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Henry's chief objective



From: Role of consciousness (Exchange with Stan Klein, May 7, 2001) at Stapp Files

[Peter Mutnick, prev.]
To render epiphenomenal is to effectively deny.

[Henry Stapp]
But my chief objective is to render consciousness NON-epiphenomenal!

[Peter Mutnick]
Yes, that is why it is ironic that you render the real basis for the dominance of consciousness epiphenomenal. It is not possible that the narrow "stream of consciousness" of the sentient being is the ontological verity of the universe. That is just foolishness. The radical alternative is the phenomenology of Descartes and Husserl. Descartes is usually interpreted in a dilettantish way to be talking about some sort of sophistry involving only the ordinary stream of consciousness of the sentient being, but Husserl should have disillusioned people of that absurd notion.

Real phenomenology postulates an absolute or pure consciousness attained by suspending the ordinary observational processes of the sentient being or organism. The activity of the abstract "ego" then turns inward and experiences consciousness itself. Consciousness itself is found to be a self-luminous intelligent substance, which can most definitely be experienced as such. This absolute or pure consciousness is self-existent - its existence is NOT dependent in any way on matter, although there are certain material or energetic gates that lead to the experience of it. This consciousness is the ontological verity - it is what really exists, from eternity to eternity. The universes of matter are all spun out of the inner creativity of this self-existent consciousness. It reveals the structures of its creative process to the one who experiences it. In this way, most of the great ideas of human scientists were obtained, and in the future, if Husserl was right, this method shall become more openly practiced and understood. The real existence of every sentient being is in this absolute or pure consciousness. It is the true abode and refuge of all. There is no other refuge, since there is no other eternal or true existence.

So, the point is that by defining consciousness exclusively in terms of the narrow "stream of consciousness" of the sentient being, and making epiphenomenal the cosmic consciousness and its accoutrements, you are still teaching a primitive form of idealistic sophistry, that is just the flip side of materialism, because it cannot even conceivably provide a viable alternative to it. To think so is just sophistry. A few idealistic fools may bite, but the masses of hard headed scientists will rightly reject such foolishness. They may not like the radical truth either, but the radical truth can be proven to be correct, because it *is* fundamentally and existentially correct.

So, it really does no good to take a compromised position, for the sake of gaining acceptance. The hard headed scientists will never fall for such ideas. The two cultures will continue divided. The radical alternative is the strong medicine that can truly have the desired effect. The materialistic doubt of the hard headed scientists must be confronted head on and you must have something to confront it head on with. The only conceivable something is the absolute or pure consciousness, the experience of it, and the knowledge of it. Idealistic sophistry that makes the ordinary human consciousness the cosmic verity, when everyone in their right mind knows better, will never suffice.



Peter Joseph Mutnick 1949 - 2000


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