The human biocomputer (or brain) is a fantastically sensitive instrument with enormous capabilities. But like any complex tool, it cannot be used optimally unless cautions and training are given to the user. We can easily be misled into the illusion that our consciousness is aware of what is really happening both inside our biocomputer and in the outside world of our body and the people and things around us.
Our consciousness is somewhat like the president of a large business who has information on a small part of the space-time events that are going on in the many offices and factories of the corporation. The president receives preprocessed abstracted information. Normally, he works from abstractions of abstractions. It is therefore most important that he be conscious of this abstracting process. Similarly, you and I, as users of our magnificent biocomputers, should realize that our consciousness can only be aware of perhaps one-millionth of the incoming information each second of the day. Every hair on our body is connected with our biocomputer. All of our internal organs are.constantly sending information to and receiving information from our great biocomputer — usually on levels below our consciousness. Our receptor organs of sight, sound, touch, taste and smell, plus the kinesthetic senses which give information regarding our body are continually sending in millions of impulses per second toward our biocomputer. The eye alone is connected to the biocomputer with over two million nerve fibers. The ears are connected to the biocomputer by over a hundred thousand nerves. This tremendous mass of data going into our biocomputer second by second would be absolutely overwhelming if it were not for the underlying systems of organization that automatically abstract, classify, suppress, or distribute this huge flood of incoming sensory information. Our consciousness operates on preprocessed, filtered abstractions of abstractions received from various parts of our biocomputer.
Our universe is made up of matter and energy. Every material object is composed of atoms, which in turn are made up of even finer subatomic particles such as electrons. These are in an incessant state of zizzy-fast motion. Atoms group together to form molecules, which are still too fine to be registered by our five senses unless special instruments, such as an electron microscope, are used. The smooth table that I experience with my fingers is an abstraction from the table on the atomic level that is composed of flying atoms. A characteristic of the abstracting process is that some aspects are left out each time there is an abstraction. When our senses report the smoothness of a table, obviously a fantastic number of characteristics are left out. Our senses manufacture a smooth sensation by abstracting from the colloidal, molecular, atomic and subatomic activity that lies behind the object reported by our sensory equipment.
Our senses do not permit us to tune in to reality — they only pick up that small aspect of reality that is transmittable through electromagnetic waves. Further, abstractions take place when these are projected by the lenses of our eyes onto our retinas and transformed again into electrochemical impulses that proliferate throughout our brains. As the circuits of our biocomputer are activated by the huge stream of incoming electrical impulses, even more abstracting takes place. The tiny portion selected for projection onto the screen of our consciousness represents a highly processed abstraction of an abstraction of an abstraction, etc.
Our senses and our rational mind do not tune in to the world as it is. The picture of the world that comes into our consciousness is mostly a creation of the human biocomputer with its vast memory bank and distorting addictive programming. These processed products that reach our consciousness reflect the limitations and idiosyncrasies of our biocomputer and the programming from which it operates — just as much as they reflect the outside energies that spark the process. The part that a hen plays in the production of an omelette is analogous to the part the outside world plays in producing the stuff that is projected onto the screen of our consciousness. When we realize how our minds manipulate, suppress, change and distort, we begin to perceive the awesome way in which our heads create our world.
Although the human biocomputer works as an integrated system, it is possible to point out certain neural structures that are especially important to the student of human consciousness. These are:
The cerebral cortex is a thin outer covering of the side and upper parts of the convoluted surfaces of the brain which has from ten billion to thirteen billion cortical cells. These brain cells and their connections are the structures that enable our remarkable rational mind to be aware of being aware, to use words and symbols and to comprehend complex systems of thought, such as mathematics, science and art. Generally, other animals have only a fraction of the cortical cells that are our birthright as human beings.
Although we possess this remarkable equipment, we are not automatically experts in how to use it. Special training (such as the instructions contained in this book) are required to operate in the higher states of consciousness which represent the optimal functioning of our human biocomputer.
Unless you have freed your biocomputer from consciousness-dominating addictions and demands, your cerebral cortex will continually chew over a situation in which you do not have what you want. Your rational mind will churn away with such questions as, What did I do that resulted in my not getting this? What can I do to get it in the future? Are people trying to block me? Do people really like me? Every word that is channeled into your consciousness by your rational mind separates you by a milli-second from the deepest levels of here-and-now awareness. To be sensitive to the deepest levels, your Conscious-awareness must be attuned to the finer energies in the world outside of you and to the finer energies that arise from the complex operation of your biocomputer below conscious levels.
We can live predominantly at the fourth level without completely calming our minds. But to find the unitive state of mind that is characteristic of Cosmic Consciousness, it is vital that we control the generation of thoughts that continue the illusion of separateness. As long as our cerebral cortex is continually active in introducing and following one thought after another, our consciousness will not be sensitive to the finer energies. A degree of quieting of the rational mind will automatically occur as you reprogram your addictions. But to reach the highest levels of consciousness, the Living Love Catalyst (explained in Chapter 13) will help in further quieting the activity of your rational mind.
This quieting process may be measured by an electroencephalograph that detects alpha waves and beta waves. The subject-object activities of the first three Centers of Consciousness generally produce beta waves. As we go into the Fourth and Fifth Centers of Consciousness, our cerebral cortex begins to produce more alpha waves.
One of the underlying processing systems of the brain is the limbic system that plays a paramount part in the generation of emotional feelings. One of its major functions is to compare the incoming stimuli from the body and the sensory receptors with the program- med instructions that have been put into it by our experiences to date. The limbic system interacts with the cerebral cortex to pick up perceptions and memories and to use the facilities of the cortex for analyzing such data. The hippocampus (which is part of the limbic system) plays a part in evaluating the incoming stimuli in terms of one’s past experiences.
The amygdala (another component of the limbic system) functions tointensify an emotional response whenever the incoming stimuli do not fit the expected patterns. In other words, whenever anything new and unexpected happens, the amygdala may immediately begin to generate an emotional reaction such as anxiety, fear, anger, etc. It will send out impulses which travel through the thalamic area and trigger the release of hormones that cause you to feel upset, increase the adrenalin in your blood, speed up your heart rate, increase your blood sugar and do other things to prepare you for a fight or flight reaction.
Another part of the limbic system is the septal region which plays a part in toning down our emotional reactions. The activation of this system helps to release us from emotional tension. All of the Five Consciousness Growth Methods are designed to enable you to activate the septal area. When you consciously place your attention on finding the most appropriate method to use in each situation, you reinforce the functioning of the septal region. This results in rapidly quieting uptight feelings, calming the pounding heart and reducing the flow of adrenalin pouring into the bloodstream.
The biological function of the limbic system was to help our ancestors survive the perils of the jungle. This system that controls emotional feelings does everything it can (by enticing us with pleasure or forcing us through fear or anger) to make us follow the programming we have put into it. These emotional feelings act as dominating, sharp-pointed prods to make us do that which we have associated in the past (whether correctly or incorrectly) with our happiness, safety and emotional well-being.
Unfortunately, most of the programming that directs the activity of our emotions consists of antiquated patterns that we programmed during infancy and early childhood when we were not sufficiently conscious to clearly evaluate the addictions of our parents, teachers, etc. Because of these low-consciousness instructions still resident in our biocomputers, in most social situations we end up doing that which violates our best psychosomatic interests, our real safety and our genuine happiness.
Thus the limbic system operates below the level of consciousness as directed by our programmed addictions. Our consciousness usually becomes aware of fear, jealousy, anger, etc., after these emotional backups of our addictions have been initiated. We respond to words and personality interactions as though they were tigers about to devour us. Until we train ourselves in the optimal use of our biocomputer, our Conscious-awareness remains a captive audience of our low-level security, sensation and power programming.
Another part of our biocomputer of paramount interest to the student of consciousness is the reticular activating system (RAS (Remote Access Service)). Our understanding of the vital functions of the RAS is based on new research within the past decade. Anatomically, the RAS is a cone-shaped complex of nerves radiating from the brain stem. The nerve fibers of the RAS filter incoming sensory information and determine whether it is to be a part of the very tiny trickle of information that is permitted into our precious consciousness. The RAS is one of the brain’s most important action systems for it literally functions as the doorkeeper to our consciousness.
The activities of the RAS have traditionally been referred to by the term ego. This is the mechanism that uses your emotions as pleasure-pain whips that force you to guard your security, sensation and power addictions (and even subtler ones) and continually direct your energy toward enhancing them. The RAS decides from one moment to the next what incoming sensory information, if any, shall be reported to your consciousness. The RAS can put you to sleep or it can wake you up. If your consciousness is deeply occupied, the RAS can shut off incoming stimuli so that you can concentrate. Even as you read these words, your RAS is probably blocking out auditory sensations so that you are not aware of sounds around you and has probably been suppressing information on whether your body is comfortable so as to permit you to keep your attention on this book. However, your RAS is programmed to override your concentration on the book so that it will immediately pass on to you the fact that someone just entered the room and mentioned your name.
Your RAS interacting with your programming determines the world you perceive. You do not see the world as it is — you overemphasize the small slice of the world that resonates with your fears, desires, demands, hopes and expectations. As you grow into higher consciousness, your RAS will interact with love and acceptance programming and then your love will create your world. You will see everything (both the dualistic and the non-dualistic) as a manifestation of the energy of love. When your RAS is programmed to emphasize the Fifth Center of Consciousness, it will permit you to experience the world as an intricately beautiful complex of here and now energies that give you everything you need for evolving into a fully conscious being.
The RAS does not analyze or interpret incoming information. It works on the basis of the strength of the electrochemical impulse and whether the nerve impulses fit programmed patterns. For example, if you live next to a railroad track, your RAS has been so conditioned that it does not regard a thundering, house-shaking series of sounds as unusual while you are asleep. For someone whose RAS has not been trained in this manner, these sounds would cause the RAS to immediately awaken the individual and dominate his consciousness with the thundering clatter — to say nothing of repercussions in the limbic area!
The RAS maintains a two-way exchange of information with the cortex. As the doorkeeper to our consciousness, the RAS is affected by what is going on in our consciousness as well as playing a paramount part in determining what is introduced into our consciousness. When we operate on lower-consciousness levels, the RAS acts somewhat like the President of a country during a war. The information that is most likely to dominate his consciousness involves military matters. When we operate on low-consciousness levels, the RAS is most likely to pass on to our consciousness such military matters as security, sensations and power. When peace comes, the President can give his attention to all aspects of the country. His consciousness is no longer dominated by the urgent survival-threatening war communiques.
To use our great biocomputer optimally, it is necessary for us to repeatedly and definitely give instructions to ourselves to eliminate the old programming and to replace it with non-addictive preferential programming. As this new Living Love programming begins to feed into the operation of our biocomputer, it relieves the RAS of the dominantly urgent instructions inherent in the lower Centers of Consciousness. As you progress to the sixth and seventh levels, you escape from seeing the world through the lower-level filters that bias your perception. In these clear-seeing levels, you are no longer unbalanced by egocentric perspectives. The functioning of the RAS thereby permits a changed flow of energy. It ceases to be an instrument for the gratification or pacification of one’s personal conditioning including the mores and folkways of one’s tribe. It begins to function as a vehicle for permitting actions which maintain a continual harmonious flow between your being and your environment at all times. At this level there is a total surrender so that the entire world around you participates in the unfoldment of your life. You are no longer an individual in the ordinary sense, but a being voluntarily engaged in the evolvement of consciousness. Such a being encourages the growth of everyone around him by the power of openness, acceptance and oneness.
As the RAS responds to your efforts to uplevel your programming, you gradually diminish the intricate webs of emotion-backed demands that you mistakenly identified as your self. You watch your body and mind perform an ever-changing scenario of thoughts, feelings, sensations and actions. You realize that you have no fixed self or fixed individuality that remains intact. Your name and your ego-based memory no longer give you the illusion of being an individual. As you grow in consciousness toward the higher levels, you no longer identify the essence of you with your body, your worldly status, your programming, or your rational mind-stuff. You deeply experience your essence as being pure Conscious-awareness that just watches the drama of your life as it is acted out on the myriad stages of the world.
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