Monday, 30 January 2017

The Fall

Being ascended from unconsciousness into consciousness. However, the first moment of this ascent was also the moment of the Fall into suffering or unsatisfactoriness, as formulated in the First Noble Truth of Buddhism. Unconscious organisms respond to environmental alterations but do not feel or sense them. Feeling and sensation are the earliest stages of consciousness. An organism that has become conscious feels hot when it is hot and senses heat when there is a nearby source of heat. The feeling of bodily states probably preceded the sensing of anything external.

A conscious organism dislikes excessive heat or cold and therefore moves to a more comfortable position. It dislikes hunger and likes eating, therefore seeks food. Naturally selected organismic sensitivity to environmental alterations quantitatively increased until it was qualitatively transformed into conscious sensation because two kinds of sensation, pleasure and pain, have survival value. They are also interdependent. Hunger when unable to eat and satisfaction when eating are opposite ends of a single spectrum or two sides of a single coin. Therefore, there was no Paradisal state of consciousness before suffering.

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