Aliveness may be divided
into four levels:
- Unconscious perception
- Metamind or self-consciousness
- Universal consciousness
All animals occupy the first
level of aliveness; the higher animals, such as dogs and squirrels, show signs
of occupying the second. Only humans frequent the third level of consciousness,
though apes and dolphins may occasionally "pop up" into self-awareness
when trained in the use of language.
Some humans, including the
prophets and those who meditate, have reported occasional experiences of an all-embracing
aliveness, a mentality as different from self-consciousness as self-consciousness
is from the simple form of consciousness, which lacks the perception that one
Luckily for us, only
the first level of mentality is now being aggressively transferred into electronic
systems. We've got a monopoly, for now, on the other three.
We need not concern ourselves
with simple consciousness; all normal people possess it, even when asleep (if
dreaming). We need not focus excessively on universal consciousness, in spite
of its profundity and importance. We have our hands full with meta-consciousness,
which is a sometime thing and practiced imperfectly by most of us.
The key opportunity today
is to foster "full-time" metamind and to improve its quality and the
behaviors stemming from it.