Age of Awareness
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Age of Awareness

The Paradox of Consciousness

So I was thinking about the talking cat. And about what the famous cat said. “All the live long day”, “Oh Don Piano”. And I think the problem here is that it’s mistranslated. I believe given the inflection, that the cat wasn’t speaking English. The tone and delivery was reminiscent of Tartarian languages, or what we today call Southeast Asia.

But at the same time, the cat speaks with western phonetics. This would indicate that the cat is diasporic. Eastern and Western. Perhaps that is why I wish to understand what the cat is trying to say. Maybe it will help me understand myself.

Many dismiss the cat as making noises, as some kind of arbitrary exercise of the clouded cat mind. But why do animals need to have such clouded minds? Why can’t they have motives and plans like the rest of us? Cats are very assertive beings when it comes to matters of idleness. They have no need for arbitrary behaviour. They are perfectly content doing nothing when it is time for them to do nothing.

And when they are doing something, it must therefore be quite deliberate.

To think of such things is to know that the universe is full of mysteries for those who bother to examine such mysteries. I believe in fact that this is a good thing. It is not only a product of our consciousness, but the very lifeblood of such a consciousness.

Because ignorance is far more revealing than knowledge. There is only one kind of knowledge. To know that the clouds live in the sky is to know a thing about clouds that everyone else knows. Question is what happens when we don’t know where the clouds live, and we ask ourselves where.

This is when imagination comes into play. When we try to resolve this gap in our knowledge by using what we do know. We create an answer from a pool of peripheral knowledge, and assemble what we believe to be correct.

This process is one of the most highly conscious behaviours we can perform. It is what makes legends, myths, religions, stories and wonder. It is what makes books and entertainment and films. Ignorance is the kindling of consciousness.

To merely rehearse facts is a highly unconscious behaviour. It can still be useful of course, but when facts are central as opposed to peripheral, then we cannot learn. All we can do is repeat things to ourselves and those who are misfortunate enough to hear us.

Instead it’s important to really put a spoon to things, and stir carefully so that the foam goes towards the edges and we can look clearly into that strange brewing pot of ignorance. As we look deeper we begin to see not just ourselves, but also reach new conclusions about things, and then once more you find yourself obstacled by more facts, and then you stir once more. To repeat this process is to become smarter.

But it also makes for a paradox. Because what reveals our consciousness, and this peculiar essence of being and thought, what truly ontologises us is neither the beginning nor the end, but rather the journey.

It is only in our motions and our methods that we truly are ourselves. To be ignorant is universal, and to know is universal. It is only in how one traverses between these points that we may come upon individuality. That we may find ourselves in the sublime element of Cartesian epistemology.

Which is to say “I think therefore I am.”

In fact Descartes reached his conclusion regarding this for radically differing reasons than I did. He did not ontologise thought, rather he detologised it. He saw it as the one remaining element, the kind of crucible of consciousness. He stripped away all other things until he was left with the remaining commonality that was evidentiary to all things beyond the sensory.

That’s the opposite of what I did. One primary aberration to this metaphysics is of course dimensionality. He reasoned towards a singularity within the universe, his thoughts had the dimensions of a sphere. His experiment was basically to ask “How many licks does it take to reach the centre of the universe, but more importantly, what even is such a centre?”

And then he arrived at thought. That you think therefore you are.

I on the other hand arrived at it through the usage of geography and linearity, I saw it as a motion, a process, an exercise. Thought to him is a noun, thought to me is a verb.

Neither answer is wrong of course, but they are both distinct in a manner which goes beyond the instrumentality and sensory things of externality. It speaks intimately to the characteristics of consciousness.

And that’s why it is such a paradox. Because to be conscious is to be ignorant, and to want knowledge, consciousness is a struggle against consciousness.

Thankfully though, there’s always more mysteries, there’s always more things to resolve, and reconcile, and review, and recollect. We will never run out of ignorance, and that is why we are such extraordinary beings. Whether we are humans, talking cats, or whatever life may find itself getting up to.



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