It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Changing thoughts on the nature of consciousness

page: 1
11

log in

join
share:

posted on May, 8 2017 @ 02:43 PM
link   
I've been thinking a lot lately about dying, not just myself exiting this mortal coil, but everyone and everything that has been or will ever be. I walked away from church as a child (presbyterian), then as a young adult I walked away from all things spiritual and embraced atheism/agnosticism. For years now, I have found great satisfaction in learning about biology, genetics, evolution, the movement of planets, the birth and death of stars and galaxies, you get the picture.

For most of my life I have thought of consciousness as simply being a chemical reaction happening in our brains, with all of our actions being potentially predetermined, laid out on an unchangeable path at the moment our universe came into existence. Emphasis on "potentially", I have never fully believed one way or the other.

Lately I've been thinking about consciousness as being more like an element as opposed to a reaction, having more in common with wind or gravity than it does baking soda and vinegar (it's a terrible analogy, but I hope you get the point). A breeze weakening is still wind, and just because something looks like it has stopped doesn't mean that gravity is no longer exercising it's force on it. (again, I don't like my own analogies...)

I'm not sure how to fully phrase what I'm getting at, I'm hoping someone here can help me to make sense of what I'm thinking.




posted on May, 8 2017 @ 02:51 PM
link   
a reply to: wheresthebody

For what purpose does the universe exist if not to be observed?



posted on May, 8 2017 @ 02:53 PM
link   
a reply to: Bone75

"We are a way for the universe to know itself"

I think it was sagan who said that.



posted on May, 8 2017 @ 04:25 PM
link   
Wind is a good metaphor, inasmuch as the wind itself is generated by atmospheric pressure, different electromagnetic wavelengths, the pull of the moon, etc. Wind is never 'just' wind, but an expression of a whole conglomerate of terrestrial and extraterrestrial conditions that generate this emergent property we call 'wind'.

Consciousness - knowing - being - necessitates some degree of chaos. By chaos, I do not mean what would ordinarily be suggested by this word i.e. 'wickedness', or immorality, but rather, chaos in this systems theory sense as being a very complex organization of information which still maintains some degree of asymmetry, and therefore, some degree of disorder. A human body is ordered, symmetrical: yet we work through the principles of organized chaos, with one part "storing" symmetrical energy, and another part (metabolism) dissipating energy for immediate needs. The entropy should approach 'zero', but for many people, is much higher.

Knowing myself, being a self, is what makes my consciousness real and my being in the world, significant. Consciousness entails time - or a recognition of 'difference'. Since being, knowing, and understanding, is fundamentally about recognizing difference, it's difficult to foresee any world or society which didn't maintain at least some recognition of time - its value, and its essential importance in Human affairs, otherwise, how to note, to think, or to respond?

Nihilistic rumination is vain, worthless, and pointless. I see so many people getting caught up in it for strictly personal reasons - with a social motivation - and yet they can never see it - never see properly that was is REAL is the RELATIONSHIP. If Nietzsche happens to inspire you - why pay more attention to the content of his reasoning, than the fact that another Human being has enlivened you with meaning?

19th century philosophy - this stuff needs to be put to rest. Thinking is hard - and knowing what is good for you is not going to be found in a tendentious perusal of romantic philosophy - but in SCIENCE. Buddhism has long-ago appreciated that the hypothesis-observation approach to knowledge is the only true and legitimate one. We are, in fact, emergent properties of our cellular activity - little units, lives, which come together, work together, towards making us real. To know that consciousness is itself WEAVED from individual moments of knowing and understanding - that there really is phenomenologically 'a unit', and that we are required to attend to our own self-creation so as to guide it in an intelligent and relaxed way - this is profoundly difficult to know unless your organized towards the right fields of knowledge i.e. psychology, psychoanalysis, philosophy, physics, biology.



posted on May, 8 2017 @ 05:02 PM
link   

originally posted by: Astrocyte
Wind is a good metaphor, inasmuch as the wind itself is generated by atmospheric pressure, different electromagnetic wavelengths, the pull of the moon, etc. Wind is never 'just' wind, but an expression of a whole conglomerate of terrestrial and extraterrestrial conditions that generate this emergent property we call 'wind'.


I like facts more. Big words do not a smart person make.




Solar energy input dominates the surface processes (wind, weather, climate

www.indiana.edu...



posted on May, 8 2017 @ 05:06 PM
link   
a reply to: wheresthebody

The best way for me to consider consciousness is through Einstein's equation.

E = mc2.

Essentially everything in existence is energy, the vinegar and the wind both translate into energy. Our minds are also equivalent of the same energy, albeit in different forms.



posted on May, 8 2017 @ 06:35 PM
link   
a reply to: wheresthebody

The Bible calls it the breath of life. It says that the lamp of God is the breath of man, searching the hidden chambers of the belly (mind and heart). So it isnt a new concept, it seems that you are simply making this discovery for yourself. Perhaps a spiritual awakening? There is much more information available.



posted on May, 8 2017 @ 07:16 PM
link   
a reply to: wheresthebody

Religions are subject to many interpretations.

One way of understanding the situation is that developing conscious awareness is related to an inherency that is applicable developmentally to the human condition. Presenting an opinion that offers a reason for ancient perspectives has a basis beyond superstitions.

As Astrocyte has clearly elaborated and GodEmperor has as well. As to the present we are as defined made of a material that given Consciousness can transcend such a structure as known today.

We in potential could access levels of orientation that anything we currently relate to and in context beyond any number or conclusion. Materialistically or otherwise we are competent to imagine today.

And from that context of modern theoretical conclusions its not really far fetched IMHO.

In that regard and as offered earlier it is then possible that due to the inherent structure of matter. Consciousness could attenuate to what conservative scientist relate to as a barrier to such potential in the human condition in proposition.

Such an attenuation would encompasses the position. That like learning to walk or talk or otherwise acclimate to modern society there is also the physical/spiritual components, that perhaps representable as a spectra upon the context as what
we define as material.

Perhaps this is what the ancient peoples were able to access but again perhaps we can stand upon their shoulders.

Any thoughts?



posted on May, 8 2017 @ 07:31 PM
link   
Very good conversation everyone!


Personally, I often romanticize consciousness as one, shared, fundamental "essence" of all of existence,... with the natural forces, energies, elements, things, creatures, and beings emerging as an emanate manifestation of conscious potential. Even more, each relative form (star, planet, body, cell, atom, etc.) acts as a receiver, conductor, and storehouse for this consciousness. Awareness then differentiates among the harmonized whole. The various sensory perceptions and faculties of awareness of each existent 'thing' helps to shape and influence its degree of self-consciousness.

That's just my subjective take on it. Help yourselves to a grain of salt



posted on May, 8 2017 @ 07:36 PM
link   
Within the frame of materialism ?

That frame being an expression that most fundamental expression of what we are made of as an expression of what we really are? Is by no sense of the imagination in so far as I relate something that does not incorporate orientations beyond anything we comprehend today.

Hypothetically given human survive for the equivalent to the 47th Mersenne prime we will still be exploring.


A warning to the wise so to speak.


Related link to the 47th Mersenne prime.

io9.gizmodo.com...



posted on May, 8 2017 @ 07:53 PM
link   
To put it another way physicality is like a ladder for Consciousness.



posted on May, 8 2017 @ 11:40 PM
link   

originally posted by: Bone75
a reply to: wheresthebody

For what purpose does the universe exist if not to be observed?

Or, if a universe is not observed, does it exist?



posted on May, 9 2017 @ 12:03 AM
link   
a reply to: nightbringr



As famous as gorillas are today, there was a time in which they were no more than a myth. Explorers would return from African jungles and tell stories about hairy, giant man-beasts of terrible strength and temper, with a nasty habit of abducting and raping women! Such stories were dismissed by scientists as nonsense, and as a result, the gorilla was unknown to science until quite recently. It is believed that the first gorilla report comes from Greek explorer Hanno, from the 5th century BC. Hanno traveled to the western coasts of Africa, possibly to Sierra Leona or even the gulf of Guinea, and reported “an island filled with savage people, most of them women, and covered on hair.

Our interpreters call them gorillae


listverse.com...



posted on May, 9 2017 @ 01:59 AM
link   
Nice topic.

I don't think it is worthwhile to consider conscious thought be be related to chemical reactions.

Yes -- it is true that a pain killer will eliminate pain. But if you don't have a pain killer -- the pain is REAL and you FEEL IT, and that feeling exists in some location other than the physical world.

If you break your leg, you can tell yourself the pain is just a "chemical reaction", but that probably won't make the pain go away at all. Your leg is broken. It HURTS.

IMO -- The best view on consciousness fully acknowledges the concept of "duality" -- we can look at the brain from the outside, or from the inside, both are completely different and valid viewpoints.

We are a ghost in a machine. There is a physical existence (undeniable) but also a meta-physical existence (also undeniable, but not very agreeable to scientific study.) A lot of people think the meta-physical doesn't exist, or is not important. I challenge them to bite one of their fingers until it start to hurt, and then ask how important the meta-physical world (the realm of sensation and feeling) is to them.

Interesting discussion for 1am in the morning



posted on May, 9 2017 @ 02:39 AM
link   
a reply to: Sahabi




Even more, each relative form (star, planet, body, cell, atom, etc.) acts as a receiver, conductor, and storehouse for this consciousness


Very nice. Now how do we tap into the stars or our own sun to see what knowledge they store of other alien species out there?



posted on May, 9 2017 @ 04:20 AM
link   
a reply to: wheresthebody

my thoughts of my reason for being are always evolving and never set down, but right now i am in the thinking that consciousness is apart from Matter, and they both need one another to evolve, we are consciousness that is unaware of consciousness while we are inside the animal that we are evolving, i feel that these glimpses of consciousness or the whole, can explain all paranormal events, as everything that can be thought of in our limited consciousness exists in consciousness or a greater consciousness , i also feel that we can attract these positive/negative energies by the way we think.

but hey next week it could be that giant underground ants are our real overlords



posted on May, 9 2017 @ 05:22 AM
link   
The Nature Of Consciousness

And this is the human problem: we know that we know. And so, there came a point in our evolution where we didn't guide life by distrusting our instincts. Suppose that you could live absolutely spontaneously. You don't make any plans, you just live like you feel like it. And you say 'What a gas that is, I don't have to make any plans, anything. I don't worry; I just do what comes naturally.'

The way the animals live, everybody envies them, because look, a cat, when it walks--did you ever see a cat making an aesthetic mistake. Did you ever see a badly formed cloud? Were the stars ever misarranged? When you watch the foam breaking on the seashore, did it ever make a bad pattern? Never. And yet we think in what we do, we make mistakes. And we're worried about that. So there came this point in human evolution when we lost our innocence. When we lost this thing that the cats and the flowers have, and had to think about it, and had to purposely arrange and discipline and push our lives around in accordance with foresight and words and systems of symbols, accountancy, calculation and so on, and then we worry. Once you start thinking about things, you worry as to if you thought enough. Did you really take all the details into consideration? Was every fact properly reviewed? And by jove, the more you think about it, the more you realize you really couldn't take everything into consideration, because all the variables in every decision are incalculable, so you get anxiety. And this, though, also, is the price you pay for knowing that you know. For being able to think about thinking, being able to feel about feeling. And so you're in this funny position.

Now then, do you see that this is simultaneously an advantage and a terrible disadvantage? What has happened here is that by having a certain kind of consciousness, a certain kind of reflexive consciousness--being aware of being aware. Being able to represent what goes on fundamentally in terms of a system of symbols, such as words, such as numbers. You put, as it were, two lives together at once, one representing the other. The symbols representing the reality, the money representing the wealth, and if you don't realize that the symbol is really secondary, it doesn't have the same value. People go to the supermarket, and they get a whole cartload of goodies and they drive it through, then the clerk fixes up the counter and this long tape comes out, and he'll say '$30, please,' and everybody feels depressed, because they give away $30 worth of paper, but they've got a cartload of goodies. They don't think about that, they think they've just lost $30. But you've got the real wealth in the cart, all you've parted with is the paper. Because the paper in our system becomes more valuable than the wealth. It represents power, potentiality, whereas the wealth, you think oh well, that's just necessary; you've got to eat. That's to be really mixed up.

So then. If you awaken from this illusion, and you understand that black implies white, self implies other, life implies death--or shall I say, death implies life--you can conceive yourself. Not conceive, but FEEL yourself, not as a stranger in the world, not as someone here on sufferance, on probation, not as something that has arrived here by fluke, but you can begin to feel your own existence as absolutely fundamental. What you are basically, deep, deep down, far, far in, is simply the fabric and structure of existence itself. So, say in Hindu mythology, they say that the world is the drama of God. God is not something in Hindu mythology with a white beard that sits on a throne, that has royal perogatives. God in Indian mythology is the self, 'Satchitananda.' Which means 'sat,' that which is, 'chit,' that which is consciousness; that which is 'ananda' is bliss. In other words, what exists, reality itself is gorgeous, it is the fullness of total joy. Wowee! And all those stars, if you look out in the sky, is a firework display like you see on the fourth of July, which is a great occasion for celebration; the universe is a celebration, it is a fireworks show to celebrate that existence is. Wowee.



posted on May, 9 2017 @ 08:53 AM
link   
Great thread, how about this for an idea "changing unconsciousness with regards to unconsciousness". Consciousness is made of this ever expanding material that is invisible.reply to: wheresthebody



posted on May, 9 2017 @ 08:59 AM
link   
a reply to: ancientthunder

yes, i need to check myself for even using the word unconscious as that could make us unconscious of consciousness as a whole...............if you know what i mean



posted on May, 9 2017 @ 10:02 AM
link   

originally posted by: TheConstruKctionofLight
a reply to: Sahabi




Even more, each relative form (star, planet, body, cell, atom, etc.) acts as a receiver, conductor, and storehouse for this consciousness


Very nice. Now how do we tap into the stars or our own sun to see what knowledge they store of other alien species out there?


a reply to: TheConstruKctionofLight

Consciousness is a different concept than cognition.

With breakthrough research, we now know that plants are consciously aware of pain, danger, injury to nearby plants, and they even know when other plants are deprived of nutrients and can share via their root systems. They react to the Sun, moon, weather, temperature, and seasons. Some are even proactive in chemically defending themselves while under insect attack.

We are just scratching the surface into the conscious awareness of plants, and they don't even have our traditional sensory perceptions or analytical brain, yet they are consciously aware of so much.

Can we ask a plant which insects it has encountered? No. Can we ask a plant their ideal climatic conditions? No. Their inability to effectuate human communication does not nullify their life or conscious awareness.

In the same way, we can not expect to "talk" to a star, planet, or atom. These bodies have "consciousness of being a star", "consciousness of being a planet", and "consciousness of being an atom", according to their physical form and the essence of their existent being, but this does not mean that their perceptions, awareness, and cognition is the same as ours. There are many sights and sounds that humans are deaf and blind to, but are plainly observable to our animal brethren and our technological instruments. We do not reject our own consciousness due to the lack of a natural awareness of x-rays, ultraviolet, infrared, infrasound, or ultrasound.



new topics

top topics



 
11

log in

join