Oct 14, 2012
During the mid 1990s two fascinating papers were presented in a publication called The Journal of Consciousness Studies.
The first was titled Conversations with Zombies, by Todd C. Moody, a Philosophy professor at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. The second was a direct response written by Charles T. Tart of the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, entitled Yes, We Are Zombies, But We Can Become Conscious!
Both papers embrace the notion that consciousness, or our awareness of our own awareness, could be a phenomenon independent from or non-essential to the processes of the brain and the nervous system and associated behavior that stems from it.
In other words, we as humans are capable of living most of the time in a reduced state of consciousness akin to that of a zombie; a waking sleep. Both papers argue that there is a higher form of “superconsciousness” as Moody calls it, or an “expanded consciousness state” in Tart’s words.
The `zombie problem’ is the problem of consciousness, stated in a particularly provocative way. Given any functional description of cognition, as detailed and complete as one can imagine, it will still make sense to suppose that there could be insentient beings that exemplify that description. That is, it is possible that there could be a behaviourally indiscernible but insentient simulacrum of a human cognizer: a zombie.
“Indeed, if conscious inessentialism is true, it is quite possible for an entire world of zombies to evolve… It is behaviours, after all, and not subjective states, that are subjected to evolutionary selection pressures. If those behaviours do not require consciousness, then evolution is indifferent to it.”
“Ordinary, ‘normal’ consciousness is indeed a zombie-like state of greatly constricted and distorted, if not absent, ‘consciousness’. I have given such ordinary consciousness the technical name of ‘consensus consciousness’ in the purely descriptive sense and ‘consensus trance’ when focusing on it as a restricted state.”
While Moody concludes that we could all be zombies living only “to the power of Z”, and never fully experiencing a kind of “mystic” interaction with higher powers or God, Tart believes that it is possible to experience an “awakening”:
“I know from personal experience that there is a transient and perhaps permanent ‘awakening’ from consensus trance/consciousness, a clarification or lucidity, that is rewarding and adaptive in itself, as well as vividly illustrating the zombie-like qualities of ordinary consciousness.
People in this expanded consciousness state or process seem indeed to understand each other fairly well, even though what they communicate may sometimes seem ineffable to those in ordinary, zombie-like consciousness”
Tart argues that by focusing the mind on “the space between thoughts”, in the tradition of many Eastern enlightenment philosophies such as Sufism or Zen, one can “awaken” from this consensus trance and realise there is a greater consciousness potential:
“I have now experienced the space between thoughts many times, that I can often produce and prolong that expanded consciousness state, to various degrees, at will, and that from within that kind of `spaciousness’, it is clear that my ordinary consciousness, where I live 99+% of my life, is indeed zombie-like. Yet in this state of zombie consciousness, which is `normal’ for our civilization, I am generally considered an intelligent, articulate and successful person.
my ordinary state of consciousness is zombie-like in the general pejorative sense of the term. These zombie qualities include: (a) a greatly reduced sense of aliveness and vitality; (b) a great narrowing of perspective and perception; (c) a consuming psychological identification with some small subset of my full potential; (d) reduced intelligence stemming from this narrow perspective and identification; and (e) a selfishness, a self-centredness as compared to a more open and compassionate attention to the rest of reality.”
Tart posits that, much like when we awaken from a dream and realise that “the dream state was a quite inferior state of consciousness,” when we return from experiencing “that ‘space between thoughts’ or expanded consciousness” to our everyday state, we are able to realise that we are living a limited existence, and that we are “often suffering over ‘problems’ that [a]re not real,” problems that only exist by virtue of our constricted mental condition.
In his conclusion, Tart urges the reader to “experiment with ‘awakening'” and warns that if we do not, we are doomed to a zombie existence:
“I believe everyone has had at least fleeting moments of expanded consciousness, even if largely forgotten in the hectic rush of zombie lifeZ, and this commentary is to remind you of them and their importance. If we do not develop this wider perspective, we shall, in Moody’s terms, just have our zombie science of consciousnessZ, thoughtZ, feelingZ, hopeZ, fearZ, lifeZ and deathZ. Speaking from my occasional experiences of expanded consciousness, that would be sad indeed.”
While Moody and Tart’s theorizing on the zombie existence is fascinating and enlightening, they do not delve into great detail regarding the origins of zombie consciousness. Specifically what is it that is restricting our mind potential? Without knowing this it difficult to understand exactly how we break our zombie programming.
Here are a few suggestions:
Food, Water, and Air – We are being bombarded with chemicals that are literally altering our brains and the way we interpret reality. Fluoride in drinking water has been proven to lower IQ. Many additives and pesticides in food are toxins that shut down brain stimulation, leading to a general lack of concentration and apathy. Unlabeled GMO food has been proven to cause all manner of ailments in lab animals. No one quite knows why chemtrails are being sprayed in our skies, but the resulting heavy metals that we are breathing and that are entering the soil are directly affecting our brains.
Solutions: Eat organic, cut out fast foods, reject GMOs, educate others on the existence of chemtrail programs.
Drugs, Vaccines – Big pharmaceutical companies make money from getting us hooked on substances and medications that do not cure us from anything, but literally alter our brains. More than one quarter of U.S. children are on some form of mind-altering medication. Vaccines containing mercury based preservatives are being given to children and babies. Mercury is a deadly poison that accumulates in the brain.
Solution: Avoid anti-depressants, research natural remedies, educate others on the dangers of vaccines.
Television – TV induces a state of semi consciousness. It literally alters the state of the brain. In young children it inhibits development of social skills. See our piece on how TV is zombifying humanity.
Solutions: Turn it off! Reading and radio increase cognition and build neuron paths.
Education – Public schools promote systems of control and encourage subservience to those systems.
Solutions: Charlotte Iserbyt’s book The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America, lays bare the role of Globalist foundations in shaping a future intended to produce servile drones lorded over by a fully educated, aware elite class.
Media agendas, Propaganda placement – Perception of reality is shaped by a large extent by what you read and watch. The mainstream media is wholly owned by large corporations who have their own agendas, which do not incorporate your freedom of expression and critical thinking. The same big corporations own the large movie studios and TV companies. Propaganda placement and predictive programming is now an accepted part of programming and films.
Solution: Seek alternative media sources, expose media lies. Research predictive programming techniques and learn to recognise propaganda. Author Alan Watt has written extensively on the subject.
Bread and Circus – Everyone loves to watch the occasional football game. However, modern professional sports have become nothing more than big businesses promoting tribalism and division. They are riddled with corruption and serve only to distract from reality. When more people protest and riot over sports matters than they do over real issues, it indicates serious social zombification.
Solution: Engage in and support local sports. Switch off. Refuse to pay huge amounts of money to watch major sports events.
Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham in England.