The Evolution of Consciousness



Consciousness is a matter of self-reference. The more you ask what consciousness is and whether or not you are conscious, the more conscious you are. What is a thinking person? It’s a person who thinks. The more you think the more of a thinking person you are. What is a conscious person? It’s a person who reflects on his consciousness.


NO animal reflects on its consciousness. Very few humans reflect on their consciousness (i.e. are mostly animalistic). The central tools for investigating consciousness are of course reason, logic and intelligence. The more you exercise these, the more conscious you are.


Without explicit control over reason, logic and intelligence, it’s impossible to be conscious. The less rational, logic and intelligent you are, the less conscious you are.


The cosmos becomes conscious when it becomes intelligent. On earth, humans alone have achieved the requisite degree of intelligence...and there’s a vast range of human consciousness from barely conscious to verging on divine consciousness.


Animals are sentient i.e. can feel and sense, but they have no language (at best they have rudimentary signaling capability). Human beings are sentient and have language. This allows them to narratize their lives i.e. to tell a story about the events happening to them during the day (and from this they can construct a personal identity and sense of self). However, the nature of this constant narrative is that it can’t be switched off. So, even when someone is actually being controlled by subconscious impulses, they have to rationalize what their subconscious has caused them to do. They think they chose it when in fact they were simply rationalizing after the fact whatever their subconscious chose to make them do. This isn’t consciousness - even though it’s often called that. This is what the Illuminati refer to as “narratized sentience”: sentience turned into a narrative told by a narrator (a “self”): “I did this, then I did that, then I did another thing and another…and so on until I fell asleep…and then I started all over again when I woke the next day.”


True consciousness is about being the authentic initiator of your conduct, not the reactor to what your unconscious mind has decided to do. Conscious people are those who engage in activities that are not characteristic of the unconscious. The unconscious is concerned with feeding, fighting, flight, safety, sex, recreation, seeking pleasure and avoiding pain, social interaction, group acceptance, body language etc. The unconscious does not engage in philosophy, self-awareness, self-reflection, pondering what it is and how it came to be. These are the activities of the conscious mind. So, someone who is engaged in these activities is conscious while those who are simply turning their animal existence into a day-to-day story are not truly conscious.


With our definition of consciousness, very few people would genuinely be considered conscious. (Strictly speaking, what we call consciousness is actually “self-consciousness.”)


If you stop and analyze human behavior intently you can have an incredible epiphany when you suddenly see the human beings as nothing but animals that can speak and narratise their instinctual behavior.


Animals are sentient but lack language and cannot create a narrative based on the self. The vast majority can’t even recognize themselves in a mirror. They are like Cartesian automata. So, although they are sentient, they are not conscious in the conventional sense, and certainly not self-conscious.


Humans, thanks to language, can turn sentience into a waking narrative. Each person is at the centre of their own drama, their personal movie (the camera filming their world at all times shows the view through their eyes: in filmmaking, this is known as the POV - Point of View - shot). Each person is an “I”. This is what is typically called consciousness.


But “real” consciousness is actually “self-consciousness” (consciousness reflecting on itself and knowing what it is) or “meta-consciousness” (consciousness reflecting on consciousness).


Most humans are stuck at the narratizing sentience stage of consciousness. They rarely get anywhere near self-consciousness. They are like language-equipped animals rather than high-functioning human beings. Only self-conscious humans are capable of achieving gnosis. Narratizing sentience will never get you there.


How was the gap between animal sentience and human consciousness bridged? The bicameral human mind introduced the “talking unconscious”. As humans evolved rudimentary language skills - grunts indicating various objects and various commands for action such as “fight, “flee”, “find food” etc - what was really happening was that the unconscious mind, in the right hemisphere of the brain, was vocalizing itself. The left hemisphere contained the incipient consciousness, but it was totally subordinate to the right hemisphere and regarded the right brain voice, or voices, as “the gods”. The unconscious knew exactly what it was about (thanks to instinct): the “conscious” mind didn’t. It was fearful, confused, uncertain and only too happy to listen to the unconscious.


However, as sophisticated language skills began to develop in the left brain, something astounding happened. The word “I” entered the human universe and changed everything. In the bicameral world, the left brain regarded itself as “it” being ordered around by the gods. It had no sense of autonomy. It was entirely dependent on the right brain voices.


Once the left brain could start narratizing the world - turning everything that happened into a story based on structured sentences (grammar), it found itself obeying an inescapable sentence form based on subject and object. There was a “doing thing” (the subject) and a “thing to which it was done” (the object). Over and over again, this sentence form was repeated and reinforced. Now, while there were many different objects having things done to them, the doing thing - the subject - was always the same (from the perspective of each individual person). Hence this became an enduring, static thing - a self. The word “I” was born, and the world of “I” came into being. Consciousness made its first fateful appearance on our planet!


Memory is of course vital to narrative development and is directly linked to language development - you need to be able to remember the language for one thing! Narratized sentience invariably leads to more sophisticated language skills and improved memory, and these then provide the foundations of true consciousness where a consciousness reflects on its own existence as something completely separate from the instinctual, unreflective world of animals. While narratized sentience is still firmly in the animal realm, consciousness might be said to be “angelic”: it is starting to transcend the human condition and move into the divine sphere.


Note that language, memory and consciousness all move forward together, and they all rely on MULTIPLICITY i.e. they need a group of people. It is IMPOSSIBLE for consciousness to develop on its own. As Jaynes rightly observed, consciousness is not genetic. If it were, children raised on desert islands without another soul for company would be as conscious as ordinary human beings. This never happens. There are cases of abandoned children being brought up by animals in the wild, and none of them were found to be conscious: they were all profoundly like the animals that reared them. If dogs were the “parents”, the children acted like dogs, not like humans. Consciousness is a learned, social phenomenon. It does not exist in isolation. So, the Abrahamic idea of an eternally conscious, intelligent “God” is utterly absurd. The social nature of consciousness is nothing other than a disproof of the existence of the Abrahamic Creator God. The cosmos evolved consciousness: it did not start with it.


In the bicameral world, the left brain was an object in relation to the dominant right brain, hence the Greek hero Achilles might have said things along the lines of: “Achilles was commanded by Zeus to do x. Apollo appeared to Achilles and told him y. Achilles enjoyed a night under the spell of Aphrodite.” (It would be impossible to regard oneself as an autonomous self if one felt oneself the puppet of an alien voice inside one’s own head.)


As language and grammar evolved, Achilles was eventually able to move away from referring to himself in the third person and use the first person instead. He could say: “I did x. I did y. I made love to z.”


Nietzsche wrote, “I am afraid we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar.” However, it’s also possible to say that it was grammar that removed everyone’s personal experience of hearing the voices of the gods in their own heads. “I” killed the voices of the gods. The internalized narrative, based on “I”, taking place during every waking second, replaced the gods’ voices. The “I” became so strong, so dominant that the left hemisphere with its advanced language skills became dominant and the right hemisphere its slave. Exactly the opposite was true in bicameral times, with the right hemisphere being dominant and the left hemisphere its slave. So “consciousness” took over from the hallucinated voices of the unconscious.


But, of course, although the unconscious has fallen silent, it hasn’t gone away. It still conveys its messages as before, but now they are converted into part of the “I” narrative, even though they didn’t originate with the conscious “I” at all. They are rationalized by the conscious self and claimed as its own work, even though it did not actually cause them.


Many if not most people remain fundamentally bicameral and their lives are effectively an after-the-fact rationalization of the commands of their unconscious. They are like actors in a movie, reading a script, but it was the scriptwriter (the unconscious) that provided all the words and actions.


Conscious people are those who are scriptwriter as well as actor. They understand themselves so well that they control (and minimize) the influence of the unconscious, hence are not its slaves. Their narrative is a true narrative. They are not dummies being controlled by the unconscious ventriloquist.


Abraxas, the True God, is fully conscious. He has no unconscious at all. All those who achieve gnosis become fully conscious like Abraxas. That, in fact, is what it means to be God. You have infinite conscious control, even over matter.


Nietzsche wrote, “Our so-called consciousness may be a more or less fantastic commentary on an unknown text which is unknowable, yet felt.” This is a superb definition of the consciousness of average men and women. In truth, it is not really consciousness at all but narratized sentience.





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Next week will be the longest and perhaps most important article. It will cover the topic of souls. Just like many of the other articles shared on this site, you will likely find, as I did, that you get the most out of them by reading them multiple times. Here are a couple gems from next week’s article:


“Psychologically, the hero’s task is to allow his ego to perish so that his Self may be born. Whereas the ego is limited, narrow in its outlook, afraid of change, the Self is expansive, fully part of the cosmos, brimming with energy. It represents a whole new way of being, higher, more connected, more adventurous. The confines of the old ego are obliterated.”


“The key to self-development is for an individual to rise high above his ordinary self, then look down and see how limited his personal perspectives and conscious ideas are in comparison with the vastness of the collective unconscious that stretches all the way back to the very origins of the human race, and then to the roots of existence itself.”


“The soul is not some spooky, anti-science entity that exists in some weird dimension defying definition. To understand the soul, it is necessary to understand the true nature of reality, and that is best done within the framework of philosophy, science and mathematics. Religion is not at odds with these subjects. Instead, it is the final meaning that emerges from them, their logical and inevitable culmination.”