a-different-theory-of-consciousness

A Theory Of Consciousness

My Personal Theory Of Dribblish Wiffle In An Attempt To Tackle This Mysterious Unknown.

But First – Tobo The Spirit Coach

I was cross-legged and comfortably sipping much too sweetened mint tea at the terrace – Cafe Hafa in Tangier. With me was a man I had met the day previous on the ferry over from Spain. He was your quintessential ageing German hippie, tall, lean, long white hair – an overabundance of prayer hands and bows. He introduced himself to me as ‘Tobo the Spirit Coach’ – find his Facebook here – this man is no joke.

He was in Morocco to find the ‘Rainbow People’ who were on a spiritual journey for silence… Tobo is a super hippie. We were seated together at this Cafe, talking religion, and he was going on about this and that. The type of shakra Eastern dogma that has become so cliche. Literal scripture interpretations. Vishnu. Yoga cures cancer. The works.

I was keenly interested in trying to figure him out since what he was doing was so radical for someone in their 50’s but even after spending several hours with him, I felt like rather than absorbing a fascinating worldview, I was just witnessing the confusion and desperation of a sad, old, naive man. However… delusional though he was, with all that being said, as company to steadily sip tea with he was brilliant to be around. I really like ‘Tobo the Spirit Coach’. He was that kind of authentic who seem to only ever manifest as characters of literature.

So we were talking and, among other things, he was talking about the soul, reincarnation and the casual conversation of consciousness. Asking me why his soul was so lucky to be born in Germany and not Morocco. He had this whole argument framed by karma and reincarnation which was without heft, but it got me thinking and ultimately spurred within in me an unfamiliar clarity by way of response. Something came to me as it was framed by his insistence in asking why he was so lucky, why was his spirit was so lucky to have been born in Germany.

My Theory Of Consciousness

“Consciousness is how you identify yourself” I started.

“Your soul or your consciousness had nothing to do with where you were born. The only reason you think your soul is unique or your consciousness is yours is because ever since you escaped your mother’s womb your experience has been shaping you towards this conclusion”

“Your mother called you Thomas. Every input you had from day one up until now has taught you who you are. Differences in personality, differences in your experience. It is not like you – Thomas, AKA – Tobo The Spirit Coach – are the lucky soul for not having been born into the body of an Afghani girl. There is not some pool of souls steadily letting loose another soul every time someone is born. It was not a luck of the draw that when you were born you happened to be German. Your consciousness, your identity, is only capable of convincing you of that lucky narrative because our brains are just so damn sophisticated!”

“You thinking. You making decisions. You having impulses. Your self-awareness. These are only possible given your superior intellect in the animal kingdom. It is not otherworldly, it is not so mysterious, it is simply your incredible brain managing your incredible experience. That is why YOU are Thomas and why your self-awareness is different to mine. We share in common, differences in experience. YOU only think YOU are lucky because YOU have experienced your life in Germany, and now as a man of 50 years contrast your journey with the Morrocons. This is not otherwordly”

Tobo Was Naturally Not Too Pleased

I was trying to make the argument that his mysterious interpretation of his identity and his soul was simply the bi-product of having lived such a complex experience processed by such an incredible brain. The tropes of consciousness; being aware of one’s environment, feelings and self. I would argue is simply a matter of one’s experience and their ability to process it.

Me, Ryan, as I, the conscious being, stare at my keyboard and decidedly type one letter after another am self-aware of my consciousness. I am aware of it, because I acknowledge that I am simply a human with lived experience, and my ability to type certain words and think existentially and my awareness of it all… is simply the bi-product of a brain having processed by a certain experience.

If I was living 40,000 years ago, I would argue this rationality to be the same. The awareness of my feelings, the awareness of me, Ryan, the hunter-gatherer, being the culmination of experience. Is my consciousness. It is what makes me unique. It is what drives my personality and impulses.

It’s Not Got Anything To Do With A Soul, Tobo

Tobo was under the impression that something other than the hand of randomness was at play. Because of the good deeds of his lives before him he was born into Germany – ‘a good country’ – and because of the bad deeds done in their lives before them – the Moroccans around us were born into what – ‘a shit country?

There is something so arrogant to the idea of Karma and the Buddhist worldview. Hypocritical and rife with double standards.

Consciousness Is Simply The Awareness Of Now

Consciousness can so easily get wrapped up into more than what it is. To be conscious is to be aware of now. It is separated from notions of the soul, destiny or man in the sky ideas.

Because of my accumilated experiences my awareness of now is severly influenced differently to that same awareness of now the guy next to me is experiencing. We are objectivly experiencing the same thing – but between us consciously interpreting the now in our own unique manner.

Tobo’s trying to explain his consciousness through superstition. I am fumbling around areas I should probably not be in.

No-one knows – and yet it doesn’t seem to matter, does it? It’s like a beating heart. The process is automated. I have no control over this muscle. It just happens.

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