Re: Levels of Consciousness

Jesse S. Cook III (jcook@AWOD.COM)
Tue, 1 Oct 1996 12:01:05 -0400

On 30 September 1996, Scott Holmes wrote:

> This is a phrase without adequate definition, rather like Wade's use of the
>term "better". In discussing the idea of "Levels of Consciousness, I would
>suggest considering Gregory Bateson's ideas about learning. It may be
>profitable to consider such "levels" in terms of the degrees of complexity
>one's mind (ooops, another one of those terms) is capable of dealing with
>(ie contexts within contexts).
> Taken from this perspective, a person's "level of consciousness" is not
>a function of the technology of that person's culture but entirely that of the
>individual's capabilities.

Not so; it is *entirely* a function of a person's culture *as well as* the
person's capabilities. Remember: it isn't nature *or* nurture but nature
*and* nurture.

>I would consider a Shaman to have attained a higher
>"level of consciouness" than the average member of a tribe, as an example.
>I would consider someone like Stephen Hawking to have reached a higher
>"level of consciousness" because of his ability to handle highly abstract
>concepts "in his head". Indeed, I would consider both of these, the Shaman
>and Mr. Hawking, to have reached a higher "level of consciousness" than the
>average person walking around the streets of the U.S.A.

It depends on when the shaman and the "avarage" person lived relative to
each other; if they both lived in our time and here in the good ol' US of A,
I would tend to agree with you. But, if you are talking about a shaman of
old and an "average" person of today, then I'd say no; the "average" person
would have a higher level of consciousness. As for Doctor Hawking and the
"average" person, there is no question.

Jesse S. Cook III E-Mail:
Post Office Box 40984 or
Charleston, SC 29485 USA

" is not for our faults that we are disliked and even hated,
but for our qualities."--Bernard Berenson (1865-1959)