The importance of consciousness in a modern world
The world is changing rapidly. Our technological innovations will give us the opportunity to create a brighter future — but also the ability to destroy ourselves. Therefore, the discussion about morality, ethics and our internal world is more important than ever, because technology will have such totalitarian power that ordinary man appears to be powerless. If the inventions of the future will be used for intentions of harm we do have a serious problem, which has happened before. Alfred Nobel, the inventor of the dynamite, tried to make amends by endowing the peace prize that bears his name. But Nobel’s ideological trajectory was much less clear. He believed that dynamite would help governments achieve peace through deterrence, and worked late into his life developing new weapons. He did not live to see World War I and the damage that dynamite could wreak. Einstein was another inventor who himself was not involved in the process of developing atomic bombs, but whose discoveries led to the development of them. Einstein tried to control nuclear weapons and develop institutions such as the UN, which he believed could lead to peace. However, guidelines and institutions will never control an invention entirely. In a globalized society, future innovations are in the hands of society, where morale, ethics and values will be crucial for where future innovations will take us.
We can keep on coming up with exterior solutions to the human condition but if we do not fix the condition within us we are doomed to repeat the mistakes that has been the negative aspects of humanity.
This is where consciousness plays an important role. Consciousness is everything. It is our perception of the outside world, the flavors we experience when we eat; the colors we see when we watch a sunset; it is the touch of a loved one, the smell of a spring day and the tones of a piano. All of this happens within us, inside our brain, and we experience all this. Our experience of the outside world, our consciousness, is then perceived within us. You and I can be in the same room with the same people, but I perceive the situation as harmonious while you perceive the situation as unpleasant. Everything depends on how we perceive our consciousness, what paradigm we see in the world, what culture we are raised in, our experiences and our genetics. We are more like each other than we think and we have the ability to understand each other in depth, but we live in the illusion of separation that our consciousness is a unity that exists independent of the physical bodies and attribute negativity to people instead of understanding. We polarize and isolate, learn at school to write, read and speak, but we never learn to listen, never learn to understand. The lack of understanding creates more separation. The understanding of other states of consciousness enables an empathic quality that can help mankind continue to exist.
Therefore, discussion about morality, ethics and values is important. Humility. Understanding. Empathy. Curiosity. Awareness. Responsibility. Being present. These are the values our culture should focus on. I would prefer a culture that did not encourage some of the most negative qualities of human behavior, which did not encourage egocentrism and economically rewarded these behaviors. A culture and a norm that instead of glorifying the anesthesia of alcohol created a norm that allowed us to talk with each other, not to each other. Technical development and consciousness are closely linked and determine the future fate of humanity. We need to focus more on our inner world in an outer world that is currently developing faster than ourselves.