Consciousness and Levels of Awareness

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TomCochrane

Trad climber
Cascade Mountains and Monterey Bay
Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 31, 2018 - 07:34pm PT
We been having a long series of interesting and well researched discussions in this forum on the general topic of how the mind and consciousness arises as an unusual and localized emergent property of the physical brain. These discussions have spanned physics, quantum physics, biochemistry, mathematics, network mapping, neurophysiology, astrophysics, cosmology, psychology, psychiatry, optics and holographic projections, sensory physiology, virtual reality and artificial and augmented intelligence (VR/AI/AR, my own field of professional experience), reincarnation, cosmic consciousness, hallucinogenics, trans-humanism, the occult, conspiracy theories ... the list goes on ...

One conclusion seems to be that we have some pretty smart people among the rock climbing crowd!

However no significant level of consensus of basic understanding seems to have been reached on those threads and many of the sub-discussions seem to be running in circles for some 20,000 postings. Reality designed by a committee! My personal opinion as to why is that the subject is being approached backwards...hence this thread to look at it from the other direction...not about the five senses or the brain or the mind, but about consciousness and levels of awareness and possible implications to be learned ...

On several occasions I have politely tried to steer discussions in the direction of accepting that there is in fact the presence and existence of consciousness and awareness, so perhaps we could discuss an existing observable truth about which much can be learned beyond speculation as to how it can even be present. Such discussions so far have invariably been driven straight off the rails by collapsing back into discussions about how consciousness is created from the material universe. So long as that fixed opinion is held, there is little further exploration of awareness.

So if that is you, please carry on with the other related threads! If you are convinced that the material universe is real and all there is, with emergent strange glimmers of mind, intelligence, consciousness, and awareness; then this is not the thread for you. So please don't clutter it up with brilliant information and comments that belong on the other threads. I do appreciate your information and comments over there. And I can already easily imagine the nature of some comments that could be made on this thread as we have already heard them many times. So just chalk this thread up as woo woo and carry on elsewhere ...

However if you are another one of those who observe that consciousness is ubiquitous and there are many levels and properties of awareness and intelligence that are worthwhile understanding and so inspire learning the skills to control these on a personal level, then I'd really like to see your participation in a discussion here.

I am convinced that I don't know much, but I do know enough to be really interested in this topic.

My personal oversimplified opinion based upon the works of others plus my personal observations and experiences is that consciousness or infinite awareness is basic to everything and the source from which is derived the material universe. My opinion on cosmology is that consciousness creates a field of energy and creates vibration patterns within that field by observing it. The creation of a vibrational thought form allows materializing that form as an aspect of the material universe.

There appear to be many levels of awareness that are related to the broad bands of vibrational frequencies. These levels of awareness can be mapped out and understood and related to frequency patterns. Operating within the material universe, it appears that operating as an individual within certain bands is able to greatly enhance abilities and results. One term commonly heard in adventure sports is being 'in the zone'.

People tend to be trapped in particular patterns, commonly termed as The Matrix. Our society is heavily infused with a cacophony from many noise sources. Anger, hatred, pain, fear, tend to form the bars of the cage. An individual impinged by such negative emotions and reflecting them back to their source, thus becomes the other pole of a standing wave of negative energy, to which the individual is contributing their own energy ... thus creating the bars of their own prison in The Matrix.

However it is possible to free personal consciousness to various levels and by various methods such as sedentary meditation and hallucinogenics ...neither of which seems to be a great method alone. Motion is medicine and going to the wilderness mountains, deserts, and oceans is one way to try and escape the noise and expand awareness. The natural environment tends to be the great healer.

I look forward to your shared creative thoughts
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Cascade Mountains and Monterey Bay
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 31, 2018 - 08:27pm PT
I've used the analogy in the past that the material universe is like foam on the ocean of infinite awareness ... and we devote all our attention to understanding that foam, while paying very little attention to the ocean. We have an extensive and admirable understanding of the physics of that patch of material foam.


So I'd like to expand with a similar takeoff to that analogy. Figure our civilization is like a ship on the ocean. This material ship has little round portlights with views looking out across the sunny ocean of infinite awareness.

However I is stuck partway on the outside with feet dangling in the breeze and sea spray, looking into the interior of the ship through one of those little limited view portlights, which it considers to own as it's physical body. I can reach in through the open port and effect a few things in the ships interior and interact with others who are similarly stuck.

I can get all tied up in thinking there is no reality outside of this narrow view and limited ability to change a few things nearby. Since I doesn't look over its shoulder, there is no awareness of the ocean of infinite awareness to which I is connected just outside of the portlight. When I learns to meditate and catches glimpses of the light coming in from the ocean, it all seems a bit scary...

When I dies, I drops away from the portlight and swims again in the ocean of infinite awareness.

Then a big shark comes along and tosses I up into another portlight, we call it reincarnation. The shark is trying to own I and doesn't want I to remember about the ocean of infinite awareness.

However an enlightened I has the ability to either look into the limited space-time of the ships interior, or to gaze out across the limitless ocean ... a matter of choice ... not a trap. Sometimes I tries to get others to take a glimpse outside....

An especially enlightened I learns all about how to avoid feeding itself to sharks.
Mtnmun

Trad climber
Top of the Mountain Mun
Jan 31, 2018 - 08:46pm PT
I am catching your drift here Tom. Can you boil this down to one paragraph we can sink our teeth into.
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
Jan 31, 2018 - 08:47pm PT
As I press forward along this trajectory, with some nice success too, I have recently discovered this one:

Higher levels of awareness requires a high level of self discipline.


One must focus and set the course at a high tide of awareness, then press on with discipline against the whims and reaction that pummels us into doing things that erode our awareness.

As I compare this to others who have achieved great things, I tend to find it to be true.

There are always arguements that great minds had great flaws, however, it was not the flaws that made them great, but the opposite.

TomCochrane

Trad climber
Cascade Mountains and Monterey Bay
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 31, 2018 - 08:54pm PT
So so science has identified four or five levels or bands of awareness, named them, and associated them with a particular frequency range. They are according to the way the scientists think of them within the general population:

Beta 14-30 Hz normal alert consciousness

Alpha 9-13 Hz relaxed, calm, not thinking

Theta 4-8 Hz deep relaxation, meditating, imagery

Delta 1-3 Hz deep, dreamless sleep


There is a lot more that has been discovered and can be said about these.

To start with all these levels can be explored through meditation, while maintaining an alert sense of awareness. Then they appear to be separated by distinct 'veils', a term that seems to describe how they are observed by various cultures around the world.

They have been sometimes described as four worlds, separated by mentally tangible veils.
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
Jan 31, 2018 - 09:05pm PT
"Science" is a pretty wide generality. Who did this research and where can we access it?




TomCochrane

Trad climber
Cascade Mountains and Monterey Bay
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 31, 2018 - 09:08pm PT

Higher levels of awareness requires a high level of self discipline.

Yes

So lacking a high level of self discipline and control, people tend to porpoise up and down through the bands of awareness.

This self-discipline is especially true and especially important when you start finding there are multiple sub-bands of awareness and each sub-band is highly specialized and applicable to accomplishing particular forms of activity. This is of course only useful to know if you are sufficiently aware of the bands and have the self-discipline to hold your attention in the appropriate band for the activity you are accomplishing.

I particularly recall Alex Honnald talking about how he momentarily dropped out of the zone and was terrified while standing on Thank God Ledge during his solo of Half Dome NW. Without having him hooked up to a bio-feedback machine, I'm going to take an educated guess that he often operates 'in the zone' at Alpha (subconscious) sub-band 3 and 4. That seems about where I was at while free soloing the Grand Teton North Face back in 1963. However considering my amazement at his accomplishments, Alex may be able to concentrate at a level well beyond that. I get the impression that Quinn Brett describes how she dropped out of the zone near the top of Boot Flake. Being in the right band of awareness zone can be an incredible performance enhancer, but the increasing risk factor demands ever increasing self-discipline! And it helps to concentrate within that zone if you know exactly what you are doing mentally.

TomCochrane

Trad climber
Cascade Mountains and Monterey Bay
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 31, 2018 - 09:15pm PT
Spider there is a wide range of scientific research into this subject of the awareness bands and you can tap into it by a search on bio-feedback

However I don't find the scientific literature to be the most enlightened sources of applicable knowledge on the subject

You will however find a wide range of initially interesting information and research...I haven't kept up with it and there may well be by now researchers who have taken a deep dive, as for example really learning for themselves some of the techniques of Himalayan mystics
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
Jan 31, 2018 - 09:40pm PT
Thanks. I'd love to see the Scientific American article but then again, only for amusement.

I found my best line courtesy my favorite Montana Mystic. ;-)

I got my Know to Mystery scale working for me.
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Cascade Mountains and Monterey Bay
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 31, 2018 - 09:45pm PT
So the Beta level is not so much a band as a place you really don't want to be, even though people in cities wind up spending much of their time there. It has been called various things to warn you about this: Ego, 'the I state of consciousness', the logical mind, 'the hired state of consciousness', 'the zone of the living dead', 'the prison of the flesh'

This is where you get people staring at their 'smart' phones while walking into lamp posts
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Cascade Mountains and Monterey Bay
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 31, 2018 - 09:47pm PT
Spider tell us about your Montana Mystic and your Know to Mystery scale
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
Jan 31, 2018 - 10:13pm PT
(At risk of being burned at the stake.)


Know to Mystery Scale as applies to climbing:

Positive Emotion > Look > Know About > Not-Know > Know

This upper band of the scale applies to a stoked climber walking up to a climb giving it a good look and flying into a highly creative state of success on the route. It ascends the scale from the middle.

Not-Know is the beautiful state of pure quiet where the universe bends to your will. Know is pure control of it.

Then, from the middle going down scale:

Negative Emotion > Effort > Think > Symbols > Eat > Sex > Mystery > Wait...

Here is where a climber fails and goes down the scale to a loss. This is very self evident if you examine it. Gets pissed off, trys and fails, thinks about it a long time, checks the guide book, decides to go eat instead, etc.


Climbing is a simple and clear example of how this works. It works well through out life as a philosophical approach.
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Cascade Mountains and Monterey Bay
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 31, 2018 - 10:17pm PT
One of the things that drives people down into the Beta state of consciousness is concentrating attention on a very narrow focus. Our society teaches children from a very young age to concentrate on one thing and not allow their attention to wander ... focused attention or tunnel vision

Then growing up to concentrate on the traffic and the lane you are driving in, street lights and signs ... books, cell phones, TV ... tunnel vision!

Contrast this with life of native peoples (or rock climbers) where survival depends upon being aware of everything around, constantly extending the range of the senses.

A general challenge with humans is that even all five of our senses fully awakened, still only access very small bands of the electromagnetic spectrum.

One of the quickest ways to get up out of Beta is to expand your senses to encompass the entire environment around you...wide-angle vision and listening, awaken your sense of smell and touch ...

A funny thing about that is the more you awaken your senses, the more you are also able to be aware beyond the normal range of your senses...

If you go out in the woods and chose a comfortable spot to sit for 15 minutes without making a sound or a move ... you will become aware of the unique background sounds for that spot. Every spot has its own unique set of sound signatures, which if you pay attention to them can be used for multiple enhancements to your awareness ...you can recognize the location even at night and use that for navigation ... you can recognize when something changes and sends concentric rings of influence through that area from nearby, such as a dog or a person coming into the area ... even though you can't yet directly sense them, you can still be aware of their presence
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Cascade Mountains and Monterey Bay
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 31, 2018 - 10:20pm PT
What puts you at risk of being burned at the stake is people still stuck in The Matrix

This thread is a designated Matrix Free Zone


Your scale lines up nicely with the one I use ... you jumped ahead of me in the program ...

So your designation of 'Know' lines up with Delta aka super-conscious, consciousness of all things, Oneness, The Void ... an equal balance of the physical and life force and spirit

Not-Know lines up with Theta aka The World of the Spirit

Then Alpha is the subconscious and the life force that moves in all things, the physical universe, the primal self, body control, emotions and feelings, all memory, and Inner Vision
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Jan 31, 2018 - 11:45pm PT
consciousness or infinite awareness is basic to everything and the source from which is derived the material universe. My opinion on cosmology is that consciousness creates a field of energy and creates vibration patterns within that field by observing it. The creation of a vibrational thought form allows materializing that form as an aspect of the material universe.


consciousness in one person creates a field of energy (with a vibration frequency) that materializes the rest of the universe?


that feels incomplete as a description.

I think the point of the OP is that consciousness is a word used to describe levels of awareness as a phenomenon and those have a certain frequencies as matter/energy states.


But are those frequencies high enough to have causal consequences on anything but an atomic level? Much like pushing slushy ice, you can causally move some of it, but its not an infinite wave like water would wave. So I think the trick of language here has something to do with the use of the "infinite awareness" language.

Awareness is limited, not just by training, spatial relationships, self-subjectivizing, but by what we might call matter/energy density.

My observational awareness doesn't extend to the back side of the moon, but it can idealize the object of the backside of the moon and creatively attempt to fill in the 'minds eye' with what we have been pre-programmed with linguistically.

TomCochrane

Trad climber
Cascade Mountains and Monterey Bay
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 1, 2018 - 01:23am PT
consciousness in one person creates a field of energy (with a vibration frequency) that materializes the rest of the universe?

that feels incomplete as a description.

I think the point of the OP is that consciousness is a word used to describe levels of awareness as a phenomenon and those have a certain frequencies as matter/energy states.

Several good points here. Central to this approach to understanding is that WE ARE ALL ONE.

Obviously this is a complex universe with a lot to understand, even within any one subset of one of the major sciences. So obviously this has to be an incomplete description requiring unending elaboration. But it is a good starting point. Physics and Cosmology and the other sciences search for an underlying unifying understanding. So this is it: WE ARE ALL ONE ...and The One is conscious, aware, sentient, and creative. Everything else manifests from that. Each of us can be considered as a viewpoint of The One, a viewpoint for having experiences in the created material universe, but still part and parcel of the universal creative consciousnesses that puts it all here.

Theoretically any of us should be able to demonstrate mind over matter. However this local space has been carefully engineered to make that challenging and convince us of its impossibility. Still every once in a while someone breaks out of their programming and does something that we all have been taught is physically impossible.

But are those frequencies high enough to have causal consequences on anything but an atomic level? Much like pushing slushy ice, you can causally move some of it, but its not an infinite wave like water would wave. So I think the trick of language here has something to do with the use of the "infinite awareness" language.

Here you are still looking at it as if the material universe has an existence independent of infinite awareness. It doesn't. It is very challenging to shift your viewpoint and escape from that view of The Matrix as having an existence all on it's own with us somehow being subservient visitors. Since we are raised with that perspective, it's not a viewpoint easy to change overnight, and most people can't even begin to conceive of it being different.

Awareness is limited, not just by training, spatial relationships, self-subjectivizing, but by what we might call matter/energy density.

My observational awareness doesn't extend to the back side of the moon, but it can idealize the object of the backside of the moon and creatively attempt to fill in the 'minds eye' with what we have been pre-programmed with linguistically.

I agree with all of that if I'm understanding you correctly ... special emphasis on the pre-programmed bit. The challenging part of increasing awareness is to look away from the oh so convincing illusion of the material world and look inward through the bands of awareness like layers of an onion, to where we can reconnect with the infinite awareness of which we are all a part. We are so thoroughly programmed to look at the world from the perspective of the material universe being real, that it can take some serious mental wrenching to see it for the illusion that it is. Try talking to kids enmeshed in a video game. They won't even hear your voice. This is like that only even much more so. However once you see it, you can't really go back. This shift of viewpoint is common among people who have a near death experience, or have a meditative cosmic consciousness experience. Meanwhile our society has us thoroughly programmed to see the holographic universe as the reality, the whole reality, and nothing besides the reality.

However what you describe as filling in The Mind's Eye is exactly how the entire place is constructed.

Who has been doing this pre-programming to us and why, is a whole another subject ... go see the movie The Matrix ...
karabin museum

Trad climber
phoenix, az
Feb 1, 2018 - 05:29am PT



I am not a expert with this stuff but I went through a spiritual transition over the last few years. The transition wasn’t necessarily something I decided to do, it was more forced upon me to push me Forward. I went from just enjoying everyday life to frantic spiritual studying that “had to be done” so I can understand “ purpose.” Like suddenly not sleeping for 4 years because the itch won’t stop!

The outcome to my madness ended when true Faith came to me. A true personal relationship with the creator. It is interesting that all of the “spiritual rules of reverence” are no longer necessary in my life and I no longer need to have a bookcase jammed with spiritual books to show that I “belong.”

Spiritual conversation now is very refreshing and fun, because I no longer “feel like I have to” continually absorb material and understand all of the spiritual systems.

I thought throughout my life I had tons of Faith all along. God is with me Yeah! When this transition started I came to the conclusion that my Faith was actually me being a good person and doing good things in life. Faith and Hope had no difference. This new Faith I have with God feels completely different than the Faith I thought I had all of my life.

God is now everything in my life!

…………………………………………………………………………………..

While I was in this spiritual window many drawings came out of me. These drawings still are coming out of me like somebody is nudging me to draw them. In the illustration below the egg represents the mind and its continual reasoning of “purpose.” The person represents the soul and its escape from the control of the mind/flesh.

The egg represents the mind and its continual reasoning of “purpose.” ...
The egg represents the mind and its continual reasoning of “purpose.” The person represents the soul and its escape from the control of the mind/flesh.
- Marty Karabin illustration
Credit: karabin museum


Wayno

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Feb 1, 2018 - 10:23am PT
To me, the important part of discussions of this nature is the willingness of the participants to engage in a two way discussion. Extensive knowledge or experience in a given field does not guarantee the possessor is equal to the task of communicating without falling prey to the petty encumbrances that diminish the mutual benefits. Whew.

It usually comes down to what you know and how you know it. It is always going to be different than who you are engaged with, that's a given. The hard part is to see where the similarities are and how that may lead to a discovery of a thread of truth.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Feb 1, 2018 - 10:43am PT
Infinite awareness seems to intersect with John Long's open awareness experience that he has discussed at length in the WisM thread. He has postulated that his experience is not describable in physical terms:

"That is, awareness and consciousness are fundamentally unlike other "things" that physics and biology are designed to explain."
Wayno

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Feb 1, 2018 - 11:20am PT
As one explores consciousness and experiences different levels and modes of awareness there usually is that moment of realization that seems profound. It is a feeling, a moment of awareness that can be had by any number of methods, understandings or paths. Along with that feeling, depending on how deeply one is effected, often there is a desire to share that feeling by communicating it to others. At this point things get screwy. Personality enters the picture. Everyone wants to win the ever increasingly popular game of "I look good on the internet" and all bets are off. Value judgements become the name of the game as that is how it is played in the Matrix.
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