The nature of consciousness is one of the biggest mysteries science faces.
While most scientists nowadays believe consciousness is an emergent property of the brain, if we look deep enough into this assumption, we will find that it is physically impossible (At least, with the current knowledge we have in physics).
This insight was termed by the philosopher David Chalmers “The hard problem of consciousness.”
The hard problem of consciousness
The brain, like any other physical structure, is made out of conscious-less components: atoms, molecules, electrical impulses, etc. While it is quite easy to understand how structures of matter and energy can process information into various coded forms, whether these are binary codes processed in a computer or neural activity processed in the brain, it is a complete mystery how can such coded forms be decoded and transformed into a conscious experience, such as pain, love or the color red.
The science of neurology has done a great job in finding correlations between brain activity and conscious experiences, yet it is clueless regarding how one could cause the other. And indeed, as statisticians often say that, correlation is not causation, the brain may not be the cause for consciousness.
For example, we find a correlation of 100% between the electrical activity in a radio receiver and the music it produces, yet the radio is not the cause of the music. The cause of the music is the electrometric signal in space, or, even more accurately, the broadcaster at the radio station.
Shedding new light on the nature of consciousness
While the mystery of the origins of consciousness remains, by using self-observation and some analytical thinking, we can reach some unusual understandings and shed new light on the nature of consciousness.
For example, by understanding the difference between consciousness and the mind, we can reveal the basic unity we all share with each other and with every other sentient being.
The following video takes us a step forward in understanding the nature of consciousness. First by giving an accessible, yet profound explanation of the hard problem of consciousness, and then by revealing six unique attributes of consciousness that are relatively unfamiliar in the contemporary philosophic and scientific study of consciousness.
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This Post Has 4 Comments
Consciousness is not self-awareness, self-awareness is the product of the brain.
That is basically what he said in the video. “Consciousness needs the mind to be aware of itself.”
The only thing I’m confused about is the assumption that consciousness does not change, and is identical to everyone else’s consciousness, yet it has the power to become anything from nothing. The very act of “becoming” is a form of change, so it seems there is a contradiction here.
I congratulate you on being confused by only one assumption, as you put it.
When I am confused I find it sometimes helpful to clarify the idea of time, or change, and of eternity, or changelessness.
I hope that is helpful for you too.