Archive for the ‘week_7’ Category

Week 8: Perspectives of Space and the Universe By John Philip Bongco

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

The Nebulous Concept of Space

In week 8, we discussed a topic that cannot be accurately defined by today’s technology and understanding (as many subjects are). We discussed the subject of space. This was a really thought-provoking idea for me. Taking a step back made me remember how many people grow up in elementary schools that teach them to accept  our solar system as being important and thus implying its prominence over the rest of the universe. It is not accurate to put a definition to space and the universe because we do not know the boundaries of space or whether boundaries even truly exist in the universe to begin with. Many people believe that space is infinite (without boundaries) and infinity—like space—is neither a tangible nor an easily fathomable subject. I believe space is a nebulous concept because researchers, scientists, historians, etc. are still trying to do the impossible by attempting to define it. When I use the word nebulous to describe space I mean that it is a hazy, vaguely and indistinctly defined term. Such an infinite and “mysterious” subject sheds light on how miniscule we are as humans in comparison to the vast world around us. In summary, this week’s lecture seemed to emphasize how our perceptions of space, the world we live in, the environments we encounter and–most importantly–how society’s idea of reality changes. This influence this has on society’s perception is exemplified in the art people produce as science continuously attempts to redefine space and reality.

Eco and Environment Friendly Space Exploration

spaceship

We also discussed space exploration which I thought was really interesting. I scanned through articles online to expand on our present knowledge of this subject and found an article with information about  a rocket that would be more environment and eco friendly for traveling in space. The picture above artistically shows a 3-Dimensional representation of a spaceship that relies on the typical energy of fuels but also oxygen  in the atmosphere to efficiently burn these fuels. Scientists call it an air-breathing ship because of its clever use of the oxygen inside its traveling environment. This would decrease the amount of fuel it takes to travel in space to begin with since most of a space rocket’s weight is taken up by an oxidiser; new state of the art air-breathing oxdisers would be less heavy and more efficient. For more information: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16682-airbreathing-planes-the-spaceships-of-the-future.html

The Future of Space Travel for the United States

Fun fact: Did you know that President Barrack Obama backs a return to the moon in the NASA budget for 2020? It seems like an awfully long time from now, but it makes sense. The amount of planning and people power it takes to travel into space could not be simple. According to an article I found online: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16676-obama-backs-moon-return-in-nasa-budget.html. Many advocates for space travel seem to be arguing for space travel to new destinations like asteroids and mars. Unfortunately, all that is visible in the “near” future for United States space travel is traveling back to the moon.

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By: John Philip Bongco

Week 7: Leona Goto 003604219

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

The human conscience: it is the ever-elusive mystery of humanity. Philosophers have fumbled over this question for centuries, scientists struggle to find a logical explanation for it, religions all over the world have their different theories for it, and the crazy thing is that everybody is born with it yet nobody really knows. It takes us to the question of our existence. Why are we here? Why do we feel? Why do we remember? What is it all for? Trying to answer these questions takes us to something almost divine, in the way that every conscious being is granted a window of perception that is all very unique. What we believe to be reality is, perhaps, is simply our mind’s perception. From this arises a question: what in the world is reality? Are all of our realities connected, as we have always believed they were? Or are they not?

Now, I’m not trying to tell everyone to go out and take hallucinogenic drugs, but I have to say that some of my current ideas on these subjects have been derived from my experiences with magic mushrooms. A couple years ago my friend and I decided that we were close enough as friends to experience a hallucinogenic trip together. We understood that depending on the circumstances and our surroundings, we could either experience something positive or possibly dangerous and frightening. So we got ‘prepared’ and took the mushrooms at my house on a Sunday afternoon. I knew it was starting to work when the weight of the air began to change: the atmosphere felt extremely dense. And then everything that I saw was breathing, whether it was carpet, the lamp next to me, or the chair in the back of the room. And I looked outside and the leaves on the trees were in this constant, ever-renewing state. My entire world was alive, serenely in flux. What I felt was this effortless ability to see my life as a whole, as if it were put into a physical form and placed in the palm of my hands. I have never felt like this before. The detachment from my own life, allowing me to see everything, made me feel something that was extremely spiritual, if grateful. I looked up at the ceiling and it was making crazy patterns, a mix between paisley and what you’d see on a Persian rug. I would see these crazy things, while knowing that they didn’t exist. The thing about hallucinogens is that, for the most part, you are aware of the fact that what you see is not real, and yet it existed in your realm because you are not faking your visions. That is led me to the revelation that, in essence, your reality is simply what you perceive. Therefore, if your window of perception (your conscience) was somehow changed or different or altered, your reality changed as well. This made me see how so many things relied on relativity.

Not to get all radical, but I believe that our society tries to make slaves out our consciousness. In so many ways, the general population’s conscience is manipulated and limited by the external forces that try to control what we want, what we think. This is why education is extremely important: because it widens our windows of perception. Knowledge gives us the tools to take in everything and make our own choices about what we think of them. Although its such a complicated issue altogether because civilization relies on the collectivity of minds, which would be impossible in an anarchic world where we all just saw everything differently…

Week 7_Consciousness_ Junki Chae

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

 

Consciousness is very interesting meaning of word. The definition of conscience is pretty complex, you might say that animals have a prejudiced outlook which is a part of conscience but they are short of other significant components that let us human being to ask the matter of conscience. When somebody has a question to a different person where they are and where they will respond with what they see, have the sense of hearing, smell, feel and taste consciously.  But practically these “senses” are nothing more than evolutionary amendments generated from side to side a grouping of natural float and natural choice.

 

Ramakrishnan talked about the meaning of consciousness and how animals from bees to naked mole rats in any case have any sense of consciousness.  His lecture fascinated me. But I would have not thought that animals can possess such as complication of consciousness. The reason I like his lecture is because of the ideas he showed and the verities of concepts and contents he raised that I’m excited about. I’ve realized that if we are to continue to understand how animals act some kind of way and how and why they are doing. We should not try to guesstimate them and end thinking that we are the only living creatures.

Do animals need protection under the law and if so to what coverage? Should some animals have more or different rights than others? There is no obvious respond sense everyone that can be asked will no doubt have their own unique estimation on the topic. The technical world has done limitless things that have made life easier comfortable and more certain compared to centuries past. Does this make it right? And if an animal gets pain for the sake of millions of humans is it just? Cats and rats like other mammals experience fear, which originates in the amygdale producing plentiful autonomic responses not to mention raising plasma corticosterone levels. These animals are in cause more like us than we are easy admitting to. The animal kingdom has no other animal other than man who has the language and mental faculties so far as we know to express a verbal or written or theoretically stated need to be free from pain, fear or to object to being used to man kind’s awareness.
Animals have the equal feelings that we have.  They feel heat and cold and hurt, all we have to do to know this is study them.  Many animals also lament for a loved one who has died, just as we do. This one is easy for many motivations.  Ever come home at night and have your little “friend” meet you at the door with a wagging tail, a happy meow, a cheerful chirp, etc.  They don’t do this because they’re hungry, they do this because they’re happy to see you.  Have you ever seen an animal protect it’s “friend” against something they “don’t trust,” be it human or otherwise?  I have.  Ever have a little “friend” stay with you continuously when you’re ill?  I have.  Ever have a little “friend” come to you and pat your face when you’re crying?  I have.   Ever have a animals that cries when you are upset and have your voice a few octaves above what it should be?  I have.   They feel joy, happiness, sadness, fear, etc., just like we do.
Junki Chae

Week 7: The Relativity of Consciousness- by Leslie Grant

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

 

An example of how a picture can lead us to perceive things in a way that is against the norm. Does this look like a levitating body? When viewed in real life, this would look exactly like what it actually is- a person jumping.

An example of how a picture can lead us to perceive things in a way that is against the norm. Does this look like a levitating body? When viewed in real life, this would look exactly like what it actually is- a person jumping.

This week’s discussion on consciousness was a truly thought provoking one. I had always found altered states of consciousness interesting, partially because they can be brought about in many ways. Many people tend to focus on the altered consciousness that comes about with the use of mind-altering drugs, but it is my opinion that the varied mind states that can naturally occur when someone is sleep deprived, or has an extreme fever are just as interesting. 

One avenue that I had not considered is the affect that art can have on one’s consciousness. It is apparent that an altered state of consciousness can inspire someone to create a work of art in a way that they never would have considered normally, but I never considered how the reverse can occur, how experiencing a work of art can trigger a different form of consciousness. That is, I never considered it until Thursday’s lecture, when the pseudo-salvia experience was presented. It was then that I realized that even everyday music and sounds have the potential to alter how we perceive the world around us. I also believe that something such as a particularly moving painting can alter our perception of reality, but music seems to have more potential to do so because of how enveloping it is, the way it allows you to block out the sounds of the outside world and replace them with the message that the artist is trying to convey to the listener. 

After contemplating all of this I was inspired to do more research regarding other ways people have intentionally changed their perception without abusing hallucinogens or other drugs, and I came across an invention called the Brain Tuner. It was invented by Dr. Bob Beck and has been in commercial circulation since 1983. The idea behind this invention is that it is supposed to release “relaxing energy” to the body through electrodes. It is my nature to be skeptical of products of this nature, and I even considered for a moment that it may be akin to electroshock therapy. I am still not completely convinced that such an invention is legitimate or even completely safe, but upon doing further research I was able to read some amazing claims. One woman claimed that after being given anesthesia during birth she had lost all of her memories for years, and that upon being presented with a cranial electro-stimulation device her memories returned almost instantly, even memories of things that she would have never expected herself to recall. This case was connected to the electrical nature of the neurons in our brains, which fire electronic signals that trigger the release of neurochemicals. It was no doubt an interesting idea. However, some of the other websites I investigated only testified to the Brain Tuner’s ability to calm people down even in the most stressful environments. When focusing on the first claim, the Brain Tuner seems like a miracle-worker, too good to be true. But when focusing on the latter, the Brain Tuner merely seems like a dangerous mind-numbing device that produces the same effects of yoga or other meditative arts. 

Bob Beck’s Brain Tuner has been linked to a lot of claims regarding consciousness, with the ability to alter dreams as an addition to the two previously mentioned. Some of the more interesting websites that I came upon are listed here: http://drdavidcohen.us/braintuner.html; http://www.elixa.com/braintuner/index.html. It is an indisputable statement that consciousness is directly related to people’s sanity, and therefore should not be constantly tampered with when the consequences are unknown. Overall, my contemplation on the subject has led me to the conclusion that that if people wish to improve their memories and stress levels, they should strive to attain these goals through more natural methods, rather than relying on developing technologies with uncertain side effects. This statement is not to be pessimistic in regards to technology. In fact, according to this website (http://educate-yourself.org/be/) it appears that Dr. Beck’s technology may have led to a scientific discovery with even further reaching possibilities than he ever imagined. It is more meant to be an encouragement to have more faith in our minds’ capabilities when working alone.

Leslie Grant

Week 7- Consciousness and Umwelt

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

To start things off, I really enjoyed Ramakrishnan’s presentation. Although it was at the end of class and my last class of the day, I wanted class to just end already. But as Ramakrishnan spoke about what it meant to have consciousness and how animals from bees to naked mole rats at least have some sense of consciousness, I really got intrigued. His presentation reminded me of my life science classes, but with less intense science and instead interesting case studies on animals’ consciousness. From my understanding, it seems like science does not give non-human organisms enough credit for having consciousness. It seems as if all animals, besides us of course, live their lives through instinct and reflexes. I never really found that true at all and now much less so after hearing Ramakrishnan’s presentation. First off, I think the best way to figure out whether animals have a sense of consciousness or not, or somewhere in the between, I think its best what defines consciousness. Consciousness, from the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is defined as a state of awareness, especially concern for some social or political cause. I guess the question to me right now is what separates reflexive and instinctual behavior from conscious behaviors. I think the edge we have on animals is that we are much more intelligent and can think through logic. Our superiority is what distinguishes us from animals. From an evolutionary point of view, we are descendants of primates. Have we involved into consciousness and are now on another level form “lesser” species? To answer what has consciousness is a combination of philosophy, biology, and psychology.

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Ramakrishnan argues that animals do have consciousness. Even more primitive organisms such as octopuses have a sense of consciousness, that they do understand their environment and not all of their choices are reflexive base. Ramakrishnan ended his presentation with the idea of umwelt. An umwelt is translated as “self-centered world”. (To understand more about umwelt, try going to http://web.archive.org/web/20060221134707/http://www.ut.ee/SOSE/deely.htm). What I got out of umwelt is the idea of perspective. That maybe from our umwelt or perspective, we see no consciousness in animals because they don’t behave or think the way we do. My neighbor had a dog and I use to always like playing with it as a child. When I would be near the dog, it would wag its tail and come over to me. It’s hard for me to grasp that this is a non-conscious response; that the dog is just doing this out of instinct. If maximizing your utility is an instinctual reaction than all of our choices as humans would also be categorized as instinctual. Now that I think of it, I never really understood why there was a common conventional wisdom that animals did not have consciousness. We all live in hopes of surviving one way or another and a lot of our actions if not all are through that basis. When we decide to go entertain ourselves in whatever way, this is to reduce stress, to have fun and feel good. We do this because we think it is bettering ourselves, or else we wouldn’t do it. So what makes this not instinctual? I think it might just have been a misunderstanding and an over dosage of egotism that made humans believe that they were special and were the only ones with consciousness. In the end, it seems based on perspective on determining what has consciousness and what doesn’t.

funny_animals_pictures_67

By Arthur To

W7 Animal Consciousness by Komal Kapoor

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

animalconscious

Professor Vesna and Dr. Siddharth Ramakrishnan gave various definitions of consciousness, primarily the Webster dictionary’s stating consciousness as “the fact the state of being conscious; awareness of one’s own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings, etc”. In that sense Dr. Ramakrishnan claims that animals do have consciousness. They are aware of their own existence, which is apparent in the elephant recognizing itself in the mirror and responding by trying to erase the X marked on its body. This reminded me of our discussion in the TA section last week about the course of human consciousness. As someone pointed out, babies are not self aware until they stop reaching out at the mirror expecting to touch another baby. The instance they can realize the image as their own self, they have started to develop awareness of their own existence.

 

Other than awareness of their own existence and surroundings, I am not convinced that animals have the high degree of consciousness that Dr. Ramakrishnan claims.  I am certain that animals have emotions, demonstrated in the behavior of pets. But I was disappointed at Dr. Ramakrishnan’s explanation of how the cuttlefish and other cephalopods camouflage. One of the TAs brought up the question of whether or not it was an automated response and the speaker never fully explained it, just stated that he could discuss it in detail after the lecture. So I am not entirely sure if the physical responses are just an evolutionary development to danger or reaction to the environment or actual signs of consciousness. The following video shows people that believe the cuttlefish is changing colors due to its response to itself, but I think it could just be a reaction to a perceived outsider, a threat. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-DusaSVHmM The Ohio State University’s Department of Linguistics defines language as a mode of communication, which many animals definitely exhibit. So does that mean they have consciousness, hence thoughts and memories?

 

The topic of animal consciousness reminds me of a peculiar chimpanzee at a zoo I visited in China over summer. The chimpanzee was eerily human, a lot like a deaf and mute old man. He would point at our water bottles and stretch out his hand, obviously wanting one himself. He continued beckoning and gesturing for one until someone threw him an empty bottle. He picked it up and realizing it was empty, turned it upside down gesturing with his other hand, clearly upset. Then someone threw him a full water bottle. He unscrewed the cap, took a swig, and help up his hand in gratitude. Strange and fascinating animal behavior and communication.  

 

<Source: “Animal Communication” by Stefanie Jannedy, Department of Linguists, The Ohio State University. http://www.lcc.gatech.edu/~mcnair/Teaching/3206-S2004/Animal_Communication.htm>

By Komal Kapoor

Week 7 Blog Psychology of Memory and Consciousness by John Philip Bongco

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

Memory and Consciousness

Memory and consciousness are subjects that were recently discussed in my psychology class. My psychology course instructor defined memory as a general term for the storage, retention and recall of events. I am excited to discuss these topics because psychology 10 has kept me interested all quarter.

Memory

hm

One interesting anecdote in my psychology readings was about the H.M. classic case. In 1953, a man with the initials H.M. had both of his hippocampi removed along with the surrounding tissue from his temporal lobes. This was an attempt to cure his epilepsy that could not be controlled with drugs alone. The hippocampus is critical for memory consolidation and so H.M. had massive anterograde amnesia. Anterograde amnesia is a disorder that inhibits one’s ability to store any new memories. In other words, H.M. lived the rest of his life in the year 1953. He also had moderate retrograde amnesia which inhibited his ability to remember any events one to three years before his surgery. On the dim side, H.M. retained his short-term memory and procedural memory as well. I found the H.M. case really interesting. Our ability to memorize things is such a luxury, but I pay little attention to it because it is natural to me. Memory is a blessing. I was curious to find out why the surgeons thought it was a good idea to cut into his brain. It obviously compromised him coming out of surgery alive.

funny

Memory is a necessity to us as college students. It is how we survive academic-life at UCLA. We come to class expecting to receive information and retain the parts of lecture that are most important. We also arrive at lecture halls to take midterms and finals and pray that we successfully retained all the information necessary to ace an exam. Some times, however, I feel that the approach that some classes take in terms of retaining information is wrong. A lot of the life science classes have a system that expects students to absorb information, quickly regurgitate it and easily forget it. My psychology class taught me that memory is a consistent work of progress. We learn something new, attempt to store some of this information in our long-term memory and must continuously refer back to it in order retain it for a long period of time.

Consciousness

I was surprised to hear a student discuss the meaning of the word qualia in their power point presentation during lecture last week. My psychology professor defined qualia as the subjective experience of perceiving one’s self (pain, feeling, thinking, etc.). We discussed that brain activity and consciousness are inextricably related. When we discussed consciousness we also studied sleep and dreams. We discussed how the sleep’s purpose is to allow the body to recover from exertions of the day and to conserve energy and avoid danger. We found out that dreams occur during REM (rapid-eye movement) periods during people’s sleep cycles. This is a period in which physical and brain wave activity is almost indistinguishable from one’s waking state. This means that we are not unconscious when we sleep. Our large muscles are simply relaxed so that we are effectively paralyzed.

dreaming

By: John Philip Bongco

Week 7 Blog _ What Makes One Conscious? _ Sarah Van Cleve

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

While we spent most of our time in class this past week discussing consciousness, I still cannot come up with a solid definition for the idea. Of course, as we discussed the reason for this ambiguous definition or perhaps lack of definition of consciousness is our lack of understanding of the idea of consciousness itself. Still, we must try to define the idea if we are to discuss it. As I attempted to define consciousness I found several similar definitions by Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary: “the quality or state of being aware especially of something within oneself; awareness; the state of being characterized by sensation, emotion, volition, and thought.” Though slightly different each of these definitions has the same idea of “awareness.” It is in the definition of awareness that the idea of consciousness can be interpreted in different ways.

To me, if one is aware then he/she/it must have a brain which can go through thought processes. For this reason I don’t think that plants and microorganisms like bacteria have consciousness or can make conscious decisions. Still, some like Siddharth Ramakrishnan define awareness in a different way. He believes that awareness is about the ability to react and does not always imply understanding of what the organism is reacting to. With this he implies that organisms even as simple as bacteria have consciousness because they react to stimuli in order to seek out food and shelter that will help them survive. My reaction to this train of thought is that bacteria are not seeking out food on purpose—it is what they are meant to do, programmed to do, and they could never choose to not do so therefore they are not conscious of their decision. Plants and microorganisms like bacteria perform the functions they are supposed to, no more and no less, just as a machine, like a clock that will always tick and keep the time because that is its purpose. Another way to question Siddharth Ramakrishnan’s definition of consciousness is to look at how the medical world defines “unconsciousness.” When a human is unconscious he or she can still react to certain stimuli like when one’s knee is tapped with a hammer causing a natural reflex of muscle contractions. According to Ramakrishnan’s definition this person who is medically known to be unconscious is conscious according to his definition only because his or her body can react to its surroundings.

With all of this discussion about living organisms without consciousness, I want to say that I firmly believe that all animals are conscious beings. Of course animals such as dogs are conscious beings with personalities (god knows my dog is pretty much a human in my eyes), but I believe that animals even as small and seemingly perfunctory as fish have consciousness and can understand the world around them to a certain degree. There is a common myth that fish have only a three second memory, but scientists believe that fish can remember specific occurrences for up to several months. Researchers have taught schools of fish that a certain sound implies feeding time so they are able to release fish into the wild and get these seemingly brainless animals to return at their command. I believe it is this ability to learn new actions, actions that are not merely instinctual to an organism that defines an animal as having consciousness.

Though I am very uneducated on the subject I’ve tried to make sense of what I’ve recently learned on consciousness and the mind. Hopefully I haven’t sounded too uneducated in my blog but I am taking some comfort in the fact that no one has the single true answer to the incessant question of what is and what has consciousness.

nemo-and-dory


It’s just too bad fish don’t have personalities like Nemo and Dory.

By: Sarah Van Cleve

Consciousness Evolved?_Week_7

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

Thinking about Dr. Ramakrishnan’s lecture on consciousness, I started to research the web for different manifestations of his argument, counterarguments, and anything related. I did this because, though Dr. Ramakrishnan’s concepts were very interesting, they seemed, as is appropriate in a survey course like ours, broad. Plus I unfortunately had to leave at four to make it to another class, so I am sure I missed a good portion that went beyond our class time. Searching, I found a concept concerning consciousness that I had never encountered before, bicameralism. Similar to what Dr. Ramakrishnan presented with the case studies of octopi and elephants, I believed humans also innately had a sense of self-awareness that was a result of their more complex brain structures and systems. However there is a psychologist named Julian Jaynes who, in the late seventies, published work that proposed that humans only developed consciousness as we know it today as recently as three thousand years ago. According to Jaynes, there is evidence to support the theory that human awareness was not developed originally and only existed in a bicameral state where one portion of the brain (the one that ‘obeys’) facilitated communication functions such as speech and language and the other (the part that ‘commands’) would generate thoughts that provided instruction. Just to note, this is an idea that I find very ‘stretched’ to say the least, but nevertheless intriguing enough to look into and discuss.

Jaynes argues that literature and records for early human existence exemplify very simple forms of awareness that do not show self-awareness, but more clearly demonstrate a sense of intellectual dependency on an outside source. In his book, Jaynes states, “at one time, human nature was split in two, an executive part called a god, and a follower part called a man. Neither part was Consciously aware.” He believes that the Gods described in early mythologies were actual parts of the human consciousness that were uncontrolled by human nature. Another example he gives is the Greek ideal of the Muse. Jaynes argues that back then Muses were understood to directly dictate the poetry and art that the artists produced, not the modern ideal that they simply inspired its origins. Again, this is a stretch in my perceptions. However, one idea that he presents that I find interesting to research more closely is his analysis of introspection found in early works such as The Iliad and Homer’s Odyssey. Jaynes feels that earlier works like The Iliad show no sense of introspection or self-awareness like later works such as the Odyssey.

All this said, the most interesting and relevant part to his discussion is his concept for the evolution of modern day human consciousness. Jaynes suggests that the eventual development and subsequent increase in municipal complexity forced growth in human consciousness. Our communities grew more complex, therefore so did we. He cites several early civilizations, such as the Mayans, that experienced periods of growth and decay, explaining that these early communities outgrew their level of comprehension and consequently failed, only returning once the human capacity for self-awareness matured enough to support their existence.

I feel this last part of Jaynes argument could still be useful even if the rest seems a little farfetched or unsupported. It is relevant to Dr. Ramakrishnan’s lecture on animal consciousness because I feel that even though consciousness, as presented by Dr. Ramakrishnan, is a product of a brain’s complexity, it is still subject to evolution and growth. Jaynes’s hypotheses for our original development of self-awareness can be related to current developments in consciousness both in animals such as the elephant and humans like ourselves.

-Sohail Najafi

Week 7: Consciousness and Beyond

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

asilaydying1Consciousness is defined by Merriam-Webster as

 

1 a: the quality or state of being aware especially of something within oneself b: the state or fact of being conscious of an external object, state, or fact c: awareness ; especially : concern for some social or political cause

2: the state of being characterized by sensation, emotion, volition, and thought : mind

But what exactly does this mean? Consciousness can be expressed as the ability to interpret and understand the different types of experiences on has within their life period. Consciousness is a very difficult concept to pin point because there are various different forms of consciousness. One has their normal conscious self, or one can be thinking subconsciously, and one can just be unconscious; as stupid as that my sound. People all over the world have at one point tried to express these various forms of consciousness.

                If consciousness understands everyday life then every single person in this world has differedali1nt interpretations of every day events or even big massive events. For example let us imagine a cute quirky couple and they have just recently gotten into a fight. Logically they both experiences the same situation however each has interpreted this argument in a different manner; he says he didn’t do anything wrong and she says you don’t understand me you lie and on and on. What happened is that both were aware of what happened but consciously they interpreted the situation based on their own past experiences and biases. This type of situation further leads into how the man and woman think about this in their subconscious mind and what they possibly dream while unconscious. Therefore it is safe to assume that all these different forms of consciousness are the same yet different.

                Art has been poking its nose into these three stages of consciousness for a very long time, and they are all expressed in various forms. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner is one of the most amazing books ever written, not only that but it is a perfect expression of the conscious mind. This book is going through the death and burial of Addie Bundren and each different section, or chapter, is an expressions of the characters conscious thoughts at that specific moment in time. The thoughts of each character are all jumbled up and are unreliable because they each interpret the situation at hand in a very different way especially when it comes to Vardaman, the youngest child of the buck, and Darl the apparently psycfk200708_03hotic one of the family.

                And then there is art that depicts the subconscious mind and the unconscious being. Two of the best examples I could think of the art works of Salvador Dali and Frida Kahlo, “The Persistence of Memory” “Dali’s Dream of A Virgin” and “Henry Ford Hospital,” respectively. Both of Dali’s paintings represent his memory in an unconscious state. Dali was a very unique individual in his views and in his ideas and his time was well spent, therefore in “The Persistence of Memory” it depicts his dream like memories of his doings in the past and possibly in the future. “Dali’s Dream of a Virgin” represents his addiction to sex, he would constantly take women in between paintings and this art piece represented one of his biggest fantasies taking a virgin in the roughest way possible, as dark as it was.  Furthermore, Frida Kahlo painted “Henry Ford Hospital” as a subconscious perspective of one of herdalidream most devastating experiences, that of her miscarriage.  “Henry Ford Hospital” is a self-portrait of her in hospital bed bleeding and crying with various symbols relating the miscarriage floating around her hospital bed. Frida Kahlo was a master at expressing her subconscious and conscious feelings in painting.

                Consciousness is a very difficult idea to grasp but what is true is that many hundreds of people try to express them in various forms whether in songs, books, paintings, sculptures, or speech it is a phenomena that leads to great and emotion provoking art work. These creators of art are trying to express how they feel and facilitate the organizational process in their mind. Some wish they were what they create and some just create to share their pain or joy to the world but in a conscious state of mind and being everything is created.

Dafne Luna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://arthistory.about.com/od/from_exhibitions/ig/frida_kahlo/fk200708_03.htm

 

http://www.virtualdali.com/#gallerySurreal1

 

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/consciousness

 

http://www.bookrags.com/notes/aild/CHR.htm