Human Beings …
what is behind Consciousness?
Newton discovered that colors were hidden inside white light.
He used a prism – a simple mechanical device.
So what is hidden inside the human being? Colors? Electrical currents? Flowing liquids? Bones? Bacteria?
As we are followers of the same tradition as Newton we expect a device or a machine to give us answers. We expect a machine (an encephalograph) to read brain wave patterns and tell us what we think, to tell us who we are and to expose our ‘soul’.
Goethe disagreed with Newton. In Goethe’s complex and confusing way he made the critical point, “We see colors because of the nature of our eyes and perceptive ability. Colours – without our eyes – are not really real; they are just oscillating energy of wavelenths/frequencies They just seem to be real to us humans.
Goethe didn’t know it, but in Thai there is no word for blue – blue being regarded as green. Undoubtly Thai eyes see differing wave lengths just like German or English people but they don’t perceive and acknowledge colors in the same way.
Do you see where I’m going? *
If colors are just what we humans see and acknowledge what is color to a bird, an elephant or a herring?
People – my fellow human beings – are essentially what my perceptive equipment, my culture and educational background make of them.
In a way I’m asking the question, “If a tree falls in a forest – and there is no one to hear it – does it make a sound?” The answer lies in the question, “What is sound?” The analogy to the question, “What is a human” is obvious. To a dog a human is a series of smells; to a horse we are tool carrying carnivores that need to be accommodated; to a fish we creatures that live in another world.
Nietzsche wrote in the late 1800’s when the white light of philosophy still hid inside itself the colourful subject matter of psychology. He wrote that inside every good man was a “Superman” programed via Darwin’s evolutionary discoveries to emerge under the right social and political conditions.
The Nazis set about creating the right conditions for the ‘superman’ to emerge by eliminating the Jews, Gypsies and homosexuals from the German Folk Soul.
Creating the social and cultural perception of the “Untermensch” (the sub human) in the mind of the German population was surprisingly easy.
From the complex, fluid, undifferentiated nature of the Human Being it is surprisingly easy to build models of suggestive realties that seem real. But these models are really only the result of human perceptual processes, culture and education. They are not really real.
So to reiterate. If we are taught to see people as human and subhuman, then we will see things in this way and believe the distinction is significant. The same for black and white, poor and rich … perhaps the 1% see the poor as a separate species, a sub human to themselves. But these constructs are human inventions not ‘natural laws’.
We do the same for our ideas of human consciousness. The Catholic sees a ‘soul’ entity inside every human being (but not in cats, dogs nor horses…) that on death transmigrates to heaven or hell. The Freudian sees the unconscious acting itself out in all human activities (in animals the unconscious is ‘instinct’.) The Counselor sees forces acting in people so that they can optimize their happiness. The Hindu sees Karmic patterns acting themselves out in a sea of human and cosmic forces.
The list goes on and on. But my point is that we perceive ourselves in the way our social, cultural and educational background dictate.
On this site, what we are doing (with your help) is to set out all manner of ideas as to what it is to be human and to have human consciousness.
I feel that my culture and experience lets me explore the idea of the “Double” and what the term means in various traditions. My ‘antenna theory’ concepts flow out my work with the ‘double’. My ramblings will be added to the site. I will try to present my ideas in simple essays of about 500 words.
Download the pdf Human Beings what is behind consciousness
Do contribute your suggestions/ theories about the nature of human consciousness. Comments, negative and positive about presentations are requested.
Let’s explore together.