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  • Often, consciousness is referred to metaphorically as a mirror (which is usually associated with a way to examine beauty) from which we can see ourselves, at least our reflected image. But, we all know that beauty goes deeper than the surface of things. So, our consciousness must deal with more than images of things, depending on where we point the mirror. I tell my students we humans do only three things in life – – – we are born, we learn, and then we die. Of course, the guts of life, our lifespans, the body of life is in the middle, in the learning phase. From the moment we are born we are confronting all the contradictions that life is. As babies, we cry and discover the environment around us responds, or maybe, reacts.

    At any rate, translating the metaphor into more practical terms, perhaps we could say our consciousness seems to act as the dynamic process of voicing our questions to life.

    And, too, you imply in your question that there must be a source from which our consciousness comes, and that understanding the nature of that source might make us use our consciousness for the betterment of existence. Number one, I don’t believe we can access, at least, consciously, the source of our consciousness, its being perhaps god. Number two, I don’t believe that consciousness itself has a goal beyond observing.

    I believe our responses to life, to those observations our consciousness brings into some form of clarity for us, comes from a deeper dynamic than consciousness, perhaps called the unconscious, perhaps called the spirit, the soul. It would seem this is where our interests in the environment actually resides. Our imaginations create depths of visions that consciousness cannot create. Think about the multidimensional elements we humans observe in our dreams of desire. Here resides, perhaps, our motivation for understanding the universe, our relation to it, and its relation to the Great Unknown that consistently expands us. For instance, each time we meet something, the unknown, and we come to understand some aspect of it that we didn’t know before, our imaginations are expanded, as we try to make room for the new knowledge, the new relationships.

    And, finally, here is the space where we encounter our curiosity. While making space for new knowledge we may ask ourselves why is there not enough room in here for this new knowledge? How can I squeeze it in? Must I give up something? Ah, some belief I had earlier proves to be incorrect based on this very new knowledge. I can just delete it. And, upon searching for space in the imagination, we encounter other anomalies that need searching, questioning, so we can justify the use of the space, called the utopian space of the imagination to utopian thinkers/philosphers/existentialists. Lots of theory here, huh?

    To bring it down a notch, perhaps we are curious simply because it helps us to survive the horrors of what we know and imagine and to be able to live with the awesome beauty of what we know and don’t know.

    I also believe that all creatures have consciousness at some level, and even the earth itself may have consciousness at some level, as the aggregate of all that we humans are. But, be aware that if this is so, then all the universe is an aggregate of us, even the unknown, which puts a grave responsibility on us. Remembering that middle part of the trilogy of things we do in life (to learn), it is merely the extensive ability to respond by learning, by filling our lives up with learning (After all, it’s all we humans can do anyway, if you agree with the premise of the three things we do in life.)

    Is that why we are curious? Curiosity is the embodiment of our human responsibility to be who and what we are rather than who and what we imagine ourselves to be and not to be. Are we more interested in our environment than other higher mammals, or are do we simply think we are because of what we mistakenly believe we are not. Curiouser and curiouser, as I think Sherlock Holmes said once.

  • Humans have larger brains and are capable of learning and teaching things other mamals can’t. Doesn’t make us better just different. We can learn and figure out the consequences of our actions. For instance, humans have mastered fire and we know what happens if the fire gets out of control.

  • We are only concerned about the environment because, unlike our other Earthmates, we manipulate the environment faster than it can adjust. This causes pretty severe consequences.

  • I am not sure that this question is terribly fair to our lesser cousins. Other animals show that same traits as us with respect to awareness of their surroundings, curiosity, and intelligence. We are tool users, and that is what separates us from the other animals. We have so developed our tool-using skill that it appears that we have a greater interest in our environment, when in fact, we only have a greater ability to change it.

  • the environment is what keeps us going if we didnt have clean water and air to breath which that oxygen comes from trees then we wouldnt be alive

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