Tuesday, June 28, 2022

A distillation of my journey upon life's stage, vintage 1955. (5/5)

 

Nearing my 67th birthday, I’d like to share a collection of the fundamental lessons I’ve learned along the way.



    • Appreciating the Human Mindscape ~ Physical Reality divide.
    • I am a self-aware introspective element in the Pageant of Evolution.
    • We create our Gods from within ourselves.
    • We cannot understand an organism, or system for that matter, without understanding its environment.
    • Consciousness is the inside reflection of our body, interacting with itself, along with the environment and circumstance it's embedded within.
    • An appreciation for Deep Time, billions of years worth, and Earth, the dance of geology & biology unfolding one day at a time, and that it produced me, along with all other wonders.
    • There is no Body-Mind Problem, it is in actuality an Ego-God Problem.
    • My body has taken better care of me, than I have of it.
    • Consciousness is the product of Earth's biology, of interacting and living, when we die consciousness ceases like a light bulb that’s lost its power.  All that awaits us is the deep dark eternal sleep from which none awake, and it is good.
    • Yes, it is good, live your blessed moment while you have it to live, the universe doesn’t owe you anything.
    • Our after-life unfolds within the hearts and minds of others, and it is good.
    • We need each other to keep ourselves honest.

Bringing it back to Earth Centrism

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Recorded December 2019

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Recorded ~April, 2019


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Furthermore, for the record:





Hate to turn it political but politics matter!

Still looking to connect with people for whom these ideas resonate.



If we aren't changing minds we are losing.


©1975, Peter Miesler


citizenschallenge at gmail


Sunday, June 26, 2022

It’s not a “Body-Mind problem” it’s an “Ego-God issue.” (4-5)

©2022, citizenschallenge

 Who is “God,” but a creation of our unique complex human minds dealing with our day to days?  

Think about it, because that really is the most fundamental answer to The Grand Questions of God.  

The who, what, where, why, how of God that people have been grappling with since forever.  

It’s such a profoundly simple answer, yet people avoid it with an amazing alacrity and endless dog-chasing-tail rhetorical gymnastics that never arrive at any conclusion(s).

©2022, citizenschallenge

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It’s not a “Body-Mind problem” it’s an “Ego-God issue.”


Perhaps the most interesting lesson I’ve learned from my Hoffman adventure is that as I’ve followed the philosophical roots of “dualism” back through Descartes (1600s) and on past Anselm (1000s), one thing has become clear is that the entire philosophical edifice of this Mind-Body “Problem” was formed out of religious god fearing thinking, (What I've come to call the Abrahamic Mindset that gave us the three major religions - to be explained in more detail in a later post.), with their self-serving patriarchal mentality, heaven and hell, male domination, female subserviency, along with branding Dualism’s hard boundaries and its need for a sense of certitude into our minds and onto our expectations.

A need for certainty that allows for assumption to be paraded as facts, rather than being satisfied with acknowledging our limits and that today's mysteries can be resolved as future evidence comes to light. 

This Abrahamic worldview perceives people as isolated objects, not only from this planet, but each other, even from ourselves.  The other creatures we live with and the landscapes we exist within, are treated with contempt and wanton disregard.

Regarding the “Mind-Body Problem,”  

Dr. Solms makes a wonderful analogy that highlights the error being made:

Question:  Was it the lightning or thunder that killed the golfer?

It’s a meaningless question.

Lightning and thunder are simply different aspects of the same phenomena.

Our Mind and consciousness is the interior reflection of our living body/brain (both its interior happenings and external interaction with the environment).  We simply cannot have one without the other.

©2022, citizenschallenge


We are embedded within an interconnected web of life. We are creatures who are the direct products of Earth’s Pageant of Evolution.  Why isn’t that reflected in modern philosophical discourse? 

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Being an element in Earth’s Pageant of Evolution (3/5)

It took me over sixty years to recognize my Physical Reality ~ Human Mindscape divide perspective which in hindsight seems rather self-evident, after all the "mind-body problem" has been the source of endless philosophical speculation for millennia, I've thought about it since I was a kid, I thought most kids do.

I have been fortunate to have one active critic Write over at CenterForInquiryForum, but he's also frustrating in that too often his bias create assumptions and claims that are straw men, perhaps well meaning, but still too often avoiding what I'm actually trying to enunciate.  

I hope this short bio-sketch that describes the trajectory that brought me to these writings will offer an introduction to help orient readers before embarking on my road less traveled.  (visit CFI Forum if you want to share your ideas, critique.)

©2022, citizenschallenge


Being an element in Earth’s Pageant of Evolution


Although I’m a family man, with my share of friends, along with being community-minded, there’s a part of me that rarely fully connects, leaving me with an impression of being on the outside looking in and trying to make sense of the self-destructive impulses that are driving us towards disastrous outcomes.

Over the decades I’ve spent a fair amount of time trying to understand what makes my fundamental outlook and instincts so foreign to the general mindset.  It’s only recently, with the hindsight of six decades, and coming off of this “Hoffman Playing Basketball in Zero-gravity project” with all it’s side trips and then discovering the light at the end of the tunnel with Dr. Mark Solms enunciating the outlines of Neuropsychoanalysis and a rational approach to understanding our minds unfolding within our bodies.

A body of work which convincingly demystifies Chalmers’ “Hard Problem” (and all the distracting intellectual mischief that’s given rise to) and points the way to a biological understanding of consciousness.  Neuropsychology and neuropsychoanalysis brings us face to face with the reality that our consciousness is basically the inside reflection of our body/brain interacting with its environment.  Think of it, consciousness as ‘interaction’ not a ‘thing.’

Now there’s something worth chewing on if you’re looking for intellectual or spiritual challenge.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Appreciating the Physical Reality ~ Human Mindscape divide (2/5)

"Our relationship between our selves and the knowledge we acquire is rarely examined." 

©2022, citizenschallenge

“Who am I?”  
Children and the learned have been fascinated by that question and the mystery of our sense of “self" since forever.  

David Chalmers formalized some of that wonder with his Hard Problem of Consciousness back around 1995 and philosophers have been having a field day with the notion ever since.*  

The glaring problem with their conceptions and the endless philosophizing is that they rarely truly incorporate the ramifications of Evolution beyond lip service. 

Seems to me as a society our biggest problem is that most are still trapped within the Abrahamic mindset of absolute self-absorption.  A bubble where our own thoughts, perceptions and expectations totally engulf our thinking and leaves no space for explicitly recognizing the physical realities beyond our own immediate desires and thoughts - that unrecognized attitude permeates and shackles our understanding of the world around us.

For all the lectures on the topic, I rarely hear any examination of the relationship between our selves and the knowledge we acquire.  That’s a big problem because it blinds us to Earth's realities and the needs of others, such as this life sustaining biosphere we’re currently destroying as fast as we can.

No grand revelation, a simple observation. 

©citizenschallenge 2022

{*Incidentally, Dr. Mark Solms has recently done an excellent job of demystifying those notions 
and bringing the source of consciousness back into the realm of biology and real science.}

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Appreciating the Physical Reality ~ Human Mindscape divide

I can’t figure out, why it isn’t self-evident to folks that consciousness and mind can’t be understood by studying modern people in these modern times?  Consciousness requires an evolutionary perspective of the natural, biological forces at work.  First producing simple creatures that eventually evolved into aware complex creatures, with branches that eventually evolved into Homo during the last minute+ of Evolution’s 24 hours of Creation, only then into Homo sapiens, a mere 3, 4 seconds ago. 

How does one ponder the human brain and mind without wondering about all the time before Homo?  We evolved out of the mammalian class of animals.  Think about it, the breast-feeding body plan with a lifestyle built around nurturing their young, developing families and even communities.  

Sunday, June 5, 2022

An Alternative Philosophical Perspective: “Earth Centrism” (1/5)

From my earliest memories I’ve possessed a deeply introspective spirit with an unbounded curiosity about the world I exist within.  Growing up religion and current events and the world around me weren’t making a lot sense, and at first I blamed myself, figuring I was the crazy one.  But, as I learned about science, then through science learning about the realities of our physical planet, along with human history, I began to realize that it wasn’t me, so-much as something seriously ill within today’s society so full of lost, self-obsessed and damaged souls.  

From there (besides getting on with life, love, family, work, etc) I was busy trying to understand myself, plus it seemed important to wrestle with defining how my ethics and foundational ideas differed from the general mindset.  It’s been a long fascinating effort.

In 2019 I started my “Professor Hoffman Playing Basketball in Zero-gravity” project which really made me focus on my 64 years of accumulated experiences and learning.  Coming out of that project I felt ready to write my own short series of essays where I’ve been able to crystalize the best lessons of my personal life long journey of discovery.  I like to think it might be of some service to others, which is why I’m going to post the collection over here.

©2022, citizenschallenge

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An Alternative Philosophical Perspective - Earth Centrism.


What is “Earth Centrism”?

    

The Earth Centrist’s perspective acknowledges Earth, her material constituents and physical processes, unfolding one day at a time, as our fundamental touchstone with reality.  We acknowledge Earth and glory in understanding her pageant of Evolution and appreciating how that pageant is reflected within our own body and mind. 

We celebrate the physical fact that humans were created out of Earth's evolving biosphere.  

Science shows us that we belong to the nurturing mammalian branch of one of Earth’s amazing animal kingdoms.  Yet, it’s undeniable that something quite unique happened around six million years ago when certain apes took a wild improbable evolutionary turn.

By and by, besides the marvel of our two hands, we developed two feet and legs, that could stand tall and run for hours, combined with keen eyes and a growing brain that learned rapidly and remembered. 

During this period our brain physically morphed in some significant ways that enabled it to host a profound leap in cognitive information processing, storage and retrieval ability. On the outside hominids learned to make tools, hunt, fish, and select plants, plus they mastered fire for cooking and better living.

On the inside our brains were growing and benefiting from the new super nourishment while human curiosity and adventures started filling and stretching our Mindscapes with experiences, questions, and knowledge beyond anything the "natural" physical Earth ever knew.

By Mindscape, I mean the product of all that our body/brain perceives and processes, which of course, evolutionarily speaking, was dependent on our brain’s hardware keeping pace with and driving the ever increasing volume of information and thoughts.

While the human mind and spirit seem ineffable mysteries, they are also of tremendous consequence and real-world physical power.  They drove our growing ability to study and manipulate our world; to communicate and record our experiences; and to formulate explanations for a world full of mysteries, threats, wonders and dreams.

People learned to think and gossip and paint pictures upon the canvas of cave walls, and even better, upon the canvas of each other’s imaginations.  We’ve been adding to our mind’s awareness and complexity ever since.

Of course, while all this was going on our extraordinary human mind was also beginning to wonder about the ‘Why’ of the world it observed and the difficult, fragile, short lives we were allotted. 

In seeking comfort and answers to unknowable questions it seems inevitable that Gods would inhabit our Mindscape. I suspect inspired by buried memories of being coddled within mom’s protective loving bosom those first couple years of life.

No doubt these “Gods” enabled further successes, though not through super-natural interventions, rather through their ability to form, conform, reform & transform the Mindscapes of the people beginning to congregate. Thus, combining pragmatic civil societal needs with universally felt, but keenly personal questions, fears, and dreams.  

During the middle ages tribal stories, accepted ancient doctrines, and religious “truths” were no longer enough to satisfy our Mindscape’s growing desire for ever better understanding and power over our destinies and the biosphere that sustains us. 

The human mind took another tremendous leap forward in awareness with the Intellectual Enlightenment and the birth of serious disciplined scientific study.  Science’s success was dazzling in its ability to learn about, control and manipulate Earth’s physical resources and to transform entire environments.

Science was so successful that today most believe we are the masters of our world and too many have fallen into the hubristic trap of believing our ever fertile Mindscape is reality itself.  But now I’m digressing, back on point, in summary,

Earth Centrism, is a perspective on our human condition that’s based on the understanding that Earth is our fundamental touchstone with physical reality and that we are creatures made through Earth’s own natural processes.

Earth Centrism comes from appreciating the “Human Mindscape ~ Physical Reality divide.” Which also helps us get a handle on how the paternalistic Abrahamic mindset (that gave birth to three religions), with their self-serving attitudes towards other peoples, creatures, landscapes and resources, imposed a simplistic dualistic default that has blinded humanity to a clear understanding of ourselves, this planet, it’s processes, deep-time and how it created us. 

The Mind/Brain conundrum and the Hard Problem of Consciousness are rooted in ancient religious and philosophical arguments, contrivances of our minds, dressed up in modern language.  As though reality needs to prove itself to us self-serving petty humans.

Earth Centrism is founded on the understanding that scientific study of the material world is our best window into understanding our own lives within physical reality.  Because Science is, at its core, a set of rules for observing and recording and learning about our natural world, and ourselves that strives as much as possible to eliminate human ego driven biases from its deliberations.

Science is founded on an unspoken understanding that we need each other to keep ourselves honest. It’s a community of educated, competitive, skeptical, experts who are constantly looking over each other’s shoulders. With fidelity to honesty being science’s Golden Rule.

I also contend that science offers spiritual/mystical challenges, experiences and resolutions, well beyond anything offered by the traditions of our self-made, ego straddled, religions with their tunnel vision and that ingrained resentment towards Earth and learning. 

Earth Centrism is a personal emergent appreciation.  When the sum total of all those insights one has collected from a life time of wonder and learning come together into a tapestry, a pageant of life and circumstance that is harmonious and graspable. When understanding and increasing awareness blossoms into a visceral connection that infuses one’s body and outlook upon life with the simple reality of being a transient element in Earth’s evolution.

Along with that comes a grounded feeling.  A deep inside awareness that, I have arrived.  I am a child of Earth, and it is beautiful, and this moment is mine.

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©2022, citizenschallenge


An Alternative Philosophical Perspective - “Earth Centrism

Appreciating the Physical Reality ~ Human Mindscape divide

Being an element in Earth’s Pageant of Evolution

It’s not a “Body-Mind problem” it’s an “Ego-God problem

A distillation of my journey upon life's stage, vintage 1955.


©1975, Peter Miesler
June 5, 2022
citizenschallenge at gmail.