The Experience Side Of Consciousness Essay

2032 Words Dec 14th, 2016 9 Pages
Consciousness is part biology, “…each state of consciousness is composed of a number of basic psychological processes such as memory, thought, sense of time, body-perception and the senses of hearing, smell, taste, and so on”, and part experience. (Wilber 52) I am going to focus on the experience side of consciousness because it is less concrete than the genetic side. It is a concept that is socially constructed to define an abstract phenomenon. Consciousness is the awareness of being conscious. A theory that I believe, regarding why humans seek out altered states/consciousness, is an evolutionary speculation. Charles Whitehead, in Altered Consciousness in Society, writes that humans have a unique large-scale cooperation in groups that is different from all other species, although there is generalized altruism in some social mammals (182). “Generalized altruism” allows individuals with subjective, first-person phenomenal accounts to work together as a unit. The human mind must be able to or have the potential for expansion beyond the thinker them self to be integrated into society. Ken Wilber would call this expansion beyond oneself the second-person intersubjective backgrounds, “We," and the third-person scientific/objective systems, “it” (185). To have consciousness, one must have “We”, “it”, and “I”, based on The 1-2-3s of Consciousness. The Spiral Dynamics of Culture chart, in week 13, provides cultural and individual explanations for what it means to be a person or…

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