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Do our thoughts exist in the physical world ?


Posted on Friday, 9 May, 2014 | Comment icon 114 comments

What is consciousness ? Image Credit: sxc.hu
Philosophers have pondered for thousands of years over the very nature of human consciousness.
We don't tend to think of our thoughts as being separate to our physical selves yet to date we still know very little about the inner workings of our own consciousness or how we interact with the world on a metaphysical level.

Are memories and thoughts simply electrical impulses within the brain or are we more than that ? Could we be a combination of the spiritual and the physical ? Is the human body simply an interface between one world and another ?

Mathematics and astronomy professor Bernard Carr believes that our thoughts may exist in another dimension of which we have no conscious perception or awareness.

"The only non-physical entities in the universe of which we have any experience are mental ones, and the existence of paranormal phenomena suggests that mental entities have to exist in some sort of space," he wrote.

Other hypotheses include the concept that our thoughts may transcend time itself, the idea that thought may exist within the physical space between particles and even the possibility that the minds of everyone on Earth could eventually combine to form a single enveloping network in which our collective consciousnesses could exist.

Source: The Epoch Times | Comments (114)

Tags: Brain, Thought, Consciousness


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #105 Posted by XenoFish on 26 June, 2014, 0:37
Learned a lot of the stuff he mentioned through metaphysical practices. To be able to see with your minds eye (imagination) what you want and to make it a reality is a wonderful thing. For the most part I feel that many people are on autopilot. Never taking much time to still the mind and explore the mental wonderland. We have the greatest creative force within our head and what do we use if for? It is both wonderful and destructive.
Comment icon #106 Posted by GlennThe14TH on 30 June, 2014, 3:23
I've done some thinking about thinking. I believe a thought is a product of the subconscious which registers in our consciousness. The product of "movements of the mind", if you will. Unless we cut open someone's head and have them think about something as we observe, we don't know if that thought would show as a physical wrinkle in the brain, etc. But I don't foresee anybody willing to submit to such an experiment and doubt whether it would yield any results anyway. Consciousness is different. It's the Boss. But most times the Boss isn't in charge beca... [More]
Comment icon #107 Posted by CuriousRey on 30 June, 2014, 16:19
Just a sci-fi based theory that would make a good movie probably (if it already hasn't), I think it would be very interesting if our thoughts existed in a "cloud" of sorts, everyone would be linked to this "cloud". Would give a good reason to explain dreams with people you've never met, or in places you've never been. Feelings of intuition, empathy, gut-feelings, all of this could be attributed to a "cloud" error. Hah, sounds ridiculous and in no way do I believe this to be true, but it would be pretty damned cool nontheless.
Comment icon #108 Posted by Frank Merton on 1 July, 2014, 4:13
Thinking about or "watching" ourselves think is called mindfulness. After starting out concentrating on my breathing to settle my mind, I often do that when meditating. What one is doing I think is just "watching" what our short-term memory tells us we were thinking of a few moments in the past, so it is an illusion to think there is a "watcher" there watching. It is interesting to note how things seem to flow, sometimes connected thoughts, sometimes thoughts or memories "out of the blue" (one assumes coming from the subconscious) meandering like a ri... [More]
Comment icon #109 Posted by XenoFish on 1 July, 2014, 9:10
The thing I've notice about focal meditation is that in the very start, my mind is like an enraged crowd all yelling at the same time. That chattering mind monkey. After a few seconds it begins to quiet down as my awareness is tuned into something external. I enter a kind of thought-less mental state. Quite pleasant. I think for the most part our conscious mind is the observation one, while our subconscious is the action one. One mind two aspects. A lot of our actions are out of habit. Mostly based on experiences. We can consciously make choices (free will) but if those conscious decisions... [More]
Comment icon #110 Posted by Frank Merton on 1 July, 2014, 9:24
Before asking where thoughts come from I would ask what they are, and I know what they are the way I know what the color "blue" or the feeling "sadness" is. Different sort of knowledge (experiential rather than learned). By the way, I don't think they "come from" some place or whatever. We make them and they don't "really" exist until we put them into words, and then they are something else. Putting thoughts into words is not good unless you have to for communicating: it slows things down and distorts them to suit the language and the other l... [More]
Comment icon #111 Posted by StarMountainKid on 1 July, 2014, 12:38
It seems the mind is split between the subconscious mind and the conscious mind. I also think it is difficult to determine which is operating at any given moment and which is thinking and which is making choices. It's also interesting that our conscious mind cannot access our subconscious mind, but our subconscious has access to our consciousness. This is kind of scarey in a way. What's going on down in there? The subconscious is performing all sorts of tasks and making all sorts of decisions without us! I think the subconscious is mostly 'on our side', but it can also be... [More]
Comment icon #112 Posted by XenoFish on 1 July, 2014, 22:21
I like to think of the subconscious as the human operating system. We input conscious commands and the subconscious executes them (to a degree). Communicating with the subconscious is easy. Just image yourself yawning, think of the sounds, feelings, and sensations. Continue this till you actually yawn. By doing that you've given a direct command to your sub-c to act. You can generate phantom sensation this way as well. Such as itching, burning, warmth or cold.
Comment icon #113 Posted by StarMountainKid on 2 July, 2014, 0:34
I see it as the other way around. I think our conscious commands are really sub-conscious commands that the sub-conscious puts into our consciousness. I think it seems to go both ways, but the distinction is difficult to work out. I hold this notion because the conscious self, the 'I' or 'me' is an illusion the brain or sub-conscious mind has created. The sub-conscious mind recieves all input, then passes these inputs along to consciousness. For instance, it is an illusion that 'I' feel pain. There is just the consciousness of pain. We interpret this as the 'I&... [More]
Comment icon #114 Posted by XenoFish on 2 July, 2014, 0:38
Interesting point of view. I'll have to look into it.


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