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Beany

The Brain and Consciousness

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I've been reading about the brain & consciousness, and the idea that the brain doesn't create consciousness, but instead perceives a universal consciousness, sort of like Sheldrake's morphic fields. Anyone know anything about this, or have any ideas about it?

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Probably need the brain to tune into it but the cases where some folks brains are heavily diminished yet the person still operates as 'normal' in every way tend to raise the same questions...

From the word itself the assumption, is that it describes an awake state but not necessarily a rational one, that appears to come afterwards and checking out stories like markdoles one, supports an inclination to assume that consciousness comes before the brain.

Perhaps then a consciousness could be seen as a state of existence somewhen/how/place that attunes itself to a body in order to 'own' it so to speak.

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I didn't know you were a Moderator, Beany. From my knowledge, there is no one place or area in the brain where consciousness resides. This could be interpreted in two ways, one, that consciousness is not a product of the brain, and two, that consciousness is a collection of brain functions.

I favor number two. Consciousness is like a magic show inside the brain. From our point of view, we are the audience watching the show. We can't go back stage and see how the magic trick is done. The trick itself is comprised of many separate gimmicks that to us in the audience appear as a whole spectacle, a unity.

The other important point is, there is no separate "I" or "Me", the ego. This is an illusion the brain constructs. The mind is like a self-controlled machine. The brain/mind is like a factory in which all the machinery is humming along, but with no worker tending the machines, no foreman, no boss who is in charge.

If"you" were in charge of your mind, there would have to be another mind in that "you" who is in charge of "you". Who controls that mind, another "you"? This leads to an infinite regression.

We can understand consciousness only if we get rid of the "you", the "I", the "me", the ego who we think is in charge, who we think is the boss of the mind.

Actually, the mind operates better and more efficiently when the ego is not present. As I think we all know, when the illusion of the ego is operating, it only serves to mess things up.

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Probably need the brain to tune into it but the cases where some folks brains are heavily diminished yet the person still operates as 'normal' in every way tend to raise the same questions...

From the word itself the assumption, is that it describes an awake state but not necessarily a rational one, that appears to come afterwards and checking out stories like markdoles one, supports an inclination to assume that consciousness comes before the brain.

Perhaps then a consciousness could be seen as a state of existence somewhen/how/place that attunes itself to a body in order to 'own' it so to speak.

I like that idea in your last sentence. Do you always have the knack for turning something on its head? Consciousness in search of a body, as a means of expressing itself, maybe?

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I didn't know you were a Moderator, Beany. From my knowledge, there is no one place or area in the brain where consciousness resides. This could be interpreted in two ways, one, that consciousness is not a product of the brain, and two, that consciousness is a collection of brain functions.

I favor number two. Consciousness is like a magic show inside the brain. From our point of view, we are the audience watching the show. We can't go back stage and see how the magic trick is done. The trick itself is comprised of many separate gimmicks that to us in the audience appear as a whole spectacle, a unity.

The other important point is, there is no separate "I" or "Me", the ego. This is an illusion the brain constructs. The mind is like a self-controlled machine. The brain/mind is like a factory in which all the machinery is humming along, but with no worker tending the machines, no foreman, no boss who is in charge.

If"you" were in charge of your mind, there would have to be another mind in that "you" who is in charge of "you". Who controls that mind, another "you"? This leads to an infinite regression.

We can understand consciousness only if we get rid of the "you", the "I", the "me", the ego who we think is in charge, who we think is the boss of the mind.

Actually, the mind operates better and more efficiently when the ego is not present. As I think we all know, when the illusion of the ego is operating, it only serves to mess things up.

What about the theory of universal consciousness? Could we be perceiving or tapping into a consciousness that's greater than that of an individual mind and sharing that with one another?

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Posted (edited)

I've been reading about the brain & consciousness, and the idea that the brain doesn't create consciousness, but instead perceives a universal consciousness, sort of like Sheldrake's morphic fields. Anyone know anything about this, or have any ideas about it?

IMO the Brains function is to operate in physical terms only..

Thoughts, Ideas, and the whole idea of existence goes beyond anything physical, like the brain..

I don't really have a working theory or idea about consciousness, except that it's bigger than my brain can handle..

Edited by Professor T
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I like that idea in your last sentence. Do you always have the knack for turning something on its head? Consciousness in search of a body, as a means of expressing itself, maybe?

Or perhaps consciousness which creates the 'body' in the first place, albeit in a long process...as an example...

An atom appears out of the conjunction of waveforms saturating known space along with many more, each individual but aware in that should an observer be present then the atom would be affected by the observation but in this case, virgin.

Using that 'awareness' as a starting point of active awareness (consciousness) it goes about saying hello to all its buddies and duely crashes and becomes entangled because it wasnt looking where it was going.

So now we have a molecule comprising of 2 atoms, each with their own awareness but now subjected to a subsidiary role as the combination produces an overall awareness, a brain in fact.

These molecules at sometime become further entangled producing a cell which in turn produces an organism which in turn produces a body which then poses a question,

one we are currently mulling over...

If we take it then that the originating birthing pool was the waveforms then in respect of the whole process, the wave form is the originating consciousness which set about building itself as a computational device by the manipulation of energies to produce the body as nodal points in its own body as a means to furthering its own aims as such bodies as we currently inhabit then takes up the task and continues the build process to another level.

From such a scenario the Gaia hypothesis becomes viable as a discussion point and perhaps the object of mental gymnastics in order to begin a determination of the question, which came first, the brain or the consciousness.

So...

Earth is formed however it is formed and is subject to cascading pulses of wave form energy both in actual terms and mechanical terms, the effects of the moon at that time being a mechanical force, which pounds the planet continuously releasing elements capable of self organisation which eventually results in the process above to produce brains.

The prelife mechanations of the waveforms has already used the nodes presented to it from local systems and more pertinently from its own galaxy, therefore allowing it to function as a computational device which produced the Gaia manifestation which in turn, after much consideration, produced the world as we know it today.

The whole process (inclusive of all creation scenarios pertaining to it) is that very consciousness but the resultant concretization is the resultant next step in consciousness climb so leading me to lead you in a convulated description of consciousness being the proginator of life that utlises its creations to explore and empower its already blueprinted probablilities....

Sorry about all that but I hope it gets across what I am trying to express here, that consciousness creates its own vehicles of expression.

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Or perhaps consciousness which creates the 'body' in the first place, albeit in a long process...as an example...

An elaborate, labyrinthine theory, I enjoyed reading it, and your writing style. I am skeptical, however. What is your definition of "awareness" as it relates to QM?

What about the theory of universal consciousness? Could we be perceiving or tapping into a consciousness that's greater than that of an individual mind and sharing that with one another?

I think this is another interesting theory, but where is the evidence? What exactly is consciousness? My consciousness seems to me to be an awareness-ness of the input of my senses, plus an awareness of my mental states, plus an awareness of my body, plus an awareness of my emotions, plus the ability to think and to behave in response to these inputs.

All these awareness's add up to my feeling of consciousness. In my view, there is no separate 'consciousness' in this scenario. There is no 'consciousness' observing all these awareness's. Awareness is what we call consciousness

I don't think 'consciousness' as it is usually considered actually exists.

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There are times when my consciousness or awareness expands beyond my immediate physical environment. When that happens, my perceptions, consciousness, awareness, not sure which, seem to become enriched or sharpened, so that I'm taking in stuff that I normally wouldn't access in an ordinary state of consciousness, sort of like a dog that has extraordinary scent capabilities and picks up so much more information about the environment, both past & present, than a human can't pick up on because we don't have the millions of scent receptors dogs have.

To continue the dog analogy, because, frankly, I love dogs, are there things, information, etc. floating around the universe that we can't usually perceive, at least most of us, unless we're in an non-ordinary state of consciousness? Because most of lack the physical receptors in our bodies? There's a theory about highly sensitive people having more nerve endings in their bodies that cause them to be high sensitive, which kind of makes sense, as I'm thinking there's probably a wide range of "normal". Could someone who's at either end of the spectrum sense the world differently? And what about cellular memory? There are credible stories of people having organ transplants who suddenly acquire interests in things that were a part of the donor's life.

For me there seems to be either an informed intelligent consciousness that exists outside myself that I can tap into or that taps into me, or is that just me experiencing a non-ordinary state of expanded consciousness? I'm not looking for evidence or proof, understand, just speculating and trying to understand my own experiences in this area.

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Or perhaps consciousness which creates the 'body' in the first place, albeit in a long process...as an example...

An atom appears out of the conjunction of waveforms saturating known space along with many more, each individual but aware in that should an observer be present then the atom would be affected by the observation but in this case, virgin.

Using that 'awareness' as a starting point of active awareness (consciousness) it goes about saying hello to all its buddies and duely crashes and becomes entangled because it wasnt looking where it was going.

So now we have a molecule comprising of 2 atoms, each with their own awareness but now subjected to a subsidiary role as the combination produces an overall awareness, a brain in fact.

These molecules at sometime become further entangled producing a cell which in turn produces an organism which in turn produces a body which then poses a question,

one we are currently mulling over...

If we take it then that the originating birthing pool was the waveforms then in respect of the whole process, the wave form is the originating consciousness which set about building itself as a computational device by the manipulation of energies to produce the body as nodal points in its own body as a means to furthering its own aims as such bodies as we currently inhabit then takes up the task and continues the build process to another level.

From such a scenario the Gaia hypothesis becomes viable as a discussion point and perhaps the object of mental gymnastics in order to begin a determination of the question, which came first, the brain or the consciousness.

So...

Earth is formed however it is formed and is subject to cascading pulses of wave form energy both in actual terms and mechanical terms, the effects of the moon at that time being a mechanical force, which pounds the planet continuously releasing elements capable of self organisation which eventually results in the process above to produce brains.

The prelife mechanations of the waveforms has already used the nodes presented to it from local systems and more pertinently from its own galaxy, therefore allowing it to function as a computational device which produced the Gaia manifestation which in turn, after much consideration, produced the world as we know it today.

The whole process (inclusive of all creation scenarios pertaining to it) is that very consciousness but the resultant concretization is the resultant next step in consciousness climb so leading me to lead you in a convulated description of consciousness being the proginator of life that utlises its creations to explore and empower its already blueprinted probablilities....

Sorry about all that but I hope it gets across what I am trying to express here, that consciousness creates its own vehicles of expression.

Don't apologize about all that, it was fascinating. I found this on aboutphysics.com:

Bohm's Implicate Order and Consciousness

The physicist David Bohm argued that since both quantum physics and relativity were incomplete theories, they must point at a deeper theory. He believed that this theory would be a quantum field theory that represented an undivided wholeness in the universe. He used the term "implicate order" to express what he thought this fundamental level of reality must be like, and believed that what we are seeing are broken reflections of that fundamentally ordered reality. He proposed the idea that consciousness was somehow a manifestation of this implicate order and that attempting to understand consciousness purely by looking at matter in space was doomed to failure. However, he never proposed any real scientific mechanism for studying consciousness (and his theory of implicate order never got sufficient traction in its own right), so this concept never became a fully-developed theory.

I like the concept of undivided wholeness, in Lion King it was called the web of life. That's for people like me who like their philosophy accompanied by animation and really great music. Hakuna matata!

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Consciousness is an emergent property of the working of the neural net

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Consciousness is an emergent property of the working of the neural net

I love your certainty, I have little of it myself. What caused you to reach this conclusion?

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Here's a link from another thread that is relevant to the discussion.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-558271/Can-really-transplant-human-soul.html

Makes 'sayings' like 'Gut feelings', 'I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes' more plausible...:)

But it should be noted that human physiognomy is not all there is to the human body, there are bacteria and viruses as well that contribute to our overall 'consciousness', we are not alone!

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I love your certainty, I have little of it myself. What caused you to reach this conclusion?

I wouldn't say certainty exactly but this makes the most sense to me. I posted a thread on this with a video by a leading neuroscientist a while back. The vid is a little long but you might find her research interesting. I had a long discussion on this with another member a while back and it seemed that any evidence either of us could cite to defend our positions could just as well support the other view. Neither of us could figure any way to differentiate one from the other. I had to fall back on Occam's razor, which says the simplest solution is usually correct. I don't think anyone would dispute a functioning brain is necessary for consciousness, whether the brain is generating the consciousness or receiving/channeling it. If it is possible that the brain is producing it what reason is there to suppose the added complexity of some universal mind of some ethereal unknown stuff sending some of this unknown stuff to us in some unknown manner?
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I wouldn't say certainty exactly but this makes the most sense to me. I posted a thread on this with a video by a leading neuroscientist a while back. The vid is a little long but you might find her research interesting. I had a long discussion on this with another member a while back and it seemed that any evidence either of us could cite to defend our positions could just as well support the other view. Neither of us could figure any way to differentiate one from the other. I had to fall back on Occam's razor, which says the simplest solution is usually correct. I don't think anyone would dispute a functioning brain is necessary for consciousness, whether the brain is generating the consciousness or receiving/channeling it. If it is possible that the brain is producing it what reason is there to suppose the added complexity of some universal mind of some ethereal unknown stuff sending some of this unknown stuff to us in some unknown manner?

I think there's more than one possibility to explore, that's what I've been doing, instead of looking for answers. As for the ethereal stuff, there's plenty of references to a conscious universe. Not saying that's a fact, but it's an old idea. I think we have a long way to go to understand the true nature of the universe scientifically, and then of course, there's the subjective experience, and mine have led me away from materialism, at least materialism in it's current state. I suspect that materialistic theory will expand along with our increased knowledge of the physical world; certainly science itself continues to expand, what is known to be true now, may or may not be understood to be true in the future.

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I think there's more than one possibility to explore, that's what I've been doing, instead of looking for answers. As for the ethereal stuff, there's plenty of references to a conscious universe. Not saying that's a fact, but it's an old idea. I think we have a long way to go to understand the true nature of the universe scientifically, and then of course, there's the subjective experience, and mine have led me away from materialism, at least materialism in it's current state. I suspect that materialistic theory will expand along with our increased knowledge of the physical world; certainly science itself continues to expand, what is known to be true now, may or may not be understood to be true in the future.

Yeah I'm sure you're right about materialism expanding as our knowledge expands. So far though I remain unconvinced that materialism can't explain all phenomena, or, at least, will one day be able to do so. I have seen a MRI picture of a memory being made in the brain and I suspect soon the same will be shown for a thought being formed
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I think it's possible that materialism will explain everything, that what we call "supernatural" or "paranormal", stuff like that, is just materialism at work, that hasn't yet been explained by science.

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Well things could be looking up on that front as now some Psychologists are in fact delving into so called metaphysical studies but I think it would actually require a cross discipline approach or specialisation to achieve a synthesis of understanding and it seems we are worlds away from that at this time.

Such a synthesis would be a specialist who does both psychology and theoretical physics coupled with molecular and neurological expertise to even approach a lucid theory for formulating a thesis.....

In the meantime, lets just go hard out and speculate to our hearts content, this way such a person as described above would at least have some foundation for dissing what we might have to say and launch the appropriate meme to begin this process.....

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I think it's possible that materialism will explain everything, that what we call "supernatural" or "paranormal", stuff like that, is just materialism at work, that hasn't yet been explained by science.

Exactly right. If it exists it is natural not supernatural if it doesn't it is fantasy
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I think it's possible that materialism will explain everything, that what we call "supernatural" or "paranormal", stuff like that, is just materialism at work, that hasn't yet been explained by science.

I can't stand this bandying about of the work "materialism" - as if rejecting supernatural claims with no evidence is somehow just a competing ideology.

Science measures what can be measured. It has nothing to do with being "materialistic" or "spiritual". The phrase "materialist science" seems to have been invented by followers of the likes of Sheldrake who are annoyed that science simply doesn't support their claims, and that the scientific method has no way of proving them right.

Anyway. Rant over.

I think conciousness is essentially the model our brains build to navigate reality. We are able to build buildings and fly planes and have a defined sense of "self" because of the complexity of the neural network. Other animals without this complexity can't do this.

There is nothing to indicate that conciousness is not linked to the brain. When brain function ceases, so does conciousness. When brain function is limited, so is conciousness. There is no reputable, repeatable evidence to the contrary.

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I can't stand this bandying about of the work "materialism" - as if rejecting supernatural claims with no evidence is somehow just a competing ideology.

Science measures what can be measured. It has nothing to do with being "materialistic" or "spiritual". The phrase "materialist science" seems to have been invented by followers of the likes of Sheldrake who are annoyed that science simply doesn't support their claims, and that the scientific method has no way of proving them right.

Anyway. Rant over.

I think conciousness is essentially the model our brains build to navigate reality. We are able to build buildings and fly planes and have a defined sense of "self" because of the complexity of the neural network. Other animals without this complexity can't do this.

There is nothing to indicate that conciousness is not linked to the brain. When brain function ceases, so does conciousness. When brain function is limited, so is conciousness. There is no reputable, repeatable evidence to the contrary.

I think consciousness is an emergent property of the neural net. A certain amount of complexity is necessary for this. A rat is conscious, just not to the degree we are while a fly has almost no consciousness at all. I think your argument for the brain being the generator of consciousness is absolutely correct but I have heard the argument made that, if the brain is channeling, as opposed to generating consciousness, then damaging the brain would damage the connection and lead to the same result. The only counter argument I could think of for this is that it adds an unnecessary complication and Occam's razor would suggest that the brain as generator of consciousness is more likely, though I would also point out there is no evidence for such channeling
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I think consciousness is an emergent property of the neural net. A certain amount of complexity is necessary for this. A rat is conscious, just not to the degree we are while a fly has almost no consciousness at all. I think your argument for the brain being the generator of consciousness is absolutely correct but I have heard the argument made that, if the brain is channeling, as opposed to generating consciousness, then damaging the brain would damage the connection and lead to the same result. The only counter argument I could think of for this is that it adds an unnecessary complication and Occam's razor would suggest that the brain as generator of consciousness is more likely, though I would also point out there is no evidence for such channeling

I'm not sure what you mean by "neural net"...?

But in terms of the brain channelling rather than creating, this is - as you suggest - a solution to a problem that doesn't exist. Why add another layer of explanation onto something when it isn't needed? And, as you say, Occam's razor - you have to start making assumptions such as the idea that something else is creating the consciousness.

There is nothing wrong with the idea that the brain creates the consciousness, other than the fact that its what "mainstream materialist science" has concluded, so some people with more fringe tendencies will instinctively go with the wilder suggestions.

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Exactly right. If it exists it is natural not supernatural if it doesn't it is fantasy

Agreed, but fantasy is the wrong word. More like misinterpretation.

I am curious why we are still haveing the material/non material discussions though. There seems to be a clingyness that fundamental reality must be interactions of berionic matter ie material. Science is way passed that. We know for a fact that there are more fundamental principals at work that give rise to berionic matter itself.

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I'm not sure what you mean by "neural net"...?

But in terms of the brain channelling rather than creating, this is - as you suggest - a solution to a problem that doesn't exist. Why add another layer of explanation onto something when it isn't needed? And, as you say, Occam's razor - you have to start making assumptions such as the idea that something else is creating the consciousness.

There is nothing wrong with the idea that the brain creates the consciousness, other than the fact that its what "mainstream materialist science" has concluded, so some people with more fringe tendencies will instinctively go with the wilder suggestions.

As of now we know that consciousness does continue when brain function as we currently define it stops. This is well known and is leading to more research. In the end we will probably redefine brain function.

Occam's razor has prooven to be universally false. Every where you look in science, the simplist answer, the least amount of entities, etc etc is never the answer. We always have to add more then test for its truth, and our answers are usually far more complicated than we ever imagined. The razor is really about simple things.

Labeling people with "fringe tendencies" is simply an attempt to discredit ideas you don't agree with. "Mainstream materialist science" may have come to a conclusion, but mainstream science has not. That's why there are on going studies and mainstream scientists go both ways on the matter. ;)

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