Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Frank Heile - Time, Non-Duality and Symbolic vs. Primary Consciousness

Another talk from the Science and NonDuality Conference.

Frank Heile; Physics, Stanford

Time, Non-Duality and Symbolic vs. Primary Consciousness from Science and Nonduality on FORA.tv

Previously I’ve presented evidence that two conscious entities simultaneously exist in the human brain - primary consciousness (based on sensory representational systems) and symbolic consciousness (based on language/symbolic representational systems). Experiments and phenomenon supporting this theory will be presented. The evolutionary development of the God concept and of spirituality is also due to these two conscious entities. The dual state is one where the symbolic consciousness believes it is the only conscious entity in the brain. The non-dual state is one where life is experienced in a unified primary and symbolic consciousness – and it is recognized that the apparent separation into two conscious entities is an illusion. The characteristics of these two consciousnesses show why time is thought to be an illusion by those seeking non-duality enlightenment. The symbolic consciousness uses the auditory and motor system as I/O channels and these are largely sequential and have relatively few parallel channels. However, the primary consciousness predominantly uses the visual and somatosensory systems which are massively parallel input channels. In addition, the symbolic consciousness is not able to live in the present moment since it takes up to about a half second of time for anything to become conscious in the symbolic system (per Libet’s experiments). Thus living in the present moment can only be done by the primary consciousness. On the other hand since the symbolic system is built on top of the sequential sensory and motor systems, it is much better at planning out long term sequences of events. Since non-duality recognizes that the belief that we are our symbolic consciousness is an illusion, in the same way, since the symbolic consciousness can effectively only be aware of the past and future, it makes sense to say that time is also an illusion.

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