Spirals are fast conductors. Great things move in spirals: DNA, sunflowers, ferns, wonderful sea creatures and beautiful, ancient staircases.
I see and feel and sense the spiral patterning of and in consciousness.
Consciousness is a Field, a massive, limitless, timeless, eternal field. If we continue to conceptualise in 3D we get 3D concepts. The greatest scientists have developed their theories from a dream they experienced, often.
Let us dream more, dear Scientists and Mathematicians: let in the earthquake!
In the squiggly-structure that is consciousness there is fabulous possibility: the curls are packed tightly and intensely. The most important aspect of them, and the reason that they are so very versatile (with respect, they are magnificent) is that where they overlap they form the most expansive, load-bearing shape known to mankind, the Vesica Pisces. These shapes, ellipses, give to womankind the human birth canal and to architecture the route from Roman to Gothic. We could never have made the Gothic arch without this incredible, stretchy, massive load-carrying ellipse: it is the eloquent shape of possibility.
The Vesica is sumptuous, it arises out of the intersecting of two circles of equal radius; the greatest elasticity is at the point of their intersection.
The word consciousness has within it two important Latin parts, ‘scio’ which has something to do with knowledge and ‘con’ which means ‘with’: the term has come to be understood as our being aware of what is all around us, rather than of our knowing something, so the sense of knowing has been silenced. When we speak of being conscious, we usually mean that we are alive and that our sensory perceptions tell us that we are.
To be unconscious is generally understood as being either under some external influence like an anaesthetic or drugs, or excessive alcohol, or that we are oblivious to our own self: when we use the term to mean oblivious there is a strongly pejorative sense.
For me there is a vast, vast Consciousness in us and around us and out into the Universe and which acts according to Universal rules. This hugely dynamic state and the history of Philosophy that has endeavoured to square it is littered with much gravitas in discussion of this Beingness; it is often mentally truncated by human beings as something that exists on the earth alone. Such a view has surely sprung from a mechanistic vista of our neighbouring planets and not a little arrogant reserve that we might be the only ‘form of life’ for a very long way ‘out’ into the galaxy.
On a wider view, consciousness is a fragrant something that welds ALL living things together, even the apparently insentient and that we as humans participate in this holistic giant of Consciousness which flows in and around and through us and back again out into the Universe(s). On this view consciousness is really the gift of life itself, holding us whilst we live and also, when we die?
The new tomb of the re-interred body of King Richard III, in Leicester Cathedral, holds his life motto:
‘Loyaulte me lie’: ‘Loyalty binds me’.
We may ask ‘what words are these, from where do they come in the man?’ Such words frame consciousness, both ours and his; they invite debate; they propose possibility; they stretch out into the Infinite and back again; they ground the nebulous quality of what it means to be alive. The events of the week of re-interment link us to considered thought, to the past, to the present and what it means to have the ink blotted upon the page of one’s life. In a moment, when thousands of ordinary people gathered together, they affirmed their understanding of a King.
On the tea-shirts of the crew from Bosworth Field was the following inscription:
‘King Richard III, killed by the sword
Murdered by the pen’
What occurred in Leicester, from the finding in the carpark to the re-interment in the tomb, shouts out the details of a very big paradigm shift.
Tom Stoppard’s recent play ‘The Hard Problem’ shows something of the multifarious nature of consciousness, that at any one time at least ten things are occurring through our known senses. We might ask ourselves, however, about what is occurring through our unknown senses. Our senses inform consciousness but what of those we cannot or do not wish to reach? Three dimensional thinking makes for three dimensional functioning. Weaving through the accountability of man to his neighbour/society/himself, Stoppard asks the ancient questions, ‘what is goodness, what is altruism?’ and when, appositely, are these qualities prostituted by self-interest? Stoppard’s play mirrors a renewed interest in the old questions. Aristotle thought that consciousness was circular… very sensible, Aristotle: we love you!