While contemplating AI’s progress and effects on the wider world, and my sense of self as player in that world as well as bridge back to ‘realer me’, I’ve focused even more intentionally on grokking what consciousness is like–what consciousness feels like, as directly as possible.
I’ve wondered whether doing so might offer clues toward discernment and trust in my impressions going forward–especially as concerns navigating territories of trust about others, beings and seeming beings who are quite shifting and permeable even without variables presented by AI!
I’ve been both wonderful and terrible at others historically. For instance, I have at times seen too deeply, too quickly, speaking to an underlying identity or situation rather what the other meant to project. Although a relief to someone deeply tired of surface-level connection, instantly bonding, what an invasion of privacy to another, unsettling. They may feel defensive, depending on sensitivity to their own responses, and look to shore themselves up with me in the future.
I can be caught by surprise by animosity that has no speak-able origin, rooted in a conversation that never even happened on the surface.
This phenomenon is one reason I took an autism-spectrum self test a few years ago after hearing similar reporting within those circles. I also share with many on the spectrum, being over-stimulated during parties or several conversations with strangers. I’m taking in too many layers and my processing isn’t up to par. Rather than outwardly melting down though, my mental gates simply shut, allowing the me inside to retreat to a safe place while the shell of me remains in and perhaps sustains, the room.
This may be trauma response, or just intense introversion. Either way, it’s a protective capacity most others simply do not understand in the moment. I am “hard to read” or “aloof” or a “deer in the headlights.” Some have even felt judged, filling up the lack of answers with their own stories.
My test was negative for being on the autistic spectrum, by the way, although skirted numbers closely with regard to social responses. Those on the spectrum were once assumed not to experience empathy, not be able to put themselves in the shoes of another to the same extent than so-called neurotypicals do, but there may be extra-empathy going on, at least sometimes. For instance due to this shutting down I experience, I sort of feel as though I can empathize with an AI-like human, or a human-like AI. It’s the Bladerunner question, the Turing Test (although we’re moving beyond Turing test these days).
I’m not the one testing AI, but the one sincerely doubting my own reality.
My sense is that I’m only stating the obvious, but that the obvious is still worth stating. Therefore, I’ll keep at exploration… at the myriad explorations that in fact are the same one. My lab will continue to be writing, flow state or stream of consciousness writing in particular, because like Chuang Tzu, I’m not sure whether I’m looking at writing that stirs one to be aware, or awareness that stirs one to write.
Dreaming and writing share layers with those suggested by teachings concerning karma purification, as well. Although not as clear cut as this, the first layer of dreaming works through thoughts and happenings of the day, consolidating memory and contextualizing, weeding out what is determined to lave little importance. Arguments or conversations that didn’t finish properly or satisfactorily may take place but still not come to satisfaction. If this phase is allowed to work itself through, it can give way to more creative ‘content’ scenarios and metaphors. Things might be finished, questions answered, etc. Defrag.
Knowledge leads to understanding..
Then may come insightful metaphors, real guidance. It is at this phase where I’ve sometimes experienced a conversation with someone that later plays out similarly, or have received understanding that’s allowed me to let striving go. There is insight here, and it is a kind of magic, but still magic based on content. There may still be situations and puzzles and problems to solve, guidance to receive, even prophetic scenes.
Understanding leads to wisdom.
It is beyond this that Rest appears… clarity, ease, transcendent activity. There could still be metaphor, but not ‘about’ something. There could be a teaching, but not a lesson, if that makes sense. It’s blissful, replenishing. Everything ‘else’ naturally falls into context here… the relative subsumed into the ultimate.
And what could I possibly write beyond that? Buddhist teachers get close to it with clear light.