These are all amazingly awesome responses.
First off, to NorEaster,
So, even if our bodies did not evolve to be able to sense consciousness, it can at least be inferred that our awareness of the consciousness was
attained through evolution as some sort of benefit to us. It makes complete sense as it is advantageous to be able to think of future events and what
others may be thinking.
When I was originally thinking about this I was trying to think of how NDE's where the individual can recount seeing the hospital room from above and
hear the conversations and then float out through the roof, could be explained. Which lead to the idea of the consciousness being a force or field as
Astyanax put it, which i like much better.
The brain basically would be the processor and memory unit for this consciousness which stores our memories, which are the basis for just about every
action we make. Every move we make with our voluntary nervous system is based off of memories of previous, similar situations. Add this to our basic
senses and throw in a dash of consciousness and you have a fully functioning human with self awareness.
No brain = Free consciousness, and if you were to put this consciousness into a body, i.e. birth, there would be no memories as those would have been
contained within the physical brain. I think when you are just pure consciousness there is only the now and time does not exist.
It's not so much 'self' awareness as it is the conscious you being aware of the machine it is in. Remove the brain and you have a free floating field
of conscious energy with the potential to do literally anything.
As for it being a physical thing I am still unsure. As was said, we have found no physical sensors for consciousness in the brain but, they may exist
or work in a way that we are yet to understand.
Basically, the way I am seeing it is, consciousness exists whether the human body is there to filter it through the brain and make an experience out
of it or not. Just the same as when you die, your brain no longer senses light or sound, but they still exist.
On a side note, Lynda101, I agree about the apparent separation of human from nature. I don't think it was intentional, it was just the way it played
out as humans evolved. The need to believe in something bigger was created by the fear of the infinite. If you tell people that when they die they
simply become part of nature, it sounds much less satisfying than going to a heaven with pearly gates and all of your loved ones. I believe it is
simply because of fear that we have lost our way and our connection to the universe and mother nature.
edit on 10/12/2011 by xxblackoctoberxx
because: (no reason given)