September 28, 2011
Consciousness stands outside of what it is to be human. The analysis of consciousness must begin with being human as a being a species of among all animal species. Yet it is soon discovered that consciousness in any important sense among humans is different culture to culture and with in all cultures changes throughout history.
Consciousness is made up of a field of traits that are slowly added one upon another to further understanding of individuals and a people set in their historical environment.
Each individual is one among many individuals. Each has a name, yet everyone has a name. In any self-analysis I am important to me. But, other people and peoples will intrude into my study. I am not alone; “I am” only in relation to others.
You may protest I am more than a mere object or just another individual member of an animal species. True enough no one would disagree. But, this is the beginning we are animals that a born, grow, eat, sleep, and some point die. At a specific occasion I will become aware of my own mortality. It is at this time when I lose my protection against being a mere object. I am born some would say in pain. I live my life sometimes in joy and sometimes in fear I will die and in death I am alone. It is the meaning I choose that keeps me going.
My need for meaning requires a resolution. To turn to god and faith or to defend my atheism remains my choice. This mood fills a whole field of interpretations on how I experience my existence. At times this quest is intense at other times it is almost forgotten. As come closer to clarification it becomes less of an expedition and more of a sheltered refuge of source of pleasure and incessant consolation in the morning and in the night. Because life is short each moment becomes its own eternity.
To understand life is to open myself up to being able to stand outside myself and explore my behavior like a confidential witness. Looking closely to what surrounds me that is not an element of my make up and has a direct effect on my behavior is to gain insight into a soul of my own creation.
Understanding comes from the experience of existence. Fact or fiction understanding comes from experience and is justified only through existence. From our connection to the world we explain our existence. We connect to others this way. We do this in part through language. While words cannot describe everything, words can describe most everything. We think in words and it is in this context we find our lives. We are expanded upon we use words to give self-definitions. Words are used to define the meaning we find in the world. It is through this context that any meaning is possible.
When we agree on the meaning of words we can talk to each other. It is this social setting that our full humanity develops. We become not only what and how others see us; we become how we see ourselves.