Mon 7 Nov, 2005 12:50 pm
When I was a youngster, probably seven or eight, my father took me with him when he drove to a local farm to pick corn for use in the café the family managed. We drove for a significant amount of time down local dirt roads to a farm with a field of growing corn.
We went into the fields with our bushel baskets and filled them with corn-on-cob. Dad showed me how to choose the corn to pick and how to snatch the cob from the stalk.
On the drive home I was amazed to observe the numerous fields of corn we passed on the way back to town. I can distinctly remember thinking to myself, why did I not see these fields of corn while we were driving to the farm earlier?
Today I have an answer to that question. I now say that on the way to the farm I was aware of corn-on-the-cob but on the way back home I was conscious of corn-on-cob. There was a very significant difference in my perceptions regarding corn-on-the-cob before and after the experience.
We are aware of many things but conscious of only a small number of things. We are often aware of the experience of driving while not being conscious of the experience. We were aware of Iraq before the war but now are conscious of Iraq. There is a very important distinction between them and it is important for us to recognize this difference.
To be conscious of a matter signifies a focus of the intellect. Consciousness of a matter is the first step, which may lead to an understanding of the matter. Consciousness of a matter is a necessary condition for the understanding of that matter. Consciousness is a necessary but not sufficient condition for understanding to take place.
When discussing a topic about which I am knowledgeable, most people, because they recognize the words I am using, treat the matter as old stuff. They recognize the words therefor consider the matter as something they already know and do not consider as important. Because they are aware of the subject it is difficult to gain their attention when I attempt to go beyond the shallowness of their perception. The communication problem seems to be initially overcoming their awareness and reaching consciousness.
"Attention" is central to many schools of esoteric philosophy. Here's a typical link partially refering to P Ouspensky "The Fourth Way".
Thanks for the info. It appears that consciousness as I use it is the same as attention as is used in your reference. Good stuff.
Because they are aware of the subject it is difficult to gain their attention when I attempt to go beyond the shallowness of their perception.
That's a bit much Chuck.
I have been trying to get people's attention in forums to such matters as self-learning and critical thinking and I constantly get the general reply "I am a critical thinker" and "I am a self-learner". My experience convinces me that people hear ordinary words and rather that focusing their attention upon what is writen they dismiss such things with a "been there and done that" attitude. I suspect you will encounter the same attitude when you try such things.
It's a two way process.Failure to establish communication is not necessarily the fault of the receiver.It can be the transmission and more often than not it is.
Frank Harris taught me when I was young that if anything went wrong I am to blame.
Here are his very words from the last paragraph of Chapter 111 of his very famous book,essential reading for any young man, My Life and Loves-
"Very soon the command of it came to my lips almost every hour:'Blame your own blindness!Always blame yourself!' "
They should do that book in schools to counteract the wall to wall blame game media put out for reasons too obvious to point out.
You will note that I screwed up the last message but I am sure you can decipher it. I said Well said!
Well said Frank.
But-Good Heavens-can you actually insert words into other people's posts.I know you had an accident but suppose it was done for other reasons.
It would be easy to make a post say the opposite of what the poster had said and if it was an old post and thus difficult to check one could easily blacken a posters name.
What happened is that when I went to insert my little say I did not go all the way to the end of the quote to type in my message. Evidently anyone can put anything into a quote but of course the original message is unchanged.
The original post sounds suspiciously like Freud....
With a little Stanley Fish thrown in for good measure.
I read lots of authors and they collect like a papier- mache in my model of reality. I cannot manage to separate any particular author from the bunch.
Re: Awareness Becomes Consciousness
Actually awareness and consciousness mean the same, so don't try to play with words when there is no need. It's just that in the first trip you were not so aware but in the return trip you were more aware. Difference is only in degree of feeling and not in meaning or words. As for your sentence, "Because they are aware of the subject it is difficult to gain their attention when I attempt to go beyond the shallowness of their perception" makes no sense because if people are aware of something they will notice it more, just like you noticed the corn in the field more in the return trip. And if you add to what the people already know, they will be so much more open to paying it attention. So in all, what you say makes no sense at all!
What I said earlier stays, because it's right. But I know now the point you're trying to make and yes you're right. The point you're trying to make is - If something stands out in the crowd, people will notice it. It won't be a gradual awakening to it but a sudden comprehension. That is right of course. But the point I was trying to make was - that you noticed the corn in the field because you were already aware of it and the first comprehension to it happened at your farm and not in the return trip, so the corn in the return trip was NOT STANDING OUT, because you already saw it before once.
I think that was an excellent allegorical lesson about awareness and consciousness!
I remember when I first realized what 'paying attention' really meant. Once I became 'aware' of that, I was thereafter 'conscious' of what 'awareness' is. That steadily progressed to consciousness of many things, and in general, of myself and life.
But being 'conscious' of 'awareness' did not automatically make me 'conscious.' I still had a long way to go--and only had the vaguest understanding of what lie ahead, at that time. My 'conscious awareness' was essentially the knowledge that I was possessing no true knowledge. I was in my early 20's.
It seems to me that we must first 'pay attention' in order to 'experience understanding.' If we are not aware of another level, we cannot advance to the perspective that it allows. We cannot learn if we think we are already 'in the know.'
I think semantics and insecurity are both prohibitive in effective communication--and while the speaker/writer can only change his own approach, he cannot open the ears of someone without their consent. If what is attempted to be communicated is both crucial and beneficial for a listener/reader with stubborn ears, then the idea of 'being cruel to be kind' comes into it---temporary purposeful offense in order to rouse a sleeping mind to attention. Such a thing requires the wisdom of someone far beyond the initial stages of 'conscious awareness,' though. Otherwise, it is just plain rudeness.
You raise a good point. In a forum such as this one there is probably as random a selection of people as one might find. The question becomes how to present matters for consideration when a goodly number have no conscious interest in the matter but if it is presented their curiosity might be sufficiently aroused such that they will raise their level of consciousness to the extent that they might become seekers of more understanding. How to awaken the curiosity of the reader to the extent that they might find a new world to explore?
Your original post reminded me of a similar event as a child.
My parents had always thought I was a strange child because of the way I thought about things.
I remember one particular day I was looking in the mirror.
Now I knew I had a profile but I always looked in the mirror from a frontal view as most of us do. I decided to go get a mirror from my mother's makeup purse. I held it up until I could see the reflection of my profile. I remember being completely amazed and recognizing that I was seeing myself from another point of view. I summed it up to seeing myself as mom and dad did.
But I knew at that moment that somehow my conscious perception of what I was taking in had changed. I recognized the change in my perception of how I saw myself. After that I would turn pictures upside down and look at rooms through mirrors to try to see what everything looked like through a different perception.
Conscious and aware are very parrallel depending on what state you are talking about. However in my own perception I view the two as being different. I look at my conscious as understanding and awakeness long term. But I view awareness to be a knowledge of what is at hand.
I suppose to sum it up I can say I percieve conscious as more spiritual and awareness as more reality and the real world.
But this is my own perception of course. Thank you for the post.