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The two parts of our beings:
One part of our beings is our DNA-based species’ nature, which includes the elements of our brain activity and awareness that evolved to contribute to our survival in the world and especially, the survival of our unique individual DNA, generation to generation.
The other part is an “accidental” outcome of DNA’s survival activities in the world – Consciousness.
The nature of consciousness:
Consciousness came about as an “emergent” property from the individual organism’s need to be able to make survival “decisions” moment-to-moment, rather than generation-to-generation as it was in simpler times, biologically speaking.
As the complexity of the organ that evolved to make those decisions, increased, a threshold was reached where the new property of consciousness appeared.
There are many dynamics in nature that show this “accidental” new emergent property appearing out of simpler activities. The universe itself is probably such an emergent property.
The essential conflict:
The conflict comes from the fact that the needs of DNA are different to the needs of self-aware consciousness.
DNA has no regard for the feelings or survival of the organism other than those that further the DNA’s propagation, whereas our conscious selves want freedom from pain and suffering and want choice over the experience of our lives.
At times, this choice goes directly against the needs of DNA – such as when we choose not to have children (the vehicles of DNA propagation).
A lot of the strange behaviour of individuals (of any species) can be shown to be an outcome of the in-built, long-term survival need of the relevant DNA. (There is a micro-organism - Toxoplasma - that has a DNA-propagation cycle that needs cats and mice: The organism can only breed in cats, so it has evolved a situation where it gets into cat faeces and then infects the mice when they come in contact with it. The micro-organism then gets into the mouse brain and causes the mouse to seek out cats and lose coordination. This allows a cat to catch and eat the mouse, furthering the breeding cycle.)
The resolution of conflict:
We try to suppress the pain and confusion caused by this essential conflict by denying parts of our being, by pretending it doesn’t affect us.
We throw ourselves into one side of our being or another or we flip from one state to another, in a desperate urge to find ease from the dilemma, but the dilemma is real.
We have no real choice but to find a way to come to terms with it.
The way each one of us resolves this essential conflict is entirely up to us.
It is possible that no particular way of resolving this conflict that anyone has yet found, is of any use to anyone else.
There may not be any one way to do so, other than through our becoming fully conscious around the whole issue.
In life, there may only be a choice between conscious awareness of what actually is, or believing and living what others tell us is true and/or a reactive closing-down of our awareness of what actually is.
It’s up to each one of us which one we choose.
A suggestion, is to put aside all ideas that we have about life, about how to resolve the pain and suffering of our core conflict, including this article, and find out the true nature of these things for ourselves.
It can be immensely liberating.
Good luck with your journey of personal liberation.
Years of research into consciousness, zero-point physics theory, emergence theory, memes and many other new understandings coming out of mathematics, physics and psychology. Ongoing work as consciousness/relationship therapist is bringing deep revelations about the nature of our psyches. Related web site: www.becomereal.com for online access to unique self growth process. Author/illustrator children’s books (e.g. I Wish My Dad Was A Pirate).