Monday, March 3, 2008

"Be Conscious!"

Korzybski lived his own life intensely, "balls out," and he advised his students to do the same. He wanted them to stop dragging themselves through life, inattentively, passively, unconsciously. In one lecture he gave at the 1948-49 Winter Intensive Seminar (available on CD from the Institute of General Semantics) he drilled the point home:
...Do you know that with us humans, we have such a thing as consciousness—do you know that—do you understand the word 'conscious'? Are you fully conscious that you are conscious? No. Great many of us are just a flop—not conscious of anything [he purposely mumbled this to simulate the attitude of 'half-assed' awareness he was criticizing]. Well it isn't on the human level. Be conscious. If you want to relax, relax consciously. Otherwise — it means be conscious of your possibilities as well as your shortcomings, as well as taking care of the environment; because we are a product not only out of our own organismal possibilities but we are also connected with the environment. There is no way out — no way out; therefore let's not look for utopias. The secret of your own adjustment lies in you, nobody else. Not in a doctor or me. ...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The buddhists also practice doing (and not doing) everything consciously. They call it mindfulness.