Ingo Swann (10Nov98)


The action of considering anything at length can become tedious and boring unless provision is made for two important factors that assist cognitive processes.

The first has to do with establishing why the consideration should be undertaken in the first place. The second has to do with establishing some kind of graphic format that encapsulates the whole of what is being considered.

As will become apparent to different readers, a consideration of smaller pictures vs bigger ones has to do not with the pictures themselves per se, but with expanding margins of awareness about them.

Although awareness is not usually considered a superpower function, it is easy enough to grok that it serves as the basis for all other superpower faculties. If taken this way, then awareness could actually be thought of as a meta-superpower something or other.

As to a graphic format that encapsulates the whole of the central topic of this set of essays, it is easy enough to DO the following:

Draw a large circle on a piece of paper, and give it the label of OUR WONDERFUL SPECIES with all its amazing powers and attributes.
Inside the large circle, sketch a number of smaller circles numerous enough to fill up the larger one. Label these as social groupings. Outside of the larger circle, note that each of the social groupings can be characterized by elements of uniformism, reductionism, conformism, and deprivations of knowledge.
Now fill up each of the smaller circles with dots, and call these the individuals within the social groupings.

If one is inspired enough to do so, one can now make a list of social groupings world-wide, and make an effort to identify the elemental characteristics regarding their formats of uniformism, reductionism, conformism, and deprivations of knowledge.

However, while constructing this graphic representation, be pleased and contented to bear in mind that the point of doing so is not to wax critical of any of the social groupings. Waxing critical usually one results in becoming emotionally embroiled within the smaller-picture confines of the social groupings. If this embroiling happens to any great degree, one usually ends up participating in some kind of pismire activity.

The point is only to establish the graphic representation in order to provide one’s cognitive powers with a short-form concept format regarding smaller pictures vs bigger ones.


Here we now encounter a topic having considerable dimensions, but whose dimensions are seldom considered within most social contexts.

Indeed, most social contexts establish uniformistic configurations that specify what kinds of awarenesses are to be tolerated and not tolerated.

In fact, it can easily be shown that most social frameworks permit only those kinds of awareness that (1) cohere the framework parameters of the group, and then (2) fit the individual into the framework, and THEN only in keeping with the individual’s place within the social whole.

In this sense, it would be clear that the awareness margins of the socially powerless (the sheep) needs to be cut back and limited in order to keep the powerless in, as it were, the condition of being powerless. Only by managing the social group this way can the powerful (the herders) identify and define themselves.

Something regarding the on-going reality of this can be uncovered by taking note of the absence of schools and special training activities the specific purpose of which would be to enhance and enlarge awareness margins in wholesale kinds of ways.

Everyone knows that awareness exists, of course, that it can become empowered and thus powerful, and that it is a hallmark trait of our species to the degree that it is one of its most fundamental essences.

Since this IS the case, it then goes almost without saying that control of margins of awareness is one of the major fulcrums of almost all social groupings.

One of the most direct implications in this regard is that inhabitants of any social grouping must be deprived of knowledge about AWARENESS itself, and especially with regard to THEIR individual awareness systems.

If this would be the case, then one could expect to find very little information about the nature of awareness, and this especially with regard to training and mechanisms that might enhance and expand it.

And indeed, if any care to make the effort, readers of this essay might themselves now undertake to discover what is known about awareness, whether it has been studied and researched, and if the results of such are available for downloading into individual cognizance. Well, good luck at this.

Awareness is most clearly and without any question one of the chief survival functions of our species, and thus of each of its downloaded specimens.

It can also be established that awareness is so much and so close an intimate adjunct of our species as an intelligence-system that it is almost impossible to separate the two factors.

But it is possible to hypothesize that awareness faculties innately exist in our species hard drive mechanisms - after which, like languages, it undergoes specific modulating and formatting according to what different socio-cultural sub-units establish for its tolerable margins.

After undergoing this kind of degrading and downsizing, the general topic of awareness becomes a very sensitive issue - to the degree that anyone hoping to become acceptable within the confines of their local social grouping explores the topic at their peril.

It is thus, regardless of their other stunning achievements, that the modern twentieth-century sciences, philosophies, and sociologies have managed to arrive at a lesser understanding of awareness than was the case in most pre-modern societies. It is not improbable that this was by socio-cultural design, rather than because of modernist ignorance.

Indeed, it is in this sense that the double dominant uniformisms of the modern age, scientific and philosophic materialism, were broadly seen as highly desirable.

After all, it is difficult to see how MATTER can have awareness. And if matter was considered as the basic be-all-end-all aspect of everything, then there was no need to enter into discussions and research regarding the nature of awareness.

Thus, even if awareness is a fulcrum regarding human survival and the struggles of existing, it could be removed or at least marginalized as anything of substantial concern - with scientific dignity left neatly intact.

Likewise, there is no general entry for AWARENESS in the all-inclusive Encyclopedia of Philosophy (1967), while that Encyclopedia’s index lists only five brief references to it. The Encyclopedia is well over 4,000 pages in length. So only five brief references to awareness is exceedingly brief, indeed.

This situation is a rather amusing one - in that it can be presumed that philosophers of all waters have awarenesses at least sufficient enough upon which to found their particular philosophical versions.

The concept of HAVING AWARENESS is clearly a very old one - and as such has been represented by an enormous terminological assortment through the ages.

The English term AWARE is derived from A + WAER, and is found in Old English at about the year 1000 as AWAER, and which apparently meant "watchful." Earlier derivations of the term into Old English are apparently not known, and there does not appear to have been much interest in tracking them down.

There are only two principal definitions of AWARE:

The first definition is: "Watchful, vigilant, cautious, alert, on one’s guard." This definition is given as OBSOLETE - although WHY it should be considered obsolete is at first sight a complete mystery.

The second, non-obsolete, definition is: "Informed, cognizant, conscious, sensible; to have experience; to know; to be aware of (that)."

The above two definitions, as given, are the beginning and end of the definitions and meanings of AWARE. If the ultra-importance of awareness is considered, this is ridiculously short treatment.

But even so, there are strategic nuances between the first and second definitions. These differences might escape notice if they are not pointed up.

In the first place, the first definition is ACTIVE, while the second one tends toward the PASSIVE, the receptive. Specifically put, "informed, cognizant, conscious" require an "of something" because there is no condition of "informed" unless it is of or about something.

In terms of the dynamics involved, the second definition portrays nothing like the first, which specifies being watchful and on guard.

The distinctions here become somewhat more clear in that, for example, social programmers of all waters would tend to view the first definition with some alarm - because if the social-sheep were to be watchful, alert, on guard, then it would be more difficult to inform them about what they should and should not be cognizant of.

In any event, the two definitions as given above represent the beginning and end of information about AWARENESS within our mighty Earthside civilizations.

So, the term is seldom really utilized with any seriousness, and in recent times had tended to be subsumed into the concept of CONSCIOUSNESS - and which is taken to represent a larger category and more general principle.

And here it is possible to uncover a peculiar factoid. It is possible to become conscious OF, for example, uniformism, reductionism, conformism, and deprivation of knowledge, and of smaller-picture social constructs as well.

But per se consciousness OF something and being watchful, alert and guarding against something consist of two dynamically different sets of responses.

In any event, it is well understood in the greater sociological sense that consciousness can better be manipulated and managed than can awareness - IF the obsolete definition of awareness is recovered as alert, watchful, vigilance, and being on one’s guard.

Now arises the wonderment as to whether AWARENESS MARGINS refer to the first, obsolete definition of awareness, or to the second definition in which the concept of awareness is subsumed into that of consciousness.

Discussion along these lines must be undertaken in tandem with the concept that our species, and all of its downloading specimens, are intelligence-systems. One can then wonder what the intelligence-system would be like without the active definition of awareness.

Beyond the brief foregoing considerations, there is clearly much to be considered regarding awareness and awareness margins. But these discussions will benefit more if they incorporate additional bigger- picture phenomena of our species.

And so the theme of awareness margins will be unfolded more with regard to, for example, essays having to do with biomind SYSTEMS.

Meanwhile, it is now perhaps possible to grok something of the essence regarding the following: When grouped together, social groupings, the individual, awareness margins, and deprivations of knowledge do comprise something of a Mess of smaller-picture frameworks.

On average, though, many are not all that much aware of the existence of the mess, what it consists of, or its various impacts at the individual level.

One reason for this unawareness is that individuals are often locked into the frameworks of their local smaller pictures.

If the locking is strong enough (i.e., concretized solidly enough), individuals tend to project their local smaller pictures onto the world at large - and then to assume, often in an unexpressed sense, that the whole world can be explained and understood in the terms of their local smaller-picture frameworks.

The inverse of this is often the case. For example, individuals can encounter other kinds of smaller pictures, or at least some elements of them.

The tendency then is to interpret the other smaller-picture frameworks in ways that make them consistent with the ones the individual already has.

Another way of putting this is that individuals can modulate other realities to make them consistent with their own.

If certain factors at home in the other realities cannot be made to fit, then those factors are reinterpreted (altered) so that they can fit. If the fitting is not really possible, then the other factors are usually discredited or in some form done away with.

As will be discussed in the following essay, this kind of situation is of extraordinary importance in the case of any kind of tutorials or training regarding activation of the superpower faculties.