CONSCIOUSNESS AND FREEWILL
Below is 13 comments on Consciousness as a coordination of widgets in the mind. It talks on how to improve consciousness with personality changes. It suggests Self Improvement is inspirational and helps motivation.
01 Consciousness The Mind
Consciousness is a hard thing to define and to explain. Consciousness is our senses, what we see, hear,feel (love is a feeling), and think. We feel ourselves as we do things. Insects feel pain, maybe fear, that is a rudimentary consciousness. Animals have more. I think we are born with some and we learn to be more conscious and aware as we have memories of past consciousness and anticipate future ones. The more consciousness the more fun and play. But we have consciousness of our consciousness, that is depth. We can examine it, play with it, and change it for the better. Animals play more than insects, and children more than animals. .
The mind loves to play. Down deep we all love to play and children are our guide. They do not know what they are doing but they look for different things, try out various attitudes, imagine wild and strange things, and act out everything. And thus the children grow in leaps and bounds having explored their world.
But they are children, you may say. The deal, the kicker is the brain is meant to play all the time, that is how we learn the best. Fun, guys, fun, make life fun. Psychology should be fun. No boring names and long faces. Out with the diagnosis in with dignity for all.
Whether we deliberately do something or subconsciously do something, we do not always know what we are doing. We can create drama and make life a real roller coaster. After all it is fun. We love adrenaline. The problem comes when you are enjoying all the adrenaline you notice the roller coaster is broken and you are flying through space and you realize you will crash and maybe die, so fun adrenaline turns to fright and panic. Time stands still. You do not know what to do to get out of this jam. You are trapped, and when you are trapped, like reflexes you will have mechanical reactions.
02 Mechanical Emotions
Somethings are mechanical, if we are trapped by circumstances we get depressed, over whelmed by situations and it is a chemical reaction. The chemistry may get us excited but after a while the chemicals begin to shut us down. We get apathetic and begin to get listless so that impending death is not so hard.
So now what? Will there is always faith and hope. “Faith and hope!” you may say, “don’t preach to us.” But faith and hope are also mechanical brain functions, they also will create chemicals that will reverse the depressive ones, so does laughter. Cynical laughter is a two-edged sword because it is ultimately trapping with no hope for better, but hopeful laughter is purer and begins to clear up the cloud of doom over our heads or really in our heads, a cloud of rumination and worry.
Now we humans seem to see saw between negative and positive. The way we think may trap us and then release us from the trap with hope. Ok, what is it that makes the difference if we are trapped or free? No easy question. How do the players in our heads, that are creating our unique personalities, teach us what to be conscious of?
03 Me, Myself, and I
Consciousness is partly explained in the idea that there is more than one of us. First there can be ‘me,’ me is my widgets and they each have a different personality of their own, a singular personality. Ant and Bee curiously explore the environment with no emotion, thought or action. Fear fears all, love loves all, pure thought can go on forever meaninglessly, and we can have action without seemingly any purpose. Or thought can guide the others, or love guide, etc. The combinations are endless.
‘Myself” I will call the body, the body must eat to live. It has hunger and other needs that are inborn. Myself can be very demanding, healthy, sick, thirsty, tired, etc.
The Lower Nature is housed in the Myself, Dragon the boss.
Mr Do is ‘I.’ I do not know what to look for, or what to feel, think or do. Myself is demanding so I want to meet those needs. But how? I am dependent on me, on all those widgets to see the possibilities. And they play with the possibilities. That’s right they play, they try this and that. One moment I’m loving, the next I am a bewitched. It can be a regular dance flare in the old noggin as they twirl and dance around in different possible patterns.
I pick and choose which combinations to meet the needs of myself. Now that can be a trial and error type of learning. Geru and Crow will keep track of that, Macho, Cuddles, and Raccoon will add attitude, and Ant, Bee, and Spidie will look for more of the same or better depending on the out comes.
Consciousness is being aware of myself, me, and I. It’s like being three-dimensional. It all makes so much sense. With the help of me I see, I feel, I think, and I do and we all learn to satisfy myself. So why is it not that simple in real life?
Now for the cluttering factor, the mix up, the glitch, the spoiler, the subconscious. What is that?
04 The spoiler, the Subconscious
The subconscious is the attic, the storage of the past, memories and habits we do but do not take note of anymore, habits of perceiving, feeling, thinking, or doing. It is full of other things, things I never seen, but Ant and Bee did. Emotions I do not remember, but Macho and Cuddles do. Thoughts and solutions I am unaware of but Geru is mulling around, and actions I did or could do but do not realize or remember. The subconscious is memories but much more. Why am I not conscious of them? Consciousness is limited. Me has much more potential than I am aware of. Lets look at it.
Ant and Bee see a lot more than I do. They see at maybe 144 frames a sec. But I only experience say, 12. Oh dear me, macho remembers more than I do, thoughts too I can’t see them all, or memories of things I have done.
It is like these big little cameras and projectors that take in a lot. But I see, feel, think, or remember them all YET I have to make sense of it all or it is just meaningless. Until I process those sights and sounds, those feelings, those thoughts, those actions, it’s all a blur. And processing takes time, about 12 frames in one second. If I can process at least 12 frames a second life becomes animated. Any slower and it’s just meaningless flashes or frames. Like listening to a foreign language I do not know. Any faster and time will have to slow down to include it all. Oh, no, then there are those other widgets and their bad experiences.
What about the motley crew, Dragon and his cohorts Spiedie, Raccoon, Crow, and Coyote?
05 Subconscious Evil Self
Close our eyes and we depend only on sound and touch. Oh, oh, less fun after the newness of no sight quits entertaining us. Block off the hearing. Presto, only touch. The game is becoming a drag. No touch, no smell, no taste, we are left with what’s already in this very quiet chamber. That’s when the Halloween of memories begin their ghostly and ghastly dance. Macho is scared, Cuddles tries to comfort him, but the horrifying figures of our worst fears keep coming, boogie men, wild things, fangs, dripping blood, you name it and it’s there. Who is going to tame that dang Crow and his doomsday rhetoric. It’s too dark in here to move. That’s not even saying anything about that blaming Raccoon, “who did this to you.” Spiedie who won by turning off Ant and Bee joins in to conjure up blaming your worst enemy or best friend. Then there is that Dragon, the alter ego, he and Coyote chase you. One spits out flames and the other barks and bits with big teeth.
Now the paranoia sets in. Macho is scared and excited flattening Geru’s optimistic thinking or any thinking. Rabbit has joined Macho in the chase of you and Tuttle has withdrawn into his shell and taken Mr. Do with him. “Who has done this to us? My wife, kids, husband, oh my gosh, what they do to us all, put us in a sound prof chamber. I knew I should have never married, mom and dad warned me. Where are the good guys, can’t see, can’t move, can’t think, only feel horror, its Halloween with no trick or treat little munchkins. This is the real thing!” Can it get worse?
06 It Got Worse
Who are I, Me and Myself? I am still in this hallucinatory chamber. If me, Ant and Bee, could smell it would just be myself’s bad breath. If Me could hear it would just be myself’s screams. Me can see alright, scary nonsensical figures, Geru thinks unpleasant scary stuff, and the only thing Myself can do is trash around in my shackles. Oh, wait, did I mention the paralyzing drugs given to Myself. Hopefully there is a name for this mess, it is called SLEEP. It is called nightmares? But where is the alarm clock?
What is that hum Me hears, a never-ending hum that comforts me. It is the eternal consciousness of nerves humming. I and Myself gets into a lotus position and hum along with it. Where is my Binky? I can use my thumb. Ah, Me feel better.
Well, that blue bird flutters around telling me I can do better. With the help of Rabbit I can get that confounded Tuttle off myself and I could break these shackles and bust out of this chamber. All together now, stretch, shake, rattle and roll….roll right out of bed. Oh, my god, it was only a nightmare after all. Can I rest or is there another nightmare?
07 A Different Type of Nightmare.
To some the nightmare is not sleep but that they can not sleep. Insomnia can be a living nightmare. Mom and dad warned be not to have kids, that incessant bawling or racket that never ends. In the middle of the night you say, “It’s your turn to get up, why can’t you hear the screeching, how can you sleep through it?”
And that my friend is one difference between men and woman. Check out blog three, the battle of the sexes. The biological and learned differences between men and woman or between any two humans.
OK, I am awake now. Who is looking at all those widgets that each want their own way and making choices of which ones rule the day or the moment so day time does not become a nightmare of overwhelming sights and sounds, or awful emotions, or haunting thoughts, or mindless activity? I have to do it. But can I? How can I?
Can I consciously manipulate of widgets, or at least start to?
08 I Must Mind the Store for Freewill
Our consciousness and ability to handle it springs from our natural development and grows with us. As a baby our Ant and Bee grew larger first. We looked, listened, touched. and manipulated everything we could. We had feelings, thoughts, and actions but they were diminutive compared to our drive to explore and catalog the world. Ant and Bee got buff. Spidie was close behind, as a toddler we learned to be sneaky and deceptive. One of our first big choices in life besides going with the flow was the terrible twos, we said NO. But we have not yet learned very well how to say no to our own whims. But its a start.
Emotions come to the front and get buff when we turn teenagers. Oh my gosh, we learned to say NO with more attitude to what others were saying and letting EMOTIONS rule. Fear of what others think, first love, the roller coaster of life has begun. Not the moment to moment cries of a child but the ongoing passions that reach from heaven to hell. Hopefully we with parental help, ‘I’ learns to keep them to a workable level so I, or Mr./Ms. Do, can make better choices, and with each year we have more choices to make. ‘I’ eventually learns to ignore or control the wild Macho and Cuddles explosions in the middle brain.
Around 16 Geru in the frontal lobes has learned enough wisdom to think ahead and logically plan some useful actions, like taking the garbage out in a semi timely manner with only a few pleadings from mom and dad. With time that can get better, I say it ‘can’ get better. It seems with each stage there is more choices that have to be made and, well, there is more margin for error or, perhaps, again more dependence on the earlier stages, but if they have been controlled, or shall we say, wise choices can be implemented. If not we get an immature person in the upper nature and in the lower nature a ‘wise guy.’
The final stage is the top of the brain where Mr. Do (I) dwells to control the muscles. So habits and skills, good or not, build up. If not we have a lazy and bored upper nature and a flaming lower nature which will rush in to liven things up. If we are too socialized or under socialized, too controlled or over controlled, the upper and even lower instincts we may end up depressed. Hopefully that will motivate us, or Mr. Do, to begin to explore, feel, think, and act in new ways that are more satisfying. The basic ingrained biological development of the widgets goes on up to 25 or 26 years old. Then it is all up to Mr. Do to choose and rearrange the widgets in priority of which widgets rule and which ones are to be ignored at any one time so ‘myself’ learns to be happy and growing.
So you see, this loop of curiously exploring with the senses, reacting with emotion, thinking about it to plan what to do, and acting on it is a continuous ongoing process, moment by moment, day by day, even to make cookies. I assign the task of choosing which widgets to listen to and to act on to Mr. Do (I) although it is not so simple. But it is a concept better handled by Mr. Do than left to the wind or whim of others. The wiser Mr.Do/Ms.Do is the more freewill we have.
09 Who are you? Who is I, who is Me, or, really, who is Myself?
Am I really conscious of who I am to the degree I can tell who you are? Our understanding of the brain and subsequent language to describe it is to-day inadequate. We know about Mirror cells in the brain that let us mimic others, even their emotions. This gives us empathy, lets us know how they feel and subsequently how our actions affect them.
But who are you, really? No, no, don’t do this to me. Don’t make me answer that question. I am beside myself wondering who I am, so the heck with you, that’s even a harder question, who you are. How can I figure out who you are if I can not figure out who I am.
It’s an age-old question that philosophers struggle with, psychologists battle with, psychiatrists try to diagnose, sociologists try to define in situational group settings, spiritualists describe with wonderfully colorful and imaginative concepts, literary types with wild and exciting stories, and brain researchers with neurological circuitry. They all have truths and they all fail. Perhaps they will always fail. Our beady little brains may not be able to figure it out. Would our brains have to be bigger than itself to see and define itself in a way that it could explain to itself who it is. Like a parent explaining things to a child.
Well, you probably are saying, yes but you said the brain sees more than we do, feels more, thinks more, and at times makes us do more than we are aware of. So can’t it be the parent and explain to us, the child who we are? Does the child really understand what’s behind the parent’s watered down to their level explanation? Or do they only understand what they can understand at their watered down level. Can we really see, feel, think, and experience what we can’t see, feel, think, or experience. Besides, does the brain even care to really answer who it is, or able to.
I am here to tell you that you are Mr. Do (I), widgets (Me), and body (Myself). You ain’t going to like this but you are basically the way you are, or is, by the way I arranges the widgets to see, feel, think, and do. Now that’s cyclic, redundant, you create you. So who is you….ah, the inborn strengths of your widgets, trial and error learning, or both? I thought I was in control. No, don’t tell me I am who I is, or who can be, or who was….there has to be more to it. Is life no more than luck of the draw genetic and luck of the draw life experiences that help or hinder I from rearranging widgets? And is that also predetermined how I will respond to those cues? Is free choice only a genetically predisposition for life so it is satisfied when I arranges the widgets so myself will do the right things in the given environment (perceived, emotional, conceptual, or physical) to live in pleasure and safety? Perhaps so. Then we can define true free will, or the strength of it, as having useful perceptions, adaptive emotions, wise thoughts, and helpful experiences to help I arrange those widgets to reap the benefits of themselves, of others, of opportunities and to build and engineer self, others, and things to better life, not death. To sum it up we could say to do what works, biologically, emotionally, socially, or situation ally. Is that not what your mother told you, to do the right thing? Is that a moral judgement or really just a survival judgement?
Next Post: so it all boils down to the consciousness controlling the subconsciousness?
10 Consciousness is you and the Gunman
Consciousness is you, that every twelfth or twentieth frame that you process, the movie you make that you star in. Even the feeling of who you are is memory of the movies you made. Yes, others gave you ideas of who you were and gave you good or bad memories at that. But you decide what memories and experiences to put together to maintain a sense of who you are. Yes, others influence you to what to pick in that movie, but ultimately you decide. That is your choice. And you want to put some thought into it. The more thought that is questioning and objective the more freedom will you have.
That is unless you are in an urgent and emergent situation, like a gun to your head, then you can see, feel, think more and even act in brilliant ways to save yourself. You may not think so at the time but looking back you say time stood still and I seemed to do the right thing but it was the longest moment of my life.
In fact it felt like an eternity, an eternity of hell. Time slowed down, not to me, to you. The adrenaline was pumping so hard you seen every third frame or what ever. Each frame is assigned a moment, and with more moments its a long time.
Who are you? At the moment of gun point you are… scared, on either side of the gun, pointing at you or holding the trigger. If you are the gunman ask your self why you like to make yourself numb, non thinking and hurting others.
If you are the one facing the gun you probably are on automatic pilot. Often you will do the right thing to live through it. Your brain was working without you, subconsciously. And you, my friend, are those subconscious frames and processing also. Depending whats in the old noggin determines if you do what works or not. You may be programmed to do badly.
Now here is another angle. You are the gunman on autopilot. In real life situations you are both the gunman and the victim. It is the old devil and angel, each on a different shoulder. You often hold the gun to yourself and do things you know you should not do. You put yourself on the old roller coaster because you may put yourself through unnecessary trials and tribulations. Sounds scary, your Lower Nature victimized the Upper Nature, but who let it. You set yourself up.
But relief. You can control both sides. You are the director of your own life. You chose the scenes, the emotional players, the script, and you act it out. Your script has developed over the years. It is the accumulation of all the choices, millions of moments and in between moments that you made, make, and will make. You are in a dynamic changing dance of life that you engineer.
How do we make better choices?
11 How to Choose your Consciousness
Ok, Ok, how can the You or the I or the Mr/Ms Do make better choices? The answer is simple but complex. It is basically how you choose and arrange the conscious moments or frames. How you arrange the external and internal stages for your drama affects other subconscious frames and moments. There are so many subconscious frames that can pop up into conscious memory, with or without rhyme or reason, or so it seems. But the reason and rhyme is how you, your Mr/Ms Do, organized the composite of conscious moments, frames, and memories of sights and sounds, fears, interests and loves, beliefs, thoughts and concepts, and actions and habits… habits of perception, emotions, planning and thoughts, and skills and addictions. They tell the subconscious frames which pop up will be taken notice of, or taken seriously. Dreams are more free to be ridiculous, awaken moments are better monitored by memory of what should be, decided by past, present and future widget formations.
Let’s say you encounter a mad dog who indicates with teeth and growls than he wants to bite you if you move, you are trapped. Mr. Do, (I), the Hero wants to save the day. But he is not sure how. Ant tells him to study the dogs fur, or dental structures. Bee says to watch the whole body and its movements. Macho yells run for your life. Geru at this point yells NO the dog will chase you and bite you in the butt as a dog in the past did. The old memory pops up and you shudder in fear. Cuddles wants to show love and Geru yells, NO you will get a bite in the process. Rabbit wants to kick it and Geru again interferes with the idea. Turtle’s advice is to NOT MOVE and Geru concurs. Spiedie denies there is any danger, Raccoon wants to take the dog home for himself, Crow yells kill it, and Coyote and Dragon proceed to prepare to follow Crow’s idea. Fire comes out of Dragon’s mouth as Coyote draws his sword. With the littlest involuntary movement of your body the dog bites you, (myself), in the pant leg as Cuddles yell’s not to hurt the dog. What are you to do.
Now imagine that each widget is a pet of a child and they and their child owners are all situated around the Mad Dog. They all have ideas what to do. The pets reflect the character of their owners and are protecting their owners who would be the many different Mr/Ms do’s decisions in your head. What a complicated situation. The many possible actions and outcomes is endless. I will use these characters later.
Back to just you and the widgets.The situation dictates what will work. Well, myself (you) had moved involuntarily and got bit. Geru took note and told I, (Mr. Do), moving will not work. So trial and error and the widgets tell I what to do or not to do. It is still I’s choice. If the owner is near just wait and yell for help, if isolated from others and you have food feed it and leave carefully, if others and medical help is near I may go ahead and try to love it. If nothing else works I may just cry. Now no widget suggested that, Myself does that under duress. Or I may wait and when the advantage pops up go ahead and kick the stuffing out of it. Sorry, I do love animals.
The next blog will be Personal Growth and how to obtain it depending on your personality (ies).
12 Mr Do/ Ms Do and Dragon Are Necessary for Balance
Widgets left to themselves would compete without order to rule the roost. Much like a can of worms they would try to reach the top climbing on each other wrapping around others. Or they may lie dormant at the bottom and let the others take over. We would walk around in a dream state looking around or act much like a psychopath without feelings for others and very impulsive doing what we want, when we want, and how we want. We would expound on the world our unguided and senseless philosophies that may do little good. Our species would disappear unless we reproduced like cockroaches leaving dead bodies behind us.
If widgets had no guidance we would still have personalities as everyone has a dominant widget or two or more. Some people would be observers, others emotional, thinkers, and doers but there would be little coordination between people for the good of all. We may get war lords, criminals, and we all would have to obey the few or go to our lower natures to survive. It may look something like war at its worst.
The hero of the day in healthy environments is Mr /Ms Do. He/she is the awake conscious leader of the pack. As the officiate of the sequence of widget activity, the hero takes reports from all the widgets equally without bias and makes a reality that is workable given the needs of the body, or the ‘Myself’, the Past Lessons and habits, the beliefs about how it all works, and the skills and talents available and a reality that will fit the current situation for the good of self and others. Other people and their experiences are a resource and help the hero see a workable reality. The grater the wisdom and resources the more others are taken into consideration, the difference between the baby and the Grandparents. Our hero balances widgets and others’ reports to find the best solutions. If need be he/she will help a weak but important widget be seen and heard and may suppress other widgets or Dragon to find a workable reality and solution.
In threatening situations that will not work with the above formula, perhaps because there is not enough time, Dragon has a role to play and may decide the difference between life and death.
When we have both the hero and the Dragon working together almost all bases are covered. To make this possible the brain has a fuse box that turns off the fear so we can rush in a hot fire to save a loved one. In drastic cases where a person’s life is threatened love also may turn off so the person can hurt others in their pursuance of safety. If they stay off, which happens in prolonged cases of abuse, impulsive actions result from the frazzled nerves and we have a psychopath. If the psychopath turns off responsible reasoning and begins to hurt others for selfish, dragon and crew, reasons we have a sociopath.
13 Mr. Do, Upper Nature, Can Control
When Mr/Ms Do is strong, he/she stops the chaos by taking control and putting the widgets in a logical order. Do gives each a chance to talk and keeps Dragon and Crew below so they do not try to dominate.
Dragon is very primitive and likes to take over if possible. Dragon is a very strong instinct of survival. Always waiting for him and the lower nature widgets to pop up and take advantage. Children have to be taught to engage Mr/Ms Do first.
The most functional sequence is for Ant and Bee to see whats out in the world, then let Cuddles and Macho decide if its friendly or dangerous, then decide how to approach the situation, and then let Turtle and Rabbit proceed at the right pace to accomplish the task that will help them and the rest of the world. But the widgets can talk back and forth to figure out whats out there, ask Ant and Bee to look for things, ask Geru if something is what it appears to be or if it is safe or not, give Geru more information, or ask Rabbit if something can be done or not, if the skills are there. Sounds like thinking.
The problems arise when the widgets are not cooperative because of natural personality differences, emotional disturbances from childhood or other experiences, misinformation, or lack of skills. The next posts will address many of these problems and what to do to better coordinate them and balance them out so a person can think better what to do to be aware, happy, wise, and pro active.