All, or None : )
I am wondering why an article, essentially about visual perception, has been included in JCS. The word “consciousness” is not to be found in the article.
What is the nature of consciousness such that there seems to be a dispute over what time is? The experiments, discussed in the article, do not shed any light on
consciousness studies. For example, there is no discussion about changes in consciousness. No discussion about how we use consciousness.
Taking direction from the article, “Time” is a word that can be understood to represent a 3-level present (p.13), 1) experience “the experience of simultaneity”, 2) thought “the experienced present”, and 3) feeling “the continuity of experience”. The authors suggest measuring these 3 levels in milliseconds, seconds, and multiple seconds. Science is very good at measuring some things, but, in contrast to Zahavi, physical measurements of your thoughts, feelings, and experience are impossible. What is the size of a thought, the strength measure of a feeling, the level of focus of an experience?
The authors point out the debate regarding the “flow of time”, as an illusion. They attempt to define “illusion” by establishing a contrast between reports meant to represent experiential phenomena, and reports meant to represent physical measurements. Illusions can be understood by expressing them, not by defining and limiting them by words and measurements. An illusion is a state of consciousness, known in subjective contradistinction from other states of consciousness.
The flow of time can be understood by experiencing it, and feeling it, by changing the focus of your consciousness away from the present “now”, to the constant imbalance between the action of change, and the apparent stability of the present.
The time that any artistic creator is involved with follows earth’s own time. The creator’s time arises out of the seasons and the tides, even though the articles authors have made a great effort to fit the creator’s time into what I will call assembly-line time.
Being your own natural self when you dream, you utilize information that is outside of milliseconds, seconds, and multiple seconds. You utilize time that is outside the time context experienced by the so-called rational mind. Creative abilities operate in the same fashion, appearing within consecutive time.
There are different ways of relating to reality. The states of consciousness involved in creative time and cultural time can merge to some extent. That is the experiment we could be doing. You could, for example, see immediate evidence of creativity’s product, coming out of the keyboard, like any product coming off the assembly line. Hence, you are using ” time productively, as our culture trains us to do.
The methods of the natural person, when dealing with problems of time, allows for the use of consciousness in many ways. These “ways” are a part of your private experience. They are not esoteric methods, but they are the natural methods, an approach to life, by which we can handle the problem of time.
What is an illusion? It certainly seems that the best way to get specific answers is to ask specific questions, and the rational mind thinks first of all something like a list of questions. However, you must forget the questions, and the mood that accompanies them with one level of consciousness, in order to create the proper kind of atmosphere at another LEVEL of consciousness. It is not that the flow of time can be discussed in terms of an upper and lower level, as the authors suggest. There is an atmosphere that allows the answer to come to you, in a different state of consciousness, even if that state is present in a different way than expected by the rational mind.
The natural person is anything but irrational. It gathers ALL experience together and transforms it. Many of the problems discussed in the article have been caused by applying the wrong kind of orientation to lives and activities.
Assembly-line time and the beliefs that go along within it have given us many benefits as a society, but was initially set up to cut down on impulses, creative thought,or any other activity that would lead to anything but the mindless repetition of one act after another. That entire framework is mean to give us a standardized, mass-produced version of reality. By contrast, creative time has its own built-in discipline.
The rational approach, as it is practiced in this article, works quite well in certain kinds of measurements in milliseconds and seconds, but, all in all, this rational approach does not work as an overall approach to consciousness studies, in solving problems about subjective experience, subjective thought, and subjective feelings.
Hence, it is no surprise that “consciousness” does not even appear therein.