Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Doing, Thinking & Being

Sy Gruza


“I think, therefore I am” - contemporary Western society remains essentially Cartesian in its belief that an individual essentially is an autonomous and absolute self that is the source of an individual’s intended thoughts.  We embrace a Freudian belief in consciousness as a rational and willful psychic essence, constantly threatened by subconscious desires, urges, fears and unresolved conflicts. But as discussed in this paper, the ordinary activities of routines, habits, learning new skills, performing learned skills, social conversation and mindful meditation indicate that the conventional Cartesian and Freudian models of self and consciousness are flawed beliefs and not based on factual observations and logic reasoning. Contemporary neuroscientific theory suggests that consciousness is the causally determined functioning of neural processes, analogous to, though exponentially more complex than, the causally determined functioning of the other biologic systems. Contemporary philosophical theory suggests that the self is not an existential being, but rather a psychic construct that emerges from the restructuring of disparate moments and experiences into an enduring identity.

This paper suggests that there are three distinct states of consciousness.  Neural Consciousness is causally determined neural functioning that determines beliefs, values, choices and preferences.  I Consciousness is the sentient experience of sensory sensations, including emotions and thoughts.  Furthermore, I Consciousness is capable of Critical Logic Reasoning, which can penetrate ordinary causally determined reasoning to reveal the individual’s causally determined beliefs and assumptions.  Awareness Consciousness is the Being of presence, a transcendence that reveals the eternal Now. Perhaps the most significant point in the paper is that an individual’s beliefs, values, ideological identifications, associations, biases and prejudices are no more the product of objective reason than are her aesthetic and epicurean preferences. All of these are causally determined by the complex interactions between an individual’s genetic inheritance and environmental experiences.  The Enlightenment project of replacing religious belief with reason has been subverted by this biological condition, as secular ideology has become the new faith.

Full Text:


ISSN: 2153-8212