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My revised theory of consciousness

 
 
Reply Thu 2 Feb, 2017 12:59 pm
Let me post a brief version of my theory that gets my point across clearly. Imagine looking at the brain from the outside. You would be the outside observer. From this perspective, you would see all the physical processes in the brain in terms of neurons, synapses, etc. But if I were to bring this outside observer closer and closer into the brain until the observer becomes the physical processes themselves, then what we have here is an inside observer.

From this perspective, we are no longer looking at the physical processes of the brain in terms of physical attributes (neurons, etc.), but from a whole new perspective. One of subjective experience. This inside observer would be the self. So if we look at the brain and we find inside observer information in the brain, then we will know that the self is there and we would, therefore, also have subjective experience.

The hard problem of consciousness would then disappear. The reason why there is the hard problem in the first place is because we are asking ourselves how the brain produces subjective experience, but from the outside observer perspective which is the wrong perspective.

Therefore, all that physical stuff and subjective experience are actually the same thing, but the outside observer would see it as physical stuff while the inside observer would see it as experience. Take note that this theory of mine supports the scientific materialistic model of the brain.
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Krumple
 
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Reply Thu 2 Feb, 2017 01:36 pm
@MozartLink,
MozartLink wrote:

Let me post a brief version of my theory that gets my point across clearly. Imagine looking at the brain from the outside. You would be the outside observer. From this perspective, you would see all the physical processes in the brain in terms of neurons, synapses, etc. But if I were to bring this outside observer closer and closer into the brain until the observer becomes the physical processes themselves, then what we have here is an inside observer.

From this perspective, we are no longer looking at the physical processes of the brain in terms of physical attributes (neurons, etc.), but from a whole new perspective. One of subjective experience. This inside observer would be the self. So if we look at the brain and we find inside observer information in the brain, then we will know that the self is there and we would, therefore, also have subjective experience.

The hard problem of consciousness would then disappear. The reason why there is the hard problem in the first place is because we are asking ourselves how the brain produces subjective experience, but from the outside observer perspective which is the wrong perspective.

Therefore, all that physical stuff and subjective experience are actually the same thing, but the outside observer would see it as physical stuff while the inside observer would see it as experience. Take note that this theory of mine supports the scientific materialistic model of the brain.


Here is a thought experiment.

Imagine being born with the five senses not working. Such as blindness, deaf, no sense of touch, no tastebuds, and you can't smell anything.

Now doctors keep your body a live but you have no idea about the world at all. You would NOT develope a sense of self because you need sense data to relate its reference.

You would never develope the concept of other no of self because you have no sense data to determine, what is me, what is not me.

The self is built upon sense data in relation to the experience. You would have no concept of a body, wouldn't know colors and anything else related, no sounds, no smells, no taste. The self would not develope even though your neurons are working.

Consciousness forms at the moment the sense data merges with awareness. This is why blind people have no visual consciousness and colors can't not be explained. No matter how many words you use you can never explain colors to a blind person who has been blind since birth. Same with deafness.

The self can be transcended but you don't become a mindless zombie.
MozartLink
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Feb, 2017 01:59 pm
@Krumple,
But what if the self is not any experience at all, but is merely information in the brain that is the very foundation of all experience? You might be aware of yourself, but that is just an experience. That is not the same thing as the actual self. So when you speak of transcending the self and not becoming a mindless zombie, you would be referring only to the awareness of oneself. But if you were to somehow transcend the actual self, then you would be an actual mindless zombie according to my theory.
Krumple
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Feb, 2017 08:50 pm
@MozartLink,
MozartLink wrote:

But what if the self is not any experience at all, but is merely information in the brain that is the very foundation of all experience? You might be aware of yourself, but that is just an experience. That is not the same thing as the actual self. So when you speak of transcending the self and not becoming a mindless zombie, you would be referring only to the awareness of oneself. But if you were to somehow transcend the actual self, then you would be an actual mindless zombie according to my theory.


It comes down to how the brain determines what is you and what is other. Here is another thought experiment.

One of your arms gets severed from your body and you look down at the ground. You can no longer feel anything. If you were to stomp on your severed arm laying on the ground you wouldn't feel it. So is that severed arm still yours?

What if that arm rots completely where it's just minerals in the ground, would you still call it yours?

If you say yes the every time you urinate or dedicate you are leaving parts of yourself everywhere. Because you lose blood cells and other minerals that get replaced.

The point is that the self has no determined boundary. Where does the self end and everything else begin. Some say there is no boundary and others say there is a boundary but it's difficult to point out.

If you deeply examine this to the core youll discover there really is no self at all. What there is though is a cycle system which goes like this.

Form, Feeling, Awareness, Contact and Consciousness.

Form is the sense data streaming in through a sense organ. Such as light for the eye, or sound for the ear.

Feeling is the immediate response to the data. Recognition.

Awareness is the impression awarded, this being the label, green light, red light, loud, quiet, annoying, scary, etc.

Contact is the aversion, attachment or indifference to that data. Such as you like, hate or don't care about a sight, a sound or taste, etc. You adhere in some way or attempt to avoid it.

Consciousness is the completion phase which clears the data for receiving new data.

This process happens a few hundred times a second. Which is why most people are only aware of consciousness step.

So how were the other steps discovered? Through a process of single pointed concentration. It takes time to develope since we are easily distracted by thoughts and feelings, painful cramps, an itch, a thought like, "I'd rather be watching TV."

When you can focus your awareness on a single object of concentration something unusual will happen. Your thinking will slow down dramatically. Even your breathing will become light and very slow.

When you become so focussed youll begin to experience these steps as your brain continues to attempt to carry them out but they are much slower from this practice. You can clearly see each step as the body feels a sensation like an itch starting but at the first step you can't even tell what it is yet. It has no identity, its just raw "something". Its only later that it becomes recognized as a bodily sensation then you see where aversion arises. "Oh its an itch, better scratch it to make it stop, I don't like this sensation."

You do this whole thing with eyes open, you will experience the stream of eye data attempting to figure out what the eye is seeing. Of even better the sounds. You can become so focussed you can't even name the sounds streaming in, they become meaningless data.

If you continue down this rabbit hole youll come to a point where everything stops. You can't even make out where, when or even if you are anything. There is nothing at all, not even self awareness. Most people think this would be a horrible experience but it turns out that it's just the opposite.

Its called the first Jhana stage. There are three more stages where the self is completely transcended. If you continue this process your entire outlook on the self completely changes. Youll begin to see the self as an illusion if this cycle.

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