Developing a Skill in Modulating Awareness
March 13, 2012 at 10:11 pm #2479
In my view, the preeminent issue of our age is human awareness. Why has mankind reached this crisis and transition point in which the human collective is destroying the habitability of our planet? Why has human awareness become infested with false belief, ideology that in no way reflects the truth of our human situation, and behaviors that are self destructive as well as destructive to our planet?
Many of the answers to these questions are arising from the sciences. Neuroscience and evolutionary biology are providing many deep insights into our human predicament.
I am interested, and I think this is in harmony with MAHB, in developing a skill in modulating awareness to generate a Universe embracing, no exclusions, embodied, present centered, flexible, big picture awareness, free from narrowing false belief and totalitarian ideology, and in communication with others, in service of all of humanity and our planet in this time of unprecedented crisis and transition.
This skill balances all of the various qualities of human awareness but invokes in particular, the reawakening of the capacities of the right cerebral hemisphere and acknowledges that some communication from this realm must come from a deeper well than words alone. Art, for example, meditation, silent contact with the natural world, present centeredness and so on.
Some seeds have been planted at http://www.arkofawareness.com/
March 22, 2012 at 9:12 am #2503
Joe, I agree that there is much to be done to invite the deep human capacity for awareness, or attunement, into our contemporary spectrum of responses through our relationship with the natural world. Certainly, as you suggest, evolutionary biology and psychology related research demonstrates that people’s biophilic response capacity is alive and well, though often buried beneath cultural influence. I study biophilic responses, based on Stephen R. Kellert’s work, and one of the nine biophilic values, known as the ‘symbolic response’ is, to my thinking, a capacity for expressing our relationship with nature through arts. This value also could be the portal through which to invite our ancient adaptive capacity through symbolic expressive forms such as visual arts, dance, music, and the like. I believe these ways are companionable, friendly, and inviting when compared to the current focus mostly on demanding cognitive awareness of the problem of human estrangement from the matrix of the biosphere. Certainly, I encourage my students to express their sense of and relationship with nature through all of the various expressive arts, writing included, of course.
March 22, 2012 at 3:01 pm #2505
Terril, Thank you for the inspiring and insightful response. I am in complete resonance with what you are saying. I plan to check out the work of Stephen R. Kellert… any suggestions as to what I should study first?
I study everything I can from the world of neuroscience and I think that the evidence is unequivocal, humans have various modes of being aware and at times these modes seem to be opposed… from the biggest possible picture, they all have their place but must be balanced. Lately, I have gained tremendous insight into the different modes of awareness that are generated by the left and right cerebral hemispheres from Iain McGilchrist and his amazing book, “The Master and His Emmissary” which takes an exhaustive look at the neuroscience pertaining to the two different modes and shows how this has played out through all of Western history… we need to rediscover lost capacities and rebalance our awareness in service of humanity in this time of ultimate crisis and transition.
Currently, the left hemispheric modes of awareness are dominating to the detriment of all of humanity. Your work has great potential to reawaken our deep awareness,(free from the narrowing constraints of lifeless ideology, overwhelming greed and self-centeredness,) of the implicit, the mystery, our connection to our planet, the whole Universe and all of life… thank you! We will drink a little water from a deeper well…
May 7, 2012 at 2:18 am #2761
I agree with both of your sentiments entirely. In a personal capacity I am very interested in ‘awareness’ in a spiritual sense, neurobiological sense and even the quantum mechanics of it all. But in a professional sense I am interested in creating social change through both global, local and community action. My research has found a very strong correlation between long-term social change and awareness/knowledge/social interconnectedness. Interesting, no? I am in the process of starting a nonprofit focussed solely on ‘marine awareness’ with the intended outcome to encourage marine conservation through local action. I think there is a shift in the way many nonprofits are going about business as they start to realise how important awareness really is in the equation. I would be interested in your thoughts on how we can develop the skills necessary to modulate awareness on a broader scale to, say, change perceptions about sustainability?