The profundity of insight can (out of compassion) shape someone’s memory; but one’s memory can never shape, fabricate, or bring about true insight.  The mechanism of memory (as the thinking process) must end (for deep insight to take place).  This ending, of course, cannot come about via any contrived process, procedure, or devised strategy.  An ending resultant from some kind of blueprint is a mechanically formulated effect… which is not, truly, an ending.  If the cause involves “plotting” and “calculation”… the end will be also be rather ordinary, near-predictable, and mundane.  Most people were taught that “ending,” for them, is something that is “not good.”  However, ending “psychologically” may not, at all, be deleterious.  Most people endlessly cling to (their) memory.  (That is what they were taught… and that is what they have absorbed; that is what they continually function as.)

eternalfountainofyouth.com

Insects and flowers have always had a symbiotic relationship with each other.  The flower feeds the insects and the insects help pollinate, clean, and protect the flower.

Photo of ant on a lily flower by Thomas Peace c. 2012:

[Left click on the photo to see a larger version… then left click on the “center” of it again (up to 2 times) to expand it further; hit left “arrows” to return.]

Ant on Lily by Thomas Peace c. 2012

Post

We are what we think.

3 comments

We are what we think.  And by and large, we are the thoughts of others.  We have absorbed the thoughts, patterns, habits, and manners of others; we are an accumulation of these processes, tokens, and methodologies that others provide.  Yet we (each of us) think that we are something truly independent and unique.  The reality may be that most of us are not unique or independent at all.   To be a second-hand copy (of what everyone else basically is) may not at all be what “true living” involves.  Being another domino in a sequential series of reactions may not involve real action whatsoever.  Real action goes beyond limited boundaries.  Limited boundaries constitute the very essence of symbolic representations and mental recognition frameworks via learned (i.e., merely absorbed) paradigms. Real learning lies beyond mere absorption.

We look through the screen of what we were taught… and what we see is what was implanted into us.  Very few of us go beyond that very limited domain.  We are used to (i.e., accustomed to) limitation, we live in limitation, we accept limitation, and we fight… in childish political parties, divisive religions, separative countries, and isolated, small self-concepts… all involving gross and crass limitation.  Limitation occurs when the mind is spewing with boundaries of demarcations, when barren, symbolic representations endlessly clutter the mind.  Merely absorbing and assimilating limitation is easy.  Any languorous or inattentive mind can do that.

Fortunately, there are a few who look beyond the muddle and go beyond it.  They are not the ones who write the innumerable mystery books that have no real mystery to them, and within… (and there are plenty of so-called mystery books like that).  They are not the ones carelessly driving into dead-end streets while childishly trying to entertain us. They are not the ones in high office, dressed in fancy clothes (or wearing hierarchical robes) jabbering away, but with real apathy behind it.  They are not the ones with their images plastered on the cover of popular magazines.

We think that we control what we think… but we are what we think.  We have accepted separation as an essence of our fundamental perspective.  (We think that we are separate from what we think… and that we control it.)  We (most of us) have merely absorbed what we were “taught.”  However, that kind of teaching, from which we were “taught,” may not be real teaching at all.  Real teaching involves penetrating the superficial.  Real teaching involves tearing down false limitations and puny demarcations to reveal and allow deep, profound insight.  Wholeness, real wholeness, is not a concept.  It is not something concocted from an accumulation (or bundling) of the many things that one sees or was “taught” to see.

Many of us are second-hand shadows, congratulating each other on what remains superficial and fragmentary. The ramifications of this involve a world being harmed more and more by very limited minds.  To question what we were taught, and to go beyond it, may be the beginning of true wisdom.  True wisdom stands alone… and it does not depend.  True wisdom may not exist for one who wishes to wallow in the comfortable shadows of what it was conditioned to become by society.

www.eternalfountainofyouth.com   

from Walt Whitman:

I believe that a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars…

******************************************************************************************

Photograph “Leaves of Grass” by Thomas Peace (copyright 2012)

DSCN6807