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Thread: The Nature of Consciousness

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    The Nature of Consciousness

    What is consciousness? In this thread we may explore this subject.

    Our brains are like radios receiving radiowaves. If the radio gets broken, the signal is still there, it just can't be transmitted through that device. Consciousness is nonlocal and it is fundamental. As far as I can see, everything is consciousness created by intelligent infinity.

    The hard problem of consciousness is the problem of explaining why and how we have qualia or phenomenal experiences. That is to say, why do we have personal, first-person experiences, often described as experiences that feel "like something." In comparison, we assume there are no such experiences for inanimate things like, for instance, a thermostat, toaster, computer or, theoretically, a sophisticated form of artificial intelligence. The philosopher David Chalmers, who introduced the term "hard problem of consciousness," contrasts this with the "easy problems" of explaining the physical systems that give us and other animals the ability to discriminate, integrate information, report mental states, focus attention, and so forth.

    Easy problems are (relatively) easy because all that is required for their solution is to specify a mechanism that can perform the function. That is, even though we have yet to solve most of the easy problems (our understanding of the brain is still preliminary), these questions can probably eventually be understood by relying entirely on standard scientific methods. Chalmers claims that even once we have solved such problems about the brain and experience, the hard problem will "persist even when the performance of all the relevant functions is explained".

    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2DyvF03isM


    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46kgmgI9fPs
    Last edited by Wind, 24th September 2020 at 20:55.

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    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVLczQNVE9Y


    Rupert Spira is an international teacher of the Advaita Vedanta direct path method, author of several books, including "Being Aware of Being Aware" and "The Nature of Consciousness: Essays on the Unity of Mind and Matter". He hosts retreats in Europe and the US, as well as weekly webinars. He's also a notable ceramic artist. https://non-duality.rupertspira.com

    Dr Rupert Sheldrake, PhD, is a biologist and author best known for his hypothesis of morphic resonance. At Cambridge University he worked in developmental biology as a Fellow of Clare College. He was Principal Plant Physiologist at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics and From 2005 to 2010 was Director of the Perrott-Warrick project, Cambridge. https://www.sheldrake.org

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    Senior Member Chuckie's Avatar
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    I tried to get my daughter to reproduce one of Sheldrake's purported experiments when she was in grade school ... Her mother and would-be stepdad pushed me out of the way. She did 'a bullet velocity' presentation that had to be partially obscured because she was in it. What geniuses those two are ...
    “To seek self-knowledge is to embark on a journey which ... will always be incomplete" - courtesy of Godel's Incompleteness Theorem

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    Super Moderator Wind's Avatar
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    Neuroscientist Claims That Consciousness Itself Is Its Own Energy Field

    A neuroscientist has suggested in a new theory that our consciousness is derived from a field of electromagnetic waves given off by neurons.

    The study published last month in the journal Neuroscience of Consciousness is entirely based off a theory absent of tangible evidence. However, the author of the research Johnjoe McFadden said that his hypothesis could offer a way forward for robots that think and feel emotions.

    McFadden believes that neuron waves of electrical activity get sent out and as they propagate across the brain, they help compose our entire conscious experience.

    Johnjoe McFadden, is a molecular geneticist and director of quantum biology at the University of Surrey. McFadden points to flaws in other models of consciousness as the reason that we don’t have sentient artificial intelligence or robots capable of achieving consciousness.

    McFadden’s hypothesis swerves away from most traditional neuroscientists, who generally see consciousness as a narrative that our brain constructs out of our senses, perceptions, and actions. Instead, McFadden returns to a more empirical version of dualism — the idea that consciousness stems from something other than our brain matter.

    McFadden’s theory adapts the idea of “dualism,” which is the belief that consciousness is a supernatural force. Dualism has long been rejected by scientists and ruled pseudo-science, but McFadden has attempted to apply a scientific explanation for the idea, which hasn’t been done before.

    Neuroscience news reports that the theory is based on scientific fact:

    “The theory is based on scientific fact: when neurons in the brain and nervous system fire, they not only send the familiar electrical signal down the wire-like nerve fibres, but they also send a pulse of electromagnetic energy into the surrounding tissue. Such energy is usually disregarded, yet it carries the same information as nerve firings, but as an immaterial wave of energy, rather than a flow of atoms in and out of the nerves.”

    It’s also a fact we have an electromagnetic field surrounding our brain is well-known and is detected by brain-scanning techniques such as electroencephalogram (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG) but has previously been dismissed as irrelevant to brain function and supernatural. Instead, McFadden contends that the brain’s information-rich electromagnetic field is, in fact, itself the seat of consciousness, driving the ‘free will’ of an individual.

    “How brain matter becomes aware and manages to think is a mystery that has been pondered by philosophers, theologians, mystics and ordinary people for millennia,” McFadden said in a press release published by Medical Xpress. “I believe this mystery has now been solved, and that consciousness is the experience of nerves plugging into the brain’s self-generated electromagnetic field to drive what we call ‘free will’ and our voluntary actions.”

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    Senior Member Chuckie's Avatar
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    heh, heh, heh ... I dunno but I think it may have ramifications on the notion of AI sentience (I don't think it is possible)

    “To seek self-knowledge is to embark on a journey which ... will always be incomplete" - courtesy of Godel's Incompleteness Theorem

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    "Consciousness is the one and only reality, not figuratively but actually. This reality may for the sake of clarity be likened unto a stream which is divided into two parts, the conscious and the subconscious. In order to intelligently operate the law of consciousness it is necessary to understand the relationship between the conscious and the subconscious. The conscious is personal and selective; the subconscious is impersonal and non-selective.

    The conscious is the realm of effect; the subconscious is the realm of cause. These two aspects are the male and female divisions of consciousness. The conscious is male; the subconscious is female. The conscious generates ideas and impresses these ideas on the subconscious; the subconscious receives ideas and gives form and expression to them. By this law-first conceiving an idea and then impressing the idea conceived on the subconscious-all things evolve out of consciousness."

    "Man must learn to believe in that which he does not, at the moment, see in order to grant himself that which he desires to have. Man's prayers are always answered, for he always receives that which he believes. The law that governs prayer is impersonal. Belief is the condition necessary to realize the desire. No amount of pleas or ritual will bring about the fulfillment of your desires other than the belief that you are or have that which you want."

    "I Am is a feeling of permanent awareness. The very center of consciousness is the feeling of I Am. I may forget who I am, where I am, what I am, but I cannot forget that I Am. The awareness of being remains, regardless of the degree of forgetfulness of who, where, and what I am."

    ~ Neville Goddard


    In Feeling Is The Secret, Neville has succeeded in describing how through our imagination and our feelings how we consciously or unconsciously mould outer circumstance in harmony with our inner nature. Here he has given us a simple formula to realize our desires. Feeling is the Secret teaches us that our thoughts and words, when combined with personal intuition, can bring forth positive change in your life. In this book, Neville explores feeling and how to listen to your “gut”, the hunches and intuitions of your higher mind. He warns to be careful of what you say to others and also what you think of others. By combining focused thought through affirmations with feeling you can discover and journey into the divine design of your life.

    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffNWoefuwPM



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    Senior Member Catsquotl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Wind View Post
    What is consciousness? In this thread we may explore this subject.
    Well I still want to believe that the abidhamma is the definitive book on what consciousness is.
    Lately though I wonder if knowing what it is constitutes the "right" use of it.

    When looking around and looking at my own. I feel like consciousness can make up any story, hold it for truth and swing with it.
    Which makes the entire exercise utterly useless.

    Within a 100 to 150 years all we are will be forgotten.
    Some measure of our existence may still be somehow affecting the lives of others in unforeseen ways, by someone stumbling on this forum, someone living out our unresolved issues or some entity we are part of, but are unbeknownst to thinks something we thought as well.


    I am more and more drawn to the question of the purpose of consciousness, rather that it's usefulness or intrinsic value. Can't say I can find any, apart from some very basic and primal usefullness in strategizing about single lifetime survival.
    Have a great day today

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    Quote Originally posted by Catsquotl View Post
    Within a 100 to 150 years all we are will be forgotten.
    Some measure of our existence may still be somehow affecting the lives of others in unforeseen ways, by someone stumbling on this forum, someone living out our unresolved issues or some entity we are part of, but are unbeknownst to thinks something we thought as well.
    That brings forth my favorite question as the philosophical type, what really constitutes "we" or "me", who really says I am? Just simply this persona (Greek word for mask) or a costume? I think not. I think it's just one character in one story and at this current point in time we feel very much attached to it (our identity). That won't always be the case, but what never ceases to be is the feeling I am. That's consciousness. The ultimate reality, the primordial Consciousness is what we would call the Creator and I really do believe that it is love.

    Sat-chit-ananda is a Sanskrit term that describes the nature of reality as it is conceptualized in Hindu and yogic philosophy. Some consider sat-chit-ananda to be the same as God or Brahman (Absolute Reality). Others use it as a term to describe the experience of realizing the unity and wholeness of all existence.

    It is said that sat-chit-ananda is the source of all consciousness and all perfection. To experience sat-chit-ananda is to achieve the ultimate goal of the spiritual journey in Hinduism or yoga.

    Yogapedia explains Sat-Chit-Ananda
    The meaning of the individual words of sat-chit-ananda are as follows:

    Sat: truth, absolute being or existence-- that which is enduring and unchanging
    Chit: consciousness, understanding and comprehension
    Ananda: bliss, a state of pure happiness, joy and sensual pleasure
    Last edited by Wind, 31st March 2022 at 22:20.

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    Senior Member Chuckie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Catsquotl View Post
    Well I still want to believe that the abidhamma is the definitive book on what consciousness is.
    Lately though I wonder if knowing what it is constitutes the "right" use of it.

    When looking around and looking at my own. I feel like consciousness can make up any story, hold it for truth and swing with it.
    Which makes the entire exercise utterly useless.

    Within a 100 to 150 years all we are will be forgotten.
    Some measure of our existence may still be somehow affecting the lives of others in unforeseen ways, by someone stumbling on this forum, someone living out our unresolved issues or some entity we are part of, but are unbeknownst to thinks something we thought as well.


    I am more and more drawn to the question of the purpose of consciousness, rather that it's usefulness or intrinsic value. Can't say I can find any, apart from some very basic and primal usefullness in strategizing about single lifetime survival.
    If one believes that consciousness survives the death of the brain, then consciousness is what comprises the infinite. That seems a pretty substantial purpose to me. It need be no more, but most 'spiritual' philosophers suggest that it is much much more than that. In terms of its 'usefullness' in the physical world that is a horse of a different color as they say in OZ-Earth I. It's usefulness would be manifest in its ability to sustain an individual as well as a social continuum. Pretty important stuff. Now consciousness as a 'useful utility' is another question, I think it has been documented that a willful consciousness has a great utility in accomplishing intended, focused desires. What the pinnacle of that utility is remains a question of social and spiritual philosophers who have different perspectives.

    Just my thoughts.
    “To seek self-knowledge is to embark on a journey which ... will always be incomplete" - courtesy of Godel's Incompleteness Theorem

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    Have delved on this and after many years have concluded the 1 doesn's know thator what 1 doesn't know, to explain 1 can add a dimension to themselves only by experiencing it, this may negate much of their previous dimensions or not, atm science is up to 17 dimensions with the belief of maybe hundreds as a possibility. Because reincarnation is believed by more than not, lets believe it for a wee bit, soul has twenty lives, uses 20 meatsuits or temples, soul never died and the consciousness of the lifetime is whatevered, between lives all past lives are known ? yes ?, so conscousness may be like the souls tail.

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    Senior Member Chuckie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Aianawa View Post
    Have delved on this and after many years have concluded the 1 doesn's know thator what 1 doesn't know, to explain 1 can add a dimension to themselves only by experiencing it, this may negate much of their previous dimensions or not, atm science is up to 17 dimensions with the belief of maybe hundreds as a possibility. Because reincarnation is believed by more than not, lets believe it for a wee bit, soul has twenty lives, uses 20 meatsuits or temples, soul never died and the consciousness of the lifetime is whatevered, between lives all past lives are known ? yes ?, so conscousness may be like the souls tail.
    Good point Aianawa, I would characterize it as the 'edge' because it would have no start or end.
    “To seek self-knowledge is to embark on a journey which ... will always be incomplete" - courtesy of Godel's Incompleteness Theorem

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    Quote Originally posted by Aianawa View Post
    soul never died and the consciousness of the lifetime is whatevered, between lives all past lives are known ? yes ?
    Are you the same you you were as a boy aged 5? a teen at 15? your adult self at 30?
    If Soul spans 20 or more lifetimes does it change? Does it's consciousness remain the same?

    I'd like to think that consciousness only records now. Or rather becomes conscious through the now. In a humans life only because of the sense organs and it's objects..
    And then makes up all kinds of stories about that now, based on some memory it assumes is his or hers or it's.
    Very very often that memory isn't even a very truthful account of what happened or what it thinks will happen in the future.
    Have a great day today

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    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    I don't see the consciousness of the brain as the same as the consciousness of the spirit. The brain has its functions and works brilliantly to make sense of this physical life for us. We grow and develop during it because that's the nature of physical life. Constant change.

    The spirit's consciousness goes much further than what we are aware of here because it does not have the same limits. This, imo, is related to why so many folks who have NDEs don't want to come back because their life is just a small point in their larger existence and they want to stay in their larger existence. Where they're 'home'.

    Life seems long while we're in time and experience past and future. When we're in our eternal state, these lives are wonderful lessons, experiences, stories to add to our repertoire of being.

    IMO.

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    Quote Originally posted by Catsquotl View Post
    Are you the same you you were as a boy aged 5? a teen at 15? your adult self at 30?
    If Soul spans 20 or more lifetimes does it change? Does it's consciousness remain the same?

    I'd like to think that consciousness only records now. Or rather becomes conscious through the now. In a humans life only because of the sense organs and it's objects..
    And then makes up all kinds of stories about that now, based on some memory it assumes is his or hers or it's.
    Very very often that memory isn't even a very truthful account of what happened or what it thinks will happen in the future.
    yes, very true, but that is a human peccadillo. Studies indicate that people don't change with age ... their 'attitude' is the same at 7, 14, 21, 28 ... etc. On rethinking that it seemed strange to me, but then I realized it was probably true, we don't change, we evolve.

    Quote Originally posted by Dreamtimer View Post
    I don't see the consciousness of the brain as the same as the consciousness of the spirit. The brain has its functions and works brilliantly to make sense of this physical life for us. We grow and develop during it because that's the nature of physical life. Constant change.

    The spirit's consciousness goes much further than what we are aware of here because it does not have the same limits. This, imo, is related to why so many folks who have NDEs don't want to come back because their life is just a small point in their larger existence and they want to stay in their larger existence. Where they're 'home'.

    Life seems long while we're in time and experience past and future. When we're in our eternal state, these lives are wonderful lessons, experiences, stories to add to our repertoire of being.

    IMO.
    I agree DT, except for the part about life seeming long.
    “To seek self-knowledge is to embark on a journey which ... will always be incomplete" - courtesy of Godel's Incompleteness Theorem

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    Life sure does race by as one gets older.

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