Tuesday, September 4, 2018

You might not be as deep as you think


I read a great article You might not be as deep as you think by Derek Beres published on World Economic Forum web site. The author writes about the research in the area of the behavioral science and our delusion when we consider that there is something more than everyday consciousness.

Today, you can hear everywhere... "conscious eating","conscious music listening", living a "conscious life". These self-declared states of mind lead as they say toward something they call a "higher consciousness".

Especially spiritual inclined people, they think that "consciousness" is something special and it can be increased through meditation, through breathing exercises or austerities, through faith or willpower.

While reading the article I had a deep sigh of relief because the author clearly states that higher consciousness is sheer nonsense. While many believe consciousness to be a hidden mystery few can access, the author states that this evolutionary phenomenon is quite simple - What you see is effectively what you get.

No amount of therapy, dream analysis, word association, experiment or brain-scanning can recover a person’s ‘true motives,’ not because they are difficult to find, but because there is nothing to find. The inner, mental world, and the beliefs, motives, and fears it is supposed to contain is, itself, a work of the imagination.

This is not shocking if you consider what is actually consciousness. By definition, consciousness is simply what you’re paying attention to at the moment, which can amount to no more than three or four things. You can go from there: the goal of meditation, for example, is to focus on one thing, a mantra, a candle flame, breathing, or nothing as it is the case of transcendental meditation.

Our brain contextualizes the physical sensations based on past experiences. Memory is fluid but based on prior events. Essentially, we're just making it all up as we go along. We crave narrative and go to great lengths to fill in incomplete stories regardless of the validity of assumptions being made.

Having said all this the natural conclusion is that Psychotherapy is a bullshit science because there is no a deep inner story that is hiding from you. Rather, you’ve got the first view although incomplete view of the world or experience and you are working your ass off to filling it up with a meaning.

Instead of a perception refined by years of experiences, we come to feel that the deep well of the unconscious is simmering below the surface, like the famed kundalini energy at the base of the spine. The reason I think the unconscious is a dangerous metaphor is because it gives you the impression that mental things that are unconscious could be conscious. This whole idea of uncovering things from the unconscious and making them conscious has the presupposition that they are of the same type.

What is unconscious can never be made conscious because the information is inaccessible by design. What you ever gain by being conscious of your heart pumping the blood though the vessels? Bottom line is you’re just not as deep as you think. There’s plenty to see when you open your eyes. Closing them to seek a treasure deep within causes you to miss the treasure right before your eyes.

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