Author Topic: Consciousness is to the the body as a fetus is to its mother?  (Read 263 times)

Xepera maSet

Consciousness is to the the body as a fetus is to its mother?
« on: January 29, 2018, 03:03:15 pm »
This is something I have thought about for quite a while now. Technically individual humans are emergent properties - we arise from a mixing of eggs and sperm within the womb of our mother, its something unavoidable for all life in one way or another. While growing, a fetus is entirely dependent on its mother. If the mother ceases the fetus ceases, if the mother is healthy the fetus should generally be healthy, if the mother is a drug addict the fetus will be born substance exposed, and so on. What if consciousness and the body are the same way? The body gives rise to consciousness which then grows and becomes strong and healthy if nurtured right, and after its growth is complete it becomes a separate entity from that which birthed it.

Any thoughts? I'm sure I'll have more to say on it when I am not at work haha.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2018, 03:52:48 pm by Xepera maSet »
AKA: Three Scarabs, 1137


"Do we believe in Satan? The only thing that really matters is that he believes in us."
- A Nameless Ghoul

Liu

Re: Consciousness is to the the body as a fetus is to its mother?
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2018, 05:42:45 pm »
That's an interesting concept. I had similar, if much more vague ideas, but didn't put them into such tangible terms before - it's really a nice metaphor of how self-deification might work in metaphysical terms:
It would be the start of an explanation how spirits could exist and why nevertheless our psyches are dependent on our bodies.

It reminds me of the metaphor I read in some Setian text of us being "godseeds".

If we only had more information on what kind of soil we need to mature, and where to find it...

Xepera maSet

Re: Consciousness is to the the body as a fetus is to its mother?
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2018, 06:31:06 pm »
Anyone know about these "godseeds"? @Setamontet , @Onyx ? You guys are pretty knowledgeable of the contents of Setian texts
AKA: Three Scarabs, 1137


"Do we believe in Satan? The only thing that really matters is that he believes in us."
- A Nameless Ghoul

Liu

Re: Consciousness is to the the body as a fetus is to its mother?
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2018, 06:48:17 pm »
I'm not even sure that was the term that was used there - the quotation marks were not supposed to mark it as literal quote.

But I think it was in some book by Aquino.

I remember a discussion I had with @Setamontet in which one of use brought it up, too, over on RF quite a while ago, but I can't find it atm.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2018, 08:26:52 pm by pi_ramesses »

Olive

Re: Consciousness is to the the body as a fetus is to its mother?
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2018, 07:55:06 pm »
It's certainly an interesting idea - perhaps one that I would like to explore in storytelling at some point.


It raises some questions for me though in the context of our own reality. If consciousness is the thing that is growing and will be eventually freed from the body that raised it, that does not necessarily also imply that the mind will be freed. Mental phenomena are seen to be affected by hunger, drugs, and head injury, although awareness of those altered forms is still present. If the brain is totally destroyed/transcended/left behind, but consciousness itself is set free, what would that new entity be conscious of? It seems there would be no physical or mental phenomena in awareness, and all would be void. It seems it would no longer have any locality, either.

If the entire psyche is freed, one can only wonder why the most complicated object in the known universe was necessary to house and run something that now runs and exists in an entirely separate immaterial realm. We have to wonder if other animals, even very simple ones are also liberated into purely psychical existence, and if we might meet them there - or if each exists perpetually in a realm of its own. I would also wonder why we don't see otherwise healthy bodies become inanimate when they 'give birth to' pure consciousness, if this is a development process. Almost everyone only becomes inanimate due to physical causes, whether they be damage to organic structure, deprivation or internal unsustainability.

To answer this question I can see two options. We can say either that the psyche is always liberated upon death, as this is the end of its development cycle in some sort of necessary way. But then we have to wonder at all of the people who die in old age, when their psyches have already been largely degraded by the age of their bodies. Will their eternal selves forever be degenerate because of their insistence to stay in the "womb" for too long? Or would they merely start their immaterial existence this way with the potential to fix and change themselves, if they are still experiencing time? This would almost suggest that a right path would be reaching the peak of mental fitness and then voluntarily ending physical life to start immaterial existence at the most optimal point. (Not to mention that psyches can change into totally different entities over a lifetime, one might want to ensure he was immortalized with the proper psyche intact, for fear that old age would soften his will and mentality.)

Or we can avoid all this and say that when the psyche is liberated, the body remains animate and conscious, and exhibits no outward change. So the psyche becomes free and begins its immaterial life away from the body, while the body survives and continues life here with a copy of the same psyche or something like it. The question here is, of course, what happens to this other psyche? Is it also later liberated, like a new child from a mother who bears many? Or is it annihilated upon death, as its provisional usefulness no longer exists? If this is the case, which of these lifetimes do we experience, leaving the body midway through life, or being annihilated? And if each new cloned psyche can also be liberated, we must also wonder how often this can happen. If an immaterial spirit psyche can be liberated with no noticeable change to the body or the psyche left behind to control it, it is conceivable that this could be happening every moment; a very large amount of immaterial spirits would be created from a person, one for each different instant in their lives. Each different frame of the process of psychic existence would be frozen, analyzed and made into an eternal being based on the quality of the psyche in that moment.


These are not completely logical arguments against the concept, of course. For me, these are just some of the critical aspects that would have to be addressed with such a theory of existence, or at least acknowledged and lampshaded as 'Very Mysterious'.

Frater Sisyphus

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Re: Consciousness is to the the body as a fetus is to its mother?
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2018, 08:18:58 pm »
I'd say this is the case more than not. The exception being that it is very easy for the mind to be unhealthy/unwell at the same time that the body is healthy.

At the same time, us magicians (as well as Buddhists etc) are generally aware of how much the mind itself influences the body too, so in a sense it goes both ways.

If you take stuff like tantra/sex magick and astral projection into account (depending on your own view of them), then I'd guess we would have a point of reference to draw a line between the limits of the body to our consciousness? aka, do you see them as simply meditating on a higher (deeper) level of consciousness or connecting with the universe directly (I guess in a literal way).

The whole question of; "how much is mental, how much is physical and how much is spiritual?" is one that I cannot always answer completely assuredly. I am an agnostic/skeptic (despite being a magician), so my opinions on these matters are always changing  :) 

Xepera maSet

Re: Consciousness is to the the body as a fetus is to its mother?
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2018, 11:23:21 pm »
@Olive , I like the idea of a liberated psyche that is, more or less, a copy of the actual psyche. It reminds me of the Egyptian Ka, which was a double that remained with the body after death. Heck, maybe the liberated soul IS the "holy guardian angel" or whatever we want to call it, guiding us along, and this often awful world is just a leftover necessity for that liberation.

@Frater Sisyphus , very interesting and well said. I currently do not have a more direct response :/
AKA: Three Scarabs, 1137


"Do we believe in Satan? The only thing that really matters is that he believes in us."
- A Nameless Ghoul