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Home » Ariel Garten: Redefining Consciousness at TEDxToronto (Transcript)

Ariel Garten: Redefining Consciousness at TEDxToronto (Transcript)

Ariel Garten – CEO and Co-Founder of InteraXon

The maxim, “Know thyself” has been around since the ancient Greeks. Some attribute this golden world knowledge to Plato, others to Pythagoras.

But the truth is it doesn’t really matter which sage said it first, because it’s still sage advice, even today.

“Know thyself.” It’s pithy almost to the point of being meaningless, but it rings familiar and true, doesn’t it?

“Know thyself.” I understand this timeless dictum as a statement about the problems, or more exactly, the confusions, of consciousness.

I’ve always been fascinated with knowing the self. This fascination led me to submerge myself in art, study neuroscience, and later, to become a psychotherapist.

Today I combine all my passions as the CEO of InteraXon, a thought-controlled computing company. My goal, quite simply, is to help people become more in tune with themselves. I take it from this little dictum, “Know thyself.”

If you think about it, this imperative is kind of the defining characteristic of our species, isn’t it? I mean, it’s self-awareness that separates Homo sapiens from earlier instances of our mankind.

Today we’re often too busy tending to our iPhones and iPods to really stop and get to know ourselves. Under the deluge of minute-to-minute text conversations, e-mails, relentless exchange of media channels and passwords and apps and reminders and Tweets and tags, we lose sight of what all this fuss is supposed to be about in the first place: Ourselves.

Much of the time we’re transfixed by all of the ways we can reflect ourselves out into the world. And we can barely find the time to reflect deeply back in on our own selves. We’ve cluttered ourselves up with all this. And we feel like we have to get far, far away to a secluded retreat, leaving it all behind.

So we go far away to the top of a mountain, assuming that perching ourselves on a piece is bound to give us the respite we need to sort the clutter, the chaotic everyday, and find ourselves again.

But on that mountain where we gain that beautiful peace of mind, what are we really achieving? It’s really only a successful escape.

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