Colleen Steen

Fairfax, VT, United States

About Colleen

My TED story

A friend who knows about my near death experience sent me the link to Jill Bolte Taylor's talk because he percieves similarities in our experiences. I continue to enjoy the educational presentations and insightful comments. Thank you TED for providing the opportunity to connect the world with this forum.

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

228191
Colleen Steen
Posted 7 months ago
David Chalmers: How do you explain consciousness?
Dear Christophe, A lot of folks talk at length about things they do not know about! LOL:>) It is an exploration of thoughts, feelings, ideas, opinions, beliefs, etc...is it not? What do you mean by..."It can drop to 0 if the conditions needed for consciousness to arise are not met." Are you suggesting that consciousness needs certain conditions to exist? Conditions come before consciousness? Perhaps certain conditions need to exist for an individual to recognize the energy of consciousness? I agree that consciousness may be measurable, and perhaps we have not yet discovered the method by which it may be measured? Nice to "see" you again:>)
228191
Colleen Steen
Posted 7 months ago
David Chalmers: How do you explain consciousness?
I agree Yubal, that often times some folks are obsessed with finding "THE" answer to something..."noble realities" as you say. I also agree that the quest often times becomes the focus, thereby undermining their actual intention! My use of the words "conscious effort" can be interchanged with "conscious awareness". As I stated previously, I believe consciousness is an energy which is available to all living things. In my perception (and this was mentioned by others in this discussion), the complexity of the system determines to what extent the energy of consciousness might be a factor. Plants, for example, respond to certain stimuli. I don't think they have a brain and the ability to reason WHY they respond to the stimuli. One celled creatures respond to certain stimuli, and they do not have a brain to reason and know why. As we move up the ladder of species, we see animals that do seem to think on some level...including humans who are supposed to have the most complex system. Humans have the ability to think, feel, reason and make many different choices in the life adventure. Because a human's system is more complex, it seems that they/we have more ability to be aware and focus our efforts toward using the energy of consciousness/awareness...or not...it is a choice. While expanded levels of consciousness are available to all of us, each individual chooses for him/herself the extent that s/he will be aware. I am going this morning for bilateral carpel tunnel release surgery, so I don't know how much I will be able to write in the next few days. Hopefully, I will be LESS conscious of discomfort, and MORE conscious of learning something from the experience:>)
228191
Colleen Steen
Posted 7 months ago
David Chalmers: How do you explain consciousness?
Hi again Yubal:>) It appears to be a choice for each individual regarding if, and to what extent s/he is in the process of learning. I agree that we are usually not aware of everything, and I believe there are some things we are not going to be totally aware of in human form. You say..."we are not yet there". We are here...now...and for me, learning and being aware of as much as possible here and now is what is important. I agree that our consciousness can expand, and it has to be a conscious effort on our part to allow it to expand to embrace all the possibilities.
228191
Colleen Steen
Posted 7 months ago
Daniel Kahneman: The riddle of experience vs. memory
Janos, It's not a matter of being sensitive/insensitive. Sometimes, it may be a matter of changing one's perception about external circumstances. We cannot do anything about the weather. We can, however, change our perception of what the weather means to us...yes? Regarding your statement..."A memory can filter the current experience to make us feel it in an entirely different light compared to others who don't have this memory or preoccupation with it." I wholeheartedly agree! Again...what we focus on expands. You have written an important word..."preoccupation"...or...I use the word focus. When we are preoccupied with, or focused on something, it is very difficult to change our perception. When we let go of that preoccupation/focus/expectation, there is a possibility to see things differently...make any sense? Here is a quote that has helped me move through challenging situations: "Grant me the serenity to accept things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference." We cannot do anything about the weather, so why not accept it? Perhaps you cannot do anything about some aspects of your work situation, and there may be something you CAN change? One thing you can change is your perception of how it's going to be for you every day when you go into work. Or perhaps you can change jobs and do something that you love doing?
228191
Colleen Steen
Posted 7 months ago
Daniel Kahneman: The riddle of experience vs. memory
This is true Cetin..."there isn't any sure about future". No matter what our plan is for the future, it may change because of circumstances. When we let go of our expectations of what the future might be like, we are truly experiencing each and every moment of the present life adventure:>)
228191
Colleen Steen
Posted 7 months ago
Daniel Kahneman: The riddle of experience vs. memory
Hello Janos, Planning can be part of the present moment. Holding onto expectations of a certain outcome based on our plan does not need to be part of the present moment. Disappointment often happens because there are expectations for a certain outcome based on our plans. We can make plans in the present and let go of any expectation of a certain outcome. For example: I had plans for my life experience, and a near fatal head injury changed those plans drastically. When I regained consciousness, my family and I were told that I would never function "normally" again. In every moment thereafter, I had a choice to focus on that information and be disappointed in every moment of the life experience because my original plan didn't work out....or....I could focus on exploring and learning what this new plan offered.
228191
Colleen Steen
Posted 7 months ago
David Chalmers: How do you explain consciousness?
Shaikh I do not know what it is like to be a bat, and I do know what it is like to experience several different states of consciousness. An NDE provided some information, and as I stated in another comment, it is not necessary to experience a traumatic event to connect with different states of consciousness. There are many tools, methods and practices that can facilitate the awareness of different states of consciousness which people use all the time, and I had already begun to explore some of those practices at the time of the near fatal injury and NDE. I have never stated that consciousness is "private and individual". That being said however, how each and every one of us experiences consciousness may be different. I have stated that in my perception, consciousness embraces everything that is. Regarding your statement..."And that forbids you too to compare your experience with the rest." I have not compared my experience with anything Shaikh. I have simply offered information, based on my experience and research, as well as many recorded incidents of NDEs throughout history. None of that information "explains" consciousness, and is simply another piece of information. I always participate in discussions as I wish Shaikh, and do not need your approval:>)
228191
Colleen Steen
Posted 7 months ago
David Chalmers: How do you explain consciousness?
Shaikh, I am aware of much of the research and information available regarding NDEs because I have researched it quite extensively after my NDE/OBE 25 years ago. Knowing something about an NDE and having the experience, does not necessarily explain consciousness, which is the topic of this discussion. I agree with Tim in that you seem like a nice fellow, and you are taking this discussion all over the place with your personal speculations. Although I was checking in and reading the discussion periodically, I was not motivated to write, because the discussion, which in my humble opinion you have monopolized, was/is often off topic.