Reflection 339: Key Points

June 25, 2013

Copyright © 2013 by Steve Perrin

Here’s the lowdown on On My Mind: A New Vision of Consciousness, the book I’ve roughed-out in this blog.

Title: On My Mind: A New Vision of Consciousness

Author: Steve (Stephen G.) Perrin, P.O. Box 585, Bar Harbor, Maine 04609

Contact: onmymynd@gmail.com

Publisher: Earthling Press, Bar Harbor; Lulu.com; ISBN 978-0-9651058-2-8

Published: May 2013

Description: 163 introspective reflections divided into 8 chapters—

  1. Introduction
  2. Depicting a Mind
  3. Perception
  4. Action
  5. The Situated Self
  6. Loops of Engagement
  7. Reality
  8. Toward a theory of Mind

228 pages, frontispiece, preface, epigraphs on method, 5 figures, index

Orders: Print on Demand, Lulu.com, $17.95 + shipping

Key Points

Method—30 years of Perrin’s first-person, phenomenological reflections on events in the one mind he has privileged access to

Intent—to make a heuristic contribution to the study of consciousness

Situated Self—Perrin discovers himself situated in a stream of ongoing awareness between not only perception and action, but also between memory and current events, personal understanding and imagination, himself as both subject and object, his individual being and his social belonging.

Speech—where do words come from? Introspection reveals that they arise from tensions within the situations we find ourselves in when we part our lips to speak. Those tensions provide the deep structure of what we actually say.

Loop of Engagement—striving to act effectively in a world he cannot know in itself, Perrin finds himself committed to a course of trial and error based on a flow of sensory patterns which he can make meaningful only against a background of his subjective life experience. This ongoing labor of finding meaning in sensory patterns drives his engagements forward from one to the next in a series of comparisons of the familiar and recognizable against the novel or strange.

Valenced disparity—Perrin finds that his conscious mind itself is aroused by a tension between his expectancies and those actual patterns of awareness which he endeavors to find meaningful. The gap between expectancy and achieved meaning creates a valenced disparity (good/bad, positive/negative, pro/con) that sparks attention to his present situation that amounts to nothing less than his personal consciousness.

The Business of the Mind—perception addresses the question, “What’s going on?,” the situated self addresses the question, “What does it mean?,” and personal action addresses the question, “What should I do?”

Levels of Consciousness—since evolution cannot anticipate every situation we will find ourselves in, the job of consciousness is to learn through trial and error what works and what doesn’t, the object being to develop a repertory of habitual behaviors suited to the particular niche at issue. Our unconscious minds offer a host of automated behaviors such as reflexes, mimicry, rote learning, habits, routines, prejudices, and ideologies that, once mastered, enable us to drive cars, ride bicycles, skateboard, prepare food, and generally respond to repetitive situations apt to crop up in daily life. Which leaves effectively dealing with problematic situations to the richness of full consciousness.

Introspection—since every human mind is unique, only one person on Earth has both the motive and opportunity to acquaint any given mind. Schooling often deals with abstractions, concepts, and generalities, leaving the particular workings of our minds for us to deal with on our own. The essence of introspection is becoming aware of being aware, that is, of finding out who we are, where we are, a job each of us must do on her or his own.

That’s the gist of the book. It can be yours by clicking on Lulu.com and searching for Steve Perrin. It costs $17.95 + postage.

Thanks for following my blog. –Steve from planet Earth

 

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One Response to “Reflection 339: Key Points”

  1. tom said

    interesting stuff, Steve! the darwinists tried to tell us that it was all about the genes…(tiny little units of matter)…but in reality consciousness is the real driver of biology and adaptation. Of course consciousness, not being a physical “thing” will always be fought against by mainstream science….consciousness is not “scientific” enough for them, nor as profitable because they can’t “research” it. Can’t let all those hundreds of millions of dollars slip away!

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