Faculties

Life is an exploration of human potential. In this section I will attempt to organize our understanding of that exploration.

As I have laid out the logic of this exposition, I should explain the physics of consciousness at this point. It supplies organizing principles that inform the distinctions made below. Historically, however, the principles of consciousness have been a spiritual topic, and so my agenda is inverted. I use the discussion below to create a dialectic that will aid "scientific" personalities to understand their experience of reality, and defer a discussion of the origins of consciousness to safer grounds. The open-minded reader may wish to skip forward to that material.

Our entry into the exploration of human potential is rife with conditionality. We receive a genetic heritage from our parents that establishes a baseline for our personal faculties. The environment of our infancy, and in particular the frequency and depth of our interactions with our elders, greatly influences the degree to which our energies are focused towards development of those faculties, and so influence the ultimate range of their expression. Some might say that our success is dependent upon these conditions, and with the exception of the influence of our will, current science supports that conclusion.

The culture in which we are raised also facilitates or impedes that development. This is a mixed dependency. While structure and support provide a base for our exploration, perversion and destruction provide a deep motivation to improve the human condition. An important, and recent, step in my own maturation was a realization that there are many more ways to do things wrong than there are to do them right. In part, this is due to the locality of action: what is right in one context may be harmful or downright deadly in another. Unless fully expressed, however, we cannot fully understand the degrees of local and distributed benefits and consequences, and so evolve our understanding of how to integrate our concerns.

We turn now to an analysis of human faculty. The partitioning I adopt is arbitrary in a specific sense that I will not dwell on here. The formulation is intended to emphasize their interdependency that the categorization of science has tended to suppress. We think of ourselves as "conscious" or "coordinated" without always realizing how much those capacities depend upon our intelligence, and how development of those talents may divert our intelligence from other, and equally important, concerns.

Perhaps the best analogy to explain my purpose is music theory. The faculties listed below are like notes on a scale. When we exercise our faculties, our ability to isolate them also facilitates our ability to meld them into harmonious chords.

This becomes particularly important when, as is inevitable, we enter into competition. To a degree that will only become apparent in our discussion of spirituality, weakness in any faculty makes us susceptible to the influence of more powerful personalities.