Defining consciousness, can it be done? After being introduced by Master of Ceremonies Ren Lexander, Michael Flinn, the speaker at the Sunday, April 29 meeting of the Pattaya City Expats Club, discussed his constant search for the answer to this question.
Michael is a lifelong scholar in the history and development of human consciousness, religion, art, civilization and human behavior. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Sciences and a Masters degree in Art History from the University of Oregon. He has also studied at the Naropa Institute and with various alternative teachers. He was an Instructor of Art History at East Carolina and Old Dominion Universities during the tumultuous 60s and 70s.
Pattaya City Expats Clubs meeting for the 29th of April was MC’d by new MC, Ren Lexander of Australia. Following general notices and new guest introductions, Ren introduced Michael Flinn to discuss the ‘Evolution of Consciousness’.
Michael has also traveled extensively around the world for years photographing the art, architecture and cultural traditions of various countries. His photographs are in the collections of major universities and have been featured on the Discovery Channel. He has lectured and given slide presentations throughout the United States.
Michael previously spoke to the club in December about the “Consciousness and the Mind of Modern Man” and the previous July about “The Relevance and Effect of Religion in the Modern World.” In his December talk, he explained that human consciousness can primarily be traced to the early Greek Philosophers. He described how the Greek philosophers were generally the first to explore the consciousness of self.
He continued on the subject with his latest topic, “Evolution of Consciousness.” He discussed the consciousness of man; exploring the evolution throughout the ages with references to different periods, world religions and philosophical systems focusing on what progress has been made, if any.
Michael noted that consciousness is difficult to define, but could be said to be the state of awareness of the human condition. He said that religions consider the human condition to be a problem and try to find a way out. Some profess that life is predetermined; whereas others say that God set things in motion and then let it be. While still others think that it is both, some order and some degree of freedom.
Michael discusses the evolution of consciousness and the origin of world religion with PCEC members and guests. A lifelong student of the field, Michael is still seeking the answers to life’s questions.
Michael described some of his own research and readings on the subject and said in the end, he has no answers. So, he lives his life as he feels he should without following the tenets of any religion. He said that he feels consciousness could be considered insight into things unseen. As a seeker, he has studied all religious beliefs. He uses this knowledge gathered from the books he has read and his travel experiences to understand himself and others.
Whether you agree with Michael or not, his topics are always thought provoking which was readily apparent when he opened it up for the many questions and comments that followed.
Ren then updated everyone on upcoming events and conducted the always interesting and lively Open Forum where questioned are asked and answered about expat living in Thailand; Pattaya in particular.
The Pattaya City Expats Club meets every Sunday at the Amari Orchid’s Tavern by the Sea Restaurant. Read more about the Club’s activities on their website at www.pattayacityexpatsclub.com.