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Re: functions Consciousness and Attention

Jan 23, 2003 04:56 PM
by wry

----- Original Message ----- 
To: Theosophy Study List 
Sent: Thursday, January 23, 2003 3:21 PM
Subject: RE: functions Consciousness and Attention

Jan 23 2002


Re: Consciousness and Mental functions.


Dear Friends and W:



>May I take some of your time and offer you my thoughts to see if they parallel yours?


>CONSCIOUSNESS: IN DICTIONARY it says it is derived from CON -- along with; and SEIRE -- to know. 

WRY: Different people interpret symbols according to their own level of maturity. To me it does not mean this at all, but that "I" am cognizant of myself being cognizant. It keeps folding.

Apparently it is a shared experience. [ to see along with ]

WRY: To some extent, even to a great extent, but the more it is interpreted, the less it is shared.

>Further, it relates to awareness, of sensation, emotion, thought, and,is considered to be “mind” in the broadest sense. (The totality of conscious states is a mind.) Normal awakened awareness. etc….


>This gives a lot to play with. But it doesn’t give a clue as to how, or why it arises. 

WRY: To achieve the aim of theosophy, if it is, as stated by memebers of this forum, to achieve a universal brotherhood, WE DO NOT NEED TO KNOW. I repeat. WE DO NOT NEED TO KNOW. 

>We have it and it seems to distinguish humans from other forms of life, such as animals, which do not appear to be as finely individualized as we humans are. (There are resemblances, agreed but not identities.)


WRY: If you are talking about full self-consciousness, being fully conscious from point a to poinbt b to point c and not just in flickers, you are very wrong.

>I would say that every life-form (small or great) has intelligence of its own, How t classify these is indeed a problem, as we find them all gathered up into the “mental tools” that any human can use in their own way. Some have great capacity and flexibility and others small ability to change their rigidities and expand so as to grasp the meanings of others expressed in similar but different ways. [The differences between religions is a case in point. Also I wonder why it is that priests, etc., who obviously manage and control the business of religions, do not encourage a broad investigation of other creeds by their votaries.]>


WRY: Why are you even saying this? It is excess padding and yet another form of grandstanding. Are you saying that you are rigid?You have to write this stuff. You cannot stop, which would be o.k. maybe if you could do something original. Not that I am that original myself, but because I am on a different level of integration, a lot of what I say is new, plus I get to design my responses in such a way that people really will understand something, which is a creative act.

>That which is “imprinted with new data” would be “memory. The quality of the data is not involved, merely the recording. I see that individual control, as to selection, is usually applied either consciously or unconsciously because of habit or earlier “teaching and learning disciplines. Some memories are imprinted deeper than others. 

WRY: So?

> Occasionally some things have to be un-learned, when proved to be inaccurate or false.

WRY: In the statement above I see all the dumbness of humanity,and in "humanity" I will even include myself. YOU ARE NOT ABLE TO KNOW WHAT TO UNLEARN AND EVEN IF YOU DID KNOW, YOU COULD NOT..


<To “discriminate” implies the ability to distinguish, to evaluate, and then choice as an effort of the will is applied in selection. I would say that the best way to do this is to make ones self totally impersonal. If one has biases, the recording can be skewed or influenced by them. How do we make ourselves free of biases ?.

WRY: This is a good, intelligent, and even a wonderful question.


>But again this does not define the “WILLER.” I assume one might saythe “willer” is the REAL ME -- whatever it might be called ( Ego, Self, Spirit, Mind, etc…)

WRY: No it does not define the "WILLER." This part is very difficult to understand. I myself have struggled with this question day and night for many hours, on many different occasions. When this subject came up in the teaching room I had a big almost "argument" with my teacher, as I was very beligerant and would not stop aking questions about this. According to the teaching of Mahayana Buddhism, there is no "willer." It is another word for describing a self which is substansial, self-sustaining and exists on its own side. But these are just words. My teacher's words were just words. A few days later I understood. 


>I only make this analysis to show how, with me, I pick at meanings to determine effective communication, as we all tend to slur over the exact processes, and rarely are we clear about the active mental and emotional agentsinvolved. I think it is important to get those straight. We have all developed within the parameters of certain cognitive abilities, our own paths and meanings. 

WRY: Yes 


I wonder therefore if there is anything that could be called a clear and unbiased pattern agreeable to us who do such research which might make things easier and more definite to say. What I see is that the emotions tend to infringe on the processes of pure thought. In any case decisions as to worth 

WRY: It always helps to define terms, again and again and again, so that people will be talking about the same thing. It is also important to come here with questions, not answers, and to try to promote an atmosphere of real enquiry. For instance, if the aim is to establish a universal brotherhood, how do we do this? Perhaps most important, we would each of us need to verify if we are fully conscious, not in a few occasional flickers of the realization that "I am here," but in a continuity, that extends into a plane. Once (if) we determine we are not fully conscious we must aim to be so. A conscious person will know what to do.


>As you know, I am a student of Theosophy. Using the information provided in its literature I have tried to determine if such a pattern is provided. I am satisfied that it has one value and that is of making me very cautious in arriving at decisions, or in trying to communicate in anything but broad terms. I think each has to do their own study and arrive at their ownconclusions, as adopting the conclusions or methods of others, without duetesting is sometimes fruitless, and a waste of time (for me).

WRY: As you know, I have publicly stated that I consider myself to be a theosophist, and not only that, but qualified to carry on the work of MadameBlavatsky, and I have told people NOT to believe this, as anyone can and could say anything, even she. If you really believe that people need to do their own study, you should try to have faith and let them select their own material and not be all over these boards with five or six messages a day (like a cheap suit). People cannot assimilate material in this way. I have already explained. It is not organic. You do not know how. When you come here with your own question, everything will easily fall into place. You will not lose anything yoiu need to help others, but only discard the dross. As far as method goes, if you are talking about developing an impartial faculty, a person who is practicing a pure recording technique does not change anything or tamper in any way with his functioning, except by doing this excercise, which, in itself, is unnatural. It is only for a few. I put it out here because people non this particular list need to know it. I will say more about this soon, and please feel free to ask me any questions about this at any time.

<I have discovered (?) that descriptions of mental processes, volition, motives, morals, ethics, and the differentiation between virtue and vice, is largely personal to every one of us. In other words it is a matter of opinion. Consequently any perception of “truth” or “fact” may be affected by the biases of the individual. A further observation is that what one might profess openly (Credo, etc…) is not necessarily the way, thereafter, in which one conducts ones’ self when alone.


I< have tried to find if there is some way of making a description of these which would satisfy the many kinds of self-opinions we have framed and adopted.

WRY: There is one word: DISHONEST. Terri used another word: ASLEEP.  

But I sense that through the disparities there runs a common ridge (or dividing line) -- it is something that depersonalizes opinions.

I don’t know if this is good or bad, or sounds very “superior,” for it is not so. It is a humble attempt to secure a set of meanings and criteria on which I can place incoming “data” to see if it is honest and true or skewed in some way by emotional content.

WRY: Maybe you are a candidate for practicing the exercise of impartial self observation, but remember, as soon as there is ANY analysis of the material, the recording is tainted.It is not just emotional content which taints material, as emotional content is connected to wrong view, and also to anIMAGE of oneself AND ones abilities which is based on fantasy. 


>Now we can expand from there and watch how investigation proceeds to find memory cells all over the body -- and evidence of physical and psychological local controls -- choking and sudden air-pipe constrictions is a good case in point. 

WRY: This message for for another list. I put it out here for certain reasons, which it is easy to miss, apparently. There is KEY material in it.

>But these are all interlocking and no specific set is dominant unless one considers the ruling SELF. 

WRY: Here is a fantasy. Cry me a river cause I cried a river over you. Wry 


>Well that’s enough of that.


B>est wishes,




PS In regard to your report on Quining Qualia and other research could you go to There, access the Articles by Mme. H. P. Blavatsky and read PSYCHIC AND NOETIC ACTION. I think it will be found very interesting to you. It considers the same things we are now discussing and looking at. If you don’t want to do that, I can send you a copy. Let me know.




-----Original Message-----
From: w
Sent: Thursday, January 23, 2003 12:38 PM
To: Theosophy Study List

Subject: Correction and re. the speed of functions


Correction to Dallas: I have said you quoted HPB. It was the "Mahatma" you quoted. Whoops.


Hi Everyone. Here is a message I have posted on another list, as it is very relevant here. If you are planning to go to the United Nations, might want to read this first. Look carefully, as there is something hidden in it. I am, with great difficulty, learning how to communicate by using my own words. In this way, I can become more of a participant and less of a mechanical parrot by addressing contemporary situations and individual enquiries ina way that is alive and not static




Hi. This is a correction to my message. I have said "consciousness is a field that is constantly being imprinted with new data." This statement erroneously implies I am saying that the field exists independently of the perceiver, which is not the case. 


Though one moment obviously does take place over time, and is therefore extended, as you have contributed SO many times, Alex, the word, "point" is a symbol for a location, and I sort of resented you taking up so much of mytime and energy because you got stuck on a literal interpretation, which is another reason I have not been on this list for a while. When I give someone directions and I say, start at this point, and indicate a place on a map, I do not expect to get into diversional semantical discussions about the nature of a point, as, if I am visiting Paris, I will never get to the Eiffel Tower. If something observes the body (as if) from outside, washing dishes or walking down the street, it is obvious that in order for this to occur, many different sets of the brain and body are being engaged, and these are not happening at the exactly the same time. 


The problems with words is that people have their own agendas which they are often consciously NOT aware of. This means that there are different levels of consciousness. It would be nice if people studying "consciousness" could become committed to studying consciousness in themselves, as there is no way to really study consciousness and get to the heart of the matter without factoring in oneself as an object of study AS one is perceiving. If Iam a studying how to make a new kind of anesthesia, or how the brain worksso I can design yet another psychiatric medication, it is one thing, but in terms of understanding, the nature of conscious,ness itself, in my opinion, the Newtonian model will not work, and this should be somewhat obvious, but it is not.


This is why I put out the link to "Quining Qualia." by Dennett, and went into the lengthy thing about materialism and idealism. There are many idealists on here, no matter how sophisticated they may sound, who believe that consciousness is a field that exists independently of the perceiver of thisfield. It is natural for people to think this way, but it is a wrong view,which needs to be corrected, as it is creating great disorder in the world. This is why Dennett went to great lengths to put out his argument in Quining Qualia. It is a VERY important subject, and an understanding by many cognitive scientists of what he was saying would change the tendency toward an unrealistic and idealistic approach in modern psychology. But you do not even need to read his essay to understand that the subjective self, based on subjective experience is not a self-sustaining and substantial entity that exists independently on its own side. Yes, there is individual experience, but the farther we get into the maze of this and the physical material orterritory or whatever we need to sustain the illusion of this, the less chance there is of solving the problems of the world so that future generations can survive,


There was a study done at Columbia University which discovered something about brain cells in the stomach area, yes? You are all probably familiar with this. I do not know how many of you are from the United States and saw Gov. Ryan, who pardoned 167 prisoners from death row, before he retired as governor of Illinois, but if you happened to hear this extraordinary speech, you had the rare opportunity of seeing a politician make a speech from his CONSCIENCE. There was a distinctly different material quality to his voice and demeanor that stood out and could not be missed by anyone who heard this. It was quite extraordinary and I was lucky to have turned on the t.v. at this moment. My grandson saw it to, to his good fortune. The reason I amable to verbalize this to you out here is that I have the words to cup around this experience and make sense out of it, not just for myself but for many others. I am able to communicate and discuss about different grades andqualities of materiality (however clumsily) because something with no opinion has studied this in myself and gathered data about it. There is no way to figure out sensation by thinking about sensation as when I think about sensation I displace my ability to sense and maybe to make a certain kind ofsense. We all know what conscience is, right? Is conscience a quale or isit something in common that can resonate with together? Does it cut the grease? When things get too slippery, there is no grip (grp). What is grip and is it essential for things to work in an orderly manner? Is sensation the same as perception, as a thought. If the"present" takes place over a continuum, this means that different functions have different speeds. If a tape is running too slowly or too fast, is it harder or easier to understand the content? What is BREATH? Does a traumatized person suck in air, and have we all been traumatized? Hope this is some food for thought. I know my words are simple, but maybe there is still something timportant to read between the lines. Sincerely, Wry



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