at what point in human evolution did consciousness arise?

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Re: at what point in human evolution did consciousness arise

Postby rachMiel » Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:47 pm

ashley72 wrote:The latest scientific research is pointing at Consciousness being an emergent property of network complexity.

Consciousness as an emergent phenomenon makes the most intuitive sense for me of all the consciousness theories I've read. Which, of course, doesn't make it right ... or wrong.

But this need not only hold for individual brains. The universe (totality of matter/energy) could have an emergent consciousness. It's like the Gaia theory applied to the totality.

Or, as several people in this forum think, consciousness could have come first, and matter/energy followed as emergent phenomena of this consciousness. Who's to say?
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Re: at what point in human evolution did consciousness arise

Postby smiileyjen101 » Mon Jun 15, 2015 2:31 pm

David said: Consciousness has always been present though, it didn't arise at some point.

:)Jen said: And neither is it selective it's perceived from inside to out, or not.

David said:
Sorry Jen, I'm not sure what this means?

I guess I'm in the non scientific camp I see consciousness in creation energy :wink: I see that in human consciousness - degrees of it, limited as they are, is from stepping down the energy, insulating it and running it through conduits and circuitry, much in the same way as we do with electricity or radio etc
.. so.... consciousness is not selective it permeates everything at it's own frequency so as not to burn it out

- it's perceived from inside to out - our perceptions of consciousness are based on our limitations in regulating receiving and transmitting the consciousness of creation energy, or not.

What we see / know / study of consciousness is an effect - not cause.

Much along the lines of this earlier quote -
Reductionist explanations in physical, brain based terms, are explanations of the functioning of a system, the behaviour that it produces etc. These are known as the 'easy problems of consciousness' as opposed to the 'hard problem' of the mystery of consciousness itself.

In the video he puts forward a couple of interesting possibilities. He proposes that consciousness may be fundamental - like space and time and mass etc. And that consciousness may be universal - that is, consciousness is in everything to some degree.


Considering that science still does not know.name.describe the properties of 95% of all matter and energy, it's a little arrogant to consider that one can base assumptions on the 5% that is known and call any theory based on understanding that 5% - comprehensive fact. That darn 95% just doesn't go away no matter how much you ignore it :wink:
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Re: at what point in human evolution did consciousness arise

Postby DavidB » Tue Jun 16, 2015 3:09 am

Yes Jen, I can also see how consciousness can be related to energy. Both are quite mysterious, although we can observe and know quite a bit about them and their behavior, we really have no idea what they actually are.

The question of consciousness is confounding, simply by the fact that thought arises out of brain activity, and can only ever create a facsimile or interpretation of sensory input, after it has occurred. I think science is mistaking thought with consciousness, and missing the glaringly obvious, that if the brain is producing thoughts and interpreting sensory input, then who is aware of that? If I am merely the arising wave of thinking, then thinking alone would not be sufficient in producing the awareness of thinking. And science only ever produces models of reality, which can only ever be in the end, models of thought.

Consciousness cannot be known by that which arises out of it. An idea cannot encompass the entirety of existence, a map is a model of the geography, not the landscape itself.
“Wisdom is knowing I am nothing, Love is knowing I am everything, and between the two my life moves.” ― Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
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Re: at what point in human evolution did consciousness arise

Postby Rob X » Tue Jun 16, 2015 4:20 pm

ashley72 wrote:You've got to be kidding Rob?

Consciousness is like space??


Well… Chalmers puts these sort of ideas forward as possibilities. He's quite unassertive about it since he's aware that no one knows the real answers to these sort of questions (as yet.) I commend his absence of certainty.
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Re: at what point in human evolution did consciousness arise

Postby Baba Bozo » Tue Jun 16, 2015 4:48 pm

DavidB wrote:Yes Jen, I can also see how consciousness can be related to energy. Both are quite mysterious, although we can observe and know quite a bit about them and their behavior, we really have no idea what they actually are.


Consciousness is not really so mysterious.

Thought is an inherently divisive information medium.

That is, thought operates by conceptually dividing a single unified reality in to a multitude of conceptual objects. Those conceptual objects can then be rearranged in to new patterns in the mind, which gives us the ability to imagine manipulations of reality which we may be able to implement. This is how we make our living as human beings.

Thought divides in to a data stream called "me" which looks back upon the other data streams, and we get....

I am thinking this. I am thinking that. Consciousness.

It is this conceptual division between "I" and "thinking" which is the source of our power, and our suffering.

A central question for New Agers may be, is it possible to divide the power which defines us as humans from the suffering which defines us as humans? The attempt to do so is yet another example of the divisive nature of thought at work.

It is clearly possible to do that division conceptually, as we have imagined a human race at peace for endless centuries.

The real world evidence delivered by those endless centuries of human experience strongly suggests that in the real world it's possible to divide the power from the suffering only to a very limited degree. The subjects we are discussing have been discussed for literally thousands of years, and the human race is still in conflict with itself both internally and externally.

Life is like paddling in a little canoe on a great river headed for a waterfall.

We can paddle a little to the left, a little to the right. We can turn our head and obtain different views of the river. Life has given us these gifts.

But it has not given us the power to change the nature of the river, or alter it's inevitable destination.
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Re: at what point in human evolution did consciousness arise

Postby rachMiel » Tue Jun 16, 2015 6:05 pm

Rob X wrote:
ashley72 wrote:Well… Chalmers puts these sort of ideas forward as possibilities. He's quite unassertive about it since he's aware that no one knows the real answers to these sort of questions (as yet.) I commend his absence of certainty.

The nature of consciousness is such a deep and mysterious field of inquiry that uncertainty seems to be the appropriate way to meet it.

Ditto imo for the other "absolute" biggies: the nature of existence, reality, truth, etc.

Knowing, in the gut (not just the head), that you're a blind person surrounded by other blind people all with a particular and therefore partial view of the elephant -- in effect, knowing that you don't ultimately know anything much more than your own experience/take -- is imo a first step towards grokking the biggies, to the extent that they can be grokked. And I think it's a step all of us here have made, which is kinda nice. :-)
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Re: at what point in human evolution did consciousness arise

Postby DavidB » Thu Jun 18, 2015 2:34 am

rachMiel wrote:
Rob X wrote:
ashley72 wrote:Well… Chalmers puts these sort of ideas forward as possibilities. He's quite unassertive about it since he's aware that no one knows the real answers to these sort of questions (as yet.) I commend his absence of certainty.

The nature of consciousness is such a deep and mysterious field of inquiry that uncertainty seems to be the appropriate way to meet it.

Ditto imo for the other "absolute" biggies: the nature of existence, reality, truth, etc.

Knowing, in the gut (not just the head), that you're a blind person surrounded by other blind people all with a particular and therefore partial view of the elephant -- in effect, knowing that you don't ultimately know anything much more than your own experience/take -- is imo a first step towards grokking the biggies, to the extent that they can be grokked. And I think it's a step all of us here have made, which is kinda nice. :-)


You're right rach, and I think it's interesting how we know this, yet we continue to probe for greater clarity, coming here and discussing these things as we do. I often wonder why I feel the need to discuss these things continuously, and I guess I don't really need to, I simply don't find any other subject quite so as interesting and enjoyable. Maybe it's that knowing myself as the one life, one consciousness, appears such a simple task, yet there also appears to be such confounding complexity. :)

Oh, and it's also fun talking to people. :D
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Re: at what point in human evolution did consciousness arise

Postby tod » Fri Jun 19, 2015 1:04 am

Baba Bozo wrote:
DavidB wrote:Yes Jen, I can also see how consciousness can be related to energy. Both are quite mysterious, although we can observe and know quite a bit about them and their behavior, we really have no idea what they actually are.


Consciousness is not really so mysterious.

Thought is an inherently divisive information medium.

That is, thought operates by conceptually dividing a single unified reality in to a multitude of conceptual objects. Those conceptual objects can then be rearranged in to new patterns in the mind, which gives us the ability to imagine manipulations of reality which we may be able to implement. This is how we make our living as human beings.

Thought divides in to a data stream called "me" which looks back upon the other data streams, and we get....

I am thinking this. I am thinking that. Consciousness.

It is this conceptual division between "I" and "thinking" which is the source of our power, and our suffering.

A central question for New Agers may be, is it possible to divide the power which defines us as humans from the suffering which defines us as humans? The attempt to do so is yet another example of the divisive nature of thought at work.

It is clearly possible to do that division conceptually, as we have imagined a human race at peace for endless centuries.

The real world evidence delivered by those endless centuries of human experience strongly suggests that in the real world it's possible to divide the power from the suffering only to a very limited degree. The subjects we are discussing have been discussed for literally thousands of years, and the human race is still in conflict with itself both internally and externally.

Life is like paddling in a little canoe on a great river headed for a waterfall.

We can paddle a little to the left, a little to the right. We can turn our head and obtain different views of the river. Life has given us these gifts.

But it has not given us the power to change the nature of the river, or alter it's inevitable destination.


This appears to assume consciousness has to be, or is, defined by thought whilst thought is operating; that consciousness cannot stay conscious in operation.

Human consciousness is not consciousness, it is only thought to be consciousness. It is conscious in thought only, not actually conscious.

But no need for consciousness to go into thought whilst utilising it.
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Re: at what point in human evolution did consciousness arise

Postby smiileyjen101 » Fri Jun 26, 2015 1:01 am

DavidB said:
Consciousness cannot be known by that which arises out of it. An idea cannot encompass the entirety of existence, a map is a model of the geography, not the landscape itself.


^ plus Bozo's
Thought divides in to a data stream called "me" which looks back upon the other data streams, and we get....

I am thinking this. I am thinking that. Consciousness.

It is this conceptual division between "I" and "thinking" which is the source of our power, and our suffering.


Both the thought and the map can be incorrect.

As Dr Gordon Livingston noted in his book Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart
1. If the map doesn’t agree with the ground, the map is wrong.
We are given mental maps as children. Our parents and other adults tell us what is right and what is wrong – sometimes they don’t always get it right.

Reality is reality.



Being physically awake one has the capacity for awareness /consciousness, it doesn't mean that that is the totality of consciousness though.

Consciousness itself is what we plug into.
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Re: at what point in human evolution did consciousness arise

Postby DavidB » Fri Jul 10, 2015 6:51 am

smiileyjen101 wrote:Being physically awake one has the capacity for awareness /consciousness, it doesn't mean that that is the totality of consciousness though.

Consciousness itself is what we plug into.


Yeah you're right jen, as humans, we do not know the entirety of consciousness, not even remotely close to knowing the entirety of consciousness. I personally love it that way though, it means I have an endless supply of fascinating things to discover about life.

I have referred to humans as being, a speck on a speck on a speck. Which is not meant to trivialize the importance of being conscious, no not at all, it just places the things we believe to be important into context, that is, utterly negligible.

There will come a day when nobody remembers who I am, and nobody will remember I even existed. Eventually, everything I am or ever thought myself to be, will vanish.

Consciousness is not so much something we plug into but rather, what we are.
“Wisdom is knowing I am nothing, Love is knowing I am everything, and between the two my life moves.” ― Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
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