22nd March 2011 Leave a comment Make up your own mind. Let’s see how many pan-psychic emergent dualists there are lurking in Asia, shall we? Mary Hodder None of those definitions work for me. To me, consciousness is being present to whatever is happening in you, and around you, in both your mission (your future work) and in shadow (your past, which for many is often the unconscious dilemmas drive a person to do things they aren’t aware of.. to be conscious means you are fully aware of the shadows). Flipping out, getting furious, acting out, being under the influence, etc.. these are not conscious states. Hilary I wonder if you could add a definition which served a strictly biological perspective, or an evolutionary biological perspective? Julian Functionalism is probably the closest thing to a “strictly” biological percpective. Also I would say Epiphenomenalism is most closely related to the evolutionary perspective. Shilpi Would like to know the results..:) Just another human I believe in the concept dubbed “Buddhism” on the survey grid, but have no beliefs whatsoever in any kind of soul. Spiritual concepts, unless I am mistaken,are a significant portion of Buddhist belief systems– and therefore myself believe that definition should be given a different name. Erik von Stedingk Now I don’t have the definitions in front of me as I write, but I found the formulation of some of the definitions slightly tendentious.Several of them had the addition “only”. I doubt that people who believes X see it as “only X”. Some might, but it should not be in the definition. The effect is that the person that is discovering the definition for the first time will pick up on the derogatory tone and move on. Mitja I am consciousness, you are consciousness, your dog is consciousness, a bear, a chicken, fly, mosquito even a bacteria. Every single being on this planet is consciousness. The difference between us, me and you, human and an animal, animal and an insect, is the awareness, maturity and the intellect on which we operate. Consciousness is you, a being, which operates this flesh body in this reality in order to gain experience and learn something new, something that makes you more mature, more grown up, a being who helps to reduce the entropy of the bigger consciousness system. Mitja I think it is the other way around, consciousness produces the universe. Universe is only an experience gathering, playground for consciousness. justhinkin From the standpoint of someone who’s job it is to chemically alter your ability to be conscious (anesthesia) I’d start with functionalism; the neural infrastructure you are born with allows you to experience and acquire sensory inputs that your development then aggregates into concepts and capacities for manipulation or creative action. You didn’t know that ball in your hand at 6 months old was a ball, or round, or hard, or what it was for. But you’re accumulating sensory and integrative capacities defined those elements of your consciousness for you. So, beginning with functionalism, I believe one then develops a capacity for the higher order phenomenological evaluation and creating new concepts of understanding. all this can be brought to a halt with 1-3 medications. Will Ramos To add, all energy can be classified as information. Steve I believe consciousness is derived from our sensory input; the more nerve endings receiving input, the more conscious you are (although sensory input may originate internally at some point, thus forming collections of competing feedback loops and possibly leading to internalization of exterior (perceived/sensed) “models” of the world). It’s feedback loop all the way down. But, hey, what do I know? TurboSax I honestly think that consciousness is some sort of extra-dimensional and/or quantum phenomenon that we can only barely recognize with our rudimentary (in these specific fields) scientific equipment. As some people have said, consciousness for us humans feels like being an observer operating a body, seeing through its eyes and controlling all of its non-autonomous processes, along with a few autonomous ones as well. We don’t typically feel like we “are” our bodies, as if we’re all of the cells/organs/etc. combined and thinking as one, but rather we feel like we’re mere pilots of said bodies. I think that this weird conscious disconnection from our bodies must have some explanation to it. And my explanation of it is this: We are indeed disconnected observers and pilots of our bodies, as a result of dimensional and/or quantum weirdness. I believe that our minds, our consciousnesses that we call “us” are separate constructs from our bodies, which somehow connect to said bodies and control them. I think that these mind constructs might originate in some other plane or dimension, and that consciousness as we know it “begins” when this interdimensional/quantum mind construct synchronizes with a sufficiently-powerful physical neural construct in this dimension/plane/whatever it is. From what my weird little theory entails, the consciousness unique to every human most originate somewhere. Where, I’m not entirely sure, but it may very well be what we envision as an afterlife, based on our limited knowledge of this place’s true nature. Our mental constructs could originate in some other dimension, or on a plane of reality we can’t even envision, let alone detect. I feel that the phenomena of ghosts/spirits, reports of an afterlife and other spiritual aspects could factor into this. What we perceive as ghosts, what we see as a spiritual realm, might not be anything like we think. They might just be flawed attempts to explain very real scientific phenomena, phenomena we still struggle to explain even today. Spirits could very well be these disconnected mental constructs attempting limited interaction with those who are connected to bodies. Their limited powers, electromagnetic properties, difficulty in establishing communication, faded/distorted/flickering appearances and overall disconnection from this world could all be a result of planar/interdimensional flux. These extremely-common “facts” and descriptors regarding ghosts seem to sync up eerily well with our ideas of how “flux” that beings between planes/dimensions/etc. might work. As for the afterlife, it could very well be where consciousness is formed, where it resides, and where it goes back to when the body we perceive is no longer functional. Similarly to how a staggering number of religions perceive the realm of the dead, except scientific. When a baby is gestated and born, perhaps a consciousness is linked to its suitable neural structure. When that baby grows up, grows old and dies, perhaps the consciousness links to it is figuratively and/or literally “ejected”, like a pilot forcibly-removed by safety measures from the now-destroyed machine he previously controlled. Why we wouldn’t intrinsically know of this connection from the moment we are born, and why we would be essentially blank until we learned and grew, I’m not certain. Maybe the process of connection wipes memories and locks in control, or perhaps the consciousness connecting to the new body is a blank slate. The consciousness might only be “whole” when it is finally forcibly ejected from its body, after years upon years of experience and learning. One could pose the idea that perhaps clairvoyants, spiritual leaders and other such folk who are supposedly in-tune with an unknown force are different from their kin in the sense of their connection. Maybe these people have more awareness of their situation in general. Maybe they have a stronger connection that allows for more control, or a weaker one that offers more distanced perception. One could also say under this theory that disabled people aren’t actually “broken” in terms of their consciousness, but instead are normal minds piloting malfunctioning bodies. Without the ability to definitively identify and “read” consciousness, we aren’t able to tell if the consciousness behind a mentally-disabled body is actually damaged like the body. Perhaps mental and/or physical disability is akin piloting a malfunctioning machine, designed to be guided and made easier to operate by automated computer systems. In cases of mental disorder, the “computer” systems in control are glitching and having issues in their functions, leaving the pilot with mildly-limited to outright no control over the “machine”. In physical disorders, the actual physical hardware is damaged to the point where, when given orders from the “computer”, it attempts to enact them and fails due to missing/damaged parts. We’re able to perceive damage to the “mech” body, but we cannot see the state of the “pilot” consciousness. And, much like a fictional mech, some computational system errors and hardware damages can be repaired, while others are irreparable and/or require full replacement. I think that my theory on the matter falls into some combination of the survey’s “Substance Dualism”, “Quantum Consciousness” and possibly either “Emergent Dualism” or “Buddhism” options. I believe that the consciousness is a sort of pilot, and the human body and brain are like a mech and its computerized guidance systems, respectively. Short version; I think that through some weird explanation involving interdimensional theory, quantum mechanics and other such highly-theoretical science, “we” as conscious beings are weird little remote pilots of mech suits made of flesh. I also think that many otherwise-unexplainable phenomena suddenly make sense with this theory, including ghosts, life after death, paranormal abilities and more. Tyler John The definition for Substance Dualism strikes me as bizarre. The two components of the definition say: 1) Consciousness is located in another “realm” (assuming this is a spatial claim) 2) Consciousness is “outside of reality” But Substance Dualists disagree among themselves about (1). Some claim that consciousness has a spatial dimension, and is located in our “realm”, others claim that it has no spatial dimensions whatsoever. (2) seems to imply that consciousness isn’t “real”. But no Substance Dualist wants to say this. I think a better definition would be: Substance Dualism = Consciousness is “a substance that is not composed of matter and cannot be described by the natural sciences.” Marcel Fernandez … Christin W Hi Sandy, Have you read the Ender’s Game series by Orson Scott Card? If you haven’t, I think you might really appreciate and enjoy it, especially Xenocide. Orson Scott Card gives a name to the energy you are describing: philotes. I enjoy thinking about this theory for fun (Metaphysics is fun!), and using philotes and philotic connection to discuss it with friends has been helpful… especially when it needs differentiation from the current scientific understanding of the more generic term “energy”.