The Psycho-physical Transformation of Consciousness


The Psycho-physical Transformation of Consciousness

We have before us the “environmental imperative” that forces people to seek appropriate decisions to ensure the “coevolution of human and the biosphere“.  This heartening that we are being thrusted into is one that requires our truest intentionality, altogether. We believe that the transformations of environmental consciousness occur under the interdependent influence of informational, ideological and psychological components, which, in turn, are influenced by spiritual, cognitive and socio-cultural factors that dominate society. The ecological imperative, then,  determines the requirements for the transformation of ecological consciousness, the formation of appropriate environmental policy and its implementation in all spheres of life.

Intentionality comes from the Latin verb ‘intendo’ meaning “to aim, hold out, or stretch.” In the context of phenomenology, it refers to consciousness’s ability to be of or about things—how consciousness can direct itself toward objects internal (images, memories, etc.)and external (things, relations, and events in the world). Phenomenologists argue that intentionality is a central feature of consciousness.

Phenomenologists insist that minds are irreducibly embodied.. The things we think and experience—and the way we think and experience them—reflect aspects of the physical structure of our body as well as the things our body can do. So intentionality for phenomenologists is rooted in our bodies and agency. The main tool for this is the transformation of society’s consciousness towards its greening, our sights aimed higher at achieving optimal interaction between society and nature, the harmonization of material and spiritual life as a real embodiment of the ecological imperative.

Additionally, phenomenologists have argued that we do not just think thoughts or perceive things. We feel feelings. And these feelings—affective phenomena like emotions, moods, and bodily states—play an important role in shaping how the world and other people show up for us, experientially. Feelings are an essential part of the way we are intentionally open and responsive to our world.  If an intentional mental state can serve as the basis,  for the arising of a subsequent moment of cognitive awareness, then consciousness is a *causa sui* and no longer fits the explanatory model of dependent arising. 

It could be due to our evolving understanding of voluntary action and of the causal and motivational factors that inform, condition, and sanction our valuing judgments which transforms one from a normal human being into an enlightened being. This transformative experience becomes at once the source of the Buddhist metaphysical picture of reality and the culmination of all human aspirations for genuine freedom. Firmly situated within this causal web, yet unattached to its emerging phenomena, the Buddha can thus declare that we ought to regard any form of sensation, attention, and consciousness as first-personally experienced, but not first-personally owned.

A concept referred to as psycho-physical parallelism: or, the proposition that one’s so-called “subjective experiences” are intimately tied to the state of one’s so-called “physical” brain. Inasmuch, either consciousness is causally efficacious within the psycho-physical domain, wherein the so-called “material universe” gets revealed to us through the contents of consciousness, or perhaps, it may be that consciousness’ efficacy is such that it does not even admit of any material explanation for itself. That this very real psycho-physical parallelism goes virtually unexamined while topics such as parallel universes, countless hidden dimensions, wormholes, and eternal inflation (to name a few) are routinely investigated seems blatantly ludicrous.

References

__Barkai, A. On the Psycho-Physical Parallelism. Retrieved from Google Scholar.

__Colombetti G. and Krueger, J. (2015). Scaffoldings of the Affective Mind. Philosophical Psychology 28(8): 1157–1176.

__Gallagher S. and Zahavi D. (2008). The Phenomenological Mind: An Introduction to Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science. New York: Routledge.

___Krueger, J. (2019).Intentionality.” Retrieved from Google Scholar.

__Meixner, U. (2022). The two sides of being: A reassessment of psycho-physical dualism. In ‘’The Two Sides of Being.’ Brill Mentis.


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