A positive path for spiritual living

1-10-21 Talk Notes: The Frontiers of Consciousness (Rev. Mark Schindler)


A Unity Definition of Consciousness:

“Consciousness--The sense of awareness, of knowing. The knowledge or realization of any idea, object, or condition. The sum total of all ideas accumulated in and affecting man's present being. The composite of ideas, thoughts, emotions, sensation, and knowledge that makes up the conscious, subconscious, and superconscious phases of mind…” The Revealing Word


The Hard Problem of Consciousness:

“Why should physical processing give rise to a rich inner life at all? It seems objectively unreasonable that it should, and yet it does.” David Chalmers


The Importance of Consciousness

“Without consciousness, we would have no cause to wonder how we should behave toward other human beings, nor could we care how we were treated in return.”
Sam Harris Waking Up


Why Study Consciousness?


Studying consciousness will change your life. At least, if you study it deeply and thoroughly it will. As the American philosopher Daniel Dennett says, “When we understand consciousness ... consciousness will be different” (1991, p 25)… These changes can be uncomfortable… Happily most of the changes are, in the end, positive, and the students are glad to have been through them. Even so, I can only repeat my warning and hope that you will take it seriously. Studying consciousness will change your life. Have fun.” Susan Blackmore Consciousness: An Introduction


My Favorite Definition:

“What do you think consciousness is? As we build up in complexity from bacteria through to starfish to birds and mammals and us it seems to me the most important threshold is actually us, that we have the bigger and more impressive bag of tricks than any other species. But that doesn’t mean that we have this utterly different phenomenon that happens in our heads and it doesn’t happen in any other heads.” Daniel Dennett