The Council for Open-Mindedness

How to be Open-minded

The Key to Open-mindedness – The Hard Philosopical Question and Critical Thinking

At the risk of turning the front section of this book into an oversized lecture, it has been thought appropriate to include a section, both important to the above concept of education, and how this relates to the idea of ‘Critical Thinking’, and important to the fundamental concepts of the following novel.

There may be seen to a be particular question which is extremely immediate to any given individual at any given time, but which is also difficult for many people to fully comprehend in itself, as a question, and its full implications, giving that, people may often ‘think’ they understand the question, while they in fact do not, and a further analysis is needed. But it is a question which, if properly understood, and considered for long enough, will prove to open the mind as far as it can possibly go, enabling it easily to accomplish critical thinking.

It may be understood to be from one point of view, the ‘hard’ philosophical question.

 

The Hard Philosophical Question – and the Opening Of Critical Thinking

Open-mindedness may quickly be arrived at, if one considers the following question, which no philosopher, science, religion or spiritual practice has answered or even tried to answer.

It is actually the closest most obvious question, since it concerns the first object of our awareness, you the questioner, and yet it is one of the most difficult to understand.

But if it were to be properly understood and posed, and if its implications were to be fully comprehended, then it has particular properties for completely opening the mind – that is for considering all arguments, and placing them side by side.

The question is as follows, though a few different variants are given below, since it is often necessary to rephrase the question in as many ways as possible, since it can be very difficult for people to see it properly – it may even be necessary to devote an entire volume to differing attempts to phrase the question, in order make as certain as possible, that it might be understood:

 

The question (and its different phrases):

What factor is it that determines that you are born in one location and time, and in one particular body, over another?

Why did your consciousness start where it did?

How was the place designated at which your consciousness started?

When and where did your consciousness start, and how was this place (or location) designated?

Where in time and space did your consciousness start, and how was this place designated?

How was he starting place of your consciousness designated, or arrived at?

What factors meant that your consciousness began in the place that it did?

What factors chose the place your consciousness began in?

What factor determined that your consciousness appeared in one place, time, or body, over any other?

Can you identify the place and time at which your consciousness began, and how can you explain how it began at this place and time and not another?

 

So this is to say that whether you believe your consciousness started in the womb you were formed in, or at some time ‘before’, there’s no way of saying why your consciousness began in the place (and ‘time’) it did, over another.

It could have been in any other place or body.  Why in the one that it did?  How in the one that it did?

People usually misunderstand the question and say, ‘because I couldn’t have been born anywhere else;’ and, ‘if I were somebody else I would not know the difference’ – but the fact is, a decision or determination or designation has been made, and you are designated, in one particular body, as opposed to all other possible bodies: and such people also don’t see that their argument necessarily implies they were conscious before they were conscious (whether this consciousness appeared in a womb, or in a place before) which is not possible: their argument implies they were destined for such a body, which means they were somehow conscious before.  In any case, still, in this case, as mentioned above, they don’t see that even if they were conscious before the womb still the problem arises that this prior state of consciousness has to be finite, and in a body, or a place, and to be distinct, and they will need to explain how they came to exist in that form or body, as opposed to any other (and the problem is infinitely regressive).

Then they may say ‘it was by chance’ but really, when one considers chance, one can see that minor factors influence outcomes and events: one can see that everything is orchestrated by a variety of factors, from the minor perturbations on a roulette ball, to the minor breezes in, and temperatures of, the air: so the question still does not change: ‘What factors could have orchestrated it that you first became conscious in one place (or ‘time’) and not another?’  In any case there must be a some ‘thing’ which is subject to this ‘chance’, i.e. a finite consciousness which leads us back to the same infinitely regressive problem.

If, perhaps, someone tells you each person is a fragment of one big consciousness, it in fact does not help at all and is in fact no different to the first problem, it still does not explain how it can be then that one can experience being in one body, at the exclusion of all others, since it would imply that there are three parts to the problem, ‘you’ as all consciousness, ‘you’ as ‘you’, and the problem that simultaneously, you are not everybody else, so why have ‘you’, as all consciousness chosen to be ‘you’ at the exclusion of everybody else?  Somehow ‘you’ are experienced as separate from that centre, and not as anybody else, which means that again, at some point you were designated separately, and at a separate time and place.

 

People seem thoroughly satisfied with their own particular place and time of birth and their condition of being in one body, to the exclusion of all others.  But this, actually, really means that they imagine they were ‘waiting in the wings’ to be born – though ‘not’ conscious, somehow waiting for a designated point and time to ‘become’ conscious which is of course illogical.

Another phrasing of the problem is as follows: We ‘appear’, but why in one body and not another, since perhaps there may have been nothing in terms of consciousness which existed before and which may have been subject to distribution, or, even if there had been, still at some point (as has been said above) it must have been differentiated, or assigned to that particular point which creates the same problem.

Bodies are being born, or forming a consciousness in their womb: which do you become associated with?

 

The Only Possible Solution Yet

If considered enough, one may conclude that the conundrum is impossible, unless there is some kind of consideration about the fulfillment of all possibilities and the actual seriality of the only possible consciousness.

The seemingly only possible explanation is somewhat obvious, but somehow difficult to contemplate because of its implications.

It would seem that the very simple, and unassailable logical conclusion is that there is only one consiousness and that it moves and operates serially, within each being one by one rather than simultaneously – which has rather gargantuan implications – it means that right now the universe, and the fulfillment of all possibilities in the megalocosmos depends on you, depends without any doubt, and the fulfillment of all possibilities in you, that it is stuck on you, and cannot change until you change. Though it seems to be happening all at once and simultaneously, it is actually happening serially, and can only be happening serially. The idea of separate consciouness is completely impossible, it must all be continuous, and this continuity may only be expressed serially through different life forms serially, rather that simultaneously, as that simultaneity could not happen, since consciousness can never be deflected from itself or divided from itself, or it could not be consciousness.  Our experience is of seriality through different life forms, masquerading as simultanenaity of different life forms.  Our experience of consciousness can only be of one continuous seriality of consciousness through different life forms, masquerading as an experience of simultenaity of consciuosness in different life forms.

In order to phrase this completely, we may say, therefore, that the nature of consciousness is indivisible, and can never be estranged from itself, (since there can never be a point at which you are separate from it), and that therefore, consciousness in all life is experienced serially though it seems simultaneous, and therefore, the fulfillment of all possibilities of the megalocosmos, depends entirely upon the fulfillment of all possibilities within you.

Or: since we can never determine the point at which we become isolated as a separate consciousness, and it is inconceivable that there can ever be a point at which we are identified and located as a separate consiousness in a particular designation or location, it must be that our experience of consciousness is one of completely continuous seriality of consciousness through all possible life-forms in the megalocosmos, masquerading as an experience of simultenaity of consciousness in different life forms.

Now this would perhaps not be as dreadful as it sounds, since it would all happen at once (or seem to), since this is the way experience is organised, and all you have to do is realize your ultimate potential, in a perfectly inward sense (which may express itself outwardly), and the world will, in essence, be raised to the plateau ‘simultaneously’.

This would not be to believe is God, as such or any such thing, but rather to look at consciousness in the clearest, most logical way possible.

Further than all this, what it actually implies is that you personally are creating the entire megalocosmos (universe), that you invented yourself, all the people you have ever met, and all the animals, and the oceans, it means that you invented the circumstances surrounding your birth, and every misfortune in the world, and are currently in the process of fulfilling all the possibilities of your current body before you move on to the next project. A lot of work, you might think, making our megalocosmos, especially when we have seen through our telescopes how large it is.

After you’ve done that, then presumably you move on to, or create, some other being and raise that to its highest potential. It may not be as bad as it sounds, or take as long as it sounds because of the nature of time and consciousness and how quickly, what to us may seem millennia, may seem from another point of view, or consciousness, quite a short time: perhaps some of them you could move through quite quickly, but presumably, you are quite attached to being you, and would be sorry to see you from the outside.

 

Next: The Development of Contemporary English Thought