Sense and Sensation

On the beauty of experience

Everything you have ever experienced was painted in the palette of sensation.

Just as with colours, sensation mix to create new, distinct combinations. They remain paints.

Expand your view of sensation to include every possible aspect of human experience.

This ultimately frames every moment as a painting of exquisite, expansive beauty.

What's more, the very experience of self-hood is but one colour on the palette.

Some sensations you might not have singled out as being discrete:

  • There is someone right behind me

  • I think everyone in this room was just talking about me

  • I have a body that is separate from yours

  • All things are connected and deeply integrated

We are taught to think of experience in bland shades of "happy", "sad", "angry", "bored" etc. but any possible state of consciousness is uniquely identifiable in the spectrum of sensation.

All ideas at the most abstract level are represented by some sensory signature, a.k.a emotional tone. The emotional tone of a concept is like its hashing function, it is not a full representation of the concept but it is a unique quick-access key representation of it.

If the painting I have described is a landscape of sensation, then the canvas itself is your consciousness.

Any given sensation we choose to label and identity does not, really, discretely, exist. We are attaching labels to a multi-axial continuum. While this continuum may be infinite and innately unstructured, the human mind is a powerful pattern matcher. We model our representation of reality out of patterns we've identified.

When we take in any stimulus it will trigger existing sensory experiences to the degree that the pattern fits. A 90% match is a strong reaction, a 5% is perhaps a passing thought.

So, when we experience synathesea of any kind this is the game at play. Different neuro-chemical environments change the parameters of this entire process but the process remains none-the-less.

Psychedelic drugs make this exceptionally clear. By the atypical blending of patterns these chemical produce in us, we can notice that our most concrete perceptions are merely heuristics.

Still, this leaves one gaping question: why does any of this require consciousness in the first place?

If there one more term to the equation? Free will? God? Subjectivity-as-a-subatomic-particle (SaaSP). We may never know, and yet I quietly hope we one day will. I hope to evaluate every possible theory on this question as time goes on.

We are awash in a sea of subjectivity,

You can flail desperately reaching for the shore,

But, if you lay back you will see that you float,

There is no firmament to be found, do not account for certainty in your thinking, unless you are specifically thinking about certainty itself.

With time you become almost amused by the personality of what arises in consciousness. This is the conduit from which your sense of lasting joy emerges. This is why meditation is joyful, it's aligned with an appreciation for the silly in all of us.

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