Thursday, July 9, 2009

(2) Consciousness

Nonetheless, from my perspective as a novice, again I could
hardly get a grip on the various theories that stood behind this
pursuit to understand Consciousness. Like Information Theory,
just too, too much!

I decided that for the purpose of this little journal, I would simply
scan a number of approaches regarding Consciousness--and
leave any depth research I might do for more serious future
efforts that might lead towards a publication. In the meanwhile,
I happened onto the writings of Ken Wilber, an amazing polymath
who covered many territories and than tried to integrate them
into some sort of focus when it came to Consciousness.

A scientist, philosopher, and transpersonal psychologist, Wilber
provided a list of categories in Consciousness Research. I
should like to quote at least sparingly from Wilber's list.

" *Cognitive Science* tends to view consciousness as anchored
in functional schemas of the brain/mind, either in a simple
representational fashion...or in the more complex emergent/
connectionist models, which view consciousness as an emergent
of hierarchically integrated networks...

" *Introspectionism* maintains that consciousness is best
understood in terms of intentionality, anchored in first-person

" *Neuropsychology* views consciousness as anchored in
neural systems, neurotransmitters, and organic brain mechanisms...

" *Individual psychotherapy*...tends to view consciousness as
primarily anchored in an individual organism's adaptive capacities...

" *Social psychology* views consciousness as embedded in
networks of cultural meaning, or, alternatively, as being largely
a byproduct of the social system itself...

" *Clinical psychiatry* focuses on the relation of psychopathology,
behavioural patterns, and psychopharmacology...

" *Developmental psychology* views consciousness not as a single
entity but as a developmentally unfolding process with a substantially
different architecture at each of its stages of growth...

" *Psychosomatic medicine* views consciousness as strongly and
intrinsically inter-active with organic bodily processes...

" *Nonordinary states of consciousness,* from dreams to psychedelics,
constitutes a field of study that, its advocates believe, is crucial
to a grasp of consciousness in general...

" *Eastern and contemplative traditions* maintain that ordinary
consciousness is but a narrow and restricted version of deeper and
higher modes of awareness...

" *Quantum consciousness* approaches...consciousness as being
intrinsically capable of interacting with, and altering, the physical
world, generally through quantum interactions...

" *Subtle energies* research has postulated that there exist subtler
types of bio-energies beyond the four recognized forces of physics
(strong and weak nuclear, electromagnetic, gravitational) and that
these subtler energies play an intrinsic role in consciousness..."
[Ken Wilber, an article entitled "Integral Theory of Consciousness.]

Breathless, realizing that Consciousness Research may only be
starting, I have to commend Ken Wilber posing to integrate all these
approaches--and, no doubt, come up with his own theory.

Figuring what with all the above cited approaches, there likely would
be no breakthrough on the subject of Consciousness in my lifetime,
I was about to throw in the towel. But, gasping, I happened on even
more approaches that widened the net.

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