Each of us occupies a construct of memory, belief, identity and meaning that not only generates the sense of self we require to meaningfully function as individuals, but generates our picture of the external world as well. I often call this construct a worldview. It is an active perceptual process within each of us that works continuously to sustain, protect and strengthen the idea at its root. And while it may seem there are a great many such ideas possible—billions if we consider that each human being on planet Earth must have one—the reality is there are only two. Exploring this in detail will be one of the purposes of this series of posts.
“Worldview” is a term I often use that is central to how I think about things but that I’ve not taken the time to explore in detail. I also speak of “thought systems,” “the perceptual stance of separation,” and “unity,” as well as other similar terms with limited explanation. As I hope to show, a great deal hinges on them—everything, in fact. I don’t believe it’s hyperbole, for instance, to suggest that the content of our consciousness is the single most decisive factor in the trajectory of human events, the conditions of the non-human world (at least presently), or the quality of life generally on this planet. It thus behooves us to consider carefully what this extraordinary gestalt of awareness is and how it functions.
The future we create together not only depends upon the content of our consciousness, but the specific ranges of possibility that lie before us are tied to our interpretation of this natural aspect of our being. Meaning two things: there is ultimately no neutral perspective on the subject—no view of consciousness can be said to be free of causative implications to one’s life and the lives of those around them; and the experiential outcomes available to us depend upon our view of this subject. Views of consciousness, in other words, live at the very root of our individual and collective worldviews, and inform all the perceptual processes that follow.
This series will touch on perspectives I know others prefer to what I will ultimately suggest here, so let me say at the outset that while I think the subject matter here is of profound importance, the intent is to explore the possibility that largely hidden choices at the root of our self-constructions have consequences. It is not to deny the fact that other views may also be logically consistent, attractive and possessive of strong explanatory or predictive capabilities. In fact, part of what I wish to do is suggest that it is possible for us to collectively open up new, more constructive, nurturing and life-centered ways of being without discarding anything we may have encountered along the way that is truly valuable.
This series will in many ways tell a story, a narrative explanation for the way things are and the way they might be. Such expositions have the connotation of being false, fictitious, made-up. We’ve been trained to find out what really happened. But as we’ll see, even this insistence is an artifact of a particular worldview—a choice made about the nature of the world, what it is and how it unfolds, and who we are. There’s just no escaping the fact we cannot begin until we have chosen. Choice, in fact, is the beginning…