TED Conversations

Simon Lewis

Author, Writers Guild of America, west

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Conversation with Simon Lewis: How do we make the most of our Consciousness?

Due to enthusiastic responses we are keeping this conversation for two days!

My goal is to find ways to answer this most important question of our time, so others may find their inner selves. Everyone wants and needs maximum mental performance, yet school dropout rates attest to the size of the gap that our adolescents drop into. Why are these solutions a hidden secret? How can we develop an integrated approach to maximize our most precious resource on Earth — our collective consciousness — and nurture it in each of us? Why aren’t measurable repeatable approaches, to bridge the gap from potential mind toward actual mind, widely known and available to all from youth to old age, and how do we make this become a reality?
I hope you join me to discuss these and other questions,

Simon Lewis
More info about the speaker:
http://www.ted.com/speakers/simon_lewis.html
www.simonlewis.us
http://atavist.net/blindsight/

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Closing Statement from Simon Lewis

I just finished reading all of your final comments and want to extend special thanks to TED for making this civil, thoughtful and remarkably global forum possible, as well as the INK organization who originally invited me to India in association with TED, and gave a first opportunity to share my ideas before an international audience.

And I want to thank each of you, who spoke or who listened, for it is your contribution that empowers all. I understand from TED that remarkable audience of some 2,000 participated online in our swiftly assembled colloquy, with over a hundred drawn to participate with comments from countries as far apart as the USA, India, South Korea and China.

I wish all of you of the happiness to be found in seeking the hidden path toward actual mind, and I thank you for showing me how much interest and concern there is, how many tangible ideas are offered, from around the world to help achieve this for all societies and ages.
Thank you, Simon Lewis

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    Sep 27 2011: To me this is a question of awareness. I'd say that the majority of us operate in a sort of in between state where we're not exactly awake and aware but also not asleep and dreaming. How many times have you gotten on the freeway after work and just sort of dreamed your way home with no real recollection of the journey? In fact I'd be willing to go so far as to say that there are (or have been) very few human beings that are truly self aware and fully conscious. Those would be people like Michaelanlelo, DaVinci etc. It also seems that perhaps there's a function in the modern world that is limiting our ability to be aware and fully conscious. Maybe it's an over abundance of information so we become overwhelmed and sort of shut down. Maybe we have to compartmentalize our world and our inputs and our brains aren't built to handle all that stimulus. Actually now that I think about it, the times that I'm most aware and fully conscious is when I'm out in nature and my stimulus is limited. This is wordy, sorry about that.
    • Sep 27 2011: Well said!
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      Sep 27 2011: Yes, Travis, At INK on TED I describe this transition from Potential Mind to Actual Mind, and how it's the most important issue we fact--how to bridge the gap.
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      Sep 27 2011: Bridging the gap between consciousness and unconsciousness has to be a sort of instantaneous epiphany in some regards, but also must be a moment long in the making. True consciousness is the awareness of ones position in or debt to a structure of power and the knowledge of what it takes to act on it.
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        Sep 27 2011: I find that I have moments of true awareness or consciousness but then the day to day takes over and I slip back into the routine and all that. I also agree that it usually is a sort of instantaneous epiphany but the problem is that in the grand scheme of things it is just that, instantaneous. I would like very much to carry that moment with me for longer than a moment. I'm not sure I follow the power statement though. Power and my relative position to it rarely if ever has anything to do with my awarenss. In fact I'd say that proximity to power can sometimes hinder self awareness...maybe...actually it depends because I've also been inspired by more powerful or impressive people which can increase my own consciousness.
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          Sep 28 2011: By awareness of one's position in a structure of power, I mean being aware of how privileged we are, socially, economically, politically, knowing how we are treated or viewed in society and how we treat and view others in society. Marx talks of a class-consciousness wherein the poor should be aware of their subjugation and work against it and where the rich should be aware of their privileges and be inspired to share it. Consciousness is a keen self-awareness that stimulates humility and inspires courage all at once.
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        Sep 27 2011: Yes, and consciousness is the work of our lifetime, always.
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      Sep 27 2011: Good observation.
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      Sep 28 2011: Travis, Your stimulus from the mundane modern world may be limited, but not your stimulus from nature. In fact, it would be most unwise to not be "most aware and fully conscious" when one is out in nature. It's a Darwinian thing, you know.

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