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: What specifically do you mean by 'maximise our consciousness'? That phrase could be understood in many different ways - the mind has many different faculties. Are you talking about maximising concentration, memory, alertness, complexity of thought, awareness, self-discipline, joy, compassion, intuition, or what? Without answering this question, I think a focused discussion is impossible.

    "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?"
    That is an interesting question. One possible answer is that mainstream Western culture has looked down upon the consciousness and thought it less valid than the material world. The scientific method led to a worldview in which all that exists is matter and the mind is an unreliable, irrational instrument to be overcome. If this is your worldview, then you neglect training your consciousness, and instead focus on rearranging the physical world around you. This Western, scientistic worldview has been extraordinarily successful at rearranging the physical world according to human whim and - I think few will deny - has been equally unsuccessful at cultivating happy and high states of consciousness.
    This trend is already reversing. People are taking more and more interest in their consciousness and in all kinds of mental training. Maybe one reason is that scientific theories (specifically Einstein's) started to include the observer's consciousness about 100 years ago; common sense seems to catch up with science after about 100 years. Another reason is that with neuroscience, faculties of consciousness like concentration, compassion, or whatever, now have physical correlates, which make them more valid to materialist worldviews.

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