(I added links to each post, so changed the name of this page from Summaries to PostLinks–SP 5-30-2009. Read the summary/excerpt; click the link to check out the full post.)

CONSCIOUSNESS the inside story—A blog by Steve from Planet Earth (Steve Perrin)

Running List of Blog Summaries


January 2010

Reflection 169: Innocence and Competence, January 1, 2010–My current interest in innocence and competence is as broad categorizations of states of consciousness and the gestures (actions) by which they engage the world of objects and other conscious beings. Innocence is a kind of openness to—or even fearlessness of—events. It is the state of mind necessary for learning what the current situation has to offer. Competence is the state of mind adequate to performing appropriately in a variety of situations.

Reflection 170: Categorization, January 5, 2010–If things are seldom what they seem, it is because personal consciousness, in presenting itself to the world through overt acts, is truly serving the values, comfort, and self-interest of the individual person. Consciousness, that is, mediates between the individual, biological person and her sensory world.

Reflection 171: Fifteen Minutes a Day, January 11, 2010–Consciousness is a hands-on operation, a matter of axons working with dendrites where they connect at synapses, preparing the way for ionic flows more fundamental than copper wires allow. It isn’t done for us; we do it ourselves. Unwittingly, yes, but willingly and even willfully through what we do in daily life. In truth, we invent ourselves as we go, both physically and mentally.

Reflection 172: Two Kinds of People, January 14, 2010–Two kinds of people? No, there are almost seven billion. Things happen only when a few gather together in mutual engagement. Then there is no limit to what they can do, no matter what the odds.

Reflection 173: Symptoms of Distress, January 18, 2010–Education has come to be whatever course of experience other people subject us to, not something we do for ourselves. In this blog I am trying to turn that way of learning on its head. Self-taught, I say, is best taught.

Reflection 174: Mailbox Consciousness, January 21, 2010–To take such convenient fictions as entropy, inertia, gravity, evil, sin, Satan, phlogiston, probability, or God herself as explanations for specific events is to switch from one level of consciousness to another midstream without knowing. Resident in the human mind, God is a category error waiting to happen.

Reflection 175: Eternity in Mind, January 25, 2010–Ruined hope for a better future is a more accurate measure of any disaster than property losses or body counts. Hope lives in human consciousness as an urge toward a brighter light ahead. True wealth tells the capacity for hope based on possibilities for constructive action in today’s world. Husbandry and stewardship create hope; monetary wealth devastates hope through possibilities removed from the commons.

Reflection 176: Heart Rot, January 28, 2010–These are not bad times. That is passing the buck. It is we who are acting badly by expecting to live on too grand a scale, consuming more than our share of so-called natural resources, far longer than we deserve, regardless of the cost to others and the planet we all share together.

February 2010

Reflection 177: Tool Consciousness, February 1, 1010–As I’ve said, the point of consciousness is effective action in the world. That’s what evolution has tailored our Paleolithic minds and bodies to accomplish in the cause of survival. Artificial intelligence can’t do that job in our stead; it is still up to us. And hand tools can help. Spears, boomerangs, axes, pencils, chopsticks, even paperclips. They help shape us to a world that was built without people, primates, or even tree shrews in mind.

Reflection 178: Mind Sets, February 4, 2010–On playing fields, umpires categorize as a profession, telling balls from strikes, safe from out. Judges in their courtrooms do much the same, distinguishing falsehood from truth, guilt from innocence. Careers are at stake here, reputations on the line; which is it to be, personal freedom or incarceration, or even capital punishment? Categorizations matter.

Reflection 179: Herons on My Mind, February 8, 2010–When pursued by an eagle, flying herons had an emergency maneuver in which they would up-end one wing and drop the other, effectively spilling the air that provided lift so they would abruptly drop 20 or 30 feet, then pull up heading along the back azimuth of the direction they’d been flying—leaving the eagle above them in cold pursuit of a phantom.

Reflection 180: Rockweed Consciousness, February 11, 2010–Who would ever imagine that the categorical essence of rockweed could be determined by committees that deny membership to the natural food web depending on rockweed itself and its peers for survival? But that’s how the civilized world works, people making all the decisions from their respective points of view.

Reflection 181: Woodsman and Fisherman, February 15, 2010–Corporations do not speak for themselves qua corporations. They make noises soothing to the ears of the powers-that-be behind doors that are shut. Corporate speech is not free, it is crafted to a particular end—the making of profits for a band of investors.

• Reflection 182: Intelligence, February 18, 2010–Intelligence, for me, is a process of gathering experiences about relationships—how things fit and act with one another—into a coherent picture in the mind. Excuse me, in my mind. That’s the only mind I have access to or can talk knowingly about, or expand by asking further questions.

• Reflection 183: Orthodox Consciousness, February 21, 2010–Consciousness by the book—orthodox consciousness—makes us commit crazy (inappropriate) acts while feeling perfectly sane and rational. On cue, we become that innocent child again, wobbling about and asserting ourselves like so many mechanical toys driven by coiled springs.

Reflection 184: Consciousness Speaks, February 25, 2010–Nowhere is consciousness more evident than in categorizing one thing as something else entirely for the sake of effect—to make a new dish, idea, or practice “palatable” as an acquired taste (or unpalatable, as when Rush Limbaugh characterizes President Obama as a foreign-born, Islamic terrorist).

March 2010

Reflection 185: One Turning, March 1, 2010–Consciousness aligns us with the turning of the universe we are born to, committing us early on to lead the lives we fulfill as we age. For me, spiritual guidance is found not in churches so much as in open spaces—estuaries, mountain ridges, shores, bogs, deserts, and wild areas of every sort where natural processes flourish today as they have since beginning times.

Reflection 186: Conviction & Discovery, March 4, 2010–The urges to both science and religion stem from similar experiences of the universe, but via two different routes or strategies for dealing with the awesome and unknown. The urge to religion relies heavily on explaining or categorizing the universe as the work of one or more superhuman(s) of fearsome power and authority as projected outward from the human mind; the urge to science starts with humility before the unknown, relying more on curiosity, experiment, and  discovery in describing aspects of the universe in terms humans can grasp.

Reflection 187: Rockweed Perspectives, March 8, 2010–In the case of rockweed harvesting along the Maine coast, the two chief perspectives look at rockweed from opposite directions, from the economic-industrial side, and the research-ecological side. From a management perspective, the challenge is to find a sustainable balance between the two sides.

Reflection 188:  Where I’m Coming From, March 11, 2010–A lot of people these days are out of sorts because their perspectives are obsolete and they won’t admit it. They’d rather go back than move ahead. But in truth the secret of success in life is not to be found in the Qur’an or the sayings of Ronald Reagan. Rather, it is in staying abreast with the times as they are, not as we would have them be.

Reflection 189: Site Maps of the Mind, March 15, 2010–Aesthetics is a matter of putting every aspect of consciousness into play, attending to the subtleties as well as the overall landscape, acknowledging the role of every part in creating the whole, the integrity and dignity of the whole in relation to every part—and acting only when the full dynamic richness and complexity of the experience have been savored.

Reflection 190: Death Watch, March 18, 2010–The mission of consciousness is to enable us to learn to be ourselves as we imagine ourselves being in the future on the basis of what we know now.

Reflection 191: Distractions, March 22, 2010–I think I blog to stay sane. That is, blogging for me is largely a process for sorting my concerns so I can work on them one at a time. Nothing is more important than getting my act together, and blogging is a way for doing just that. 

Reflection 192: Projects, March 25, 2010–The interesting side of projects is the mental skills we’ve already acquired in the process of living our particular lives. These provide the underlayment of every job we’re likely to undertake. That is, the projects that make sense to us are apt to be extensions of ones we’ve worked on before.

Reflection 193: This Blog as Project, March 29, 2010–We need a complete overhaul of the language we learned at our mother’s breast if we are to deal with people who learned other languages at other breasts. Is such a universal language of consciousness possible? Having come this far in 193 posts, I believe it is.

April 2010

Reflection 194: So-called Reality, April 1, 2010–Where and what is reality? It is not waiting for us to discover behind closed doors, but comes with us when we walk into a situation buzzing with patterns of stimulation we can put a familiar feel to and a name.

Reflection 195: Inaction, April 5, 2010–Action is indeed the upshot of consciousness, appropriate and effective action in the world we live in, even if we can’t make it out very clearly. When our options for action are severely restricted, our basic freedoms to think and act for ourselves become nonexistent. If that goes on long enough, we forget how to express our personal values in what we think and what we do.

Reflection 196: When Worlds Collide, April 8, 2010–We give Dmitri Mendeleev credit for inventing the periodic table of the elements as a system of categorization, and Melvil Dewey credit for inventing the Dewey Decimal System of library classification—but we stop short of crediting ourselves with the invention of the worlds we have devised for ourselves according to systems based on our prior experience.

Reflection 197: Backing Off, April 12, 2010–The only way Israelis will ever live in peace is to permit Palestinians to do likewise without interference. Not just permit, insist that is their right. Instead of governing by domination, it would be better to step back, adopt a sensible two-state solution, and recognize that sovereignty for one group is workable only if all groups have equal claims to freedom and justice.

Reflection 198: Of Heroics & Aesthetics, April 15, 2010–It’s not that the media pre-package experience so much as that they pre-digest it for us, too, so there’s really nothing else for us to do but sit and watch flat screens the evening through after working all day in a cubicle watching other flat screens.

Reflection 199: Fool’s Errand, April 19, 2010–No slope is slipperier than corporate personhood because the combination of corporate policy, expertise, and funding trumps hard-won, mere-mortal judgments every time. We the people are disheartened: the courts have stolen our nation out from under us. The struggle for independence never ends.

Reflection 200: Letting Go, April 22, 2010–Open yourself to discovery. Let the world in through your senses, not those of celebrities, columnists, loud talkers, or pundits. Activate your own mapping skills so that you live in your own personal territory, not the cell assigned to you. That territory is in your head and belongs solely to you. Never trade it away for any reason. Live by your own wits, not the dictates of others.

Reflection 201: Handprints, April 26, 2010–No two of us are alike. Yet our culture sorts us into crude bins and expects us to behave as we are profiled and sorted, regardless of who we know ourselves to be. With the sorry result that we become creatures of our run-of-the-mill culture and not of our unique, individually conscious selves.


January 2009

Reflection 44: Congolese Consciousness, Jan. 2, 2009—What manner of man commits violence against women in eastern Congo?

Reflection 45: An Original Life, Jan. 5, 2009—Creativity, not conformity, is the key to a productive life. Consciousness frames the problem; unconsciousness works it through. Do your share by practicing, rehearsing, mulling, writing drafts—your body will do the rest.

Reflection 46: Until Suddenly, Jan. 7, 2009—Revelations knock our assumptions crashing around our feet. Sadder but wiser, we rise among the shards. Suddenly we realize Bernie Madoff is a crook! All along we thought he was a pal.

Reflection 47: Stewardship, Jan. 9, 2009—Consciousness is each person’s head steward. Its job is oversight of personal behavior to make sure it is appropriate to particular situations. When consciousness is devious, drunk, or asleep at the helm, anything goes.

Reflection 48: A Walk in the Park, Jan. 12, 2009–Memory of getting mugged in Cambridge Common leads to thoughts about fear, anxiety, anger, and hatred.

Reflection 49: Soul Searching, Jan. 14, 2009—For me, the real world is always my world, that fragment of a world my consciousness presents to me at the time. Does that make it real?

Reflection 50: Cleavage, Jan. 16, 2009—A winter reverie of cleavage in summer. My personal consciousness has special sections for wildlife, books on the brain, and cleavage.

Reflection 51: Memories, Jan. 19, 2009—A sampling of different kinds of memory—utilitarian, emotional, conceptual, situational—all making relevant aspects of the past available to the present.

Reflection 52: Inauguration, Jan. 20, 2008—Today hope is the watchword, for today is Barack Obama’s inauguration as the 44th president of the United State of America.

Reflection 53: This Mental Contraption, Jan. 21, 2009—We are aware from the center of our lives, and that center assumes the conditions within which we achieve consciousness—including injuries, frailties, and aging.

Reflection 54: Books About Consciousness, Jan. 23, 2009—Visiting books on the mind and its brain is like taking a trip to a foreign land: you’ve got to learn new routes and place names, and pick up enough phrases to get by. A list of books from my personal library, popular, introductory, and technical.

Reflection 55: A Puzzle Solved, Jan. 26, 2009—This post deals with the strange attraction of picture puzzles. It’s the process that matters, not getting it done. Our brains are made for doing picture puzzles.

Reflection 56: Beauty Day, Jan. 28, 2009—Beauty is active, a way of seizing the world. It is always a discovery. Sought, but never fully anticipated. You have to be there, present, to feel the effect. A hike in winter woods sets off this train of thought.

Reflection 57: Who Am I Really?, Jan. 30, 2009—Writing this blog, I seem to be above myself looking down upon my own self being conscious of myself being conscious. There’s no “me” apart from this body I call “mine,” which really it isn’t. I am a figment of this body’s imagination.

February 2009

Reflection 58: Decisions, Decisions, Feb. 2, 2009—Agonizing over whether or not to venture out in a snowstorm illustrates consciousness at work trying to reach a decision.

Reflection 59: Areas of the Brain, Feb. 4, 2009—Brief consideration of areas of the brain which may contribute to consciousness.

Reflection 60: Discovery, Feb. 6, 2009—Am I on the right track? Here I seek confirmation for the idea that consciousness is truly situational in nature. Discovering the ins and outs of consciousness is the adventure of a lifetime.

Reflection 61: Endless Adventure, Feb. 9, 2009—Here I am, blogging about consciousness. Which puts me on the leading edge of my own life and awareness. And that, I feel now, is the right place to be. Risky, yes, even dangerous. But I maintain that life isn’t a living unless we use our native faculties to connect ourselves as best we can to the situations we place ourselves in.

Reflection 62: Hole in the Sky, Feb. 11, 2009—I seem to be normally conscious when I dream, but being deprived of sensations and the ability to act, the situations I dream about are ruled by feelings of novelty, wonder, awe, fear, anxiety, uncertainty, and self-doubt.

Reflection 63: Community Consciousness, Feb. 12, 2009—Community consciousness, if it exists, is hard-earned, temporary, and specific to a given occasion. This blog details how seven people in a group strive to achieve unity of thought.

Reflection 64: Blogosphere II, Feb. 13, 2009—In a word, many or most blogs are derivative. They chew on themselves and other media. Feeding on the same cud, they grind away until nothing is left but drool from the chops. Then onto the next bite, then the next.

Reflection 65: God Consciousness, Feb. 16, 2009—In the Book of Job, God assails Job with items of received wisdom 2,500 years old. This is fable, not history. This is mythology—man putting words in God’s mouth to achieve a certain effect. This is theater, not theology.

Reflection 66: I’ve Got Mine!, Feb. 18, 2009—There you have it—territoriality. I’ve got mine, but you can’t have yours! Not here, not now. No Trespassing signs spring out of the ground; motion detectors rise in every yard. This attachment to home turf is one of the most prominent features of consciousness.

Reflection 67: Coma, Feb. 20, 2009—Waving the banner “Make Obama Fail,” the coma-stricken Republicans are gleefully stonewalling Obama’s efforts at recovery, taking joy in balking his efforts however they can. Rather than solving the nation’s problems, they are compounding them.

Reflection 68: World Enough and Time, Feb. 23, 2009—Because survival depends on land, life, and money, a major portion of human consciousness is devoted to these three issues. The Haves have them in sufficient amounts, the Have-nots want more.

Reflection 69: Values, Feb. 25, 2009—Winning, justice, truth, beauty, freedom, love—these are names of a few common values. Just to say them stirs us mysteriously from within. They excite us, get our blood flowing faster to make us ready for intentional action.

Reflection 70: Joanna Macy, Feb. 27, 2009—Everything changes, that is the law of consciousness. The mutual interplay of simultaneously changing elements within a system is what Joanna Macy deals with in her book about mutual causality.

March 2009

Reflection 71: Metaphorical Brain, Mar. 2, 2009—Metaphor balances an abstract conceptual part (tenor) with a concrete sensory part (vehicle), the two together providing a more compelling experience than either taken by itself—that is my claim as based on personal observation.

Reflection 72: Introspection, Mar. 4, 2009—This blog is based on introspection, supplemented by readings in the literature of neuroscience. My method of investigation is wrong for Joseph LeDoux, as his is wrong for me.

Reflection 73: Why Metaphor?, Mar. 6, 2009—Literal language conforms to what we expect people to say on a given occasion. Metaphors play against those expectations in surprising us with something new. Suddenly consciousness bursts on the scene, for speaker and listener both.

Reflection 74: Through His Eyes, Mar. 9, 2009—I am in the second day of a workshop on dealing with death, a workshop I am drawn to attend. The leader asks us to tell about a funeral or memorial service that moved us particularly. I raise my hand as the leader turns toward me. I tell of my father’s funeral in Seattle 45 years ago.

Reflection 75: Ten Thousand Hours, Mar. 11, 2009—We are beginning to understand how dedicated passion and conscious attention can, in changing our brains, change our lives—and change the world.

Reflection 76: Haiku Consciousness, Mar. 13, 2009—In this post I offer rough English translations of four haiku by the Japanese master Matsuo Basho (1644-1694) as examples of consciousness reflected in a small number of words.

Reflection 77: Haiku Situations, Mar. 16, 2009—Haiku and metaphor originate in situations that bring two aspects of consciousness together simultaneously as a comparison or more basic juxtaposition. One aspect is a sensory image, the other is a series of images that has mellowed into a concept or an idea stored in memory.

Reflection 78: Making a Difference, Mar. 18, 2009—When I blog, I can only contribute to the blogosphere from where I am. This is the real me in Bar Harbor, the center of my onion calling to the world. Are there any other conscious onions out there? Hello, hello?

Reflection 79: Serpent Consciousness, Mar. 20, 2009—Seeing a snake reach for wasps from the end of a branch, I wonder if the snake figured out it would have to go to the wasps if they wouldn’t come to him. Was the process of “figuring out” similar to what we would call consciousness?

Reflection 80: Here’s the Situation, Mar. 23, 2009—Where in the brain does situational consciousness come together as a gateway to both situational memory and appropriate behavior? Three examples are given: 1) Dropping the A-bomb on Hiroshima, 2) helping dismantle Sarasota Army Airfield in 1946, and 3) trying to figure out why eelgrass died back in the bay.

Reflection 81: Asymmetrical Consciousness, Mar. 25, 2009—Thoughts stirred up by being put on permanent hold when trying to call FairPoint. Knowing your station in life means accepting the rules the higher-ups want you to follow. They play by their rules, you play by their rules—what could be fairer than that?

Reflection 82: Eelgrass Consciousness, Mar. 27, 2009—When you sit down to dinner in a restaurant, eelgrass is far from your conscious mind. But the choices on the menu may very well be eelgrass-dependent, so it’s good to give thanks that a roomful of folks in Portland, Maine, celebrate eelgrass consciousness by working together on cold winter days to get their numbers right so they stand up in court.

Reflection 83: Creative Consciousness, Mar. 30, 2009—Based on a paragraph from Walden, I conclude that the essence of creativity is to unite key dimensions of human consciousness into a coherent experience in which others can participate. When sensory patterns, feelings, and meanings combine, they can reach a critical mass that releases a burst of energy—not just in our brains—but throughout our bodies.

April 2009

Reflection 84: Of One Mind, Apr. 1, 2009—I have a moving experience in the MIT chapel. When everything comes together in consciousness like that, for good or ill, we are overwhelmed. Could be 9/11, could be Obama’s inauguration. Such states of cohesion are milestones along our journeys of life discovery. 

Reflection 85: Expectancy, Apr. 3, 2009—Listening to music has a decided advantage over forecasting the weather because we can never experience the same weather twice—storms may be similar, but never exactly the same. Modern recording technology allows us to experience identical repetitions of the same piece of music. 

Reflection 86: Interpretation, Apr. 6, 2009—Our brains feature a resident spin doctor that joins concrete sensory impressions with conceptual meanings drawn from memory. Or if it doesn’t actually join them, it gives voice to the now meaningful image, creating a story that, whether true or not, makes sense within the current situation. 

Reflection 87: A Mind of My Own, Apr. 8, 2009—What have I learned from posting 86 reflections to this blog on topics related to consciousness viewed inside-out? A lot, I would say. I devote Reflection 87 to a few such items.

Reflection 88: To-Do Lists, Apr. 10, 2009—What I see now is that to-do lists create a wholly new situation expressly for the sake of remembering an assortment of items relevant to a variety of situations having nothing to do with one another. Things-to-do becomes a meta situation subtending all lesser situations.

Reflection 89: My Day II, Apr. 13, 2009—I have written in earlier posts that consciousness is given us as a means of dealing with unprecedented situations by turning issues of experience into appropriate behaviors. That is, to solve problems, if not verbally, then through relevant actions in the world. Well, here was a situation I had never been in before in my life.

Reflection 90: Interpreting Haiku, Apr. 15, 2009–The process of writing or reading haiku provides a glimpse of the left-brain interpreter at work, either coming up with elements that go together, or piecing together an interpretation that “explains” the finished work.

Reflection 91: As You Like It, Apr. 17, 2009—Story telling is the name of the game we are playing. In the belief that what’s good theater for me is good theater for all, a gross distortion of Adam Smith’s invisible hand has become the doctrine of free enterprise in our nation and now around the world.

Reflection 92: What Are Schools For?, Apr. 20, 2009—The most important thing children need to learn is how to manage the left-brain interpreter lodged in their brains and from which there can be no escape. That is, they need to base their judgments and self-accountability on convincing evidence, not opinion, prejudice, whimsy, dogma, or a factoid or two.

Reflection 93: Angels, Apr. 22, 2009—Angels are supernatural beings, figures that would shock us if we met them on the street. The company they keep is confined to the fabulous tales we spin in our heads to account for events we don’t understand.

Reflection 94: Speculation, Apr. 24, 2009—Truth or fiction? When the evidence is skimpy, it’s hard to tell. But we have to do something to avoid being seen as wimps, so barge ahead on what little we know. If we win, we are likely to win big. If we lose, well, that’s why we hedge our bets.

Reflection 95: Creative Consciousness, Apr. 27, 2009—The essence of creativity is to unite key dimensions of human consciousness into a coherent experience in which others can participate. When sensory patterns, feelings, and meanings combine, they can reach a critical mass that releases a burst of energy—not just in our brains—but throughout our bodies.

Reflection 96: Pain Consciousness, Apr. 29, 2009—What led me to blog about pain as an aspect of consciousness is that it’s been keeping me awake for a week now, and last night almost did me in when three sources of pain converged all at once.

May 2009

Reflection 97: Reality Check, May 1, 2009—If we have let our consciousness fail us, that is because we haven’t been paying attention—as every wild creature knows it must to get through the day. This latest reality test shows how lax our vigilance has become.

Reflection 98: What Now?, May 4, 2009—Getting to know your interpreter is getting to know yourself. All it takes is watching yourself being yourself. That way lies hope for a better world in that you can see yourself playing games, and so watch for self-deception.

Reflection 99: Can We Get There from Here?, May 6, 2009—No longer can we sustain the myth that we live in the real world and are doing our best to respond to its challenges. The implication being it is the world’s fault for falling apart, not ours. My response to that, in one word, is “Nonsense!”

Reflection 100: The Way Ahead, Part I, May 8, 2009—On the basis of my ongoing self-reflection, combined with my slim acquaintance with modern research in consciousness and the brain, I offer the following ten suggestions for what we must do in coming to grips with the various global crises currently threatening our wellbeing and that of our home planet.

Reflection 101: The Way Ahead, Part II, May 11, 2009—Discovery of what it means to be fully conscious requires the extra step of being conscious of oneself being conscious. You have to rise above yourself and look down in awe at the workings of your own mind.

Reflection 102: Conscious of. . ., May 13, 2009—Life’s hardest lesson is that the world we are conscious of is largely our own doing. Our left-brain interpreters do the best they can under the circumstances. That is, as constrained by other factors and modules in our brains. We are not constrained by the world-as-it-is so much as by that world as represented in our heads.

Reflection 103: Money Consciousness, May 15, 2009—In a very real sense, money is equivalent to territory giving us a foothold on Earth. That is its derivation. Territory for producing food to support a worker’s metabolism, territory providing resources—the ultimate capital. Printing money puts us into debt—to Earth itself.

Reflection 104: Myth of the Market, May 18, 2009—Put simply, the economy we have is not worth bailing out when it gets itself into trouble. We need an Earth-centered economy that puts our values where our bodies are, not just our minds.

Reflection 105: Shareholder Consciousness, May 20, 2009—Most of our job descriptions make no reference to the Earth, even though everything we do is based on the assumption that Earth is out there doing its thing while we are busy doing ours. It never crosses our minds that if Earth took a vacation, we’d lose our jobs.

Reflection 106: Reproductive Consciousness, May 22, 2009—I see that life keeps creating the same situations over and over. There is method in its diversity because its end is always the one end. Boy-meets-girl is ever the same story: Let’s match gametes and see what comes of it. What happens is life.

Reflection 107: Creating Situations, May 25, 2009—In my view, we are conscious within situations and act within situations, so to change the world, we must create new situations inviting us to further the changes we want to achieve.

Reflection 108: Integrity I, May 27, 2009—My finest moments are those in which I am of one mind—not because my thought is so simple—but precisely because it is hard-won from so many sources yet presents itself as a self-made unity.

Reflection 109: Integrity II, May 29, 2009—The flip side of integrity is respect for others we meet along the way. We recognize how hard they have worked to get this far, so their integrity deserves our highest regard. Like passing ships, we hail each other and sail on.

June 2009

Reflection 110: Raised in Glory, June 1, 2009—To put massive firepower in the hands of men who take the Bible as literal truth is the height of foolishness and misplaced trust. Men who kill for a living harden their interpreters against any and all criticism. They do it to protect themselves, but in the process may well be putting the rest of us at risk.

Reflection 111: Higher Authority, June 3, 2009—Once you surrender to a higher authority, you never have to think again. No longer on your own, you serve the will of another. How reassuring that is, how comforting. As long as you bow your head in submission, you are off the hook.

Reflection 112: The Cloud that Looks Like a Dog, June 5, 2009—Before I get to the drum roll, first think what that might imply: seeing a cloud as a dog. It is an act of perception and an act of cognition engaging each other, not in the world, but in the mind. My mind. Wholly without words.

Reflection 113: Information, June 8, 2009—Energy is not meaningful in and of itself. And it is energy, not information, that impinges on our senses. Interpretation requires a context—some sort of situation within which energy takes on meaning in reference to relationships characterizing that situation. And it is no easier for situations to enter consciousness through the senses than it is for information or “reality” to make the same journey.

Reflection 114: Seeing Ourselves, June 10, 2009—Whenever we engage the world scene in some way, we have the option of including ourselves in that scene by rising above or expanding our own consciousness so that we can look down and witness ourselves being aware. That is not as crazy as it sounds.

Reflection 115: Self-Diagnosis, June 12, 2009—As I see it, the world is not so much a monument to humanity’s great accomplishments as it is a great big question mark. And our job is not to flaunt how great we are but to get down to the hard work of answering important questions—especially those nobody has thought to ask till now because they weren’t in a position to ask. Such as diagnosing and treating the world’s ills, which are becoming more evident every day.

Reflection 116: Maggie’s Garden, June 15, 2009—Today I have permission to share a piece recently published in the Vassalboro Quarter Newsletter, “A Garden of Forgiveness” by Maggie Edmondson who lives in Readfield, Maine.

Reflection 117: Monkey See, Monkey Do, June 17, 2009—Mirror neurons were first discovered in monkeys, but reflecting on all the behaviors you have learned to execute through imitation will help you appreciate their role in human life.

Reflection 118: Sacred Ground, June 19, 2009—I do not intend to limit myself to my native haunts in this reflection. I am writing about love for the Earth by all Earthlings, those of every species who treasure their homeland and homewater, the territory that provides for and supports their particular livelihood in every detail. It is the living who treasure the ground and water they depend on.

Reflection 119: Man and Dog, June 22, 2009—Every act is generated by the brain. To learn about the brain, study the acts—your own and those of others around you. Take a levelheaded look at what’s going on. How you act, how you react to the actions of others. Without editing, without judgment.

Reflection 120: Mapping the Mind, June 24, 2009—We think of Bach as composing music, but another way of looking at him is as a mapper of his own mind in two dimensions—in sound first, then notation used to represent the original as a basis for subsequent performances. Whatever their medium, creative people give us representations of their conscious neural activity.

Reflection 121: Spirituality, June 26, 2009—To me, spirituality is a felt connection with all that is, including (to shorten a long list) northern lights; amethyst jellyfish; Earth, our habitat in space; common and remarkable Earthlings of every sort; wetlands; lichens; old-growth forests; the Milky Way; and the universe as revealed by the Hubbell Space Telescope.

Reflection 122: Fire Alarm, June 29, 2009–Back and forth, back and forth,  all the while, with the blitzing strobe—talk about torture, this was my version of hell. It was like somebody plugging my wits into the wall outlet and frying them then and there inside my skull.

July 2009

Reflection 123: Symbol Consciousness, July 1, 2009–Attitudes and feelings are important aspects of symbol consciousness. During election campaigns, we have strong reactions to pointed displays of donkeys and  elephants, which in other contexts might not rouse us at all. It’s not that symbols are loaded so much as that we are loaded and primed  for action.

Reflection 124: Idioms of Consciousness, July 3, 2009–Idioms of consciousness require solutions in the here-and-now. They cannot afford to wait for evolution to come to their aid. Stress spurs new alignments within consciousness itself, allowing new priorities, new attitudes, new judgments, new interpretations—all leading to new idioms, new paradigms, new ways of being, and new actions on the world stage.

Reflection 125: Universe in an Apple Tree, July 6, 2009–I was partly trying to enter the robin’s frame of mind as she sat there, partly observing my own mind trying to make sense of what was happening. Her mind as I imagined it was a tiny part of my mind—of the situation I was trying to piece together. I had neurons devoted to the robin, my own feelings, understanding, and plan of action. Too, I had other neurons devoted to the culprit, who had to be that crow.

Reflection 126: Walking with Thoreau, July 8, 2009–People in every age have made sacrifices and taken risks to be free in living their lives. We all know the feeling of getting away from our troubles, duties, and responsibilities for a time. Freefalling through the air can take you there, and walking through the right terrain can as well. Not walking to reach a set destination, but walking with a free spirit, which is what Thoreau had in mind.

Reflection 127: Elixirs of Consciousness, July 10, 2009–Fudge factors are some of the first principles of consciousness. We are so earnest in wanting things to turn out right, we enlist them to do the heavy lifting of making events as they turn out conform to our hopes and basic assumptions. If we believe in a supreme being, then everything that happens expresses the will of that being. God hurled Hurricane Katrina at New Orleans to punish the city for its errant ways. Nothing is neater and tidier than that trick.

Reflection 128: Woody Allen Consciousness, July 13, 2009–Consciousness, it seems to me then, is not based on prowess and ego so much as on stress and anxiety. If that is true, it would appear to be one of our best defenders within cultural situations which natural evolution could never anticipate. In rising to consciousness, each of us is on her own, doing the best she can to cope with situations that might well undo her.

Reflection 129: Hidden Music, July 15, 2009–In Karl Paulnack’s words: “Frankly, ladies and gentlemen, I expect you not only to master music; I expect you to save the planet. If there is a future wave of wellness on this planet, of harmony, of peace, of an end to war, of mutual understanding, of equality, of fairness, I don’t expect it will come from a government, a military force or a corporation. I no longer even expect it to come from the religions of the world, which together seem to have brought us as much war as they have peace.”

Reflection 130: Seeing with Thoreau, July 17, 2009–If you don’t have a mind for rare plants, you’ll never have an eye for them, either. Thoreau’s next sentence: “A man sees only what concerns him.” (Page 351.) Expectancy is destiny. True for us all. We generally see only what we have an interest in seeing in the world around us. To see more, we have to develop an interest in seeing more. We have to be trained—or train ourselves—to see what we’re missing.

Reflection 131: Feedback, July20, 2009–I sent my 128th post to Joseph LeDoux because I felt I had made a discovery—that anxiety is behind a large part of consciousness. I have claimed that consciousness is given us to solve novel problems that evolution has no leverage on, and anxiety is what turns a situation into a problem. Anxiety is a sign we are invested in a particular situation and care about the outcome.

Reflection 132: Sand Box Consciousness, July 22, 2009–Reclaiming child-hood means taking the risk of reclaiming consciousness for each individual. That encourages each one to be his or her unique self all the way. It means giving up the myth that under the skin all are identical. We are valuable one to another precisely because we are unique and have something to offer that no one else has.

Reflection 133: Bird Consciousness, July 24, 2009–My topic today, class, is bird consciousness. Consciousness of birds, not by birds. One thing I know, it’s all in my head. Another thing is, my brain makes it happen, helped along by the rest of my body, and the situation I’m in as I construe it along with my experience of that particular bird. So the bird image, meaningful as it is, is not alone. It exists in a situation that favors observation of birds—like me walking along a wooded trail where birds are apt to appear.

Reflection 134: Consciousness as History, July 27, 2009–My conscious history is a tale of anxiety and revelation, which may be true for others as well. Evolution sets us up for such a life, we and our times do the rest, culture following through on what nature and our heritage have begun in our genome. Consciousness isn’t just for the moment or the day, it’s for a lifetime.

Reflection 135: Playing the Game, July 29, 2009–In the great game of consciousness, the aim is not to score more goals than the other guy, but to achieve the most balanced play of reality possible under current conditions. That is the true art of consciousness, combining two simple views to form a convincing and serviceable reality as a basis for appropriate action.

Reflection 136: Defeated Consciousness, July 31, 2009–Every moment of consciousness is the entirety not only of someone’s “world model” but of their innermost life—memories, feelings, victories, defeats.

August 2009

• Reflection 137: Project Consciousness, August 3, 2009–Projects not only get us organized, but can lead to new ways  of understanding the specific situations within which we live. By focusing the mind, projects enable us to surpass ourselves.

Reflection 138: Making Yourself Happen, August 5, 2009–I may not have saved the Earth as yet, but I feel I am doing my part to improve the local environmental situation as best I can. I’ll keep at it as long as my wits stay with me, and my consciousness is able to coordinate my deeds with the full range of my sensory awareness in achieving the goals I set myself in one project after another.

• Reflection 139: Horseshoe Crab Consciousness, August 7, 2009–Imagine sleeping for half a year, waking up, eating a big breakfast, then looking to have a year’s worth of sex in the two weeks you’ve got before having to store up enough calories to get you through the following winter! Horseshoe crabs in Taunton Bay live like that.

• Reflection 140: May-December Consciousness, August 10, 2009–Skewing the age relationship between sexual partners in this direction connects the sperm of proven male survivors with the eggs of women having the brightest prospects for living long enough, well enough, to raise their children to sexual maturity.

• Reflection 141: Placebo Consciousness, August 12, 2009–When we reach above the social plane to the theological or cosmological, we outdo ourselves in grasping at illusory placeboes to make us feel good about matters far exceeding human understanding.

• Reflection 142: Reflexive Consciousness, August 14, 2009–Living in worlds of our own making as we do, we typically direct our attention as if upon the mysterious world itself while, in truth, all we have to go on are the very phenomena we create for our personal use.

• Reflection 143: Shaker Consciousness, August 17, 2009–Removing themselves from the vanities of the civilized world, Shakers staked their lives to the soil, not to fashion. We have chosen the other road, preferring vanity over nature–to sorry effect. Our world runs on image and influence, not energy coursing through the seasons, which Shakers knew how to harness.

• Reflection 144: Poet Laureate, August 19, 2009–Emily Dickinson gets my vote for poet laureate of introspectionists. She excels at conveying her world of inner experience through the medium of metaphor.

• Reflection 145: Typewriter Consciousness, August 21, 2009–I had no way to justify making typewriter animals–I just typed them out in spite of myself. I had no choice: to be me, I had to do it. Feeling guilty and elated at the same time. Forbidden games! I knew I was wasting time, except as it turned out . . .

• Reflection 146:  Gone Rowing, August 24, 2009–I’m taking time off to read 7 books by Gerald Edelman dealing with the nature of consciousness, and the 146 posts I’ve put up on the Web since October 6, 2008. When I’ve regrouped myself, I’ll be back with Reflection 147.

September 2009

• Reflection 147: Steep Climb, September 26, 2009–Calculating each move, watching for sticks aimed at my eyes, I fitted myself to the terrain as if it had grown up around me. Though I didn’t belong there, I made as if these were my native haunts. 

• Reflection 148: Achilles’ Brain, September 29, 2009–If you’re not good at building a better world through discipline and hard work, trash the one you’ve got just for laughs. 

October 2009

• Reflection 149: Blind Walk, October 6, 2009–As I have often written, expectation is destiny. We don’t live in the world so much as in our expectations of what that world should be. We make the evidence of our eyes and ears conform to what we want to happen. Our stance toward the world, our fundamental attitude toward reality, determines how we act far more than the evidence of our senses. It as if we were wind-up toys that head off as soon as set on the floor.  

• Reflection 150: The Big IF, October 9, 2009–Personal consciousness is not primarily a means for advancing ourselves beyond others, but rather a means of striving for sufficiency while recognizing we are in this life together and deserve equal chance to make ourselves happen—not as higher and lower beings, but as uniquely gifted members of our common humanity. 

• Reflection 151: Error Signals, October 14, 2009–Our current economy is based on invading, subverting, and capitalizing on the consciousness of a gullible public. Minds are extracted every day for profit: that’s what capitalism amounts to: the coercive transfer of assets from those who have less in order that others can have all the more. 

• Reflection 152: Getting It Together, October 16, 2009–In the order I present them here, that’s: arousal, alertness, attention, expectation, fulfillment, salience, understanding, novelty, learning, and action. In addition, I would stress the roles of perception, conception, and memory as major players in consciousness, for a baker’s dozen of topics to whirl in the mind much as jugglers whirl Indian clubs in the air. 

• Reflection 153: jpg Consciousness, October 27, 2009–Enough words. Time for pictures. These are slides from the PowerPoint I showed on the last day of my adult ed class on consciousness at MDI High School in Bar Harbor. See for yourself. 

• Reflection 154: Haiga Consciousness, October 29, 2009–Photography didn’t exist in Basho’s day. But it does exist in my day, so, since photography has been my lifelong medium, my “haiga” are based on digital photography. I say it is the mind behind the medium that counts, not the medium itself. 

November 2009

• Reflection 155: Card Game Consciousness, November 2, 2009–It is crucial that the workings of consciousness become widely studied and eventually known, so enabling people everywhere to act advisedly on their own—and their common culture’s—behalf. 

• Reflection 156: Outrageous Fortune, November 6, 2009–No one likes to be publically humiliated. To be humbled—brought down in the eyes of the people. Particularly not those who thrive in the limelight. If exposed as mere mortals, their reflex is to divert attention by shedding light on someone else’s faults, which brings to mind their particular enemy. If he doesn’t have conspicuous faults, it doesn’t matter—just make them up. Deride his accomplishments, smear his virtues, mock his integrity—again and again. 

• Reflection 157: Categories, November 11, 2009–Our looping engagement with the world lets us project our favored memories outward in the form of concepts to seek meaningful embodiment in sensory shapes and patters (categorization or assimilation), and conversely, welcomes novel shapes and patterns into ourselves that they expand the breadth and depth of meaningful memories funded by our personal values (learning or accommodation). 

• Reflection 158: Natural Mind, Cultural Mind, November 16, 2009–Informed and calibrated by culture, consciousness is as consciousness does in the world; affirmed or offended by our actions, culture is as culture does right back at us. If the fittest are to survive, their fitness to the prevailing culture is a big issue. But start to finish, consciousness plays by nature’s rules: culture is a product of human beings doing what comes naturally. Clearly, I am of two minds about almost everything. 

• Reflection 159: Stop the Press!, November 19, 2009–Increasingly, I am aware of the fleeting nature of the mental processing I call consciousness. Things pop in and out of my mind, and I have the option of tending to them or not. Often, I am preoccupied and tell myself I don’t have time for such distractions. Often, too, they never recur. I had to have been there to decide in that split second. 

• Reflection 160: Of Two Minds, November 23, 2009–In effect, by reducing their personal survival values to the one dominant cultural value represented by the economy, people are acting as if their culture is everything, their personhood nothing. 

• Reflection 161: Civil Consciousness, November 27, 2009–My point is that when a culture’s practices control the minds of its members rather than the other way around—innate, natural consciousness expressing itself through cultural practices—then the primary purpose of membership in a tribe or larger group striving to live in harmony with its place on Earth has been subverted by top-down authority for the sake of its own power, wealth, influence, and position.

December 2009

• Reflection 162:  Territorial Consciousness, December 4, 2009–In truth, we are killed by the lives we lead; live by the sword, die by the sword. In extracting resources from the territory we claim to own, we are wasting the very qualities that keep us alive. Irony, blindness, stupidity—call it what you will—the future of humanity and Earth itself can be foretold from our attitude toward territory under our domination.

• Reflection 163: Fear and Anger, December 10, 2009–Through the agency of our upbringing, our culture often warns us it’s not nice to be fearful or angry. So we stuff such powerful feelings deep inside, denying they exist. I-am-not-angry! we shout; I-did-not-flinch! Yet this deadly duo surfaces every day of our lives, craving recognition as driving forces behind much of human behavior.

• Reflection 164: No Middle Ground, December 15, 2009–Is there no middle ground between victory and defeat? There certainly is. Between me killing you and you killing me, there is the usual middle way of muddling through by playing backgammon together and trading stories about our mishaps and adventures. Of being human together—you being fully you, me being fully me. Acknowledging our similarities, sharing our differences, balancing the two, not letting ideology come between us to distort our relationship.

• Reflection 165: Being There, December 17, 2009–I am intrigued by the biological workings of my own mind—the only mind I know inside-out in intimate detail. Finding it hard to get to know or speak with others whose minds are lodged in different heads and live different lives from my own, I began searching for ways to bridge the seeming gulf between us.

• Reflection 166: In the Loop, December 21, 2009–In a couple million years, the apple hasn’t fallen very far from the tree. We still hunt as of old, just in new looping patterns of engagement with our surroundings. Even our cultural interests and drives haven’t changed that much. Our values are still much the same, only now we buy jogging strollers and plastic toys instead of chipping arrowheads and scrapers by hand out of rocks.

• Reflection 167: Two Women, December 24, 2009–Think how dull life would be if we all held to the same beliefs, thought the same thoughts, and conformed to identical standards! What could we talk about that we didn’t already know? I say, vivre la difference, not just between the sexes, but within them as well—as my two examples so beautifully illustrate.

• Reflection 168: Edelman on Consciousness, December 29, 2009–Gerald M. Edelman gives us fresh ways of looking at, talking about, understanding, and appreciating both consciousness and its brain. The importance of these contributions cannot be overestimated. Nor can the difficulty of gaining access to them through his writings.


October 2008

Reflection 1: Dying Crow, Oct. 4, 2008—On the fringe of personal consciousness, I do not always see things as they are. I report seeing the phenomenon of a trash bag by the side of the road as a dying crow.

Reflection 2: Survival of the Fittest, Oct. 7, 2008—We idly go on believing we live in the real world, a world we can see/hear/taste/touch. We’re kidding ourselves. The whole of existence is in our personal experience. Life is an inside job.

Reflection 3: Mea Culpa, Oct. 9, 2008—Looking for a mustard jar with a particular image in mind, I do not see it right in front of me in the refrigerator because it is lying on its side.

Reflection 4: Crash, Oct. 10, 2008—At first glimpse, I see a swept-back TV antenna as a crashing jet liner.

Reflection 5: Sunflowers, Oct. 13, 2008—I pass within a foot of a vase of huge sunflowers without seeing it when I am looking for something else. What sunflowers?

Reflection 6: Right but Wrong, Oct. 14, 2008—I “recognize” a stranger on the street ahead of me as my friend Fred. Consciousness blends two sorts of signals, one perceptual, the other conceptual.

Reflection 7: Thoreau as Blogger, Oct. 15, 2008—Like Job, Samuel Pepys, and Eleanor Roosevelt, Henry David Thoreau would have been a blogger in his day if he’d had access to the Web.

Reflection 8: Blogosphere, Oct. 16, 2008—Blogs add up to a clamorous Babel of noise and opinion. We select the few that speak to-and-for us, and shun the rest. That way, we reinforce our respective mindsets without running the risk of expanding or correcting them.

Reflection 9: Creativity, Oct. 20, 2008—Consciousness projects a personal sense of order onto mysteries we do not understand, domesticating them, making them meaningful to us.

Reflection 10: Diagnosis, Oct. 21, 2008—Consciousness is always conjectural, a stage in learning about our current situation through trial and error.

Reflection 11: Let’s Pretend, Oct. 22, 2008—Child’s play reveals the workings of the mind in transforming a doll into a baby, a stick into a gun. The reality we make for ourselves is often a matter of wishful thinking.

Reflection 12: Doubt, Oct. 24, 2008—Doubts and questions are the fuel on which consciousness runs. To be fully alert, ask a question. Focused research assures active, open-ended consciousness.

Reflection 13: Wallpaper, Oct. 27, 2008—Once a question has been answered satisfactorily, it tends to retreat into the background of awareness and disappear among other life accomplishments.

Reflection 14: Mindreading, Oct. 28, 2008—Compassion and intersubjectivity are acquired in early childhood through interactions with caring and patient caregivers who share their minds and attention with us.

Reflection 15: One-upmanship, Oct. 30, 2008—We all have had the experience of speaking at cross-purposes with others tuned to different wavelengths than our own. They underwrite our words with their meanings.

Reflection 16: Fight or Flight, Oct. 31, 2008—Deprived of adequate stimulation, consciousness falls back on such built-in concerns as sex and fear to entertain itself.

November 2008

Reflection 17: Election Day, Nov. 2, 2008—The art of consciousness is in weighing our opinions and impressions as a means of selecting the most appropriate action to take within the limits imposed by our current situation as we construe it.

Reflection 18: Talking Heads, Nov. 4, 2008—Many people assume language to be essential to consciousness, but there is no language in nature, and that’s where consciousness originated.

Reflection 19: My Day, Nov. 5, 2008—McCain-Palin didn’t make it. Obama-Biden did. Hallelujah! Oh blessed awareness. I love this life.

Reflection 20: Nothing on My Mind, Nov. 6, 2008—Where does the god idea come from? Absolutes like god are unknown to consciousness, which is always relative to life situations among knowable people and events.

Reflection 21: Mind to Mind, Nov. 10, 2008—Each of us is unique in our genetic makeup, upbringing, education, training, employment, and life experience. No two of us can be of the same mind. Intersubjectivity at best is an illusion.

Reflection 22: Relationships, Nov. 12, 2008—Relationships—not facts, not absolutes—are the stuff of consciousness. Our individuality is our greatest asset because it is precisely that which we have to offer others in entering into relationships.

Reflection 23: Evolving Relationships, Nov. 14, 2008—Relationships are anything but static. In fact change often keeps them going. They are not meant to remain forever the same. Consciousness thrives on novelty and adventure.

Reflection 24: Population, Nov. 17, 2008—When you look straight at something and don’t see it, it’s called denial. Or suppression. Or blindness. When you look straight at something, see it, and don’t act appropriately, it’s called ignorance. Or stupidity.

Reflection 25: Lost World, Nov. 19, 2008—Rather than doling out billions of dollars to financial institutions to save their dignity, our government would do better to spur examination of the nation’s collective lack of awareness that led us into this catastrophe.

Reflection 26: Missing Photos, Nov. 21, 2008—What do such trivial episodes such as 1) getting a flu shot, 2) washing dishes, and 3) hiking in Acadia National Park have in common? My consciousness, for one thing. And a sense of something missing for another.

Reflection 27: Clarity, Nov. 24, 2008—The population explosion, global warming, and even the current recession are failures of human consciousness. They serve as exhibits of what can go wrong when we leave it to others to make judgments and decisions for us.

Reflection 28: Clarity, The Aftermath, Nov. 26, 2008—Clarity of mind is both a blessing and a curse, so must be subject to wise judgment at all times.

Reflection 29: Clip-Art Cat, Nov. 28, 2008—In mistaking a squeaky hinge for the yowl of a cat, my first response was to jump up to remove my feet from the cat’s tail—and since I well knew there was no cat—I (my consciousness) provided a clip-art gray kitty to fill the void.

Reflection 30: Barack and I, Nov. 29, 2008—Consciousness is contagious. It takes one person noticing something new, then acting appropriately. Which is called leadership.

December 2008

Reflection 31: Matters of Scale, Dec. 1, 2008—Human consciousness is stuck at the scale we are born to. Rarely do we have the wits or gumption to picture life situations on different scales. Compared to mites and bacteria, we are bumbling giants.

Reflection 32: Slap My Face, Dec. 3, 2008—The most glaring way we fool ourselves is in believing that consciousness depicts events in the real world. As if our entire mental apparatus did not come between us and that world, skewing it, distorting it, shaping it to fit our personal fears and desires.

Reflection 33: Memory Stick, Dec. 5, 2008—Working memory is subject to disruption when interrupted or disturbed. A single ring of the telephone can make me lose track of where I am and what I am doing.

Reflection 34: End of an Era, Dec. 8, 2008—Eras are eras of consciousness when the world is seen a certain way, and things get done a certain way. Coming to expect more of the same, we become children of our times.

Reflection 35: Situation Consciousness, Dec. 10, 2008—Consciousness is situational by nature. That is, it emerges within a specific sense of location populated by a cast of characters dealing with particular concerns.

Reflection 36: Scientific Method, Dec. 12, 2008—If truth is to be found on planet Earth, it lives in the human mind. The irony is, it has to be a truth you can believe in.

Reflection 37: Terms of Endearment, Dec. 15, 2008—Meaning-making plays a large role in consciousness, and exploring how that is done opens the way to transformations of consciousness.

Reflection 38: Music Consciousness, Dec. 17, 2008—Music is all about relations between sounds as they develop through time. Humans dig sensory relationships. What else is life all about?

Reflection 39: The Time of Our Lives, Dec. 19, 2008—Time and space are derivatives of consciousness. We are conscious at this time, in this place.

Reflection 40: The Meaning of Our Times, Dec. 22, 2008—Concepts accrue in memory as categories containing common features derived from a series of experiences. When we fit a new pattern in experience together with such a category, we see that pattern as an example extending or fulfilling the series.

Reflection 41: Christmas Tree, Dec. 24, 2008—I have a metaphorical Christmas tree in my head decked with memories of all the special moments in my life. Today it’s seeing the most beautiful girl in the world.

Reflection 42: Hey Jude Moment, Dec. 29, 2008—We learn by watching others, then imitating them. We make fun of such imitative behavior, calling out, “monkey see, monkey do.” But we all play that game.

Reflection 43: A Sense of Space, Dec. 31, 2008—We take it for granted we can walk through woods without crashing into trees, or cross busy city streets while cars and trucks bear down upon.

(For Reflection 44 and beyond, see above.)

One Response to “PostLinks”

  1. Updated May 29, 2009–SP

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