Trying to ponder human consciousness

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Human consciousness is evolving, but still remains imponderable. This, in essence, was the message delivered to the Pattaya City Expats Club at their Sunday, December 4, meeting.  

Master of Ceremonies Richard Silverberg introduced guest speaker Michael Flinn, a life-long scholar in the history and development of human consciousness, religion, art, civilization and human behavior.

PCEC member Nathan Russo advises members of the activities of the ‘Blue Water Sailing’ special interest group.PCEC member Nathan Russo advises members of the activities of the ‘Blue Water Sailing’ special interest group.

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.

Michael was an Instructor of Art History at East Carolina and Old Dominion Universities during the tumultuous 60s and 70s. 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. He now resides in the Philippines.

Master of Ceremonies Richard Silverberg introduces the day’s guest speaker.Master of Ceremonies Richard Silverberg introduces the day’s guest speaker.

Michael started his presentation by explaining how he got into art and philosophy after he discovered his original plan to study business was “not his bag.”  After he graduated in 1964, he traveled to Europe where he found solace in the abundance of great architecture and art; not at all like modern architecture which he views as a nightmare.

He found Europe more relaxed and appealing with its history, great art, and magnificent buildings.  Over a period of years, he also traveled to Turkey, the Mideast, India, Pakistan, and other locales. He said observing people in abject poverty makes one wonder how these conditions exist and led to his further studies of human consciousness.

He then described how the Greek philosophers were generally the first to explore the consciousness of self.  He noted that the Christian Bible was written in Greek and that the Greek word “Metanoia” was translated to the English word “repent.” But, he said the word actually means change of consciousness. It was the pre-Socratic and later the Platonic philosophers that delved into this change or evolution of consciousness.

Michael Flinn’s message to the Pattaya City Expats Club is that “Human consciousness is evolving, but still remains imponderable”.Michael Flinn’s message to the Pattaya City Expats Club is that “Human consciousness is evolving, but still remains imponderable”.

Later, after World War II, you had the existentialists that didn’t deal with the concept of God, but rather the understanding of one’s self; a consciousness of being.  A person creates themselves.  In essence, he felt that no matter how much you study, you will not really gain a full understanding of human consciousness as it is imponderable.

After Michael entertained comments and answered questions from the audience, Richard Silverberg called on Roy Albiston to update everyone on upcoming events and to conduct 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’s Tavern by the Sea Restaurant where all are welcome. For more information about their activities, visit http://www.pattayacityexpatsclub.com.