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The Mystery of Consciousness - Not so mysterious?
Posted: 07 January 2012 11:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 481 ]  
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Posted: 07 January 2012 06:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 482 ]  
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Lexie_99 - 07 January 2012 04:37 PM

It’s important to appreciate the significance of whatever people are trying to accomplish first. I’m troubled when I see atheism flying under a banner of “Religious people are bad and we’re good, it’s us against them!” It just seems to miss the underlying point. What are we trying to accomplish here?

Agreed.  This concerns me a lot.  Our adversarial rock logic is not going to solve our problems no matter which ‘side’ uses it.

Yes, I know that there’s certainly a lot of research going on right now regarding what pro-social traits we come by through nature and evolution and how those can be nurtured. I think there may be a difference between natural traits such as altruism and the ability to live cooperatively, and the fevered devotion you see when someone has committed themselves to a dogmatic higher cause. Perhaps, then, what we need is to recognize our propensity for that fevered devotion as a human trait to be monitored and curbed, with an emphasis on nurturing those pro-social traits in society.

Not sure what u mean here.  Are u a hard determinist after all?  Do u think morality is simply an instinctive trait that can perhaps be shaped by society in growing minds but generally is fixed in adults?  Are u suggesting that brain plasticity is useless in respect of moral change?  I’m not so sure.  I’ve seen lots of moral lives change radically in adulthood.  Not just mid-life crises for the worse, but changes for the better as well.  I still think consciousness can help shape morality and not merely justify it, as Jonathan Haidt suggested in 2001.  I just hope that if we openly discuss in forums such as this new ways of looking at ourselves & the deepest issue that confronts us (consciousness gone awry), it might trigger personal & social change away from a backward-looking obsession with truth and judgment. Finding & justifying truth is not the end-game.  Personal or social moral congruence, after action taken (delivered value) is a kind of end game, but perhaps better to call it both the purpose & reward of our self-organising & emergent mind-body systems (embedded in this deep ecology).  They say that to change any mental habit takes about 21 days.  Some NLP methods may be worth a shot!

I think this is where I see the constant interplay of values-facts / introspection-extrospection. We may all state a similar value, and be quite convinced we’re certain as to how to promote that value, but be in staunch opposition as to which means will be effective.

Agreed - but that’s not such a bad thing if we ever get to that point on a wide social scale.  I’d much prefer to have that discussion (while all wearing the same “hat”, i.e. in a non-adversarial fashion because we respect its values-basis) than continual mindless ‘entertainment’ on the TV or continual mind games that distract us from self-actualising.  A republican constitutional democracy, when it works well (i.e. individuals don’t suffer from the modern mind-game syndrome), is great at finding such compromises.  It advances slowly and a bit messily but it can promote emergence in terms of economic flourishing, etc.  (I’m thinking of America’s astonishing economic advances in the past).

Again getting back to TML, this is where Sam Harris says there must be right and wrong answers to such questions. So, values themselves must arise from the subjective, but promoting those values requires some use of the scientific method (on this topic, just came across this Steve Pinker interview that I think summarizes my views pretty well - starting at about 3:55, and then again at about 6:00):

Sort of agree but what were those views exactly?

I agree, I think one of the biggest intellectual roadblocks of our time is that it’s considered embarrassing or unacceptable to say “I was wrong”, in part because we fear it might ruin our credibility. I believe there are studies that show even babies will “consider the source” of information to assess its accuracy, so I don’t doubt that this is an instinctive trait.

What babies do might be instinctive, but is it the same thing?  It seems logical to protect credibility - to an extent.  De Bono focuses on the kind of logic being applied (rock logic) and suggests we often need another logic (water logic).  That is, he is not saying the problem is instinctive, even if all consciousness is ultimately instinct-based.  Rock logic is consciousness-based.  Mind games are consciousness-based.  These are different to instinctive biases.  The good thing here is that memes & memeplexes mutate more quickly and easily than genes.

What I mean here is that consciousness has emerged out of instincts, but just because we find an instinctive basis to e.g. language or morality, that does not mean this is the “true” nature of language or morality.  They are much more complex than that.  Instincts give us a probability to act in a certain way in a given situation - along with the environment’s more direct influence and our previous conscious preparations for the present moment that I still believe feed back to, and shape or modify, those instincts.

Looking at your system, I like the concepts, but I see no place where one could be “on auto-pilot”. The end result of these ideas, I think, is that they all require work.

This is true - but this is also what consciousness is for - to be used!  The only “auto-pilot” relief would be to build up mental habits with time, perhaps by using NLP methods, etc.  The payback is to enjoy your own proficiency in the dance.  On the other hand, maybe not all living is thinking (unless mind games prevent you from switching it off).  And maybe not all thinking is overtly moralistic (sometimes it’s just experiencing the flow of the moment in the slipstream).

Haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but I skimmed some of A New Earth. One concern - the author seems to take some new-age concepts and presents them as fact. With his extended descriptions of pain-body, for example - I would be fine with that as a metaphor, but he appears to be presenting this as a metaphysical fact, along with its influence in world history. It seems unlikely that would jive with much of what we know about psychology and neurology, although again, I can see it as an extended metaphor perhaps. Maybe I misread this, though, as I said, I just skimmed.

Agreed - already warned you about his TC view, but I do think he hits on something worth exploring.  What happens when you add consciousness with long-term memory to instincts with only short term memory?  You end up remembering infractions of social rules, etc. that would otherwise be quickly forgotten in e.g. the mind of a chook.  You then build up grudges, anxieties, emotion-charged memories, fears of future mind-made scenarios, etc.  So the instinctive social rules blindly intended to simply promote survival in the next interaction with the enemy/out-group end up being something far more significant in consciousness’s mind games.  And the worse the obsession gets, the harder it is to switch it off, robbing the sufferer of mind-energy and valuable mind-processing time.  But maybe I’m ignoring the elephant in the room.  Or is that the TV or video game (contributing to ADD on a massive scale)?

[ Edited: 07 January 2012 09:13 PM by Michael Kean]
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Posted: 07 January 2012 10:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 483 ]  
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Posted: 07 January 2012 11:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 484 ]  
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Hi Lexie - can’t really add much to most of your post because I simply agree.

Lexie_99 - 08 January 2012 03:56 AM

Are there methods that can be employed that lead to a complete personal objectivity? Is that a meaningless construct in light of the multi-tiered nature of “truth”? Are we overly “truth-centric” anyhow?

I think that there is a method that lead to an emergent sense of personal moral congruence and thus self-actualisation, if that’s any help! wink

Yes, I liked his story about duck fights. It’s funny, I think this is one area of human transformation where you’d find very little resistance, yet even so, it’s very difficult to change! Who do you meet that says “No no, I really enjoy…. obsessively worrying / losing my temper / ruminating / doubting myself / etc.”. Very few people, I would imagine! Yet even awareness of these patterns, by itself, does little to alleviate them. This is, perhaps, an example of a time when unexamined subjectivity is not our friend. We can know intellectually that something is irrational, but if it feels unpleasant, it feels unpleasant. It’s very hard to break away from that subjective feeling.

 
Yes - that’s the topic of the rest of the book - learning to live in the here-and-now.

BTW the elephant in the room was attention deficit disorder.  What hope have we got for learning how to self-actualise if we can’t even use the mental faculty anymore, let alone overcome its shortcomings?  ADD seems like a de-evolution of the human mind to me!

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Posted: 07 January 2012 11:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 485 ]  
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I’ve been reading “The Faith Instinct” by Nicholas Wade lately.  (It was a Xmas present from one of my sons.)  Wade tries to present the issue without picking sides in the religious debate, but sometimes this is a little frustrating because he ends up assigning to a religious instinct or drive what I would assign to an ‘areligious’ or moral one.  For instance in his second paragraph he says “religion has brought meaning to millions” which is ok in a loose sense, but doesn’t really fit in a book that tries to unmask underlying human instincts in this area.  In the same vein he says on the same opening page “religion has always been a wellspring of hope”.  Is it religion that has brought this wellspring of meaning & hope or is it really the underlying evolution of consciousness-with-instincts that has brought about moral behaviour in society?  On the second page he says that religion “sustains the quality of the social fabric”.  Well does it?  Doesn’t North Korea have a statist dogma that, economics and personal freedoms aside, sustains the quality of its social fabric?  Maybe there is an alternative to religious and statist dogmas that could work better through other manifestations of human behaviour we perhaps haven’t even explored yet!


On page 5 he says “Believers would be right to take the view that Darwin’s theory specifies no purpose for the biological process it explains and cannot trespass into whatever religions have to say about the meaning of life…evolution…has nothing to say about any ultimate purpose”.  This is very passé.  Just read Dan Dennett’s “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea” of some 15 years ago for a full rebuttal.  Self-organising systems such as our universe don’t need an externally-provided purpose.  Purpose and meaning, as well as moral values such as hope, etc. simply emerge within it along with all its other self-restraints (or ‘laws’)!


But this was not the main point I wanted to raise and extract from the book so far (up to page 52).  I wanted to talk more about the evolution of our fallible moral agency as subjective beings and the concomitant evolution of religion.  It seems in our earliest evolution of consciousness we must have become aware of our subjective fallibility.  This awareness seems to have had a big impact on the social structure in hunter-gatherer societies.  Chimpanzees, which share our closest common ancestors on the tree of life, have a very different social structure.  Hunter-gatherers have a very egalitarian structure, with taboos against males who try to dominate the group, whereas chimps have a carefully ranked social structure, beginning at the top with the alpha-male.  It seems the evolution of consciousness must be responsible for this radical re-shaping of the social instinct in early humans.  And further, it seems the recognition of our fallible moral agency could be a strong contender for the reason.  This enabled us to see fallibility not just in ourselves, but in our would-be alpha males as well.  Our awareness rejected their moral & social superiority (and tyranny – which by human standards, can still be routinely witnessed in chimpanzee troops).  Coalitions could now hatch plans to depose even the strongest males.  So how could social structure and fabric remain robust with the removal of the alpha-male?  And how were we to cope with the stark openness of our moral fallibility?  Well I’m guessing we incorrectly ‘sensed’ that morality existed outside of and perhaps above all fallible human individuals.  The ‘common-sense’ invention of gods was the result: It closed the open question.  So religion supplied society’s missing glue.  Wade comes to the same conclusion with a different spin to the one I’ve posited here.


But I suspect this error of external assignment of moral agency (outside the self-organising system which is our universe), is not irreversible.  And I think our realisation of the limited nature of our global resources will make us more and more keenly aware of the finiteness of our universe and thus its essentially self-organising nature.  Hopefully this will make us see that we didn’t have to prematurely close the apparently open question with religion at all.  The universe was a closed system all along, with us as a valid part of it!  It will hopefully make us realise that there is no solution to our financial & environmental problems outside of the ones we ourselves, apart from all gods, can provide.  So after more than 50,000 years, I’m guessing we are about to redress the error of external assignment of moral agency whether we like it or not!  The truth is not out there because for the first time we know there is no “out there”.  Waddayareckon?

[ Edited: 07 January 2012 11:50 PM by Michael Kean]
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Posted: 08 January 2012 02:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 486 ]  
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I want to congratulate mr Kean with going completely off topic with his corporate psychobabble and overanalysis. I bet you got hundreds of diagrams drawn out about this stuff too havent you? Something i learned early on: you can invent a psychological reason for absolutely anything. The sky is the limit.


One things for sure, you can thank consciousness for all of it. If we really were just little unconscious orbs of matter, none of it would be possible.

[ Edited: 08 January 2012 04:01 AM by srrr]
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Posted: 08 January 2012 06:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 487 ]  
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Posted: 08 January 2012 10:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 488 ]  
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Posted: 08 January 2012 04:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 489 ]  
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srrr - 08 January 2012 07:34 AM

I want to congratulate mr Kean with going completely off topic with his corporate psychobabble and overanalysis. I bet you got hundreds of diagrams drawn out about this stuff too havent you? Something i learned early on: you can invent a psychological reason for absolutely anything. The sky is the limit.


One things for sure, you can thank consciousness for all of it. If we really were just little unconscious orbs of matter, none of it would be possible.

Hi srrr,
Yeah, I thought you wouldn’t like the idea of emergence turned into a full-blown philosophy!  Thought you might have responded earlier.


I’ve been around the block a few times too and I totally agree with what you have learned.  Us humans are great pattern-finders and can attach deep truth & meaning to anything (any pattern within our heads).  And even researchers are often guilty of attaching long-winded theories to findings with “r squared” very close to zero.


The answer for me at least is to nevertheless try to match our philosophy of life to reality, whether that’s a philosophy of emergence or panpsychism.  Emergence is a simple theory really - its just a broader version of evolution.  Things sometimes evolve; things sometimes emerge.  Same particles, just higher order or organisation.  But how do things evolve?  Well natural selection is the commonly accepted mechanism.  Likewise I have postulated an emergent mechanism.  All self-organising systems rely on disturbance or perturbation or dissonance or tension to drive them, just like the struggle for life drives adaptation.  I have suggested entropy, in this expanding phase of our universe, is the driver of emergence.


I have also suggested something radical - that the initial tension didn’t come from something outside the system but was inherent in the system itself - in the mathematical contradiction of infinite nothingness.  My thinking behind this is that our finite universe is limited by asymptotic zero & infinity at every turn but these things are not observable anywhere - even in the largest of black holes.  Many scientists, based on the apparently accelerating expansion of our universe, now believe it will keep expanding forever.  The system is “flat” & we’re heading for the Big Freeze.  But this is still not certain.  Amazing things happen at the limits of length (things squeezed down to near the Plank length is the province of black holes) or speed (near the speed of light all sorts of things happen to matter and energy) or temperature.  If there is a Big Freeze, the whole universe will become superconducting (resistance approaches zero).  What does this suggest?  Does it mean the last remaining differences in electromagnetic potential could send an almost infinite current throughout the entire universe?  Do we really know what might happen in those conditions?  So maybe you get my point about the tension created when we get close to infinite nothingness.  Our cosmos seems to be an outworking of this unavoidable ‘mathematical’ tension.  Sure we still have no idea how we got from infinite nothingness to a universe perhaps best described by Garrett Lisi’s still quite complex quantum mechanical “Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything”, but thems the brakes.  We do have clues however - and quantum fluctuations are an important one in this discussion.


But what is the alternative?  Infinite C consciousness?  Well where srrr did this C consciousness come from?  It’s not satisfactory to me to say that it was always there as a stable, unchangeable thing.  Why?  Because this is not what I observe in nature or through science.


However if your C is just a label for an organising principle that operates throughout the universe, then maybe your concept of C and my concept of emergence are not that far apart after all.  My feeling however is that you expect too much of C, whereas like Lexie said, my idea of E is not like ‘The Secret’ at all - you have to work quite hard to make emergence work for you if you decide to take it on as a guiding philosophy.  Buddhists have an axiom for our cosmos: “Dependent Arising”.  I like it, but I prefer my own “Self-organising Emergence”.  For sentient beings this equates to “Self-actualising Emergence”.  Simple in concept, not so simple in application…

[ Edited: 08 January 2012 05:16 PM by Michael Kean]
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Posted: 08 January 2012 05:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 490 ]  
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srrr - 08 January 2012 07:34 AM

If we really were just little unconscious orbs of matter, none of it would be possible.

You mean like rocks?

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Posted: 08 January 2012 06:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 491 ]  
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Lexie_99 - 08 January 2012 03:40 PM

Maybe there is an alternative to religious and statist dogmas that could work better through other manifestations of human behaviour we perhaps haven’t even explored yet!

Yes, I think that is what I was starting to get at above. I remember I did a brief stint at a mega-church once, when I was new in town and didn’t know anyone (I actually enjoyed the community a great deal, but I notice such institutions tend to eventually become creepily interested in things like regulating your sex life, which I just can’t abide by). Anyhow, on reflection they talked a great deal about regulating the dogmatic impulse, although not in those terms of course. Usually it was discussed under the idea of “false gods” - a controlling boyfriend, an addiction, an unbalanced life with an all-consuming passion (work, perfectionism, etc.) were all discussed as false gods. So viewed in that way, I actually think our dogmatic impulses appear frequently in our lives! As to the alternatives, I don’t know, of course, but it’s certainly a ripe topic for inquiry and research.

Sorry - I didn’t mean another dogma.  I meant the chance of a society of liberated yet still fallible moral agents fully understanding and accepting their agency, even in the face of the dreadful responsibility this implies.  This is what we haven’t explored on a large social scale as yet.  And I suspect this scenario would release fervent joy and self-actualising along with that daunting responsibility.  But hey - that’s me being way too optimistic again!

I was just wondering about this with meditation, why studies seem to show it promotes compassion. There’s no direct cause-effect link between focusing on breathing and being more compassionate! I assume it is because meditation allows you to introspect and know yourself more fully. As we often produce compassion through mirroring and simulation of the internal states of others, the more we know our own landscape, the bigger of a palate we have to paint with when recreating other’s. It’s difficult to recreate in another the things you don’t recognize in yourself.

Wonderful!

I’d argue we still have plenty of alpha-male issues below the surface of society, but I agree it’s certainly far and away better than a chimpanzee tribe!

That’s why it’s only consciousness shaping instincts and not a total change of genes.

As I’ve talked about before, it takes some introspection to get comfortable with the idea of people determining right and wrong. First, because the responsibility and risk of error is frightening. Second, because, there’s the uncomfortable intuitive sense that an “arbitrary” determination of such values is less valuable than living up to some pre-set, universal ideal. Which plays into what you’ve said - we probably wouldn’t have that discomfort, ironically, if there weren’t some sort of pre-set ideal we were subconsciously trying to live up to. I base that on the fact that we don’t worry much at all about arbitrary choices in other areas - who cares what hobbies I choose to have, what foods I enjoy eating, where I vacation, etc.? These simply being personal choices doesn’t strike me as bothersome at all, but change the topic to morality and it’s a different story. Suddenly I’m struck with a need to “get it right”, and an intuitive sense that there is a “right” in this particular area.

Agreed.  I think there are lots of things here a philosophy of emergence and a refocus away from truth-validating helps with.  Subjective but responsible moral agents don’t overly concern themselves with objective truth-seeking (no objectivity exists in the areas over which they hold ‘godhead’ status) but rather with value-delivering, or making explicit the values they embody in the things they create or do!  I hope you know I don’t mean any of this in an arrogant kind of way…

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Posted: 09 January 2012 07:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 492 ]  
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Posted: 09 January 2012 02:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 493 ]  
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Lexie_99 - 09 January 2012 12:28 PM

Sorry - I didn’t mean another dogma.  I meant the chance of a society of liberated yet still fallible moral agents fully understanding and accepting their agency, even in the face of the dreadful responsibility this implies.  This is what we haven’t explored on a large social scale as yet.  And I suspect this scenario would release fervent joy and self-actualising along with that daunting responsibility.  But hey - that’s me being way too optimistic again!


Oh, I didn’t think that’s what you meant, I was just reflecting on the prevalence of dogma. Our minds tend to go to religion and politics, but I think dogmatic thinking can be found all around - in relationships, for example. Anytime we go into “unquestioning” mode. I was saying I’m not sure what the antidote to this way of thinking is, but I’m sure there is one!

Yes - dogma is just rock logic. The antidote is to use water logic instead. To think. To see the present place & moment as something unique & never traversed before even though it may be familiar. But I guess this very childlike approach to life is quite rare in adults. Maybe another way to break the dogmatism is to see the cycles or movement in everything. We move from CQ to IQ to SQ to EQ and so on but some of us get stuck in one phase too long and don’t fully appreciate the value sets associated with each evolving phase. Sometimes we have to bravely step out of our comfort zones to self actualize. Nature never gets stuck, never halts between 2 opinions. Never blames. It moves on, delivering destruction or value. As limited moral agents we can take stock in order to choose to deliver destruction or value. But the focus should be the delivery, as an outworking of the values we embody. If we become 1-value entities then we limit our relevance in the ongoing and inexorable coagulation of life. We may be only relevant in 1 phase out of 4, or we may be constructive in 1 but destructive in the other 3.  It’s a dance- a very authentic & moving dance of the values we embody.


Getting back to srrr’s criticism of me getting off topic and also seeing her response to Sam’s latest post on something from nothing, I’ve been thinking about the relationship between flow and consciousness.  A great post on this was the following.  You should read the whole topic if you get the chance:
Perspective makes all the difference


Is consciousness / self / “I” / free will an illusion or not?  Well it is certainly not a singularity in a single here and now - it is a transition across here & there / now & then.  It is something that occupies a kind of changing manifold in the brain.  In fact this is true of all matter.  What is a chair?  Is it a fixed singularity?  No.  It is a changing set of particles moving through space and time.  We could perhaps view a chair - a changing collection of particles - as an illusion too.  Many Eastern philosophies would do just that.  But many of us choose not to view the chair as an illusion, even though we know the “truth” of it to some extent.  We choose, as entities with limited moral agency, one way or another.  As an extended phenotype of our species the chair has some meaning.  But it wouldn’t have the same meaning to a “humanly” conscious elephant.  And neither does a beaver’s dam have the same meaning to us as to a “humanly” conscious beaver.  Likewise we can choose to see consciousness / self / “I” / free will as something true & meaningful to the subjective & fallible self or not.


Consciousness is a dynamic manifold in matter and time.  The bigger the manifold of firing neurons in the brain, the deeper the consciousness.  So in one sense consciousness is just like the dynamic manifold we call a chair.  But in another sense, not.  The chair is a tangible & direct expression of matter, whereas consciousness is intangible and indirect.  This suggests that just as the direct is made up of discrete particles, so it is fair to think of the indirect as made up of discrete particles moving through matter and time.  This is exactly what theoretical physicists do in the study of particle physics.  They model indirect particles (massless or having mass but with transitory existence) and then go about ascertaining their indirect and intangible existence.  For each direct particle they may postulate an indirect mirror.  Maybe this is something like what we should do with our model of consciousness.  At least this way we wouldn’t get locked into the idea that consciousness must be an illusion, but rather can be something we can indirectly test.  So can you get something from nothing but transient movement?  It depends on your perspective & choice as a subjective but fallible moral agent.  Maybe you get everything.  I reckon all movement & time is the result of an asymmetry between the direct and the indirect, but that is perhaps another topic…

[ Edited: 09 January 2012 08:56 PM by Michael Kean]
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Posted: 10 January 2012 06:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 494 ]  
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Posted: 11 January 2012 08:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 495 ]  
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Lexie_99 - 10 January 2012 11:13 PM

Do you mean consciousness existing in some sort of dynamic, moving relationship, or specifically in between direct and indirect particles? ... Perhaps (probably) consciousness is created in the brain, but I do like to keep other ideas in mind just for the fun of it.

On the first point, I meant that consciousness represents the indirect part of the process going on in a brain.  The direct part of the process is the neurons we see firing, etc.  So just as we have real particles and massless or transient particles in the Standard Model of matter, so we have real or direct parts (neurons, etc.) and indirect parts (consciousness) in out model of one brain (or a society of brains).  This is nothing special, but it can get us past the trap of thinking consciousness or self or even free will is illusory just because it is indirect.  All space is indirect (i.e. intangible but having effect on matter).  Space holds information about matter in the way of QM fields or interactions.  But space can’t be illusory - by volume it is the biggest fact of our universe!  Likewise I’d like to get away from the idea of illusory consciousness.


On the second point, just as space (i.e. QM fields &/or indirect particles) supports matter and vice versa (those indirect particles do not exist without matter’s direct ones), I suspect it’s slightly wrong to say consciousness is created in the brain, if by brain you mean the physical, direct part divorced from the indirect part.  Is space created in matter or are they all parts of the same sticky stuff?  Is 1 created by 0 or are they part of the same sticky stuff (and hence the ability to get something from nothing in e.g. quantum fluctuations)?  In an emergent universe, matter and spacetime grow up and impact each other’s organisation, such that by the time spacetime arises in an expanding universe, matter is changed too.  The laws or self-restraints of the universe (“in” spacetime) do not exist apart from the universe.  So I suspect likewise in an emergent brain - neurons and consciousness impact each other: Indirect consciousness is not “created” in direct brain features, but rather they are two parts of the same sticky substance.  The impact of the one on the other “in time” is caused by movement or flow, i.e. the drive to resolve the asymmetry between the direct and indirect. 


Another way to look at your second point - human consciousness is made explicit through language.  This makes it a social thing, spreading across not just one brain, but many.  So if you would like to think of indirect consciousness as a manifold spreading across many brains in different layers or strata I’d be ok with that.  But I’m not ok with anything magical.

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