Kent Van Cleave
I am reminded of the perspective of some scientists, that simple life forms evolve into higher forms and that biological complexity eventually produces mind. Do you share this perspective, and if not, in what way does your perspective differ?
Yes, simple life forms do evolve into higher forms over time. As for consciousness, that to me is a definitional issue. Who is to say that a human has consciousness but an ant does not? Ants are known to act to preserve their own lives, as well as the life of the colony. Does that require consciousness? As for mind, I believe mind to be an emergent property of the brain. Consider the case of a developing infant, and I am struggling to write a book about all this, at what point does mind make itself known? Babies are born tabula rasa, excpeting some things that are hard-wired through DNA. They have no control over their bodies, no perceptual abilities, really, no mind. As the brain develops through myelination and experience, mind emerges. I think perhaps mind emergent is fully evident when the baby achieves object permanence – knowing that things continue to exist when they are no longer visible. And about the same time, the infant realizes that she is not the same as mother, and the self is born. The paradox of the birth of self, which includes self-awareness, is that it thrusts us into a life of dualities. So we evolve internally from unity consciousness to self consciousness, and then we will spend the rest of our lives trying to resolve our dualities in order to return to the state of unity consciousness.
…what your view is on the perspective that consciousness is a state of unified existence from where all forms, simple as well as complex, arise, and in which all forms are already fully connected? To put it another way, what if seeking connection is an illusion, as everything is in reality the unified Whole?
I touched on this, above, and in the discourse to which you replied. We emerge from a unity consciousness, then spend our lives trying to reconnect to it. The drive to connect, however, does not require consciousness. It is an inherent property of all things, hence the God principle.