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A philosophical question

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What exactly links your reality and physical body to the consciousness your perceiving it with?

 

I find this question a bit mind bending and hard to even understand...

I read it in a book about spirituality, psychology, and chemistry.

 

(Not sure who the author is but Im going to borrow it and read the rest of it)

 

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Maybe I should put it as is in the book:

 

"Nothing explains what connects the reality we are experiencing to the consciousness that we identify with."

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Yes, there is no way to explain it. As far as I am concerned, I am the only self aware being in the universe. The universe doesn't even exist, I only perceive it. Who knows. I don't. No one does. WE can't debate it, argue wit, mull over it, it doesn't change the fact that we don't know whether it is a fact or not. In other words,

 

 

This question is too complicated.

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"Nothing happens to consciousness after death. When two people are speaking on the phone and the line is cut, nothing happens to them. If the room Im sitting in gets destroyed, nothing happens to the space Im in.

Consciousnss just loses a vehicle to express itself."

-Physician Deepak Chopra

 

Another interesting thought.

 

Its only too complicated if you perceive it too be. 

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Consciousness is not some spiritual, ethereal thing that is somehow disconnected from the physical world. Your consciousness is a function of your brain activity. Lose the brain, lose the consciousness. The reality you experience is a construct your brain produces to explain the sensory input it is receiving.

Thus, to answer your question - your brain is both what produces your consciousness and what links it to the rest of reality.

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consciousness 
noun
1.
the state of being conscious; awareness of one's own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings, etc.
 
I suppose your explanation is one explanation, but consciousness I imagine as being specifically what you say it isnt.
There seems to be a "driving force" behind life. Something pushing it to exist in a universe that is not abundant with life, and by your words, neither abundant with consciousness.
Is the seemingly endless expanse of energy that is the universe to blame for life itself? Or is there a universal consciousness? If there were, it would not only explain the big bang, but consciousness itself.
 
I was reading through a college biology text book the other day and it doesnt even cover the most basic questions I had. 
Like what exactly is driving molecules to combine into an energy efficient, self regulatory cell.
"Electromagnetism" one would think. But why then, is it a consuming, productive, self regulating system?
Nothing else in the universe operates on such a level.

If we go strictly by what "known" science implies, then we are literally the result of a massive, unimaginable explosion produced by energies we cant even comprehend.

That being said, we are just as ignorant as we were 5000 years ago because reality is only made of what we can perceive.

 

IE: Some animals are colorblind. So to them, color literally does not exist.

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consciousness 

noun

1.

the state of being conscious; awareness of one's own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings, etc.

How is this relevant? I don't think anyone was questioning the definition of "consciousness."

 

I suppose your explanation is one explanation, but consciousness I imagine as being specifically what you say it isnt.

There seems to be a "driving force" behind life. Something pushing it to exist in a universe that is not abundant with life, and by your words, neither abundant with consciousness.

What is "life," by your definition? What do you mean by "driving force?" You seem to be throwing around vague terms without any real point.

Nothing "pushes" life to exist short of the nature of chemistry. Organic molecules such as amino acids - the building blocks of proteins - have been shown to easily form in the chemical conditions present on early Earth: see the Miller-Urey experiment. Organic building blocks come into being naturally, and the progression from there to higher-level forms of life is quite well understood.

Also, you're making an assumption that the universe is fairly lacking in the life-form department. I fail to see any reasoning behind this short of the sadly common egotistical "the universe was clearly made for humans" argument. Mars was, in the past, surprisingly Earth-like; and we know of many extrasolar planets that significantly resemble Earth in temperature and chemical composition as well. Chances are, many of these planets had similar conditions in their early days to that of Earth - which means many of them likely had amino acid formation as well. To understand this and still attempt to claim that Earth is alone, or even somewhat special, in having life is absurd.

 

Is the seemingly endless expanse of energy that is the universe to blame for life itself? Or is there a universal consciousness? If there were, it would not only explain the big bang, but consciousness itself.

(1) The universe is not a "seemingly endless expanse of energy." Please refer to your local astrophysics textbook. Also, yes.

(2) What does "universal consciousness" even mean? More vague terms with no explanation. Also, no.

(3) How does a universal consciousness by any definition explain the big bang or the more "mundane" idea of consciousness? At best you're just introducing an additional layer of needless complexity and no supporting evidence.

 

I was reading through a college biology text book the other day and it doesnt even cover the most basic questions I had.

Attempting to gain insight into the nature of consciousness, or knowledge of how molecules combine, from a college biology textbook was your first mistake.

 

Like what exactly is driving molecules to combine into an energy efficient, self regulatory cell.

"Electromagnetism" one would think. But why then, is it a consuming, productive, self regulating system?

Nothing else in the universe operates on such a level.

Please go look up the basic chemical principles of atomic and intermolecular bonding. The reasons for ionic and covalent bonds are extremely well known.

Also, what? Where did organic cells come into this picture? I believe the answer you're looking for can be obtained from an explanation of the fundamentals of evolution.

 

If we go strictly by what "known" science implies, then we are literally the result of a massive, unimaginable explosion produced by energies we cant even comprehend.

Yes.

 

That being said, we are just as ignorant as we were 5000 years ago because reality is only made of what we can perceive.

Claiming that we are as ignorant as we were 5,000 years ago because there are still things we don't understand is like claiming that saying the earth is flat is the same as saying the earth is a sphere.

Isaac Asimov said it better than I possibly could.

 

IE: Some animals are colorblind. So to them, color literally does not exist.

False.

(1) Stating that something "does not exist" relative to a specific entity makes no sense whatsoever.

(2) Even if humans were incapable of seeing color, we could still identify color using instruments capable of distinguishing different wavelengths of light and interpreting them as colors. We already do this with wavelengths of light outside our range of vision: ultraviolet rays, x-rays, gamma rays, infrared, microwave, radio. We cannot see these wavelengths of light with the naked eye, but that does not mean they "don't exist" to us.

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(1) Stating that something "does not exist" relative to a specific entity makes no sense whatsoever.

(2) Even if humans were incapable of seeing color, we could still identify color using instruments capable of distinguishing different wavelengths of light and interpreting them as colors. We already do this with wavelengths of light outside our range of vision: ultraviolet rays, x-rays, gamma rays, infrared, microwave, radio. We cannot see these wavelengths of light with the naked eye, but that does not mean they "don't exist" to us.

This is the only point that I will agree with Pandora on, because color only exists because our brains process certain frequencies of light as "colors." If our brains did not do this, the frequencies of light would certainly still exist, but the concept of "color" would be meaningless

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This is the only point that I will agree with Pandora on, because color only exists because our brains process certain frequencies of light as "colors." If our brains did not do this, the frequencies of light would certainly still exist, but the concept of "color" would be meaningless

Yes, the concept of "color" is a mental construct used to identify the way an object produces or reflects light. There is, however, a flaw in thinking that just because we can experience something, the concept would not exist if we couldn't.

For example - humans lack the ability to detect magnetic fields (certainly consciously, at least, and evidence that we can detect them even subconsciously is dodgy at best), yet the concept of electromagnetism still exists. We don't need to be able to directly sense something just for us to be aware of its existence.

Even conceding this point, how does claiming that color (hue, technically) doesn't exist for color-blind animals (and humans) affect the discussion of consciousness at all?

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Yes, the concept of "color" is a mental construct used to identify the way an object produces or reflects light. There is, however, a flaw in thinking that just because we can experience something, the concept would not exist if we couldn't.

For example - humans lack the ability to detect magnetic fields (certainly consciously, at least, and evidence that we can detect them even subconsciously is dodgy at best), yet the concept of electromagnetism still exists. We don't need to be able to directly sense something just for us to be aware of its existence.

Even conceding this point, how does claiming that color (hue, technically) doesn't exist for color-blind animals (and humans) affect the discussion of consciousness at all?

Magnetic fields don't exist because we perceive them; they exist because they exist and have been measured and analyzed. This is different from color. I claim that the concept of "color" would not exist if we could not perceive color. For example, how would you measure color if you were unable to perceive it? If you would measure it by the frequency of light, why would you interpet the frequency of light as "color," rather than as the frequency of the light? Similarly, the concept of "sweet" and other tastes would not exist if we did not interpret signals sent to our brains as such. There is no reason for a chemical reaction to be labeled as the "sweet" reaction besides the fact that we perceive it to be that way.

 

As for the second point, it does not have anything to do with consciousness; in fact, that perhaps should have been mentioned in your initial reply to Pandora.

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Magnetic fields don't exist because we perceive them; they exist because they exist and have been measured and analyzed. This is different from color. I claim that the concept of "color" would not exist if we could not perceive color. For example, how would you measure color if you were unable to perceive it? If you would measure it by the frequency of light, why would you interpet the frequency of light as "color," rather than as the frequency of the light? Similarly, the concept of "sweet" and other tastes would not exist if we did not interpret signals sent to our brains as such. There is no reason for a chemical reaction to be labeled as the "sweet" reaction besides the fact that we perceive it to be that way.

You're arguing about the existence of labels now, not the existence of concepts.

Also, let's make a distinction here and specify that we're talking about hue. Color in general refers to a wider collection of properties, some of which color-blind people and animals can recognize.

Hue is the idea of the frequency of light, just like sweetness is the idea of the concentration of sugar and/or sugar-like molecules.

We give it a certain label, but the idea would exist without that label, just like the idea of temperature would still exist even if we were somehow "perfectly" warm-blooded animals that never felt a change in temperature and were only able to observe a thermostat.

We might not call it "color" ("hue"). We might not even give it a specific name. That said, we would still have the idea of differences in frequencies of light as measured by our instruments, just like we have the idea of differences in magnetic fields as measured by our instruments / as reflected by interactions with certain objects.

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Many of you have probably seen this video, but I'll share it with those who might have not seen it.

I think Michael does a great job of explaining part of the question being discussed in this topic.

This topic reminds me of the Latin phrase "Cogito ergo sum;" 'I think, therefore, I am.' It means that you can justify your existence simply because you can question your existence. That statement does answer the question, however, the phrase is assuming that "I" already exists.

Edited by chrisford

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You're arguing about the existence of labels now, not the existence of concepts.

Also, let's make a distinction here and specify that we're talking about hue. Color in general refers to a wider collection of properties, some of which color-blind people and animals can recognize.

Hue is the idea of the frequency of light, just like sweetness is the idea of the concentration of sugar and/or sugar-like molecules.

We give it a certain label, but the idea would exist without that label, just like the idea of temperature would still exist even if we were somehow "perfectly" warm-blooded animals that never felt a change in temperature and were only able to observe a thermostat.

We might not call it "color" ("hue"). We might not even give it a specific name. That said, we would still have the idea of differences in frequencies of light as measured by our instruments, just like we have the idea of differences in magnetic fields as measured by our instruments / as reflected by interactions with certain objects.

Actually, I am specifically talking about color and not hue for 2 reasons. The first being that color is the word Pandora used, and not hue. The second being that color is the label for the phenomena that would not exist without our being able to perceive it. Hue is dependent on the dominant wavelength of light, and thus if you wanted to argue that hue was that wavelength as opposed to how we perceive it, then fine. On the other hand, color is multiple signals that are interpreted together as color. Without our being able to perceive color, there would not necessarily be any reason for us to group these specific signals together.

 

In short, yes, everything that composes color exists without our being able to perceive it. But without being able to perceive it, the grouping of signals that compose color would not be meaningful, and the concept of color would not exist.

 

 

 

Perhaps more to the point, our disagreement may stem from how we view the concept of "concept." For me, concepts are abstract ideas; ideas do not exist by themselves in a vacuum, and are only meaningful (and extant) when there is something to "think" of the idea. As such, labels and concepts are not necessarily that much different from each other when the label is the label for an abstract idea.

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All good point except my point about perception.

Another person used this example in a previous thread:

A bug living between the pages of a book is only perceiving 2 dimensions. Regardless of the fact that it lives in 3 spacial dimensions it only perceives 2. This means its reality is made up of 2 dimensions because your reality is entirely reliant on what you can perceive.

Many thing are non perceivable by many other species so its ignorant to think that humans perceive all.

If there is more to reality than what we perceive, arent the options limitless?

 

But I cant touch on anything else right now. I will later. GTG

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"(1) The universe is not a "seemingly endless expanse of energy." Please refer to your local astrophysics textbook. Also, yes.

(2) What does "universal consciousness" even mean? More vague terms with no explanation. Also, no.
(3) How does a universal consciousness by any definition explain the big bang or the more "mundane" idea of consciousness? At best you're just introducing an additional layer of needless complexity and no supporting evidence."

1) Yes it is. maybe not endless, but it is literally nothing more than "force." Also based on observation of the known universe its highly likely that the universe will not collapse, but endlessly expand.

2) Universal consciousness is the idea that all consciousness is forever linked together as one consciousness. Pretty self explanatory.

3) Where did the universe come from? And where did that come from? So on and so forth...

Lao Tzu, knowing nothing of modern physics suggested that it was a paradox with no begining nor end. Tao (Universal consciousness) is the "driving force" behind it all.


"drivingClaiming that we are as ignorant as we were 5,000 years ago because there are still things we don't understand is like claiming that saying the earth is flat is the same as saying the earth is a sphere."

 

My point is that compared to all that there is to learn, we know an immeasurable fraction. Further more, nothing suggests that the reality which we perceive is the limit of actual reality.


To add to the color debate, Velocity pretty much covered everything I could have said, but to add a little something more:

Magnetic feilds cannot be seen, heard, or smelled. (Some research suggests they can be felt if you believe it) However they can be perceived. The simple fact we are aware of them proves that.

Colors on the other hand cannot be perceived by anything color blind thus in their reality they cannot possibly exist. 

Say a schizophrenic sees Satan in his bedroom banging his wife. If thats what he is perceiving, then it exists in his reality, suggesting it could very well exist physically, just not in yours or my reality. Not sure how to explain this in depth... Everyone experiences their own separate reality. A UFO hovers over a town taking up half the sky. Half the town sees it and records it. The other half never saw anything. Its a pretty extreme example but things like this happen frequently.

If something does exist in a seperate reality, how can you prove it doesnt


Exist physically if you cant perceive it?

 

Maybe dogs perceive things we cant. How would we know?

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All you are stating is that an individual who is confined to limited stimuli perceives the world differently than someone that does not have the same restrictions. This is true. But not for reasons you are hinting at.Your personality, sense of morality, logical skills, and even your innate subconscious instincts are all result of two things. Your biological body, and the sum of your experience deduced from outside stimuli. There is not some underlying supernatural phenomena that is the cause of human consciousness.

 

Using your example of the UFO. Sure, half the town sees it. The half does not. So yes, now half the town believes in UFOs and Alien life. Does that mean there is some huge meta-spiritual difference that is destined to change half the towns entire self being and consciousness? No. It simply means half the town now believes in UFOs.

 

Now take this for example. A child is born and immediately placed in a small 5x5ft room. He never leaves and food and water is slide through a small opening 3 times a day. That person will know nothing of the outside world. He will build his reality confined to that room. Language, nature, the sun and moon, or even other people do not exist in his own world. Does that mean that the rest of the outside world is not exactly how it is right now as I type this? No. It simply means that an individual that is restricted to very, very little stimuli developed their own sense of reality.

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"All you are stating is that an individual who is confined to limited stimuli perceives the world differently than someone that does not have the same restrictions. This is true. But not for reasons you are hinting at.Your personality, sense of morality, logical skills, and even your innate subconscious instincts are all result of two things. Your biological body, and the sum of your experience deduced from outside stimuli. There is not some underlying supernatural phenomena that is the cause of human consciousness."

 
Prove it. While youre at it, explain things like "out of body experiences." While you are correct in the fact that my biological brain makes up my thoughts and emotions, you cant disprove universal consciousness nor can you explain strange phenomena like OBE or people having memories that dont belong to them.

"outUsing your example of the UFO. Sure, half the town sees it. The half does not. So yes, now half the town believes in UFOs and Alien life. Does that mean there is some huge meta-spiritual difference that is destined to change half the towns entire self being and consciousness? No. It simply means half the town now believes in UFOs."

 

You missed my point with that one.


"outNow take this for example. A child is born and immediately placed in a small 5x5ft room. He never leaves and food and water is slide through a small opening 3 times a day. That person will know nothing of the outside world. He will build his reality confined to that room. Language, nature, the sun and moon, or even other people do not exist in his own world. Does that mean that the rest of the outside world is not exactly how it is right now as I type this? No. It simply means that an individual that is restricted to very, very little stimuli developed their own sense of reality."

 

How do you know that?

String theory suggests that there are limitless dimensions at any given point in space, yet we cant perceive them.

 

Essentially I think that all our realities are connected only by our universal consciousness. Since we all share the same consciousness, our realities will all be remarkably identicle. But since consciousness is expressing itself through multiple vehicles all with their own individual


Realities, its not impossible in this sense for two people to experience different physical stimuli.

So going back to the idea that we cant perceive everything, whats to say I cant perceive something you cant?

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WHAT HAPPENS TO CONSCIOUSNESS AFTER DEATH?

Insight from random people.
Environmental activist John Robbins:
"It celebrates!"
 
Neuroscientist Candace Pert:
"Years ago I had to answer that question to get a big honorarium, so I participated, and what I said then is still relevant. Its this idea that information is never destroyed. More and more information is constantly being created, and its not lost, and energy and matter are interconvertible. So somehow, there must be some survival, because one human represents a huge ammount of information. So I can imagine there is survival, but Im not sure what form it takes."

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This particular chapter of "The new science of Psychedelics" by David Jay Brown is full of many physicians and scientists giving their opinion of consciousness after death. Including a few who experienced it themselves.

While others simply believe it dies, many very credible people maintain that consciousness survives death.

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Chrisford, that video was amazingly summed up most of my argument.

You all should watch it...

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WHAT HAPPENS TO CONSCIOUSNESS AFTER DEATH?

Assuming one of the many religions we have are true, I believe this is where the Afterlife would begin.

 

If religion isn't true, it's gone. You are dead, all brain activity has ceased.

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