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Sunday, January 29, 2006

A Few Thoughts on Consciousness

DISCLAIMER:
First let's get past the disclaimer. I am not a psychologist, psychiatrist, nor sociologist. I observe people and consider their actions. What's more, I take a step back and consider my own actions.

This article is about a hypothetical consideration on human consciousness and it's impact in the species.

While I do not intend to insult any person's given beliefs, I will warn the reader that the basis of this hypothesis utilizes a number of scientific disciplines and theories, including that of evolution.

If this offends, the reader is certainly welcome to depart.

PROBLEMS

We dream, we love, we laugh, we explore, we read, humans have crossed the world over, it's cities reach to heights never before seen, we have found cures to disease that frightened whole cultures, reached the moon, and even now are seeing other planets beyond our own solar system. We as a species have so much potential that it beggars the imagination. We are grand in our hopes, and wondrous in our reach.

But, at the same time, we are full of nightmares as much as we are about dreams. We murder, we enslave, we commit atrocities beyond redemption. Geno-cide happens with each generation, fear rides with the four horsemen, unseen, but heralds their arrival. This is as much a part of our species as is the reach for the stars.

The question that has always plagued us through out history has been why? Why are we so flawed? What is wrong with humanity? Some say it is be-cause we do not follow a god correctly. Others say that following a god at all is the problem. Ultimately however, through out our history, we've sought the answer to this question sometimes in amusement, other times in desperate understand to why we were being harmed.

It is however only now that we begin to perceive what it is that is 'wrong' with us. In truth, we are a young race. As old as the species may seem, we are still very, very young. But that doesn't answer the question does it. It only points out what we do not know.

Maybe now, in this time of world wide fear, it is time to do just that.

SURVIVAL OF…

All life has one imperative, survive. Over millions of years of evolutionary pressures that imperative has become incredibly complex, and fantastically diverse.

In the Cambrian Age, life literally exploded in diversity. Chemicals that had come together in various stages prior to this had reached past the single celled amoebae stage to try to link together as a multiple cell structure. From this first primitive crossing of the cell divide, life had reached a stability point from which to expand into the Earth's oceans allowing for the first grand experiment of life.

Scientists call Cambrian Era a mystery. It isn't really, not when one takes into account all the various micro environments that oceans offer to life itself.

From the first multicellular existence came thousands of types of what we know as the basic paths of life, phylum. Life exploded into a grand variety be-cause it had nothing to follow at this stage except as responses to environmental pressures. Such variety of phylum is no longer a mystery when a person takes into account that we don't know all the environmental pressures which went into a given phylum's creation. Small changes are bound to be missed when we are talking about a time period that reaches multiple millions of years.

However, whether we know exactly why or not, what we do have good sup-position on is that by the time the Cambrian Era ended, all but a few phylum were left and the idea of survival was well entrenched. As the multicellular descendants of what was probably two or three amoebae hitting on the concept of primitive RNA and DNA communications past their cell walls expanded out, they met each other. Not all the meetings were on a friendly basis. Territoriality began here I suspect. And it has never ended.

I am not at this point going to go into an era by era detail of what has happened on Earth for the millions of years. Historical data of humanities various stages of growth is all over the Internet, and if one is truly interested in such details, the reader is welcome to search further for information. I spoke of the Cambrian Era because it is the known earliest point in which the spinal cord and internal nervous system begins to appear on Earth.

I suggested that territoriality began at this point simply for the sheer factor of life 'exploding' out ward in diversity and quantity through out the world's oceans at the time. Or perhaps I should say ocean given that the land at the time was essentially one super continent called Pangaea.
Life did happen, that much is forever known in history. (Although, the idea of a God placing this evidence there as a joke on Human beings is amusing in some ways. It suggests a deity with at least a modicum of humor).

But, since I am going the hard long route of evolution, I'm taking the jump to where we come in. After millions of years, hominid life had developed, figured out the trees, found them lacking in some ways, and bit by bit, left them for the growing plains of grass that had become popular, so to speak. Not all hominids did it of course. But families of them did, leaving behind our cousins.

When we did reach the plains and the rolling hills, hominids had begun to grow, in brain size and bit by bit, intelligence. To go into the complexities of how many years it took, how many lives our ancestors went through, the dead end paths that occurred, and the obvious success for at least one line of hominids would literally take a book. I suggest that if the reader wishes to know, a good synopsis, though by no means a perfect one is Walking With The Caveman by John Lynch and Louise Barrett.

It gives more detail than the Discovery Channel show from which it was based off.
What came out of the many eons of evolution can be best described as a given direction on how to survive those years. Animal attacks, pack hunting, and night time predators. Survival was and is a reaction to a given action. Small noises which keeps us up at night are reminiscent of ancient times of the night time hunt.
Our bodies tense at the slightest movement of our peripheral vision, we look to the movement not because we recognize a friend, rather we see a poten-tial death coming to us. We jump into a stance against something when a sudden noise hits us from behind, the snapping of a twig, the bump against a tree be-comes a bump against a wall, or opening of a door and it's creaking door frame. It all translates. It's what is used by movie producers and directors in horror films, grabbing at the most basic parts of our hind brain.

Reacting to the action, it has never gone away. Blunted by civilization per-haps, but never totally gone. Ultimately, it has become refined far beyond what had started during the Cambrian Era. The complexity of it all has grown in re-sponse to the changes of environment through out millions of years. Changes that have changed us in shape of body a thousand times over.
Especially our intelligence.

INTELLIGENCIA

Intelligence is the gathering of environmental information through the use of physical senses. We hear the movements, voice, and sounds of the environ-ment. We see the environment, translating waves of light in a given range of fre-quencies to discern distance, details, and best ways to react. The same goes for touch, sensing motion underneath us, or the change in the air from storm or fire.

Smells and taste work the same and often in tandem, warning us of dan-gers in more subtle ways, the musk of poison or predator. Tuned to survival in other ways it taps into the pheromonal qualities of sex drives pulling us towards each other. (Men to estrogen, women to testosterone as the common example recently tested in 2005, I'll forego the other discovery about homosexual re-sponses to testosterone.)

With this came the concept we would come to call memory. We would re-member on a chemical level for many eons. Learning to respond instinctively to the threats that were before us. Memory would slowly become more complex as well of course, but it would remain on a relativistic level of recall for nearly our entire existence. Responding to changes only when necessary.

But then, we didn't remain on that particular level of memory. Ultimately, we went past the absolute best of memory and instinctual responses. We went past action and reaction in a very new way.

THE FIRST BOUNCE

In general terms, scientific data indicates that our species hit a certain point where our brains 'woke up' and consciousness began to exist in our species. In that, I will not disagree in the slightest. Our brains did reach a certain point of complexity that allowed for abstract thought processing which gave us the capac-ity to plan and react in less straight forward patterns of survival. To think outside the box as the current phrasing runs.

However, it wasn't simply the number of synaptic connections reached which began the 'Great Awakening', rather it was the number of active connec-tions that brought it about. For most intents, the brain is a reactive mechanism. Providing responses to the outside environment for the sake of survival. But once it reached a point where a certain percentage of it became constantly active, meaning that it needed to maintain a high use of it's intelligence gathering capa-bility at any given point in time, it began to run into the principal of Quantum In-determinacy. In this the Indeterminacy principal simply describes the fact that the electrons tend to bounce off each other.

Electrons have the same negative charge, the repel each other. Pass a magnet against another, see which side pushes against the other magnet. This repulsion occurs on the electron to another electron as well. Bouncing more and more, it becomes a sort of dance of billiard balls in matter. Increasing and de-creasing on top of that with heat and light involved as well I might add.

Now, while this has been going on through out our growth as a life form, from species to species line that we come from, the brain remained below a point where the 'billiard ball dance' proved insufficient in the ability to form more than the occasional random flash of thought. Ideas which, at best, never grew beyond the individual who had them. (though it does make for a good story…).

But move on through the generations. Change the environment from life time to lifetime. Sometimes, hunting and survival proves easy, other times it proves harder. Season's change. Storms increase, droughts run riot. For my own thoughts on the subject, let's move along at the point around 75,000 years be-fore common man. A major volcanic caldera erupts, ejecting billions of tons of ash into a world already in an icy stage of it's existence. It's hinted that at this point in our genetic history, human beings almost died off.

But they didn't. While the populace had reached down to it's absolute lowest ability to expand out genetically, Cro-Magnon survived. Still not quite 'there' yet in consciousness. But the years of strife and hardship this cataclysm would bring about might have been the final push towards what would later become us.

A nomadic species that moved between Africa and the Siberian slopes forced to survive in even colder, and stormier climates, working to thrive in an ex-istence along side another entire species, striving to hunt for already sparse food supplies. Living day to day with this, the brain adapted, running in some ways on momentum, geared for constant change.

Is it any wonder that this constant use would begin to bring increasing random impulses of ion channels (the point where electrical bursts occur in a synapse), within the brain? Even at night, in the deepest points of safety in caves of France, the Cro-Magnon brain would continue to fire, waiting for the next dan-ger, the next hunt. Memories become flashes, desires reach to new connections, electrons bounce to new points in the brain, and new pathways are born. Dyes used to help camouflage oneself, to promote leadership in the not quite awakened brain, become a line, then a form, then a picture.

And it gets noticed. Others see it, copy it, and this adds to their already active cerebral flashes, and it grows. At this point, one will probably never know what became the first, and what was copied. But even in today's society, the new is noticed the most. From it, copies come, the greatest flattery is mimicry after all. And then from the copy comes something new, connected to each other in some fashion, some form. Quantum becomes relativistic, new synaptic pathways form, and in turn, random flashes take on a new twist to the old.

In all it's glory and dark nightmare, at the same time, Cro-Magnon be-comes Homo-Sapiens-Sapiens.
Creativity is born.

A COST OF THE BRIGHT SPARK

There is no perfect thing. There will never be a perfect human. Nor even a perfect species. Evolution does not call for perfection, it calls for the best way to exist in reaction to environment. That includes even the possibility of not being able to reach the balance needed against the outside environment. Perfect bal-ance in one region of Earth does not mean perfect balance in another region. While Homo Sapiens had reached the capacity to survive in many places, even to the extremes of drought and cold, the same could not be said for it's one surviv-ing cousin.

Cold adapted, the Homo Neanderthal already was limited by changing envi-ronments. It is called over-speciation. And Ice Ages tend to be just that, ages. Earth is not a perpetual ball of ice, nor is it a perpetual desert. It reaches a vast range in which many life forms can exist. While drought and heat drove Cro-Magnon out of Africa, we didn't develop in such existence. Cro-Magnon developed in a larger range from Homo-Ergaster, and Homo-Heidelbergensis, (It's unclear yet as to which Cro-Magnon stems from really).

With Homo Neanderthal, from Homo-Ergaster, this species would come to thrive in the cold snowy wastes of the Ice Age Europe, moving back and forth with each season. But it would adapt too far, it's said. Supremely balanced for cold, it would come to deal with the limited range of environmental changes this brought forth. Almost reaching that crucial point in development, by it's very cold adapted existence, including an increased tribal size limit, Homo Neanderthal never made it. To point, we won the race that Earth had started nearly two and half million years prior when it entered a very long series of Ice Ages.

But, to point, did we kill the Homo Neanderthal off? Did we as a species, destroy the last of them? Perhaps. But before one starts blaming human beings for this crime, one has to wonder then, should we go around blaming a three year old for using a parent's gun to shoot a friend because that child saw something like it on television?

Consciousness had just been born. It was then, and still is, for all intents, a tool to survive. In this earliest time of it's birth, it had yet to become any thing more than a tool provided by physical laws.
We were babies. Cry, mourn the loss, but do not condemn such a young species.

HUMAN AND BEYOND

We are special. The religions have it right in that. But not because a god made us this way, and not because we hold dominion over the world.
No, we are special as a species because we were the first species to tap into quantum physics well enough to use it as a tool. Just as our eyes use pho-tons to see, our brains had reached the point where quantum indeterminacy makes it all but inevitable to be conscious.

What's more, each of us are born with an incredibly active brain from the very beginning. From birth on we begin to be shaped towards an individuality that sets us both apart and beyond each other in the one way quantum physical laws allows. Random flashes of thought that the grand quantum dance can lead to, let's us each see things that can become either the grandest of dreams or the darkest of debaucheries.

In this, I suspect that our self-identity begins to become both a property of environment as much as genetic. Genetic in the fact that we have developed our brains along a given bicameral shape and multi-structured matrix of neural path-ways. Environment develops in how we are raised, coupled with random pulses that quantum laws determine. In time, the subtle paths of our minds become even more complex from the first initial thought on. Ideas form from the creation, cop-ies become more complex, leading to original ideas yet again.

Life goes full circle. And each of us become the potential king, leader, artist, scientist, engineer, explorer, even a greater laborer. But, if the environment is poisonous and there is no flash of good in the life of a single person, that individ-ual might become a leader of the hated, a Hitler. It is our specialness either way.
Darkness and light, wrapped in one brain. The balance can slide either way depending on the environment and the random bounce of an electron.
And that's why we are special. Individually and as a species.

A TOUCH OF EDEN

But being special does not necessarily mean that we are 'good'. Then again, it hasn't meant that we're 'evil' either. What we are is a young race called human, that is, as yet, working to control the advancement that tapping the quan-tum laws has given us.

In the beginning, it was simply a tool of purest survival. We utilized this tool to with no real understanding that it even existed. The hunts of our ancestors began to grow in complexity. We watched the predators of our past and began to understand how they hunted. We copied the actions of the pack, of the pride. Humans started to anticipate the times that animals would follow the seasons, the day, and, the night.

More so, humans, with the prehensile thumb, the grasping hand, began to manipulate the tools that went from sharpened rocks to actual ax and spear. Sticks took on deadlier capabilities. More likely by the time we ex-ited the Ice Age, human beings had no doubt become a supreme hunter.

What was more important, the earliest of our civilization had spread beyond just the first tribes of the European caves to spread this essence of quantum con-sciousness. In this frighteningly fast development, I suggest that what has been recently understood as 'mirror neurons' played a strong part in this. Again the various tribes of humanity encountered the more advanced Conscious Man and reflected what they saw. Turning from Cro-Magnon themselves quickly into Homo Sapiens. And there may be a further reason for such quickness.

If history bears out, most humans stemmed from a very small range of sur-vivors of the super volcano. These extremely similar hominids could very possibly have woken up with out much prodding. It would be something like you buying a DVD player, and your neighbor following suit after watching a single movie.

The differences of course would become apparent after wards. You may like action adventure, but your neighbor enjoys the romance and love story type entertainment.

Back in these times, all it would have taken was a hunter ranging out beyond the old range, to touch on another. Consciousness brought one large difference from surviving from territory to territory, it brought the want to see be-yond the next hill. Curiosity too, had been born in the quantum linkage of the human awakening. And that is where things began to proceed in both grand ad-venture, and dark designs.

HINTS OF FORBIDDEN FRUIT

In all truth, there is never going to be a way to know when we began to become aware of our difference. It's simply too far back in time, and it happened well before we began to record our histories. But self-awareness probably began to enter our existence not long after the Ice Age receded. Long established as hunters, we had well surpassed the now dwindling Neanderthal species. That in itself would probably prove to be the beginning of our self-awareness as some-thing new to the universe.

There are legends, so old as to be not even mythos, calling them the 'Giants in the Earth'. Neanderthals survived for at least three thousand years after we developed consciousness. Stories very likely passed down the lineage of tribes for generations. Even after the Ice Age fell away, tales of the giants persisted. If these tales were of the Neanderthal, perhaps it may be that seeing them in the state of pre-consciousness made us more aware that something was separating our two races.

It is perhaps, from this point which we began to realize how different we actually were. The wolves followed us, and we knew that we were the one's in charge. But other species of animals, the cats, the mammoths and birds. We saw their deadly potential, and came to understand just how we stood out by our en-hanced awareness.
Wouldn't it be natural to begin questioning why?

Not every person would of course. It wouldn't obsess us by any means. But in our quest to understand the seemingly immutable why of our existence, there would come the beginnings of abstract beliefs, and thoughts. And, I wouldn't doubt, fear.

FIRST RUN

Think of the following as a possible explanation of a past long forgotten. As a species, we had developed in an age where tribal living was by necessity lim-ited by an extreme environment. This had gone on for such a long time, that tribalism continues even to today. It's nature, as much as nurture. Beyond a certain point, we become suspicious of what's beyond the next street. We search what's on that street as much in naïve curiosity as to allay our fears that something sin-ister might exist there. Our tension eases only after the alleyways have been passed by. The stranger is checked out even as they smile and pass us with a wave.

It's tribalism. Humans can only know just so many people, trust just a cer-tain number. Past that the ingrained instincts ask, 'Is it worth the risk to go be-yond the next street?' Don't be mistaken. We still do it, but we are working past it, bit by bit. Tribalism is slowly becoming the world we live on, rather than the neighborhood or country we live in. But don't condemn those who have no real understanding why they can't go past the next street. It's a generational thing.

Still, let us go back to that point in time when we began to adapt to the growing seasons becoming longer, the animals starting to stretch out into a larger area of territory as the ice and storms simply fell away. It certainly wasn't an easy time for the first few years. But as the animals spread, so to did a conscious hu-manity.

Not perfectly, and certainly not with entire enjoyment. But for a time, things eased. And if we had remained hunter-gatherers, things more than likely wouldn't have taken a radical turn for the worse, not as soon as it did.
We didn't though, did we?

In a hunter-gatherer society of the tribe, it is more often than not that the man will go out and hunt while the woman takes care of the young. It was, on the average, their task to gather plants and foods from the local area around the vil-lages that existed at the time. Easy enough to see.

Plants eaten by animals are more than likely able to support human be-ings. Not all plants mind you, but the less likable ones will usually be left alone. If only after a death or two. Remember, stupidity is not cured by consciousness, then or now!

Gatherers would continue to pull plants for a long while. But with the bouncing of electrons flashing through a person's mind while a gathering is going on, there came an idea perhaps? An idea of controlled growth?

From the first attempted gardens outside a hunt, a whole new society would begin. But I suspect, at this point, we would begin to see the circle of darkness that still rides our existence to this day. Fear would come from this. Fear that would slowly build as tribes began to take to this new way. This farming and what was more, the idea of herding.

FIRST WAR?

Take an idea. A quantum pulse of an electron. Gain a visual stimulation of something, a conceptual idea. In one track of the electron, you build a whole new way of life. The ability to settle down in a given area, beginning to herd the ani-mals, till the land for seeding. Advancement far beyond the mere need to hunt a pack for fur and food.
Now, follow the track of a different electron. Down a little further. You see the farming, the herding. But instead of advancement, a new way of life, a fear settles in your gut. Something isn't right here. You've lived the hunter's way for centuries!

Your forefathers have been clear about this! Now the local tribe has taken to this new way! The hunted lands are no longer yours to hunt upon. While you were away in your nomadic existence a different tribe moved in! You come back not to find a land of plenty replenished from your last time here, but this new… farm!

You move on, it's not worth the effort to fight. There are lands aplenty. But, years pass, tribes settle down, and you find that you are no longer the norm, but instead you're the stranger. The 'nomad'.

A night in anger, when your mind seethes, you begin to wonder if those strange settled people are… perhaps not like you. Certainly they've taken the best lands! The best waters, the rivers stink of the changes they've made down stream from their homes! Perhaps something must be done…

You pick up your spear… and begin to wonder if it's not time to hunt new game. Not for food though, but for the old ways. The better ways when a man was counted for the skills these weak creatures have lost to… herd.

A lovely story is it not? There are hints of it of course. Of great battles, of tribes being attacked by nomadic people. Wars like this would last throughout mil-lennia. The last few reaching all the way into what we know as early recorded time as the Tartars, the Khans. But here, it was very likely the beginning of the loss of Eden as a whole.

Individually, I have no doubt what so ever, that human beings had reacted in violence towards each other, feeling threatened by another person. It's inevitable that such a thing would, can, and does occur. It's the intermixing of survival in-stincts, intellect, and that wondrous, yet terrible, consciousness. In this, was most likely the first running of events that would affect the whole of humanity. It was only the beginning of the dark side of who we were.

In the youth of our race however, we would miss a point in this reaction to fear. We would see the cause of our fear from the wrong side of things. The out-side. It's only natural. We had yet to even begin to understand by this point that we could control our fears.

That would take a bit more time. And we would do much with it no matter how unconsciously it was.

REBOUND

Fear is a reaction. It is catalyzed by outside threats both immediate and imminent. Called the fight or flight instinct, fear has two response paths, pull away from what is causing the instinct to say, 'Not feeling safe!' or push the cause away, even to the point of destruction. To give an example, if a person crosses the territory of a wolf pack, especially a hunting pack, said person is setting off the very same fear of danger that he or she is feeling upon hearing the first howl of warning. It's the same reaction, catalyzed by encroaching on the other's terri-tory.

However, in the animal kingdom, it's not very often that one will see an en-tire species go continuously after a threat even after it's left the packs territory. They may play with their prey, they may even scare said prey beyond it's capacity to fight back, but while animals may not be conscious, they are by no means stu-pid. And, in not being conscious, wolves will not go beyond they're immediate threatened territory. They may remember the hunter species, but they won't think about it beyond the kill.

Man does. It comes back to us in nightmares, and quantum flashes of memory. We relive the danger, and we call it imminent.

This is where consciousness, the neutral, purely physics based tool of our tightly packed and hyper charged brains comes into it's darker effect. Conscious-ness, electron bounding up and down history catalyzes a hunt to destroy not only the pack of the present, but of the future as well. When the first hunter fought the first farmer, it had been from this. The fear of the land being lost. The river be-coming dirty. The animals becoming scarce.
It began the darkness.

DARK CIRCLE

The cave man who picked up a stick to beat the first fire bearer for a burnt finger, the hunter who lashed out with a spear upon the first farmer, the Roman who saw the barbarian and worried of Rome, the first King-God who saw the next city as a threat, the monk who saw the Judaic faith overcoming Christi-anity and turning Jesus back to a mortal man, the Pope who feared the enlight-ened masses and sought to control them by how knowledge was disseminated, woman versus man, man versus woman, the adult who sees the child supplanting him or her, and, vice versa. The list is endless and could take up whole libraries.

It is a circle of fear, running from generation to generation, a quantum dance and genocide's begin, dictatorships that rise to stop the loss of a given be-lief or culture, hate crimes by those who fear both losing one self to something new, or worse losing one self to hidden desires.

In the thousand eons since we spread out, humanity has learned of this fear to such an extent as to manipulate it for personal gain. The irony being that the personal gain is for keeping something going when fear of it's loss becomes overwhelming.

Fear, but not caused by outside events and people, but rather catalyzed by it. The cause is the survival instinct being threatened. The fear rises, setting off more of the quantum dance. Survival controls the consciousness. And that is what we have to gain control of.

But not to end it's dominance. For there are good things to be had as well. Bright paths lead from fear as much as dark ones.

WALKING BRIGHT ROADS

Before one goes off into a fit of total despair, thinking humanity is doomed; it might be a better idea to continue reading. Above, I discussed the concepts of the darker part of what human beings go through when we react to each other in unknowingly controlled fear.

Now, let's look into what is right with the human race.

Above I talked about survival instincts generating fear as the primary mover for much of our history. You've read of the bad things that we have done, but the reader must also realize that there are good things that the species has done as well. And it is from the same source if you think about it.

Fear of the stranger, and what will be done by him or her is as much of fear of the unknown as it is of taught threats. Indeed, many so-called threats stem from the imaginings of the unknown actions of the stranger.

Where the bad is 'What could they do to me if I don't do something to them first?'; the good is in the need to know what is unknown.
Curiosity.

In the animal kingdom, the primary use of curiosity is to hunt for food. Animals spread across a continent in an effort to survive. Territories are created by this need. In humanity this curiosity, which was much the same. But as con-sciousness became more than a tool of survival, so too did our curiosity.

With the rise of consciousness over the many long centuries, we began to question what might be beyond the next hill, down the path in the woods, and inside the dark caves. Survival figures into this in ways that it becomes our entire existence. (Yes, especially sex!). In the unknown that I speak of lies the need to solve mysteries. Where water might stop a wolf pack at the beach, our conscious-ness, forever pushing at us in the quantum dance, wondered how to go across the water. To sail over it, and, ultimately, to reach the lands unknown. A cave had to be explored to know whether the next meal might not be the bear's because one ignored the den for an evening.

All of history is about the human expansion of knowledge simply because not knowing other wise gnaws at us. Even when we hear stories of what lays past the great sea, while many accepted the answer, others wondered about the stories, and wanted more. Because they asked inside their minds, "What else is out there?" The conscious flashes of possibilities come forth, and we reach out. Like children needing to know the flame. And, while it can burn, the mystery must of-ten be solved. It has taken us to space, and will, if we reach the next step in spe-cies maturity, take us to the stars. Not for what we know out there, but for what we don't know.

Fear of the unknown has also led us to the inner space of our bodies and minds. Medicines, treatments, the understanding of our cellular makeup, and even the DNA happened because we didn't know, and we still do not know enough. As frustrating as it can be to hit dead ends, it is because of these same dead ends that scientists keep looking. Doctors know that disease occurs due to one thing or another. A virus, a bacterium, radiation, chemicals, drugs can cause all sorts of death and mayhem in the human race. The same is true for all sciences. Nuclear and quantum physics, astronomy, cosmology, mathematics, and of course, psy-chology and sociology. All of it coming from wanting to see beyond the next hill.

Indeed, it is because of the search, that we are finally reaching the point where our race is beginning to understand the consciousness, and where quantum physics, neurology, and chemistry come together to perhaps push us to the next level of social existence.

We have evolved over the thousands of years, and we will continue to do so. Fear slows us down, it may even end our the grand dance of consciousness. But life goes on, and if we fail, then another will eventually succeed. If we can break the dark circle.

BREAKING THE CIRCLE?

What will save us? Will it be first contact? Aliens seeing our television and stopping by for a visit? (If only to complain about lousy programming), genetic advancement that places us where the apes are now? Kind of like us, but a little smarter, faster, perhaps stronger. A great Gandhi, a Martin Luther King, or wise man from the forests, coming to save us from our fearful selves?

No, we will break the circle a generation at a time. We will mature with a matter of perception, not with genetics. Social change has always come with a new generation to take up the banner of the old. And each change has come with the continuous dance of electrons shifting ideas subtly, and sometimes with dark endings. But maturity will happen.
What will it take?

A change of view.

Right now we see each imminent menace to us as a threat because we are taught that it is just that. Some are true threats, others are not. But to dis-cern between the illusion, and the reality, will require that we take that step back and tell ourselves that the fear we feel isn't from the enemy. But from our own threatened survival instinct.

Starting as babies, we used the tool of consciousness with out even being aware that it existed. Then we grew to be aware that something had changed be-cause of how we reacted to outside events. Humans still remembered the time of sleep, of a more peaceful time when we only reacted. Thousands of years later, our ancestors would translate this into the calling of Eden and of forbidden fruit.

Beyond that, the Homo-Sapiens species, us, began to question unknown, and unknowable concepts. We began to question if we were alone, of what we were to the universe. Metaphysics was being born. In those questions of the Why of things, we attempted to answer the unknown and unknowable (death). By the time of the ancient lands before the First War, I suspect the first gods had been born.

It would continue. But we would continue being aware with out fully understanding of what that awareness was. The ancients would question obvious differences between human beings and question the existence of their consciousness, the soul. And we would realize that physical difference was of no matter. Humans, races now by this point, would come to know that human consciousness is of the whole, though at times it may seem other wise.

And we began to see the fear. Our ancestors studied it, looked deep into it, began to break it down at the basic levels in both psychology and physiology. They studied it until they began to understand that we are jumping at shadows as much as fearing honest problems. But in coming to understand this fear, and to understand the physics surrounding it, it began to lead humanity to what is coming next.

As we grow into the next stage, humanity will slowly begin to see that out-side incidents are previously spoken of catalyst for the true cause of our fears. The Survival Instinct ever necessary, is slowly coming to be seen as cause. But will this maturity happen?

That is the question. And the answer is, perhaps, but it requires something that we, as a species have yet to attain fully. The willingness to confront our fear as a reaction, not as a simple fight of flight instinct. As a hard edged example, we have to accept that attempts at genocide come not from the feeling safely getting away with something, but out of fear that a culture being killed will rise up to turn and destroy the destroyer. In turn, the victims have to get past that fear that it will happen to them again, if they, in turn don't rise up to destroy the enemy.

Circles must be broken. Not by mastering the fear of the other, but by mastering the individual cause of the fear. Our instincts is what tells us, from in-telligence based comprehension, that we are not safe. As individuals we have to convince each other to back down. To use the consciousness… consciously, and not let the fear use it.

This is not going to be an easy step to cross. Adults must learn to do this with all the dark fears imaging through their minds, even as they reach out to shake the hands that tried to kill each other beforehand. Children must be taught from the generation forward that fear is not the true problem, but is, instead, our instincts added to the quantum part of consciousness.

And yet, we must not try to destroy the very thing that has kept us all go-ing. The instincts to survive are immutable. They react to outside influence in di-rect reaction to dangers. A gun pointed at us, a knife, a fist. Animals still in the wild. Storms, quakes, and fire, all still actively firing off the want to live. No, the hardest part will be to question the imminent dangers. The dangers we have to be taught as being wrong.

Staying aware of the physical signs of danger is obvious, but the quiet touch of danger that you feel near certain types of people, crossing the streets, watching a certain movie, behaviorism's that don't feel right. Symbols you're told are evil because they signify a belief you don't follow.

Oh yes, even religion has to be questioned. Many times in the past reli-gious based fear has been used to maintain control of the masses. Mixed with the fear of the ultimate unknown, death, religion has in turn been a great boon to humanity, and a great tragedy. Lives have been saved as much as lives have been taken in the name of fear.

Note, I said fear, not God, or Goddess.
And that leads to the final part. What would a world with controlled fear, not denial of it, mean?

Perhaps we might begin to truly understand what we are searching for in existence. After all, we don't know what is out there. We don't know if we are alone. We don't know if we aren't.

And deeper questions come up. Do we know the true God? Or have we loss touch with the Living Force of the Universe (attempting to be non-committal here for multi-religions' sake), in the name of our childhood frights? What is our ultimate potential? Who are we in a more mature state of social existence?

In one thing, we will remain the same. To survive, we have to leave Earth. Yet in doing so, we take chances that may make things worse. We don't know if there is any other sentient minds out there. We don't know if we have to be more mature to meet them. But I have to question whether meeting another race of conscious beings would have any meaning if their existence sets off our fears of unknown possibilities.
Certainly if we do go to space, we will have to watch our selves.

Space is the ultimate challenge. And in truth, I've no doubt that it will ma-ture us to an extent. Space does not allow for cell phone drivers. Right at this moment, it is our need to survive that keeps humanity on Earth. How long before it is the same need to survive that turns the fear to staying on just one planet. We know our vulnerability after all. Just ask the dinosaurs how a big impact felt.

Oh wait, we can't, can we?
They're dead.

FINAL WORDS

This is it. The end.
I leave you, the reader now with a simply synopsis to consider.

Our current stage of humanity is of awareness of fear, but not conscious control of the true individual cause of said fear.

The true cause of fear is the instinctual need to live.

Outside dangers are the catalysts of fear, not causes.

The next stage of maturity for human beings is a perceptual change in the raised awareness of survival instincts as cause not simply as an unconscious reaction to immediate and imminent danger.

Reaching this next stage will require full commitment to answering what imminent dangers are real, and what are illusions.

The next stage of maturity will not happen over night. Instead it will take generations.

A FINAL THOUGHT

We have come full circle now in our species existence. To put it as simple as possible, we run out of sandbox to play in. The world is at it's greatest of fear since the darkest days of World War Two.

The only thing that keeps things from breaking into total chaos is that in political terms, the leaders are weak. Rather than leading by representation or ex-ample they allow the fears to remain unfocused unless they need it to maintain their power base.

And, as it was prior to the discovery of the two America's, our religious leadership, instead of being the guardians of consciousness as they should be, are caught between factions of belief. So far, nothing horrifying enough has served as a focus. In that we can be thankful for being so many, and spread out at the same time.

But it is from this, that I brought up this hypothesis about a social maturation. It is my honest fear that we will not be able to hold back the tide. Unfocused for now, a catalytic event will occur which will over ride even the best of men and women's knowledge and control of their fear.

Still, this remains a hypothesis. As much as I would like it to be a proven point, a second awakening is far from happening as of yet. Genocide is still oc-curring in Africa, North America often seems on the verge of fighting between it's view points of how God should be worshipped, Europe is struggling to unify, Rus-sia is on the edge of another type of dictatorship, though I hope I'm wrong on this, an Asia, as always, remains a great enigma on many levels, even North Ko-rea.

But, the attempt at this has to be made. As the reader, I simply comment, that if you like what you have read, you're very welcome to spread the address around. Tell all your friends, it's free. (And it is technically published once it's on the Internet. )

Thank you for reading this article. I hope you enjoyed your visit.