Saturday, April 28, 2018

Consciousness and Contentment: Understanding the lack of contentment and logical thinking in wise men or so called ‘Homo sapiens’

We are considered to be highly evolved conscious beings, but if we look at ourselves, do we actually feel that we are there; wise men or Homo sapiens as we call ourselves? In today’s world, reward based conditioning forms our contemporary culture that deeply defines how we look at life and how we intuitively perceive our consciousness. Presently, acquisitions are our priority and we behave as narcissistic conditioned puppets and let governments and corporations rule our lives. We are hypocrites that can see, but behave blind; blinded within the realms of our short-termed thrills, joys and beliefs. Augmenting logical questioning and logical conditioning is the only way we can come out of this state that cannot be done individually, it has to be a collective effort. This paper is an attempt to understand our very own evolved consciousness and its relation to the current world with the true meaning of our existence, where we seek to understand it from a logical sense.
Keywords:  Contentment, Consciousness, Logic, Reward, Conditioning
The ubiquitous and fundamental nature of consciousness makes it subtle and of central importance where the manifestation takes place within the sea of its existence to shapes and forms that brings out the beauty of our consciousness (Pereira and Reddy 2017). Scientists have shown that from birth we continue to grow throughout our lives shaping and reshaping our consciousness, building our ability to achieve by means of rationality and focused approach to understand what we are. Unfortunately, we have ended up pursuing interests ranging from material possessions to impressing our social circles, seeking momentary thrills and growing our greed exponentially. The world that we live in today depends on how we are judged by our social circle and by society at large seeking to be like the other (Baumeister and Leary 1995). Our opinions and our identity today depends on our reward driven obsessive system wherein our natural tendency to logical questioning gets discouraged and we are rewarded for actions that we often don’t see the meaning of and become dedicated to seeking approval of others (Edwards 2017).  Our whole purpose of life is the life of others, which comes with reward based conditioning at an early age. Kindergarteners and first-graders demonstrate a high level of enthusiasm with their logical questioning and thinking, as they question everything around them, but as adults this curiosity fades away where the focus is on acquiring to be content of materialistic desires and beliefs (Peterson 1979).  
Lack of contentment leads to greed wherein the scope of logical thinking is diminished (Chan 2009). Politicians scare us with inaccurate claims, while corporations lure us into happily consuming toxic substances advertised along with an imagery of laughter and joy preferably from known individuals who are idolized to be perfect in society (Zaller 1999; Cawley et al 2013). To understand how we have changed, we need to go back a few years when cell phones were considered inappropriate for teenagers or for use on public transport and we could barely imagine why anyone would want to put random thoughts along with personal pictures on the internet for everyone to see. But this has changed, now about everyone is sensitized into having an active social media account and in only a few years taking selfies went from a strange and narcissistic habit to a cultural norm leading to mental health issues and suicidal cases (Alloway et al 2014; Ling and Haddon 2008); as if we opened the door way to hell. In a world with a continuous stream of tragic events we can easily be influenced by the chaos, but we no longer risk our lives in order to make a difference; our inaction kills on a daily basis while we mentally recite to ourselves the mantras we have been taught and join in the hypocrisy. We are conscious beings and we had to go through a long way to reach here; a journey which began in the stars.
Why have we become what we are? It is an existential question and the answer lies in our evolution and our manifested consciousness. We often question our consciousness with respect to all our trivial problems unknowingly seeking answers from the thoughts that reside in our subconscious. We are practically nothing and we came from nothing and there is nothing there to see when we seek consciousness. As a fundamental constant, energy exists and we see it manifested as work force, consciousness is also a fundamental constant that exists, and we observe it as an experience. In our quest for finding some sort of core of what we are, we can look even deeper and zoom in on the basic building blocks of what we are made of, but if we peer into the individual molecules that make up our cells, our findings become mysterious, not only will we not find any mysterious trace of a soul, we will also not bump into any kind of structures that science claims as tiny particles that everything else is made of.  We are waves that behave similarly to vibrations of sound or ripples in water, built in the oscillations of matter, the peaks and valleys of these quantum waves are not made of anything tangible, they are waves of probabilities. Our universe is inherently probabilistic and all the things in it cannot be 100% predicted with certainty (Villenkin 1989) but does exist as patterns or fractals (Schmitz 2002; Reddy and Pereira 2016) manifested out of nothingness.
Consciousness and nothingness are constants which we can never seek; made up of nothing but a sea of probabilities via the route of evolution over a period of 4 billion years. Our consciousness is an event of capacity for learning and course correction, making us sentient or self-aware, capable of interpreting our own evolutionary drives and our purpose in ways that can even go against our survival. Despite knowing that we have come such a long way by nurturing our own consciousness; we seem to be less content with everything that we have gained. The mere thought of our existence in actuality should make us leap in joy, but we frown over thoughts and things, which are short-lived and trap ourselves into the deep depths of needs and greeds. Somehow our cognitive evaluations seem to dominate in the overall evaluation of life and we infer happiness on the basis of our content (Rojas and Veenhoven 2011). We evolved for a reason wherein all the mechanisms that we learnt were to overcome the obstacles in our path where life fundamentally aligns itself with reality, genetically and biologically, instinctively and intellectually. But as we grew we aligned ourselves to imitating others, parents, friends, teachers and with various cultural and religious influences which over powered our true inner selves. This is not something that we are born with, but get forced into, because our reward system only values their approval more than logical deduction, trying to live up to the expectations of society and family (Combes 1998).
In the present we can much better comprehend the cold heartedness of a career fixated individual if success or social validation is what he or she craves more than anything else in comparison to an individual who spends all resources helping siblings or parents wherein family is this person’s core drive (Wood 2000). Lack of contentment in adults is usually a result of a childish attachment that lurks in our subconscious; where the sub conscious overcomes our inner consciousness making us dependent on a thought that is created by the world around us and not by the logical thought provoking process that is suppressed within us. We often see logic as the opposite of emotion but instead it is the engine of our emotions and it provides reliable answers when we are frustrated or confused (Ciompi 2003). Logic is what creates rhythm or structure; is fundamental in the melody of music and the colors and symmetry of flowers, it creates biological machinery so intricate and rich that they can become self-aware, capable of love and selflessness being able to observe the majestic logical patterns that created them. Logic is innocence, the prime directive of our consciousness, which we must value as such if we want to break free from the clutches of hollow reward mechanisms.
Satisfaction can be achieved when one can feel the flow of consciousness; can experience the outcome of consciousness; can understand the subjective state of consciousness and most importantly, understanding the nature of acknowledging the relevance of consciousness and its beauty (Pereira 2015). Consciousness plays an active role in processing information and making decisions (Koch and Crick 1991), it has a say in what our most deeply rooted core motivations are; concepts and ideas only have power over us when we emotionally invest and hold on to them. If logic is not applied the role of consciousness is diverted from its task positive network of making us selfless, clear-headed and focused to actually being a selfish, confused and unsatisfied individual. Logic pushes the limits of our consciousness to explore the vastness of its emptiness; it creates an awareness that is often described as being in the present or being in a state of flow wherein rather than identifying with our thoughts we become an observer of them and are much more inclined to follow reason over impulse (Brown and Ryan 2003). The best example to understand the importance of logic is when we apply it to superstition, which has reduced considerably over the years because of our logical thinking, wiping away our sub conscious values, which we had gathered in the past. Logic makes us selfish in the other sense, where we become selfish for love, compassion and kindness, which are derivatives of a mind that uses our inner consciousness.
Reward based conditioning is what drives the lack of satisfaction that urges us to survive on greed and envy. We need to realize that we live in a probabilistic universe which emerged from a probabilistic occurrence not known till date, in such a probabilistic universe with our ability to reason we can come up with pretty good approximations of what the best action is at every point in our lives and if done in the sense of logic can supersede our subconscious values of social validation and greed for reward and recognition. Everything takes place in our consciousness and there are no limits or borders of what is a part of our existence, nothing is external (Pereira and Reddy 2017). Each second the consciousness that emerges from our perception is different, sometimes unrecognizably so from what it was a second before. The truth is that every moment we are a new entity that existed only for that one single moment and will never manifest itself again; no experience can truly be replicated; no identity can ever reflect an ever changing synergy in the endless stream of experience. The only place where this memory resides is within the infinite space of nothingness that we are all made up of.
For their benefit, philosophical or religious beliefs tend to provide an explanation to our existence conditioning us with the concepts of sin and fear in relation to the existence of an external granting source. Seeking the path of logic and science in the infinite realms of our consciousness provides an expression of the emptiness that exists within all of us and its importance and falsifies such kind of beliefs. The void is what decides and manifests for us; the nothingness is where all physical and non-physical emerge. Consciousness emerges from the vast interplay of star dust becoming aware; countless genetic mutations for thousands of years led to the evolution of culture and necessity to form complex thought and finally our current society’s condition, education, social influences and parental guidance all elements combine to eventually creating these experiences; all of it is interconnected. Despite knowing all of this our individualistic ideology programs us to only care when there lies a benefit to themselves making them inherently selfish wherein our ideology is a façade; a collection of excuses that we let ourselves and each other get away with. An attempt to be logically selfless can seem scary as it threatens all the conditional attachment that emerge in a culture where enjoyable feelings are considered the ultimate goal but it leads to far more fulfillment than chasing our positive emotions as our ideology demands.
We are deeply programmed with a set of requirements that must be fulfilled in order for us to experience abundance; requirements that are often so elusive that we become mostly entrapped in this scarcity mindset but as soon as we see through this which can be achieved in many ways, we are able to distinguish truth from indoctrination, to dispel our confusion and dissolve our apathy. Behind everything there is a logical reason we can find when we choose to follow curiosity rather than fear. We don’t have to feel regret or guilt when we know our intentions are pure and we did the best we could at the time with the knowledge that we had. The world can seem like a cold and dark place when this knowledge leads us to recognize the selfish motives behinds people’s actions and how it causes idealistic movements to scatter and fall apart but with these insights those who choose to not make life about them and can seek out and trust each other.   Over billions of years molecules configured themselves into complex units that we call human beings; these units are like cells in the body of humanity wired to evolve and move it forward. This is what brought about the evolution of manifested consciousness wherein we became highly conscious beings with the ability to create and destroy ourselves. Evolution has fundamentally programmed us so that we want our beliefs to align with reality. Logic is innocence, the prime directive of our consciousness, which we must value it as such if we want to break free from the clutches of hollow reward mechanisms that exist in the world today.
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Dr. Contzen Pereira (Editorial Board Member/Contributor)
Independent Scholar, Mumbai, India
Corresponding Author. Address: Nandadeep, Chakala, Andheri (East), Mumbai 400 099, India. Email Address:,