I want descriptions, not necessarily scientific definitions (yet). So much of (our) consciousness seems mysterious, yet most of our experiences feel unquestionably genuine, and at times profoundly enlightening, or indeed indescribably profound.

Take dreams, for example. They feel to me like foggy windows into my subconscious, as I can usually--but not always--attribute their origins to something that's significantly emotional or challenging in my recent or memorable experiences when awake.

Or we could be experiencing total boredom at times, a very uninteresting period of consciousness. If nothing else, I'd like to emphasize the colossal *scope* of shareable, conscious experiences, from babies to old folks, different moods, fight vs flight in the nervous system, and... this topic is huge!

Whether you have a particularly mysterious or, oppositely, a mundane or cliche experience, I say it's relevant to "our" description of consciousness.

One day we should be able to share descriptions in more scientifically universal/empirical terms, but until then, the only shareable "data" we have is from personal experience, and (here, at least) via words in English... which, btw is a very *artificial* way to communicate feelings! But language leads to science.

I hope we can occasionally revisit this topic when someone has a particularly profound or personal insight that she/he believes others can empathize with. One day science will have more empirical descriptions of consciousness, and its foggy mysteries.

[This post edited days later when not handicapped by tiny mobile phone input/output.]

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It means an embarrassing mistake or an instance of tactlessness. A blunder or gaffe.

False step. 


No, if I eff up, I just admit it...I don't have a huge ego to support, etc.

I also tend to say how I effed up, as, typically, at least to me, the context is educational.

Its liberating to be able to be fallible.


So, I combine being a poor typist with a bit of dyslexia, and, well, it can get ugly.

I DO go back and correct things I notice later, but, here, with that 15 minute edit window, I often don't notice typo's or missing words, etc, until its too late to correct.

Twitches in Bed, Anyone?

I've been trying to guess what mechanism comes into play when I get muscle twitches as I'm falling asleep. A whole hand or leg seems to want to move by itself, but its actual follow-through motion is terminated almost instantly. It's difficult to consciously query myself "why did I do that", especially when I'm falling asleep.

Finally got my first "aha" about it! I woke up just enough to realize that I had wanted to scratch my leg with a toenail on my other leg's foot, but "decided" not to.

What's interesting is that there's *no way* I can match that kind if muscle twitch via conscious effort! But perhaps now, e.g. like with lucid dreaming (which I haven't tried to experience, yet), I'll be able to learn more about this conscious-movement arresting mechanism.

You paralyze yourself as you fall asleep, so that dreaming you move, doesn't make you actually move.

In some cases, your paralysis is incomplete, and it is quite common to experience a movement in a dream that moves a limb, etc, in real life.

As your consciousness in in layers, so that you hear the alarm clock/baby crying and garbage truck, but ignore the garbage truck because you "know" you don't need to react to it...but, might feed/change the baby or wake up for work, etc, because you "know" you DO need to react to it.

There are common examples of people who hear a real sound, who incorporate it into the dream, so the exterior sounds become part of the dream.

All of these examples are because you are never fully unconscious, merely in different levels of it, and, ALL of those levels combine to be your overall consciousness.

This is also why you can "not realize you were asleep".  IE: Your spouse tells you to stop snoring, but, you thought you were awake.

That in between stage where you are asleep, but thought you were awake, leads to many "ghost sightings".  The pressure on your chest/being touched, seeing an apparition, etc, is quite often tied to dreams occurring when a person thought they were awake.

Bed wetting has been reported to be an associated phenomenon, where a person thinks they are awake, and dreams that they urinate, but, REALLY urinate, wetting the bed.  

All tie to the phases of sleep where you are somewhat more awake, but, asleep too...confusing the brain's sense of reality.  Reports of not being able to tell if they were dreaming/awake, needing to "pinch themselves" etc...or twitching when a real muscle moves along with the dream ones, being confused as to if you dreamed something, or it really happened, etc....are all related.


Our unconscious brain makes the best decisions possible

Yet another reason we can't apply judgmental ethical considerations to people's decisions. If this article is true, then every choice, even ones we consider horrendous, are made in good faith.

ALS Patients Communicate for First Time in Years With New Device

The 68-year-old woman hadn't been able to talk for a decade. She'd been on a ventilator and a feeding tube since 2007 and hadn't been able to so much as blink an eye to communicate since 2010.

For all anyone knew, she was a human shell, made completely immobile by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease.

Then her family heard about experiments being done at the University of Tübingen in Germany, where researchers were using brainwaves to communicate with paralyzed patients.

Article: http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/als-patients-communicate-...


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