Friday, November 11, 2016
ORIGIN OF CONSCIOUSNESS
"Harvard scientists think they've pinpointed the physical source of conciousness. This is where our awareness lives. Scientists have struggled for millennia to understand human consciousness - the awareness of one's existence. Despite advances in neuroscience, we still don't really know where it comes from, and how it arises.
But researchers think they may have finally figured out its physical origins, after pinpointing a network of three specific regions in the brain that appear to be crucial to consciousness. It's a pretty huge deal for what it means to be human, and it could also help researchers find new treatments for patients in vegetative states."
Fiona McDonald 8 Nov 2016
If this research leads to the ability to resuscitate patients from vegetative comas, that's great. Their understanding of what it is that they are uncovering, however, is entirely backwards. They are not discovering the 'physical source of consciousnes.' Consciousness is not physical and does not have a physical source. We live in an ocean of consciousness. We are, in Milton's words, the 'bright effluence of bright essence increate.'
Something must have had no beginning, don't you think? Scientists thought it was particles that were beginningless until they discovered the Big Bang which must have pre-dated, if only for a millisecond, the origin of particles. Recently we have discovered that particles, at least on the subatomic level, only exist as a function of our perception of them. When they are not being perceived they are wave potentials. Potentials to do what? To materialize into arrangements of seeming particles and in whatever appearance they occur to which ever living organism happens to be perceiving them. One human perceives a tree as his tree, because it is located in his backyard. Another person perceives the same tree as their neighbor's tree, and another, a visitor from far away, perceives that tree as an utterly exotic specimen that she has never encountered before. Simultaneously, several birds perceive the tree as their home, thousands of insects perceive it as their neighborhood, and countless bacteria perceive it as the entire context of their lives including their search for nutrition and their struggle with threats to their existence. Individual organisms are different ways of perceiving and experiencing the world and the physical world is wave potentials that will appear and mean a countless number of different things simultaneously depending on which organism is perceiving them.
If the Big Bang was not preceded by consciousness, then how do we account for all the utterly precise and inter-related laws, all the utterly precise qualities of elements of matter, without which there would be no physical universe and, ultimately, no living organisms? To say that the brain stem, or any part of the brain stem or the cortex is the 'origin' of consciousness, is exactly like saying that the ear is the 'origin' of sound waves, the eye is the 'origin' of light waves, and the nose is the 'origin' of air. In a functional human being as in any functional animal, their brain is connected to consciousness; they receive consciousness; life is the filtering of consciousness through a particluar body/brain/genome.
Until scientists realize this, and they won't realize it through research, but through search, through inner contemplation and the practice of slowing down thoughts until you can experience consciousness without the contents of consciousness; until they do that, they will continue regarding their research, much of which may have wonderful salutory effects, but they will continue to view this research completely backwards. What they are trying to pin point and what they will be tinkering with is the receiver not the generator of consciousness.