Welcome to Mastering the Skill of Consciousness! Rather than explaining what I am trying to do and why (which I am sure I will get to, in minute detail, in due course) please allow me to start simply by presenting a selection of the kinds of topics and questions that interest me, and which I hope to explore here:
Why “Mastering the Skill of Consciousness”?
This is what we must do, in large enough numbers as individuals and at some point collectively as a species, if we are to be happy and survive.
Consciousness is a Skill
This is the key idea: consciousness is an acquired skill, something you learned to do. That’s why you can learn to do it better, perhaps even master it.
So What Exactly is Consciousness?
Self-present assertive experience. How could we have missed this for so long?
Believing In the Unseen
Want to believe in some pervasive yet unseen, unheard, unsensed something that is with you all the time, and yet always beyond your conscious awareness? Try non-conscious experience. Nothing mystical-shmystical about it; it’s happening to you all the time!
Why Consciousness is a Team Sport
The socio-cultural matrix in which we find ourselves is not merely a by-product of our individually being conscious; it is in fact also, in a very definite sense, the source of that very consciousness we individually enjoy.
Shinzen Young hopes that a way can be found to precipitate a mass dissemination of enlightenment, with hundreds of millions of stream-enterers, but he thinks it may yet take a hundred years or more. I am hoping we can pull it off in this very generation.
What is Religion, and What Does It Have In Common With Science?
All traditional religions, as well as science, secularism as a movement, and even consumerism have this in common: they are institutions of self-definition.
Enlightenment and Self-Definition
Might classical enlightenment be a matter of attaining a certain measure of conscious control over one’s own self-definition?
What Problem Does Mindfulness Solve?
Absent-mindedness. And what a problem it is!
Absent-mindedness, Love, and Violence
Ontic consciousness distorts normal and natural human drives and instincts in all kinds of crazy ways, but particularly disturbing is its capacity to warp love into violence.
How Noting Works
Noting can get you enlightened. Here’s why: by dropping into non-thematic speech, the very mechanism that caused consciousness to emerge in the first place can be reactivated, healing absent-mindedness.
The Difference Between Words and Phrases in Noting Vocabulary
Noting labels are likely to be more effective when they are single words rather than compounds or phrases, because apodictic speakers are quite likely to unwittingly infer verbal predication even where none is intended. The key thing to understand about noting is that it is an act of speech, and you want to be “speaking” non-thematically if what you are trying to do is increase your skill in conscious sense perception.
Why I am Not a Buddhist
Inspired by Bertrand Russell‘s famous essay, Why I am Not a Christian, I have in mind a discussion of what I find helpful and not helpful in Buddhism. I am a big fan of the practices that lead to enlightenment, but not of many of the traditional doctrines and dogmas which purport to explain those practices.
Please do leave a comment, and let me know what intrigues you and which of these topics and questions is of greatest interest. Thanks for stopping by!