The Ghost in the Machine pt. 3b

I’m calling this post “3b” because it is more of a continuing thought that relates to the video and, in particular, the claim made by Dr. Anil Seth that there is no light or sound inside the brain. It didn’t seem right and I found that following this intuition led me to a way to describe the perspective of somatics as the shift from 3rd person to 1st person.

So, I wondered about whether or not there is light or sound in my brain and realized that, yes, there is light and sound not just in my brain but throughout my whole body. I see in dreams and feel a drum. Anil Seth also has this experience. So does everybody. We all have light, energy, and vibration coursing through in a continuous flow. Interoception is the means by which we know this.

I’ve heard it said that the only way to understand yoga is to practice it and that meshes with my experience. Yoga philosophy sees the mind as existing within a field and as a manifestation of the field. The field corresponds to the quantum field as described by modern science. This field, we’ll call it the Field with Many Names, is where yoga and countless other traditions throughout time have always believed consciousness to originate. I think the way for this idea or notion of consciousness as a field can be tested scientifically easily enough, and has been. Somatics works because of the reality that consciousness is a field and so the body seen as all mind is open to having what is best described as a direct experience with the nervous system.

Direct experience is a kind of unified experience of the layers of self. These layers can be understood generally as physical, sensory, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Different traditions have different ways of dividing these up. Yoga sees five koshas, or sheaths, which are essentially the same as the five above. SomaYoga makes it simple with three; the mind, body, and spirit. You can make it two, mind and body, and still that’s enough for somatics, though adding the spiritual allows you to see all the “in-between” of what otherwise devolves into an unproductive dualism. What’s a thing and what’s not? Hard to tell. When you have the third flowing element of spirit then your experience softens and the mind can move into the body and see the layers clearly.

Because I detoured quite dramatically into what became a labyrinthine thoughtburrow of light and sound I will shift to the collective reality we “hallucinate”. There is a cultural shift underway towards the somatic view of ourselves and the world through our knowledge, our language (English in my case) and the multitude of representations we use to convey our experience to others who make up this culture that I am helping to create and renew. We change and create our forms. We invent new ways to represent the cosmos with different language, borrowed language, and invented language. We don’t need to wait for it. It’s already happening.

I think and endeavor to promote this thought that the necessary way GitM culture goes from here is towards the embodiment of knowledge derived from modern science. This embodied knowledge in each of us is a part of a many many layered experience of culture that we all participate in and are manifestations of. We have all sorts of inherited cultural means for renewal which have been neglected or forgotten entirely. I like to call this cultural amnesia. We are materially rich but too distracted to recognize the cost in other dimensions of life. As a result we feel unbalanced, the scales being tilted towards acquisition and distraction at the expense of contentment and presence.

In it’s own particular way, GitM has succeeded itself into obsolescence. We went to the moon, we talk to people on the other side of the planet, we get in a plane and go visit those people. But we also turn night into day, turn living spaces into wastelands, and poison ourselves with our pollution. A part of being present is seeing that everything we do leaves an impression in the fabric of being, and this is not truly knowable through material science alone. We have to see it in ourselves, too, and there is nothing new in this message.

With that said, I can now turn more fully to the promised practical uses of all the somatic sciences available to us as cultural beings. Have a superstar Monday!

1 thought on “The Ghost in the Machine pt. 3b”

  1. Grant, you always give me so much to ponder. But I think Western science is slow to catch on to some of the wisdom that Eastern spiritual teachers have known for a long time. The best books I’ve read lately seem to bridge the gap between the two, and yoga is one of the disciplines that for me has helped me to do that. Not to get too “woo woo” about this, but by restoring my body’s nervous system to a calmer and more balanced state, I really feel my spirit or soul has been nourished in a way I cannot put into words. The logical, rational part of me fails to articulate that, but it seems nothing short of a miracle to someone like me, who has been schooled in the more scientific evidence-based domains. Belief plays a strong part in all of this, and so believing I can be healed and life in a more integrated way started with yoga and meditation for me. I look forward to reading more about your direct experiences (outside of the academic stuff) on this blog as well. I hope you will share those aspects also!

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