Lincoln Stoller, PhD, 2017.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
I have wondered about consciousness, journeyed through conformity, and communed with insanity. I find nature the best mirror in which to see one's mind. I have been led to recognize awareness as key. One only is, in as much as one is aware.
"My experience is what I agree to attend to. Only those items which I notice shape my mind -- without selective interest, experience is an utter chaos." -- William James, philosopher and psychologist, in "The Principles of Psychology, Vol.1"
My experience of consciousness is primarily through my experience in altered states. I have learned to navigate and remain in control in them, or else come out enlightened on the other side.
I view everything as a mental construction and, as a result, I don't believe in anything. I have faith as a practical matter, but I don't believe in any reality. I don't need to; it serves no purpose.
"I don't have any answers anymore. I've learned that answers are things you just make up as you go along. And until it falls apart, it's reasonable enough." -- George Plotkin, neurologist, physician, and engineer, in "The Learning Project."
What is Not Natural
Out of curiosity, I'm always picking things apart. I know all truths are provisional, and every theory contrived. The first thing I do when presented with any truth is take it apart. You shouldn't use anything until you know how it doesn't work.
"A relativistic approach to the non-synthetic aspects of Newtonian mechanics is not useful in formulating a comprehensive ontology for the metaphysical ramifications of these essentially empirical manifestations!" -- From "A Relativistic Approach," by Tom Lehrer
(It's a joke!)
I was recently described as someone who "over thinks." I had to think about that. The more I think, the less I know, and by this means I uncover new truths. What I call thinking gives more "not knowing," which is a larger set of truths. Thinking is the path to not knowing, reducing every thought to absurdity, just as every breath takes oxygen from the air. I no more overthink than I over breath.
Then it dawned on me, "Most people don't think at all!" What other people call thinking is what gets them to knowing. They use their minds to create a picture of things that they believe in, and then they stop. For most people, thinking is what they stop doing when their friends agree with them.