The perplexity, the indiscretion, arises when we inhabitants of the n-th dimension quest the circumnavigation of where we are citizens of culture, and where culture asserts its dominion over us.
We are the containers of not only the immediate present, but also the history of our fabrication.
The nervous system is the historian of our evolutionary passage, its structure the script of the challenges homo sapiens overcame to become the dominant species within an increasingly unstable set of interlinked ecosystems.
We understand the architecture of the brain in a technical fashion; under which circumstances one region will be more active than another. We slightly understand the neurotransmitters that give thought its form with general states of excitation and inhibition.
No one has explained consciousness itself, the awareness of awareness, regardless of the models that are offered.
Mind may inform us from a multitude of sites, prehistorical waystations that trace the path from cephalopod to reptile through mammal through prohominid through our bipedal ancestors into a relative present.
We cannot know, in the long run, if our genetic successes
|have halted the process of speciation, or if the vigor of mutation and selection is still operating within us, ready to adapt with the next great environmental encounter.
The plasticity of consciousness is a solution to the problems of uncertainty, a door is left open for the future, whatever it may bring.
We are not of one mind, although our socialization instructs us to behave as if we were, and that very socialization becomes the Net of Maya, the web of illusion, that we generally prefer to confuse with reality. Another reality exists within us, it is a construct of our neurology, that is projected back out onto the world as fact.
Perhaps that which was high order thinking at an earlier stage is still with us, appearing as our lower order thought, both magical, terrifying, and invisible.
Is it possible that a region such as the thalamus, that acts as a signal routing station for the rest of the brain, may be possessed of its own unique particles of consciousness? Could a certain flavor of thought, a pull in a given direction, a flash of insight, be a voice from an unimaginably distant past incorporated into our experience of the now?
Science, with its inherent conservatism, and nomothetic stress, will say yes, it is possible. Anything is possible, but are you prepared to prove it, and if you do, so what?
© 1995 Morgan Garwood
all rights reserved