An Essay Featured In (Re)constructing “A is A” by O.G. Rose
On Consciousness, Creativity, and Being
To talk about consciousness is to take your life into your own hands.
1. To talk about consciousness is to take your life into your own hands.
2. Consciousness is where thinking and perception mix like milk and dye. (Consciousness and sub-consciousness also mix inseparably.)
In line with “On Thinking and Perceiving,” what I think about is “conscious” while what I perceive is “sub-conscious” (or “below consciousness”). When I think about a chair, I am conscious of it, but the chair beneath my thoughts that I perceive is sub-conscious. When I think about a chair in a room I perceive, the room is sub-conscious, while the chair is both conscious and sub-conscious. In this sense, my sub-conscious is the context of my conscious mind, as perception is the context of thought.
3. Consciousness is paradoxical and/or ironic.
4. To say consciousness arises and/or is like a computer program is to say consciousness arises from non-material reality. As pointed out by John Searle, there are no computers in nature: all computation exists thanks to humans. Computation is an extension of consciousness, so if consciousness is like and/or arises from computation, this implies intelligent design.
5. To say consciousness is an “illusion” because many working parts are what give rise to it is akin to saying a car is an illusion because it doesn’t exist without different parts. This is similar to arguing that there can be no universals because there are only particularities, and though it is the case that there are no universals “in the world,” universals are still real “to us.” Therefore, though consciousness may be, in some sense, an illusion relative “to the world,” it isn’t “to us,” and so “it is” in sum.
6. Every moment is a repeated experience of consciousness, and so the reality of “being conscious” is verifiable, but strangely consciousness struggles to verify itself.
7. To pray or meditate is to turn “consciousness of” into “consciousness.” However, to “think about thinking” isn’t to so change our “consciousness of,” for such an act is to engage in “consciousness of consciousness.” To think about thinking isn’t to engage in perception.
8. To speak of a thing is to speak over it. When I say “cup,” I speak an idea over the object “cup” to which I refer. Likewise, to be conscious of a “cup” is to be conscious of an idea over the object “cup.” To think is to not think of what the thought refers; to be conscious is to not be conscious of what consciousness “falls upon.” To engage in thought is to engage with what lies over perception: to think is to confuse an object for what covers an object.
9. In line with the essay “Ironically” by O.G. Rose, there is no “chair” in the world, per se, only “a chair on a carpet, which is on a floor under a ceiling, which is under a sky, etc.”: there are no single phenomena, only a totality. It is consciousness which divides through thought a “chair” from the whole of what the chair is “one with.” In doing this, the consciousness isn’t materialistic, for the consciousness divides into singularities what, in materiality, isn’t singular. Perhaps one could say the part of consciousness that perceives is materialistic, but not the part that thinks. In this sense, one could refer to consciousness as “(non)materialistic” (not “materialistic” or “non-materialistic”), as it seems to be both, switching between the two from moment to moment, as one moves between perceiving and thinking, being animal and being human.
10. To allude to Michael Talbot, if you had never seen a bird before and you saw two television screens of the same bird from different angles, you would think you were looking at two different birds. When one of the birds moved, the other would synchronize its movements perfectly. It would seem that two birds were somewhere exchanging signals, when in fact they would be the same bird.
Humanity’s understanding of causation as a sign of division may be a result of humanity’s inability to perceive or grasp full being. At the same time, entities may actually be divided: it cannot be said either way, for the line between “division” and “oneness” seems indefinable.
11. Taking into account thoughts from “The Creative Concord” and “On Words and Determinism,” both by O.G. Rose, most of what we are surrounded by are not “inanimate” objects, but “(in)animate” objects (objects created by conscious beings). A computer is a non-conscious object that was brought into existence through the ingenuity and conscious of a human: it was animated into “inanimateness” by an animated being. Unless it was created by God, a rock cliff is a truly inanimate object, for it was not brought into being by a consciousness. Considering this, humans interact much less with inanimate objects than they think: the majority of their lives occur surrounded by “(in)animate” objects.
Ironically, once a human creates something, it seems like it always existed. All things have a sense of “always-present-ness” about them, especially if they aren’t conscious. Furthermore, all creations seem like they weren’t invented by a consciousness: they instantly lose all sense of being animated. Consequently, we lose all sense of how much our world was “designed” into existence by some consciousness, and so come to think less and less of the impact of consciousness on the material world. It becomes increasingly easy to think of consciousness as just another thing in the material, causal world, rather than that which, more than just materiality, forms materiality into ideas of its own making. Consciousness can create out of materiality what materiality could never cause out of itself: material forms of metaphysical ideas.
Confusing (in)animate objects with inanimate objects, we come to think of consciousness as a thing given rise to by causality. Furthermore, we confuse the acts of creativity, only possible thanks to consciousness, with acts of causality, and so lose a sense of creativity’s importance. All (in)animate objects are created, while all inanimate objects are caused (as discussed in “On Words and Determinism” by O.G. Rose). However, since (in)animate objects are brought into where-causality-occurs, they appear “as if” causal. What is created is created into causality, but they are not caused into causality like inanimate objects.
Considering all this, what we are “conscious of” is a big threat to our understanding of consciousness. Before (in)animate objects, we are “conscious of” them as inanimate objects, and hence lose a sense of the consciousness which brought them into reality. Because of how consciousness is “conscious of” things, we are likely to discredit not only consciousness, but also ourselves as conscious beings.
Inside a house, causality occurs within a context of creativity. On a beach, causality occurs within causality, though if I make a sandcastle, creativity occurs in the context of causality. Regardless, all appear “as if” simply causal, for all (in)animate phenomenon appear “as if” inanimate. This being the case, the way things “appear” to us make it likely that we believe in determinism. If objects “appeared,” somehow, as (in)animate, we would have an easier time grasping the importance of creativity and the reality of freedom and selfhood.
When we walk up a staircase, we walk up an (in)animate object. When humans first walked the earth, the world was entirely inanimate, and since then it has become increasingly (in)animate. Guided by conscious humans, the world is increasingly moving toward (in)animation.
If we expand the definition of (in)animate to anything that has been, in anyway, effected by a consciousness, perhaps the minority of rocks would fall into the category of inanimate. Only if we venture into outer space will we see the inanimate majority which surrounds our mostly (in)animate world. Yet in our everyday lives, we do not engage with outer space, but a mostly (in)animate world, brought into reality thanks to consciousness. Yet since this (in)animate world appears “as if” inanimate, we easily lose a sense of the uniqueness of our consciousness: it ‘appears’ as just another thing.
12. In line with “On a Staircase” by O.G. Rose, to the extent a person perceives is to the extent that person is truly in materiality (though most of it is (in)animate). Most of the time, a person is in materiality plus thought: rarely do I simply walk up a staircase, but usually I walk up a staircase with my thoughts. Yet science can only take into account the staircase “as if” that’s all anyone experiences when they walk up the staircase. Furthermore, science cannot observe a distinction between the inanimate and the (in)animate: to science, a thing “is” at it ‘appears’. Therefore, science cannot, by the structure of its own method, find consciousness to be anything other than a caused materiality. This isn’t to say consciousness isn’t caused materiality (though it is radically different from most caused materiality), but that if it wasn’t, science couldn’t realize it. The scientific method necessitates materialism, and a society that ranks scientific findings as truer than other findings will come to think poorly of the idea of consciousness as non-material, even though its citizens might be surrounded by evidence suggesting this possibility (such as (in)animate objects, the reality that people only engage with pure materiality when perceiving, and the fact that we choose which worldview through which we interpret materiality, to offer examples).
13. Consciousness can never be “conscious of” consciousness as consciousness can be “conscious of” things that are (not) conscious. All things seem unconscious (even what’s alive, seeing as we never experience other consciousnesses and only experience through our own), and so we naturally come to think of ourselves and everything as simply material. It’s all we ever experience (outside of ourselves), and so we have no reason to think consciousness as something “other” than what “appears” causal and materialistic. If anything, our conscious experience becomes a rare exception to the rule, which we can think, in all likelihood, probably isn’t ultimately an exception at all.
14. Like a “Law of Nature,” it seems to be a “Law of Ontology” that humans experience 3/4 dimensions and not eleven.
15. Conscious thought is often if not always a desire for something other than what one is “conscious of.” When I am conscious of an apple, it is likely because I like the taste or color. The taste and color though are not what I am “toward” when I am “toward” an apple. If I am ‘toward’ the apple itself, I am still ‘toward’ my idea of it (or my understanding of a thing that is, ultimately invisible atoms).
16. In line with “On Materialism, Purpose, and Discernment” by O.G. Rose, to speak is to speak something other than what is spoken about, as to be thoughtful of an object is to be conscious of an idea over that object. Likewise, to have a purpose is to be “toward” that which is over materiality; hence, to have a purpose is to be “toward” the world in a way similar to how consciousness is “toward” it. This helps a person live a practical, conscious life that is similar to how consciousness operates; consequently, a person may not feel “split” and/or alienated.
There is a sense in which materialism, as it is the loss of purpose, is also the loss of consciousness. As purpose enables one to make the most of material reality, so too it may enable one to make the most of consciousness.
17. In line with “The Creative Concord” by O.G. Rose, without creativity, Capitalism self-destructs. Ironically, Capitalism naturally tends away from creativity towards consumerism, as money naturally primes its users to move from wealth creation to money creation. Consumer Capitalism, rather than Creative Capitalism, falls victim to the “material dialectic” (proposed by Marx) and consequently falls. For the artifex to grow is for wealth to be created, and without wealth creation, Capitalism cannot sustain itself, yet Capitalism tends to create an environment that is, ironically, anti-artifexian.
The creativity behind wealth is never “apparent”: a created good always ‘appears’ as a ‘consumable’ good. As (in)animate objects ‘appear’ inanimate, so created goods only ‘appear’ consumable. Hence, it is easy to lose a sense of the creativity ‘behind’ all (in)animate and consumable things: it takes creative effort to ‘remember’ that creativity is indeed present (a kind of meditation which being creative may afford). Likewise, it is difficult to ‘remember’ the consciousness behind other humans and (in)animate phenomena (which only ‘appear’ material).
Because consciousness tends to fall into materialism, Capitalism tends to fall into consumerism. As creativity is always making something that can be consumed, so consciousness is always ‘conscious of’ material reality. Ironically, creativity is “toward” consumerism as consciousness is “toward” materiality. Consequently, consumerism tends to result in a devaluation and deterioration of creativity, as materiality results in consciousness being viewed as just another material thing, versus a mode through which materiality is engaged.
Both Capitalism and consciousness are hostile towards themselves. To create is to create that which “appears” as consumable, and so creativity makes citizens “toward” consumerism and/or consumption. Likewise, to be conscious is to be “conscious of” that which “appears” as material, and so consciousness makes people ‘toward’ materialism. Considering this, it is perhaps not by chance that consciousness falls into materialism as creativity falls into consumerism.
18. As a society becomes less creativity and less artifexian, the society is less likely to grasp the distinction between the (in)animate and the inanimate, having not participated (much) in the process of “animating ideas into in-animation.” Hence, the society is likely to think of the world around it is as mostly “causal” versus “creative,” and lose sight of the role creativity has in wealth creation. Furthermore, the society is likely to think of its consciousness as purely material. In making both of these judgments — considering points raised in “Self-Delusion,” the Toward-ness of Evidence, and the Paradox of Judgment” by O.G. Rose — the society will see increasingly more evidence confirming that these judgments are valid.
As Capitalism falls, its descent tends to accelerate; likewise, as consciousness falls into materiality, it tends to fall, rightly or wrongly, faster.
19. Like a Hegel-mocking Ouroboros, history seems to be the story of consciousness marching “toward” unconsciousness, creativity toward self-consumption.
20. To allude to Heidegger, as it is seems natural of creativity to forget itself into consumerism — consciousness to forget itself into (what it is) “conscious of”(-ness) — so it seems natural of “being” to forget itself into “being of”(-ness).
Consciousness is “toward” “consciousness of.”
Creativity is “toward” “consumption.”
Being is “toward” “being of.”
21. To create is to remember the creativity and consciousness “behind” all consumable and (in)animate objects. To meditate, have purpose, and pray are, likewise, ways to “remember” the consciousness and being “behind” materiality and “being-of”-ness.
22. Consciousness, creativity, and being naturally and structurally “forget” themselves.
23. Consciousness, creativity, and being are ironic.