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How Self-Relational Consciousness Produces and Interacts with Reality (by Huping Hu, Maoxin Wu): Abstract: In essence, Steven E. Kaufman’s work shows how self-relational Consciousness produces and interacts with reality. But to appreciate the important work done by Kaufman, one needs to read the whole 325 pages of this Focus Issue of JCER covering his work. Our goals with this Focus Issue are: (1) bring broader awareness of Kaufman’s work by scholars and all genuine truth seekers; and (2) promote scholarly discussions of the same through commentaries and responses to commentaries in the future issues of JCER. In so doing, we hope that all of us may benefit in our endeavor to reach higher Consciousness within ourselves and build a genuine Science of Consciousness.

The Integration of Experience, Awareness, and Consciousness into the Relational-Matrix Model I: Experiential Mechanics (by Steven E. Kaufman): Abstract: In Article 2 & 3 of this work, we showed how existence, by forming relationships with itself repetitively and progressively, evolves into a relational structure that functions as the framework of reality. However, what we have described so far as the relational structure of reality, including the differentiation of that relational structure, explains only the fundamental behavior of, and some of the intrinsic relationships within, what we experience and are aware of as physical reality. What we have described so far doesn’t explain why there exists physical experience itself or why there exists an awareness of physical experience. To present a more complete, unified model of reality, it’s necessary to explain not only why physical reality behaves as it does but also, within the context of that same model, explain why we experience physical reality as we do, as well as why we’re aware or conscious of our experience, since experience, awareness, and consciousness are themselves integral parts of our reality. In that same vein, mental and emotional experiences are also integral parts of our reality and so must also be integrated into any model of reality that seeks to account for reality as a whole. The purpose of this article and the next article of this work, then, is to explain within the context of the same unified model of realty that was developed in Articles 2 & 3 of this work, how experience, awareness, and consciousness are all related, and in the process demonstrate that the physical, mental, and emotional experiential realities in which we find ourselves immersed can be understood in terms of a singular or unitary existence existing in relation to itself. Toward that end, we will now begin to explore how evolving existence, by existing in relation to itself at yet another level, becomes aware of physical, mental, and emotional experiences.

The Integration of Experience, Awareness, & Consciousness into the Relational-Matrix Model II: Consciousness and the Awareness of Experience (Steven E. Kaufman): Abstract: We have demonstrated how seemingly separate experiential realities can come to exist within the context of an ultimately indivisible, singular existence, but not why there exists an awareness of experience itself. That is, although we have demonstrated how existence can impactively interact with itself to create the form of any experience, we have yet to explain why there exists an awareness of that experiential form—in other words, why the differentiated area of reality that exists as the experiencer is aware of the form of its impactive-interactive relationship with the surrounding reality. In the following sections, we will explain why an awareness of the experiential boundary exists. In understanding why awareness exists, the nature of consciousness will become apparent.

Consciousness is unlimited, borderless, and undefined, whereas awareness is limited, bordered, and defined. When awareness becomes caught up in experiential reality, mistaking experiential reality for an independently existent reality, it literally becomes un-consciousness, or the opposite of consciousness. Since, for awareness, reality is whatever it experiences it to be, although awareness always remains what it is (i.e., consciousness), what awareness can experience itself to be is another matter entirely. For this reason, awareness can become unaware, can become unconscious of what it is, can become experientially cut off or separated from the consciousness that lies both within and beyond the screen of experience.