The Nature of Consciousness, the Universe and Everything

An inquiry into emergent consciousness from microbe to humans and beyond

by Alex Milov

 

 

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The Labyrinth of Greek mythology was an elaborate maze designed and built for King Minos of Crete.  It held the dreaded Minotaur, a half man and half beast which devoured the sacrificial Athenian youth in retribution for the death of the King’s son.  The labyrinth was so cunningly constructed no one could find their way to defeat the Minotaur.  Ultimately, the king’s daughter gave Theseus a golden thread which enabled him to enter, slay the Minotaur and find his way out again thereby saving the Athenian youth from their terrible fate.

 

People of ancient Greece found meaning and purpose in a rich tradition of storytelling we call mythology.  This is how they learned about the nature of the universe and what it meant to be Greek.  Every culture has a way of transmitting its beliefs about the nature of the universe and what it's like to be part of that culture.  The sum of these understandings is the culture's Worldview. 
 

Worldview is like a map of the universe.  Everyone’s worldview is unique.  Take any two cultures or any two individuals, dig deep enough and you will find divergence.  Furthermore, all worldviews change over time.  So not only can we be assured any two cultures or any two individuals will have divergence, any single culture or individual will in time conflict with itself.  Understanding the dynamics of worldviews is important because those with similar worldviews tend to get along well while those with differing worldviews tend to interact contentiously. 
 

Historically, changes in worldview unfolded more gradually.  During the last century, the media allowed new voices to gain influence shifting the culture inducing dramatic changes in worldview such as the civil rights movement, the anti-war movement, the women's rights movement and anti-apartheid.  The most influential voices in the public square were journalists, academic activists, politicians, and clergy.  Their influence hinged on perceptions of honesty, accuracy, and integrity.  Things have changed.
 

The bandwidth has widened, and the playing field leveled.  A multitude of special interest groups ranging from environmental support groups to climate change deniers now clamors for attention.  Each of these micro-cultures has an agenda with sometimes violently conflicting worldviews.  Sadly, in the struggle for airtime, the primary qualification is no longer honesty, accuracy or integrity.  Instead, it is the most exciting and sensational messages which tend to capture attention. 
 

The anger, fear, and lust of heated controversy are more attractive than reasoned discussion.  Honesty as a cultural value has become so degraded, and misrepresentations have become so familiar, we have become desensitized to the propaganda.  Our ability to recognize misinformation and to meaningfully weigh the evidence has eroded.  The outcome is increased polarization, distorted worldviews, and unhealthy navigation choices.  We have lost our way.
 

Everyone believes their worldview is "right."  Most people see the worldviews of others as ignorant, maladjusted or even evil.  "They" are the problem.  If "they" would change, all would be well in the world.  Well-intended efforts on both sides seem only to make matters worse.
 

How are we to make sense of it all?  With the cacophony of contentious contradictory claims of "truth" bantered about, one sometimes feels lost in a modern labyrinth at risk of being devoured by a Minotaur of half-truths, misunderstandings, and deliberate distortions.  How then shall we find our way?  Well, that is exactly what this book is about; its primary purpose is to raise our consciousness and broaden our worldviews.  It is by awakening to the nature of consciousness that we will be provided with a golden thread to lead us out of the labyrinth.

 

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The Nature of Consciousness, the Universe and Everything

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