What we perceive as self is essentially a continuous flow of thoughts, leading from one to another, and awareness of stimuli that come through the senses... that includes senses within as well, on top of the five external. (i. e. things like hunger, sex drive, need to pee etc. etc.)
In different beliefs, this is called soul, spirit (chi?) etc. and is thought to be independent of the body itself. Thus, we hear out of body experiences, life after death, re-incarnation, going to hell or heaven and all that... that’s believing that our consciousness of self, would survive after death.
I believe that is not the case. There’s so much evidence in front of us, which supports that to be a fact. But we simply ignore them and go out looking for proof of life after death and re-incarnation. Because that’s what we really want to believe. We don’t want to die and that to be the end. We need to live beyond the death of out body; find an answer to the ultimate questions of life, suffering and universe.
A simple observation would show you weakened or lost awareness of self of those who have suffered brain damage or got Alzheimer's decease or other conditions that weakens or kills the brain. A patient under anesthesia doesn’t feel a thing even when doctors open the rib cage; patient only start to suffer, when his brain is awake again. When we are in deep sleep, we don’t have a flow of thoughts going on, nor are we aware of stimuli of the senses.
Another good point is that if our consciousness really is independent of the body, we should be able to think even while our body is sleeping. But as we fall asleep, we lose our awareness of self, because the brain sleeps too.
People argue that dreams are proof of our consciousness being active while we sleep. But firstly, if that’s the case, instead of experiencing nightmares and fantasy we should really be thinking, the same way we think while we are awake.
Secondly and most importantly, studies show that we dream only when we are close to being awake, not when we are in deep sleep. During a night’s sleep, we pass several dreaming stages, when the brain come closer to be awake, but goes back to sleep. When we wake up, we only remember the last dream we were having, not any between. Unless we were waken, and fell back in to sleep.
It may be disheartening to believe that when the brain is dead, that’s the end of being; given that all of our culture is developed around the idea of karma, samsara and re-incarnation. But, I simply think, we’ve been ignoring the facts much too long, and death really is the end of everything.
So, what then of moral values, happiness and other feelings? I'd write about them too in my next post, and explain why meditation still is a good idea...
Friday, May 11, 2012
Tuesday, May 08, 2012
Consciousness of self is a manifestation of the brain, brain weakens – your awareness of self weakens, brain dies – you die. Period. There’s nothing going to hell or heaven, nor gets re-born. Accept that and you don’t need a religion to pamper you.
But, your brain wouldn’t want you believing that would it? It’s, much like any other organism, wants to last for as long as possible so that it could re-produce its kind as much as possible.
It tells you that YOU are independent of YOUR body. It’s about YOU… YOU!
...and then; you get the question, when you die, you lose your body… what will happen to YOU then? (Because you believe that you exists independent of your brain!)
There’s no way of knowing… you are scared of the unknown (This is a survival strategy BTW..., not really meant for this particular problem, but unavoidably it comes to this.). You freak out.
And there comes someone, who has no clue of the fact any more than you do, telling you some bullshit of a creator or stopping of a cycle or that kind of a story, which gives you an answer to the question "what happens to ME after I die?"… and some other baggage along with that. If you take for granted that you exist independent of your physical body and refuse to believe that your consciousness is a result of bio chemical / magnetic reaction (or whatever the shit that goes in the brain, I'm no medical doctor) then, you really need an answer to calm yourself down of the fear of death. So, you'd buy whatever the story is most accessible or sounds most plausible to you.
Either way is fine; but the problem is… most religions don’t stop at explaining what happens after death. Probably because those who’ve been preaching them realized that once they have a good grip of the masses with the explanation of death, they could get them to do anything for them.
Some chose to kill their enemies, some chose to earn more money, and some very few actually chose to do good to the man kind...
If you really have to find answers, the most important question to ask should be, why the fuck does every fucking organism re-produce and want to live as long as possible? I mean, even the smallest organism without brains do that right? So, that for me is the most mysterious question.
Really… why? They die eventually, and leaving behind offspring doesn’t serve them any good after that.
(Don’t get me started on having kids so that they would look after you when you are old – that’s just bullshit - I'll write something on that later)