The Reality Funnel - What is Consciousness? (II)

In What is Consciousness? (I) we considered the formation of i-structures through circumscription, and in What is Awareness? (I) the alternation of perspective as such. But basically both are one and the same.

Circumscribing movement - consciousness - is of course an alternation of individual points of view. And the perception of an alternation - awareness - also circumscribes a constant center. The difference between emphasized circumscription and emphasized alternation lies in the density of the circumscribed central area. If the circumscribing alternation (for example, between facades) forms an object (a house), the content-dense center symbolizes its unity ("being inside"). If the alternation is perceived more as such, the object character is thin ("Is it several houses or one?").

The maximum of unity is in the intuitive center point, while the maximum of alternation is in the alternation itself. That is, the alternation is authoritative and the circumscription is derived. (Without facades, there is no interior.)

Now, however, the "trace" of the alternation (of the facade run) is more or less wound up in the memory, that is, condensed, and the respective awareness is only incompletely conscious of the entire alternation (for example, between three bare walls with corners and a few windows). The rest (more windows, attic, back wall) leads into the just not conscious, into a narrowing.

Awareness includes consciousness of this transition ("closer, behind"). But consciousness is in a sense the "upper" part of awareness, while awareness as such also includes the just not conscious "further down" by alternating with it. This is more than a point transition or a coagulated potential. From the alternation between conscious and subconscious, awareness "receives," so to speak, impressions and inklings that escape the more static consciousness ("a chamber somewhere").

All in all, consciousness resembles a funnel, the rim of which represents the circumscribing (alternating) movement, which condenses and narrows inward and merges with the funnel stem into the just not conscious. Only the center point of the whole movement remains conscious. Awareness, on the contrary, follows the stem to the other side ("to the back, around the corner"), i.e. it changes over there into the consciousness whose stem leads back again.

The difference is not strict: Consciousness is always awareness! Awareness is also conscious, but it points beyond and always includes more than what is currently conscious. Alternation cannot be approximately fixed. With consciousness we only try to ignore it, and then its own changeable nature slips away from us, the awareness from which it "spirals out".

The connection between awareness and consciousness was also pointed out in Individuality and Reality: Through the alternation of individual perception, a common approximation is constructed, a conscious reality (a rolling pen, a house). Since the alternating coiling is condensed during the formation of the approximation and the alternating standpoints "disappear" in the funnel stem, we do not overlook the formation of reality. However, since consciousness always creates approximate commonalities, the consciousness funnel is a reality funnel. It creates reality out of the funnel stem by approximating individualities to one consciousness, but at no point by relinquishing them. Everything remains awareness.

Some aspects may also become clear from the following figures: 
Figure 1Above, the circumscribing condensation in the reality funnel is shown. Below, a possible top view shows how the alternation of perspective condenses into an apparently static object consciousness.

Figure 2This is a summary and further simplification of Figure 1. This time I have emphasized the overall movement of perspective and the resulting spatial object awareness.


This text is an excerpt from the book