Monday, March 6, 2017

DOES THE BRAIN GENERATE CONSCIOUSNESS?

Many Western scientists seem to think so.  A lot of research is being conducted at the moment to determine just where in the brain that consciousness is being generated.  Of course consciousness is never observed by these researchers.  What is observed are electrical patterns of firing neurons and the assumption is that firing neurons are generating consciousness which is not observed.  While it is obviously true that firing neurons effect the quality and content of consciousness, they do not generate consciousness.  It is also true that the firing neurons are the instrument of this change of consciousness, but not the cause of this change.  Firing neurons are the result, not the cause, of intentions, both personal intentions and Divine intentions.  The fantastic construction of our organisms, of any organism, is the result of Divine intention and the equally fantastic systems for the maintenance of that organism, to keep it surviving for as long as possible, is also the result of Divine intention.  So when your conciousness is effected by pain, which is a way of communicating to you to stop doing whatever it is that you are doing that is causing that pain; and when your consciousness is effected by thirst, or hunger, or fatigue, or the experience of being very hot or very cold, or very sexually desirous, this is the Divine communicating to you to do something that will insure your survival and insure the survival of your species.

There are experiments to show that electrical brain activity precedes consciousness.  Here is one of them:


Tracking the Unconscious Generation of Free Decisions Using UItra-High Field fMRI

Abstract


Recently, we demonstrated using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) that the outcome of free decisions can be decoded from brain activity several seconds before reaching conscious awareness. Activity patterns in anterior frontopolar cortex (BA 10) were temporally the first to carry intention-related information and thus a candidate region for the unconscious generation of free decisions. In the present study, the original paradigm was replicated and multivariate pattern classification was applied to functional images of frontopolar cortex, acquired using ultra-high field fMRI at 7 Tesla. Here, we show that predictive activity patterns recorded before a decision was made became increasingly stable with increasing temporal proximity to the time point of the conscious decision. Furthermore, detailed questionnaires exploring subjects' thoughts before and during the decision confirmed that decisions were made spontaneously and subjects were unaware of the evolution of their decision outcomes. These results give further evidence that FPC stands at the top of the prefrontal executive hierarchy in the unconscious generation of free decisions.
I have just included the abstract.  If you would like to read more you can google the title of the experiment above.

The attempt here is to locate the areas of the brain where decision making is generated.  What the researchers overlook is that the process was initiated not by firing neurons, but by the participants conscious decision to participate in the experiment and then to follow the instructions of the researchers.  The researchers wanted them to make a decision and they, wanting to collect their fee for participating, wanted to comply.  It was their conscious decision to decide which number to press or which button to push that set the whole process in motion.  But isn't this the way that it always is?  A couple decides they want to have a baby.  They copulate and hopefully the woman becomes impregnated.  Nine months later they hopefully have what they wished for, but all the incredible processes involved in giving them what they want took place beyond the purview of their consciousness.  Right now when you get up to get a glass of water whole cascades of molecular reactions leading to muscular and skeletal reactions are set in motion that are beyond your conscious purview; but the whole process was set in motion by your conscious experience of thirst leading to the experience of the satisfaction of your thirst.

The fabulous workings of our organisms can be divided into two areas.  One is to satisfy or attempt to satisfy whatever conscious desires we have.  Every time we want something, whole cascades of molecular reactions are set in motion that result in us satisfying or attempting to satisfy that desire.  So that is the genie aspect of our organisms. The other is to keep this organism alive as long as possible so that we can continue to enjoy this way of experiencing the world for as long as possible.  This includes all the metabolic and homeostatic and digestive and circulatory and reproductive activities that take place beyond our conscious awareness. It also includes a system of biological desires that align perfectly with our biological needs.  So, ignorant of our biologifcal needs, we, humans and otherwise, seek a certain type of food when we are hungry, seek water when we are thirsty, seek rest when we are tired, try to stop doing whatever we are doing when we feel pain, seek refuge when we feel threatened, and seek a member of the opposite sex, but the same species, when we have sexual feelings.  Those desires, plus the know how to satisfy those desires, plus the fabulous nerve and muscle and skeletal and molecular equipment that allows us to satisfy those desires, are all gifts of the Divine whose goal is to provide us with this way of experiencing the world, that is called our organism, for as long as possible.  
Finally, consciousness is not generated, by the brain or anywhere else.  Consciousnes is.  It has no beginning and no end.  Organisms are ways of providing, for consciousness, a unique experience of living in this world, a unique experience of a separate existence.  The body does not generate consciousness.  Consciousness attaches to the body to have this particular experience and detaches from the body when the body is no longer capable of providing that experience.

Something must be eternal.  Otherwise you are faced with the problem of something emerging from nothing, which seems insurmountable.  Materialists used to think that particles were eternal until two discoveries made them very quiet on this subject.  The first was the Big Bang, which, according to their western scientific brethren was the beginning of particles.  The second was the discovery by quantum physicists that particles are a function of perception; that what exists prior to perception are wave potentials; with the potential of materializing in a whole variety of particular ways depending on which living organism is perceiving it.  
We are, as John Milton so beautifully put it, the "bright effluence of bright essence increate."  The over flow of the Divine energy and light that has no beginning and no end. 

I want to remind you of two things: One is that my play 'Disinherit The Wind' has just opened in Los Angeles (see post 'Shameless Commerce Division') and that your comments are always welcome. 







2 comments:

Bill Schwan said...

Discussion of quantum theory always makes me nervous because I find it hard to distinguish between quantum mechanics and New Age gobbledygook. I mean, the notion that a thing can only achieve thingness if it is observed strikes me a little like Stephen hawking's assertion that the universe created itself because it needed to create itself. Riiiiiight. And then there is the notion that a second thing separate from the first thing can become the opposite of the first thing but only when we observe it...sounds to me a little like dividing by zero. Sure, you can do it, but is there any meaning in the answer? In the quantum world space and time don't exist...at least not that we can observe. This kind of 5thinking, as it usually does, leads to a number of counterintuitive suppositions. One goes something like this- for every decision made the universe splits to accommodate. I sort of like this one. I like to think in another universe I'm the mayor of Europe, there is a key on my calculator that will give me the square root of negative 1, I may divide by zero until the cows come home, and the cows come home fully cooked and falling off the bone delicious and are now classified at a subatomic level as a vegetable and I therefor no longer need to take statin drugs.

Matt Chait said...

Bill,
Thank you for that. I will respond to your comment either after I finish the run of my play, 'Disinherit The Wind' or in the lobby after the show when you decide to come to LA to see it.