For five years I used this blog as a scratch pad to get my thoughts on consciousness in shape to put into a book. Then a second book. In that limited sense, it worked as I intended it to, but not as a blog. So now I’m making a new start with all that I’ve learned crammed into my head, which will slowly leak out in a series of much shorter and more pointed posts.

Consciousness–the linking of perception to action through the medium of personal judgment–is the story I now want to tell. And how those actions fare in the outer reaches of Nature, Culture, Community, and Family–our collaborators in creating the mental space in which we conduct ourselves as wayfarers.

All animals are wayfarers, back to the original one-celled ones that first sprang from the primal ooze. We are wayfarers in being go-getters of the food we need, the oxygen, the water, the partners, groups, and everything else we need to survive in our environmental niches. And then need to get rid of when we turn all that good stuff into waste. Life commits us to one long engagement with the world outside our external membranes, wherever we find ourselves on our travels.

Consciousness is the agent of our engagement that keeps that two-way traffic going across our outer membrane for one lifetime. Because we keep changing our locales and situations with every move we make, our minds have to provide us with a flow of what’s going on so we can judge whether it is good or bad for our welfare, and act accordingly by moving in or backing away.

Since we get only scanty coded messages about where we are and what’s going on, we don’t have a very complete sense of our situation at any particular time, so have to make a lot of guesses to fill in the gaps. Mostly we’re wrong and have to correct our estimate, but sometimes we do the right thing and score big, which is encouraging and keeps us going a little bit longer.

Consciousness, then, is about doing the best we can with what we’ve got in the time we’re allowed. When we are born, we don’t know anything but how to suck, poop, burp, and cry. If we make it through the first seconds because somebody takes us in hand and sees to it that we are fed and kept warm, then we may make it through the first minute, hour, day, or even longer. Engagement with our immediate surroundings, as I say, is our first task if we are to make headway as wayfarers to our second day, next month, and even through our first year.

But you know this already, or you wouldn’t be here. You’re already a wayfarer first-class, working your way ahead every day of your life. Finding what you need, eliminating what you don’t. It’s that simple, and that hard.

More later. Take care in everything you do. And above all, have fun.

Sincerely, Steve from planet Earth.

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Reflection 340: Yoda Lives!

September 23, 2014

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

At least I’m as old as Yoda. I buried my two brothers in July, 2014, and am now the last man standing in my generation of three brothers. I blog about consciousness, and what I am conscious of is a strong sense of absence. How is that possible, to be conscious of absence? Of what’s missing? The old routines I used to take so for granted. The old attitudes, assumptions, things I thought I could count on. All gone missing. Forever.

Truth is, I’m now a new person. The old me is dead. And all the baggage I lugged with me is not in the closet. Starting from scratch, like digging a new garden. Stay tuned for news of what springs up in my personal plot.

One thing for sure, I’m a wayfarer. It’s official. Last Monday I hiked six miles in Acadia National Park. Today I hiked another six miles on a beautiful fall day. What’s spring up is a new me. Same man, only different, with a new outlook on life. I was born a wayfarer, to find my own way, but only recently realized that’s who I am. Navigator. Steersman. Helmsman. In charge of my own journey through life. That’s what consciousness is for, getting around so we can find the things, people, experiences, engagements that we need. We are born to steer our legs where we want to go to obtain these thing. Our hands being free to do the work we are born to do.

Why didn’t I realize that sooner? Consciousness is our means of connecting perception to action so that we steer our way to becoming the people we want to be. Well, now that’s me. I’ve joined the crowd of seekers searching for the world they want to live in. Making that world an actuality for themselves. In spite of all the nonsense that the media cover all around the world. Now I see that we’ve all got to make such worlds for ourselves by steering toward them as best we can.

More later. Take care on your Journey.