Near Death Exprience: The Collective (Un)Consciousness

Link to Video:

How does consciousness receive information, and more to the point WHERE IS IT???

This is the question asked by the artist Susan Hiller who presents an audio-visual installation in which collected personal accounts of near-death experiences are generated via a multiple television sets, Each voice is heard sequentially at first, one fading as another begins, until gradually multiple voices begin to merge, escalating into an incomprehensible mass of utterances. While there is no conclusive scientific explanation for near-death experiences, Hiller is interested in the possibility that the human mind itself might act like a television, receiving rather than generating consciousness, with access to wider information normally made inaccessible by the primal ‘hardwiring’ of our brains.

This video does not explain the source of consciousness, but its seeming nonsense somehow makes sense which makes the whole subject worthy of further investigation in my mind regardless if those interested have had any personal experience of NDE or OBE. It also goes some way to explaining the disjointed reality that those who have experienced near death, out of body experiences or any other collapse of reality, time, space or distance have experienced. The concepts Artist Susan Hillier presents here are similar to the thoughts of the  scientist and consciousness researcher Rupert Sheldrake. In his Morphic Resonance theory, Sheldrake puts forward the idea that a cosmic super memory collects the perception, thoughts and experience of all existence and then generates similar patterns of experience, thought and perception repetitively, and in a way that occurs simultaneously across both space and time, and with no spatial contact. This is a theory that has been observed in the creation of crystals from liquid. Where a liquid became Crystal for the first time in several locations across the world and at the same time. In Sheldrakes thinking sentient beings/ existence do not simply receive consciousness, as Hillier suggests but simultaneously receive and create patterns of consciousness by the action of simply existing.

My own thoughts are more along the lines of Sheldrake in that we transmit and receive consciousness simultaneously, and that our own thoughts, actions and intents become much bigger than ourselves, i.e.that our thoughts both positive and negative whether through thought, deed or intent have implications across the entire universe.

The question of where does consciousness arise from is one that science, despite its unfounded promotion of its own materialist agenda has failed to solve. Science would like to have us believe that the brain somehow creates consciousness, i.e it is in our head. Even the most simple exercise must surely bring this scientific ‘truth’ into question and with zero knowledge on any scientific subject.

A good exercise is simply to locate an object within view and try and locate the point of your own awareness of the object. (surely this should be somewhere in our head?, or perhaps our eyes?) My own experience is that I cannot exactly pinpoint this awareness. My point of attention is somehow with the object but in an inexact way while also experiencing the object intellectually from my objective location, I am in 2 places at the same time!! This is my first experience until my brain tells itself that the point of attention should be in my brain, at which point a ping-pong game occurs between ‘me’ and the object. If I relax and focus softly on the object and allow my observation of it to arise from awareness without concerning myself with the location of that awareness I realize there is no point of attention, myself and the object merge along with any other objects that I find myself attending to. Although the fancy name for this may be non-duality, this is simply the very mindful experience of being part of and not separate from other existence or all that is given within this continuous moment. If this is too abstract focusing on ones own hand can reveal that your ‘head’ somehow appears to be in your hand….Of course as soon as the brain kicks in again it starts to insist on ‘locating’ a point of awareness, never the less this is a good exercise in understanding that the brain has no real mastery over consciousness which is naturally an ‘inclusive’ phenomenon


More on Susan Hillier:

More on Rupert Sheldrake and Morphic Resonance: