A philosophical journey into the true nature of consciousness.
According to Sopasakis, consciousness is not what we think. In fact, it is not limited to the biological mind at all. Sifting through scientific and common definitions of consciousness, the author cites various scientific studies and philosophical discussions in support of his assertion that consciousness preexists and survives the individual. Distinguishing consciousness from thought and awareness of self or time, he argues that consciousness is a pre-existing filter that brings order to the sensory information we receive from the world. Thought then interprets and categorizes that data into personally relevant information such as memories. He further proposes that the vastness of the universe left over when all matter is taken into account is consciousness. After laying out this model, Sopasakis makes a leap into the realm of myth. He examines the ancient stories of Gilgamesh and Theseus, noting the underlying similarities between the two, particularly in terms of both heroes confronting death in the form of a bull-like creature. He then lays alongside them the story of Jesus, demonstrating how it exhibits the structural traits of the other two, in this case the conquered beast being Satan. Dismissing the idea that cultural exchange might be responsible for the similarities between the stories, he argues that rather it is evidence of an enduring consciousness speaking to humanity through the ages. Finally, Sopasakis studies ancient sects that explored such mysteries, again noting the parallels between their beliefs and rituals. He encourages readers to join him in pursuing these practices in hopes of accessing the power of consciousness to conquer death and to shape our reality. The author’s propositions are intriguing and inspire further inquiry. However, given that he is challenging fundamental concepts about human existence, readers may desire a bit more to go on than the far-flung bits of supportive data he provides in this relatively brief work.
A leap of faith into the unknown.