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Birth of Consciousness


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#1    coberst

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Posted 31 October 2008 - 07:27 AM

Birth of Consciousness

Many non human creatures have emotions—“human emotions however have evolved to making connections to complex ideas, values, principles, and judgments”—thus human emotion is special—the impact of feelings on humans is the result of consciousness—a distinct difference between feeling and knowing a feeling—“neither the emotion or the feeling caused by the emotion is conscious”—these things happen in a biological state—there are three stages here; emotion, feeling, and consciousness of feeling—consciousness must be present if feelings have an influence beyond the here and the now—consciousness is tooted in the representation of the body.

We need not be conscious of the emotion or the inducer of the emotion—we are about as effective in stopping an emotion as in stopping a sneeze.

“Emotions are about the life of an organism, its body to be precise, and their role is to assist the organism in maintaining life…emotions are biologically determined processes, depending upon innately set brain devices, laid down by long evolutionary history…The devices that produce emotions…are part of a set of structures that both regulate and represent body states…All devices can be engaged automatically, without conscious deliberation…The variety of the emotional responses is responsible for profound changes in both the body landscape and the brain landscape.  The collection of these changes constitutes the substrate for the neural patterns which eventually become feelings of emotion.”


The biological function of emotions is to produce an automatic action in certain situations and to regulate the internal processes so that the creature is able to support the action dictated by the situation.  The biological purpose of emotions are clear, they are not a luxury but a necessity for survival.

“It is through feelings, which are inwardly directed and private, that emotions, which are outwardly directed and public, begin their impact on the mind; but the full and lasting impact of feelings requires consciousness, because only along with the advent of a sense of self do feelings become known to the individual having them.”

Damasio proposes “that the term feeling should be reserve for the private, mental experience of an emotion, while the term emotion should be used to designate the collection of responses, many of which are publicly observable.”  This means that while we can observe our own private feelings we cannot observe these same feelings in others.

Core consciousness—“occurs when the brain’s representation devices generate an imaged, nonverbal account of how the organism’s own state is affected by the organism’s processing  of an object, and when this process enhances  the image of the causative object, thus placing it saliently  in a spatial and temporal context”

First, there is emotion, then comes feeling, then comes consciousness of feeling. There is no evidence that we are conscious of all our feelings, in fact evidence indicates that we are not conscious of all feelings.

Quotes from “The Feeling of What Happens” by Antonio Damasio




#2    Mr Walker

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 04:50 AM

I think i agree with this post if i understand it properly

Quote

First, there is emotion, then comes feeling, then comes consciousness of feeling. There is no evidence that we are conscious of all our feelings, in fact evidence indicates that we are not conscious of all feelings.

In my opinion , for humanity to survive its technological advancement, it is imperative that we teach people to become aware of our feelings and to understand the nature of their connectivity to emotional responses.
Our sentience not only allows empowers us to do this, but using other abilities of sentience we can physically take control of our emotions, and make intellectual decisions about how we respond to them. We do not need to be limited to biological or environmental  conditioning, or even genetic programming in how we choose to respond to our emotions and feelings. This is the basic and innate difference between humans and all other animals.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#3    mysticart1987

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Posted 09 November 2008 - 10:02 AM

Are you talking about the important and complexity of human consciousness or are you talking about the birth of consciousness because it would be much more complicated than what you was saying... Sorry and dont want to be offensive but when you are talking on subject then we can talk because many people would be here tlaking and giving opinions and criticism. The birth of consciousess on a brief note would go much smaller and complex than anything that feelings or emotions can concieve. Come on emotions are a backfire of complex conscious decisions that happened to us a a time when we not even aware and when we are we are surprised at the situation from what we currently or supposedly felt for that person, object, time, place, or etc.

If you want a simple example of something so complex think of consciousness as an engine with complex parts unkown to most of the world but yet it still works. Emotions are the sparkplugs, thought as the gas igniting into an feeling. This stuff is all so simple. You would have to get down to the nitty gritty and break it all down to actually know anything about emotions, the state of being, and how emotions can be an addiction. Until then consciousness will be a far far far away galaxy in another universe's universe that is never even touched with any of the six senses man has thought to be reality.

Think about it...........

Dha..OraCle
Randy J.

Edited by mysticart1987, 09 November 2008 - 10:07 AM.


#4    coberst

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Posted 09 November 2008 - 12:50 PM

Core consciousness—“occurs when the brain’s representation devices generate an imaged, nonverbal account of how the organism’s own state is affected by the organism’s processing of an object, and when this process enhances the image of the causative object, thus placing it saliently in a spatial and temporal context”

First, there is emotion, then comes feeling, then comes consciousness of feeling. There is no evidence that we are conscious of all our feelings, in fact evidence indicates that we are not conscious of all feelings.

There is extended consciousness that builds upon core consciousness.  Most animals have core consciousness but human have gone beyond core consciousness into extended consciousness.


#5    REBEL

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Posted 09 November 2008 - 12:55 PM

Good topic... thumbsup.gif


#6    Mr Walker

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Posted 09 November 2008 - 01:56 PM

coberst on Nov 9 2008, 11:20 PM, said:

Core consciousness—“occurs when the brain’s representation devices generate an imaged, nonverbal account of how the organism’s own state is affected by the organism’s processing of an object, and when this process enhances the image of the causative object, thus placing it saliently in a spatial and temporal context”

First, there is emotion, then comes feeling, then comes consciousness of feeling. There is no evidence that we are conscious of all our feelings, in fact evidence indicates that we are not conscious of all feelings.

There is extended consciousness that builds upon core consciousness.  Most animals have core consciousness but human have gone beyond core consciousness into extended consciousness.

Is that an academic/scientifially established fact or a personal viewpoint based on present scientific knowledge. The reason i ask, is that i have absolutely no conscious ability to generate an imaged account of anything(unless you are talking about the physical process of seeng.)

I think entirely in verbal /streams of consciousness. Some are linear, some are not, and they occur simultaneously. I know from reading that there are many others who also think this way, but perhaps i am misinterpreting a sentence which is both complex, and assumes prior knowledge of terminology.

There is a lot of scientific argument that human levels of consciousness do not develop without the mental ability to think verbally ie using words rather than images. Conceptual awareness probably cant develop until a fairly complex level of linguistic/verbal consciousness is reached, because concepts cannot be  formed or expressed via images alone.

Animals have what might be called biological emotions  triggered by environmental factors and operated through biological  processes beyond normal conscious control. Although, in humans, even many of these these responses can be placed under conscious control.
Humans also have emotions which are not purely biological responses to environmental factors . They are a product of self aware sentience. There is a conceptual awareness of them, and we are able to explain and verbalise them. This includes love, hate, greed, envy, altruism, mercy etc. These emotions are almost entirely recognisable and modifiable give education and training, because they are largely intellectual/ emotional choices in response, and once recognised as such are responsive to will and discipline, or simple intellectual emotional tricks like transference.

The other thing is that some people do become able to be aware of their subconscious minds to a point, and make that also responsive to their conscious minds. For example controlled lucid dreamers can link consciously to their dreams and create or manipulate dreams from the subconscious processing which normally regulates our dream states.  Thus while i cannot, with my conscious mind, create even the most simple image,  i can get my conscious mind to talk to my subconscious and create entire dreamscapes which are so real they are completely indistinguishable from waking life. I can then populate and script those dreams to produce  dreams on demandn of any shape and form i want. As a child and teenager i did this every night. As an adult, it is harder to manipulate your subconscious, as the conscious self solidifies with age. Still, once learned, it is a talent never really lost.

In the same way we can tap consciously into our subconscious and control /manipulate it as well. Once i understand the subconscious operations of my mind i can take them into account in my conscious decision making.

Failure to see this, and to teach that it is possible, and how to do it, tends to leave people at the mercy of their emotions. In a complex society, where humans have huge destructive capacity, this is not a good thing.
Because i dont fully understand what you are saying, I am not sure if iam agreeng with the points you are making, or disagreeing, but i find them fascinating.

Edited by Mr Walker, 09 November 2008 - 02:04 PM.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#7    coberst

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Posted 09 November 2008 - 10:20 PM

Mr Walker

These ideas are taken from the book sited.  This is, in my opinion, a very good work that many people consider to be the best available for such matters.  I accept the work of this author as being the best explanation of consciousness that is now available.


#8    Mr Walker

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 03:57 AM

Thank you. Ill try and find it and read it. Of course, if it simply denies my own perception of reality, based on a lifetime of experience then i will still be reluctant to accept its validity, but it sounds a good read, and i wont make any judgement until i can read, and appreciate, what the author is actually saying.

Ok i read a number of summaries from google. i must say tha most of what he says makes sense to me, but i disagree on a couple of points. First he seems to have adopted the modern evolutionary biologists definition of emotion to include bioorganic responses as a form of emotional reaction.

To me an emotion must contain an intellectual awareness within its response to qualify as an emotion. Second i disagree with him about the relaltionship between language and conceptual develpment. I understand what he is saying, but it does not fit my own experiences. Also i note that  he acknowledges that this part of his theory is in disagreement with commonly held academic views on the development of consciousness.

He says we can form concepts without language, and thus we can form conceptual consciousness without language. I cant comprehend yet how conceots(with the level of sophisticaton of thought required for these) can develop prior to a linguistic style stream of consciousness. Concepts rely on not just an ability to recognise a commonality or singularity, but also to differentiate one of those from different ones and to  do things like make comparative evaluations and place them in a linear context.
It is possible he is proposing a much simpler definition of a concept, but how one recognises self, or apple, and retains that memory/concept without a simple linguistic peg to label it, is hard to ascertain. Any animal can see an apple, taste it, and recognise it is good to eat. T hey can remember that, and  chose to eat the apple again, but that does not mean they have a concept of an apple and thus they cannot transfer that knowledge to another, in any way.

I think the author is saying that recognising an apple or a picture of an apple meant that the intelligence has a conceptual skill, but i would argue that concepts like emotions need to be more multi dimensional than that.

Many simple organisms have organic memories which enable them to identify food or a"danger" or another harmonious organism. That does not mean they have any concept tagging any of that knowledge /memory.

Edited by Mr Walker, 10 November 2008 - 04:30 AM.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.




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