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index « biological « Exploring Consciousness.

posted : 2005.Dec.28 @ 12.51pm
As of late, I have increasingly found myself contemplating consciousness. So far I have come up with a few ideas, as well as a few questions I would love some feedback on.

So consciousness is pretty much being "self-aware", right? And to see the relationship between oneself and one's environment?

So, our eyes work a certain way, they let in light, which is then processed and in turn, gives us a mental picture (sight) of our environment. Is this to say that other beings, with different types of eyes that work differently (other animals and such), probably see the world in a visually different way than we do? Does that make our environment somewhat of a figment of our imagination? You and I see green grass, and assume that the grass' real color is green, however, this doesnt necessarily mean that the grass truely looks like that...correct?

Also, what are your thoughts on consciousness? Are there any reasons to belive that our consciousness will end upon death? Also, is there any reason to belive that we were not conscious before birth?

Thanks in advance for any insight...

posted : 2005.Dec.29 @ 10.11pm
oooh... ihave this amazing article about that which fully explains consciousness and awareness in this deep scientific way... i'll have to dig that up for you. soon, soon.

posted : 2006.Jan.03 @ 7.19pm

you might like this one: Experience, awareness and consciousness: suggestions for definitions as offered by an evolutionary approach. Foundations of Science 5 (4):429-456. 2000 Mario Vaneechoutte

or this one: States of Consciousness Charles T. Tart Conservative and Radical Views of the Mind from the Psychedelic Library

and then there's: this super interesting article

some neat links. I like that Tart guy.

for myself with teh whole question of "is there a definite reality beyond our perception?" i often tend to lean towards paradox. I love paradox for answering the mysteries of life without really answering them, in a blatant statement that if you think you understand it you don't really get it. *giggle*

yes, our perception is the reality. because it creates reality through our thoughts, because it is designed to help us literally "see". like reality, our perception is limitless. terence mckenna pointed out that consciousness could be called ways of seeing.

i could look at this screen and see the white colours, the words and background behind this window. or i could look at it focusing on the dark sections. i could divide it into colours or i could think about what the words mean. it goes on infinitely. consciousness is infinite.

and yet, those who show true wisdom are proven again and again to be wrong, and these are the ones who accept this wrongness as a great strength. true science is simply the exploration of reality under the assumption that we don't know the half of it.

so is it really green? yes and no, both at once.

posted : 2006.Jan.03 @ 10.29pm
Does that make our environment somewhat of a figment of our imagination? You and I see green grass, and assume that the grass' real color is green, however, this doesnt necessarily mean that the grass truely looks like that...correct?

What you're talking about sounds like the inverted spectrum argument argued by philosophers to defend the idea that objects have an underlying nature, or qualia, which cannot be explicitly defined by description. The inverted spectrum argument is a thought-experiment which supposes that a person is born with a mental defect that forces him to see color inverted, so that the relationship between colors is the same, but the perception of them is exactly opposite. Under no circumstances would this person realize that they perceived color in a different way than others, because the language used to communicate their perception of a color does not accurately portray the perception itself.

The argument for qualia is part of a larger argument against Functionalism (Dennet) a school of thought that believes mental phenomenon can only be understood through the functional organization of the brain. It is also used in a refutation for Behaviorism (Watson) a now defunct belief that mental phenomenon can only be understood through observable behavior.

posted : 2006.Jan.17 @ 4.37am

Indeed our world is a figment of the conditions through which it arises-
imagination being a conditioning factor.

Recent discoveries in neurology have revealed that microtubules in nerve cells interact at a quantum level, at which, according to the M-theory, all units of energy are immediately connected to every other by mysterious 'strings', beyond the limitations of relative space (and the speed of light.)

See. Quantum computation in brain microtubules

I visualize consciousness as an interactive feedback loop between awareness and manifestation. The necessity then for consciousness is that it's receptors inhabit the space which it has the ability to perceive. Thus consciousness is awareness- fully immersed in and refracted by the conditions that are being perceived.

Artistic creation is the perfect example of consciousness- say you're drawing and 40 times a second your brain is cognizing an image of what you're drawing, and based on that awareness it's stimulating the nervous system to move your fingers according to some transcending perception of beauty. Thus consciousness is simultaneously creating and experiencing the conditions of it's awareness.

Look closer at your nervous system as another example... it is the primary tool of consciousness in this realm, and the nerves have perceptions of 'matter' and so must have some relationship to matter, such as being composed of matter. Then the form of the perceptions are the relative difference between the vibrations of the observing nerves and the vibrations being observed. (ie. if you're fire water feels cool, if you're ice it's warm) Although any way you slice it they are both ultimately conditioned by eachother in the same relationship and cannot be divided.

The receptors of consciousness must inhabit the space which they have the ability to perceive and interact with- yet the awareness transcending that space might even be conscious, perceiving you and 6 billion other human cells as it's own organ... this and a billion other galaxies, omniscient as you might be observing others play a video game in virtual space, or be able to scan perceptions throughout your body composed of trillions of cells.

All energy is connected to a quantum matrix which is utterly interconnected at a level transcending our perceptions of space, which are ultimately conditioned by the conditions of space, which are just another fantastic set of conditions- not in anyway fundamental.

But just like your society naturally conditions and defines you in a way that most beings have no other insight other than to cling- beings conditioned by this space assume it to be somehow fundamental as it conditions all that could hope to be perceived by the spacial bodies which they inhabit and so identify with.

Yet the root of consciousness cannot be pinned down, it is ethereal and so transcends and unifies many conditions; yet, consciousness as we could possibly relate to could not possibly exist independent from manifestation... consciousness in this relam is the expression of the relationships of form, contrast. And our perceptions of this world are conditioned by the archetypal forms of the conditions upon which this very space arises.

Cultural space arises in your biological mind space. So just as your perceptions of culture are conditioned by the conditions of your body- that music sounds good because your ears are tuned at the right vibration to dig it, and the being who made the music has a body much like yours. Yet if your whole culture was destroyed you might still exist as your biology transcends the mental forms of culture.

Deeper now- look at this body, it's mainly composed of a vastly insignificant volume of physicality. So if awareness is omniscient, why don't you feel infinitely small all the time? Your body is so important to your everything that if it loses balance you die! It's the end of the world as you know it- the end of the world that conditions your gross perceptions. And there are billions of humans just like you. Yet you feel so important that it's easy to forget you're infinitely small and act as though you're the center of the universe most of the time. But you're just another phenomenon- it's all you've ever been. Nothing separates you from the chair you're sitting on, but the ecstatic relationship that 'your' nerve cells are having with each other.

So according to these observations, that we're infinitely small and just made of conditions like all other things, yet we feel infinitely large- all vibrations, all networks of relationships, no matter how subtle, are amplified into awareness as the center of being- and if they attain enough complexity, this fantastic interactive feedback loop called consciousness arises in awareness- one of infinite other phenomenon which might develope.

posted : 2006.Jan.18 @ 9.19am
Wow Anson. Thanks for the very insightful feedback. I especially loved the end...


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