So apparently the physical body has learned to create consciousness as well? At this point I'm afraid I'm going to need to know which came first? The physical body or the consciousness, since they are, as you say, one and the same. Or did they just happen simultaneously?
How can we be sure that we're not projecting rather than observing? Kind of like when people project, or assign, human emotions and motivations to animals?
Who, or what, is providing these clues? And why just clues? Is some force beyond our comprehension just playing games with us?
Here is the source of that story. It is actually highly relevant to this thread. It is all about metaphysical disputes:
and why would ONLY a brain be what I am talking about.....
if you lose an arm can you still be a conscious observer? Yes.
if you lose everthing but your head can you still function as a 'normal' conscious observer? No.
What is consciousness?
I use the word "consciousness" in a narrow sense and in a broader sense. In the narrow sense I mean the experience of seeing something, or hearing something, or having a feeling. In the broader sense I just mean the whole colorful life of the mind: our thoughts, our feelings, our hopes, the desires that shape the contours of our lives. I don't think of consciousness as something that happens in us or to us but as something that we achieve or something that we do through our action and interaction with the world around us. Source
Here is a quote from Alva Noe on this idea.
In my own thought experiment,
using ideas that I collected from many places including my own observations and experiences, I imagined consciousness, which is most ethereal, turning in on itself (as a baby might look in a womb), and slowing spiraling into itself more and more. As it spirals in, it becomes more dense, more compress, more energetic, and ultimately more physical.
You can start with some very long string and start it spiraling into itself. Denser and denser and denser. Soon, you have something very hard, like a baseball, even though it started off very light and flexible. So, spiraling motion is the key. Very similar to the Taiji symbol which I often use to demonstrate spiraling as the fundamental motion of nature.
We project onto others what is ourselves. If we listen to the way we criticize others, we learn a lot about ourselves.
I think this is a very interesting and astute observation.
Yes. If you remove the receiver from the TV, the TV goes blank. But this does not mean that the picture is created in the receiver in the TV.
I am not disputing that consciousness is dependent upon the brain being functional. If the brain is damaged then consciousness will be affected. However I don't believe that consciousness can be understood solely in terms of the activities of the brain. Every conscious act is dependent upon many factors, of which the brain is one. I suppose the effort to 'locate' consciousness in the brain is an effort to understand it as the property of an object - specifically, the brain. However the brain is situated -first of all physically, and physiologically, in the body; and the whole complex is situated in an environment. Consciousness in the broader sense refers to the entire panorama of subject-object-act of perception. So in can't be reduced to one component or aspect, the physical processes of brain activity of chemistry.
Jeeprs is ready to follow my line of reasoning.
Both creatures using the same organ and biological mechanisms are seeing what is being transmitted on their little tv screens in the back of an organ in the head. I will leave it up to you brainiacs to come up with the proper name for that.
Neither are actually seeing the actual tree, nor can they. What they are seeing is the light reflected off of the tree and translated by their brain into an image of what may or may not be in front of them.
There is nothing that either of them can do to alter the reality of that tree being there, or what it actually is. Should some mishap cause the brain to interpret the image differently, THAT will be what they will think they see, but the tree will remain exactly what it really is, despite their biological interpretation of it.
A tree is a tree is a tree is a tree! Whether the being looking at it is a man, monkey, mouse or insect. The world is the world with the same determination. We can interact with it by plucking its leaves and fluttering through its atmosphere and sailing across its seas. But what it is, it is!
So the two creatures are biologically observing what is there in front of them. The reality of what is there before them has nothing whatsoever to do with consciousness. The fact that their brain is able to translate light reflection into an image is not consciousness, it is merely a biological ability/ function. The dynamics within that biological process and the details of how it takes place is not consciousness.
Consciousness reveals itself in the fact that, over and above the picture being devised by the brain on the little viewing screen, a being is able to FURTHER interpret that image, and calculate what it might be, and intelligently speculate and theorize about its environment and possible interaction with them and their shared surrounding. It is in that FURTHER ability that consciousness is revealed. So in that definition we see that there is therefore a propensity for varying degrees of consciousness from creature to creature.
Even though the biological brain functions between the man and the chimp are pretty much exactly the same, we cannot say that the consciousness is the same. Both are conscious of it, but certainly not to the same degree. Both are using the brain to see an image inside their heads that shows them a constructed build of reflected light. We call the image we see a tree. Who knows what the chimp calls it in his mind, (Pretty brown and green lights that stand up straight?).
Can we agree on that at this point?
By "thought experiment" do you mean meditation?
but does consciousness produce a form of energy that could conceivably be converted to mass? Particularly if that mass is a complex system such as a human body?
I'm with you on the Taiji symbol and the apparent spiral nature of things, but I am going to have to point out that you've ducked my initial question of which came first? the body or the consciousness? I'm curious as to what you might think about this.
Another question I did want to explore though has to do with your idea of Universal Consciousness. Specifically, does this Universal Consciousness also include or allow for non-human and/or non-terrestrial consciousnesses in its structure?
I really dont understand how someone can be persuaded simply by analogy.
And a mediocre analogy at best.
Consciousness would be the equivalent of the pilot wave/particle that makes manifests in quanta in the deBroglie-Bohm interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. It is not measurable using classical instruments because of the Heisenberg Principle.
It would be similar to gaseous substance condensing into galaxies, or water vapor condensing into ice cubes. Of course, it could be cyclical, but ultimately, it would be the more ethereal (quantum wave/particle), into the more dense.
So in essence are you saying that you personally lean more toward a probabilistic view of the universe, rather than a deterministic view of the universe? Or am I misunderstanding what Heisenberg was saying about uncertainty?
Okay, so forgive me if I'm misreading you, but are you saying that consciousness did indeed come first, and that it condensed into the physical?
Probabilistic not in the sense that anything can happen. But more that there are influences that surround all of us and there is a choice in direction that we can take. The choice of direction is the navigation part of life. We can choose to go this way or that way.
In Bohm's model, he speaks of a quantum force that varies over distance and is constantly being influenced. This is very close to my concept of consciousness - i.e., observing and choosing a direction using Will.
Yes, this would be my conception. Sort of like gaseous substance condensing into galaxies or quanta waves collapsing into particles. The more ethereal condenses into the individual manifestations.
In the meantime though . . .
This forces me to ask the question then: "Where did consciousness, as you define it, come from?"
I am not trying to persuade anyone.
Kiel, I need a little more foundation to build a base camp as it were so that I can understand the full idea that you are backing. there are three points I want to understand.
first: I am trying to find out what is this 'mind' of which you speak. I dont believe in the mind. what is your definition of the word? I would have thought it was the same as 'soul' which I know you dont recognize as valid. why should there be something called a mind? isnt the brain sufficient for whatever processes you would ascribe to the mind?
in your post #46 to Jeeprs, you made this statement: "Ok and I think we CAN understand the mind by looking towards the brain." by this I would understand you to mean they are two different things. you said in post #38 you stated that the mind and the brain are not synonymous, but rather they are opposite sides of the same coin. actually I dont know what you mean by that. can you explain? it does sound to me like here you are saying the mind and the brain are the same thing. and previously in your post #20 you stated "The brain in a specific state is the mind in a specific state." I also dont understand that statement. can you elaborate? what states are you talking about? would they both be in the same state or two separate states?
second issue: we have established that you believe there must be a subject that is experiencing and we agree that consciousness is the experience itself. again in your post#20 in answer to my question 'who or what is the subject?', you replied: "It is the agent/organism." I asked for clarification, and from your answer in #38 I gather you would say in the case of a human being, it is the entire physicality of that human being that is the subject. am I correct in interpreting that?
I didnt mean myself. *hint hint*
So for example if we take an fMRI machine and hook it up to your brain and see all the different neurons firing via blood flow (hemodynamics) third parties can establish what you are thinking.
Philosophers, cognitive scientists and artificial intelligence researchers who study embodied cognition and the embodied mind believe that the nature of the human mind is largely determined by the form of the human body. They argue that all aspects of cognition, such as ideas, thoughts, concepts and categories are shaped by aspects of the body. These aspects include the perceptual system, the intuitions that underlie the ability to move, activities and interactions with our environment and the naive understanding of the world that is built into the body and the brain.
The embodied mind thesis is opposed to other theories of cognition, such as cognitivism, computationalism and Cartesian dualism. The idea has roots in Kant and 20th century continental philosophy (such as Merleau-Ponty). The modern version depends on insights drawn from recent research in linguistics, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, robotics and neurobiology
Would you have a reference for that? It conflicts with some other reading I have been doing on the subject. I would be curious to know how you would translate MRI images into words and pictures.
Also the point about 'being conscious even if your arm is amputated' is not really germane to the idea of 'embodied consciousness'. The idea of 'embodied consciousness' is more that:
As I said, I am not here to persuade anyone. I enjoy discussing topics like consciousness just for the sheer enjoyment.