The second-most interesting attribute of any belief is that the person believing it feels it is obvious and logical. The most interesting attribute is that someone who does not believe the same way feels it is completely illogical and wackadoodle (poetic license).
I believe that our consciousness/soul is not individual, but shared by everything (every person, every thing, etc.) I believe we are actually inside or permeated by the soul – it’s not limited to being inside or a part of each of us. We have the ability to be attuned to it and aware of it – perhaps the only beings that can. or…the only beings we know of that can communicate that we are aware of consciousness. As Thich Nhat Hanh said, “…we are aware we are aware.”
For me, this view is the only one that makes sense when you remove the ego and our need to perpetuate the “I-self.” My book, The Soul We Share outlines my journey to this belief:
“We are part of it and, at times, aware of it.
Aware that we are one with all, and without this human form.
We share it; we move through it and with it.
So does everyone and everything.
Everyone. Everything. No one thing has any more value than another. Yet, every thing contributes to the whole.
The whole is not only greater than the sum of its parts; the parts are aware of and are the whole at the same time.”
~ The Soul We Share
Today I watched a TED talk by David Chalmers, “How do you Explain Consciousness?” Watch the talk! It’s fascinating. In it, he speaks of two crazy [sic] ideas: (1) consciousness as a fundamental building block of the universe and (2) consciousness is universal – panpsychism.
Dr. Chalmers, they’re not crazy ideas and they’re not mutually exclusive.
So, I’m driving to work and listening to the TED Radio Hour podcast “To the Edge.” I hear the phrase “goldfish memory.” I don’t think he really said that, but that’s what my brain heard. The poet-me liked the phrase, though. Is it memory of being a goldfish? Is it what goldfish remember? Then I got to work and my mind took the idea and ran: The same route to work; the same route home. Replenish food. Same route home; same route to work. Tuesdays go to tutoring, then writing group, then the same route home. Go to the library and get new books. Go to work, go home, read, write, go to bed. Swim by the bubbling treasure chest. Repeat.
I replayed the podcast (which was a 2013 repeat!!), but never heard any words that came close to “goldfish memory.” Where did it come from? A google search shows the fish actually have about twelve days of memory and there’s an Irish film of the same name.
I change jobs sort of frequently, but it’s the same kind of work with laptop, meetings, spreadsheets, email and calendar. Walk down the cubicle row. Is it different if the cube is big and has a window? Geez, I’m going to cry.
Before this moment, when I’d think of a goldfish, I’d think of people staring at someone while they worked, i.e., being in a goldfish bowl. However, the goldfish has no awareness of someone staring at her. Most people, though, want to be noticed and have attention (within their control). Think the glass house in Connecticut. The difference is tautological. The goldfish cannot get out of the bowl. It doesn’t even know it’s in a bowl, in water. “What’s water?” it might even say.
“Sure, I’d wanted to get outside of my comfort zone, but what I’d sort of failed to notice is that getting out of your comfort zone is by definition extremely uncomfortable.” – Roz Savage, rowed across the Atlantic Ocean. TED Radio Hour Podcast – To the Edge