Does the Human Brain Create or Receive Consciousness?

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Greta
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Re: Does the Human Brain Create or Receive Consciousness?

Post by Greta » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:32 am

Re: the OP. Good question.
Nick_A wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:16 am
In his upcoming book An Unknown World: Notes on the Meaning of the Earth, Jacob Needleman discusses “an entirely new kind of relationship between consciousness and nature, between consciousness and the earth, between consciousness and the human body here, now, in our lives.

What Descartes is showing us is something dramatically different from how he has been interpreted: He is showing us that in the capacity of the mind to concentrate its attention toward itself in pure thought—in that capacity there is a central element of Man that is not merely separate from nature, but beyond nature! Beyond earth!

What Descartes is offering is not more or less than the idea of the holy spirit expressed not in religious language, but in the language of the independent human mind, the aspect of man that is, in inception, in its embryonic form, beyond the created world of nature, beyond the earth.”
This is a common misunderstanding. Humanity transcends neither nature nor the Earth, but remains a part of each. The human capacity to self-analyse is an extension of nature. An innovation rather than transcendence. Nature includes all of the cosmos, otherwise where do we stop? The Earth? The Sun? The Milky Way? The Virgo Supercluster? Laniakea?

In evolutionary terms the ability to self analyse is the capacity to control one's conditioning (to some extent). This allows for exponential development as a conditioned person is better able to condition further. Self-improving AI will undergo similar exponential development.

As things stand, I think the answer to your question is that the brain is a processor, not a creator as such, but it plays a role in its creation. Each person's thought stream is largely undirected. My thought stream is not "mine" as such, but a conveyor belt of ideas that if gifted to me from which I choose thoughts based on what captures my attention. As a would-be writer, I am well aware that "my" ideas are not mine; they only come because I opened myself up sufficiently to notice them.

The thought stream is the product of constant sensory input and processing by the brain, and very likely is significantly shaped by metabolic organs as well. The brain itself does not create consciousness. Thus the brain in a vat thought experiment could not work in reality.

The core of our being is the metabolism and brains evolved to protect that life. Without a brain, metabolisms are defenceless and unable to exploit opportunities. Without a metabolism a brain has no job, no point. You not only need an integrated metabolism and a brain to make a mind, but also an environment (father, son and holy ghost?).

Since consciousness is a whole body phenomenon is dependent on environmental inputs, I see the brain as a filter and "translator" of consciousness rather than a generator. Gut, brain and stimuli are all essential components. A mind without stimulation is like a gut without food - in each instance, in lieu of input they consume themselves. Imagine yourself as a Descartian disembodied mind, but within utter nothingness as is sometimes reported during the early part of NDEs when the senses shut down. With nothing to draw upon there would be only memories. If left in that state for long enough there would only be memories of memories, which would be the only new memories one could form in that situation. Eventually the mind would simply disintegrate; it would seek only silence.

The brain's filtering work is underestimated. Reality without that filtering and shaping would not be pleasant. It would basically be blinding white light, overwhelming noise and searing heat. Our brains take the wild chaos of various forces and energies around us and shape it into a form which must have helped our ancestors (and theirs ad infinitum) to reproduce. People who recover from near death sometimes return with damaged filters and report such horrific, untempered sensations until the brain thankfully normalises after the trauma.

Atla
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Re: Does the Human Brain Create or Receive Consciousness?

Post by Atla » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:48 am

Every idiot thinks that it either creates or receives consciousness.

Nick_A
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Re: Does the Human Brain Create or Receive Consciousness?

Post by Nick_A » Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:00 am

Greta

You seem to be describing Man as a reacting mechnical thing in which the brain serves as processor of impressions which allows a person to react. Quality is determined by the quantity of impressions received and how they are mechnically interpreted.

It may be that way for animal Man living in Plato’s cave but what of conscious Man? What of those who have experienced the vertical third dimension of thought which connects realities above and below Plato’s divided line explained in my previous post. They may be able to help the problem of the earth and Man on it from becoming able to receive conscious help from above in order to give to below.

If the earth is indeed a living organism it means other planets and our solar system are also living organisms as is the Milky Way galaxy and the level of reality in which all galaxies exist. It means we live in a conscious universe. A conscious universe needs a conscious source.

Of course this is intolerable for secularism. But what if what Jacob Needleman describes in his book the Unknown world is true? Then our species has an objective obligation we are completely oblivious of and destined to experience the consequences of our ignorance. What else could be possible for our species living in denial and closed to the third dimension of thought while remaining content to argue horizontal duality within Plato's Cave

https://psychcentral.com/lib/an-unknown ... the-earth/
Needelman’s thought process is an eye-opening one, but due to its spiritual nature, any manner of reviewing his book risks scaring away readers. That fear should be put aside, however, as he walks us with clarity through his journey of understanding mankind and Earth as incomplete works that require looking inward as much as outward, using intuition and unconscious routes to reveal the needs of the world within and about us so that all can survive.
The book may still sound daunting, but it is not a hard one to read so long as the reader is interested in our decaying planet. Needleman talks of dualities in science and religion, understanding and consciousness, knowledge and intuition. He speaks deeply and thoughtfully about why humans inhabit Earth. And he stresses an urgency to allow us to “wonder” as we did as children, to use science and religion to not limit but expand our perceptions and liberate the possibilities of our transforming this unknown but evolving planet, to rise above our ego. It is our ego, he believes, that dangerously limits our ability to consciously grasp concepts greater than our current knowledge because it stops us from searching further.
“If our planet is in crisis, as it surely is, it is because we ourselves are in crisis, because we ourselves have lost our way in the world,” he states, adding that to find a “real and not self-deceptive understanding of the crisis of the Earth, we are going to have to find a real understanding of the crisis of our human life, both our inner life of the mind and the life of action and relationship.”
Needleman’s book is a fascinating pilgrimage toward understanding our role as humans in guardianship of Earth. It deserves all your attention — the payback being never looking at our planet and our beliefs the same way again and in so doing saving Earth through our own redemption.
Our planet isn’affected by what we do but rather the conscious quality of what we are that supplies our planet with the quality of energy she needs. That is what it means in the Bible to work in the garden. But if we are restricted to unconscious tree huggers and spirit killers lacking conscious quality, devolution is the inevitable result.

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Re: Does the Human Brain Create or Receive Consciousness?

Post by Dubious » Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:53 am

One cannot create consciousness without first having received it autonomously by being born with a brain which allows consciousness to expand as a natural organic process. The limitation being once that process has fully developed in the manner indigenous to the species, its further expansion virtually stops unless consciousness has the means to examine itself aware of being limited but knowing also there is more of where that came from, that only the surface was quarried to be further mined by virtue of being conscious. What I'm aware of I can change or enhance and continue the saga at least up to a point.

Most, by far, have stopped going further being unaware that where it stops organically is not the same as consciously striving toward its continuation.

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Greta
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Re: Does the Human Brain Create or Receive Consciousness?

Post by Greta » Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:55 am

Nick_A wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:00 am
Greta

You seem to be describing Man as a reacting mechnical thing in which the brain serves as processor of impressions which allows a person to react. Quality is determined by the quantity of impressions received and how they are mechnically interpreted.

It may be that way for animal Man living in Plato’s cave but what of conscious Man? What of those who have experienced the vertical third dimension of thought which connects realities above and below Plato’s divided line explained in my previous post. They may be able to help the problem of the earth and Man on it from becoming able to receive conscious help from above in order to give to below.
It's all roughly same processes in general, Nick, only variant in detail. There's commonalities in consciousness between all humans, and commonalities only expressed in mammals, and in all chordates, and so forth. Then there are the details, the individual shaping.

Generally speaking, those who "see more", like Wilson's outsiders, either tend to be either exceptionally content or exceptionally malcontent, or toggle between the two.
Nick_A wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:00 am
If the earth is indeed a living organism it means other planets and our solar system are also living organisms as is the Milky Way galaxy and the level of reality in which all galaxies exist. It means we live in a conscious universe. A conscious universe needs a conscious source.
I am pretty confident about panvitalism but less so of panpsychism, which I'd see as panreactivity, with what we think of as consciousness just part of that reactivity spectrum, with unusually high amounts of responsiveness, flexibility, empathy and complexity.

A conscious source? I can only see one way that's possible. That is, if life evolved to survive the heat death of its universe and somehow involved itself in the next, and the next. Who knows? This could be the billionth universe with a billion hyper-evolved Omega Pointesque gods amalgamating. It's all speculative, of course.
Needelman’s thought process is an eye-opening one, but due to its spiritual nature, any manner of reviewing his book risks scaring away readers. That fear should be put aside, however, as he walks us with clarity through his journey of understanding mankind and Earth as incomplete works that require looking inward as much as outward, using intuition and unconscious routes to reveal the needs of the world within and about us so that all can survive.
Not incomplete, just developing.

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Re: Does the Human Brain Create or Receive Consciousness?

Post by Veritas Aequitas » Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:37 am

Nick_A wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:49 pm
We live below Plato’s divided line or the intersection of the lines of the cross. Help from above comes from above the line. The secular world rejects it so everything just follows the mechanical natural cycles including war and peace. It is nature’s way. The person truly experiencing an existential crisis gets out of their own way and becomes open to receive the help of grace and can enter the Way to becoming themselves.
I had presented the following perspectives, i.e. in terms of spiritual grades
  • 1. Theistic - Grading of Spirituality [GoS] = 1 to 70?%
    2. Non-theistic -[GoS] = 1 to 90%
    3. Secular - 1 -50%
When you take the perspective, consciousness is received [given] from externally, you are activated within theistic spirituality which at best is up to a GoS of 70% only. The downside of this is, at the other end are the terrible evil and violent acts committed by SOME theists as a divine duty in the name of God. The best of the GoS of 70% is not strong enough to inhibit these terrible evil and violence forces from certain theistic ideology.

At the highest GoS of 90% from non-theistic spirituality, consciousness is not "created" [with deliberateness and intentions] by the brain but rather consciousness simply emerges.
By understanding how consciousness emerges, one is able to modulate one's actions morally and ethically to align with humanity in a net-positive manner.

When consciousness is assumed to be from an outside source, there is the possibility of an obligation to the outside source, e.g. from God thus the obligation to obey the commands of God. The worst is when the commands of God are laden with evil elements as in the case of Islam. [note the Armenian Genocide by Islamists is traceable to verses in the Quran]

I have argued the yearning to view consciousness is from an external sources is purely driven by one's own psychology arising from an existential crisis.
Btw, what do you have to lose if you give up the idea 'consciousness is from an external source'? - there is nothing to lose except the psychological effects of Angst.

On the other hand if you accept consciousness is an emergent from one's own brain/mind, one will have the freedom and control over whatever one acts consciously, instead of by what God [in a book] said so!

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Re: Does the Human Brain Create or Receive Consciousness?

Post by attofishpi » Sun Jan 13, 2019 1:18 pm

When you scratch the back of your hand, you FEEL it.

How does a bunch of atoms arranged in any form, account for YOU ?

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Re: Does the Human Brain Create or Receive Consciousness?

Post by Nick_A » Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:21 pm

V A
When consciousness is assumed to be from an outside source, there is the possibility of an obligation to the outside source, e.g. from God thus the obligation to obey the commands of God. The worst is when the commands of God are laden with evil elements as in the case of Islam. [note the Armenian Genocide by Islamists is traceable to verses in the Quran]
You are describing the effects of idolatry which is a corruption of the conscious connection between human consciousness and the ineffable source of consciousness.
I have argued the yearning to view consciousness is from an external sources is purely driven by one's own psychology arising from an existential crisis.
The existential crisis resulting from the human need for meaning beyond what the world provides is as normal as the need for nutrition
Btw, what do you have to lose if you give up the idea 'consciousness is from an external source'? - there is nothing to lose except the psychological effects of Angst.
This is the normal secular approach. It results in killing the attraction to eros in the young as well as inflicting metaphysical repression on the young. Why would I be attracted to a secular approach which causes spiritual death?
On the other hand if you accept consciousness is an emergent from one's own brain/mind, one will have the freedom and control over whatever one acts consciously, instead of by what God [in a book] said so!
You deny the human condition which prevents the freedom and control necessary for striving to become human. Without conscious help from above our species is destined to turn in circles following nature's cycles described in Ecclesiastes 3

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Re: Does the Human Brain Create or Receive Consciousness?

Post by Nick_A » Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:38 pm

Greta
Not incomplete, just developing.
But humanity has attributes that do not arise from the earth and are unnatural for animal life which is why they their potential descended into our being from above.

When referring to our Source Simone Weil wrote:
That reality is the unique source of all the good that can exist in this world: that is to say, all beauty, all truth, all justice, all legitimacy, all order, and all human behaviour that is mindful of obligations.
Higher values are unnatural for animal Man. The ability for example to feel beauty, justice, and obligations beyond the immediate do not arise from animal evolution since there is no animal value with them. They are higher values normal for higher consciousness which serves to help animal Man become human.

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Greta
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Re: Does the Human Brain Create or Receive Consciousness?

Post by Greta » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:53 am

Nick_A wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:38 pm
Greta
Not incomplete, just developing.
But humanity has attributes that do not arise from the earth and are unnatural for animal life which is why they their potential descended into our being from above.

When referring to our Source Simone Weil wrote:
That reality is the unique source of all the good that can exist in this world: that is to say, all beauty, all truth, all justice, all legitimacy, all order, and all human behaviour that is mindful of obligations.
Higher values are unnatural for animal Man. The ability for example to feel beauty, justice, and obligations beyond the immediate do not arise from animal evolution since there is no animal value with them. They are higher values normal for higher consciousness which serves to help animal Man become human.
Of course they arise from the Earth. In the past cells with a nucleus were a strange new innovation. Later, multicellular organisms were an oddity, surely not of this Earth. Ditto trilobites and their well developed eyes in a natural world that was either blind or blurred. Later, the size and danger of dinosaurs was not part of nature - until it arrived. Similarly self-reflective consciousness, which allows one to control one's own conditioning and gave rise to a level of control that made complex adult morality possible.

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Re: Does the Human Brain Create or Receive Consciousness?

Post by attofishpi » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:53 am

Nick_A wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:38 pm
Greta
Not incomplete, just developing.
But humanity has attributes that do not arise from the earth and are unnatural for animal life which is why they their potential descended into our being from above.
Bullshit. Animals show signs of love.
Nick_A wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:38 pm
When referring to our Source Simone Weil wrote:
That reality is the unique source of all the good that can exist in this world: that is to say, all beauty, all truth, all justice, all legitimacy, all order, and all human behaviour that is mindful of obligations.
Higher values are unnatural for animal Man. The ability for example to feel beauty, justice, and obligations beyond the immediate do not arise from animal evolution since there is no animal value with them. They are higher values normal for higher consciousness which serves to help animal Man become human.
Bullshit. The only reason you see that we have 'higher values' than animals (beyond their level of 'intelligence') is that they kill directly for their own existence.

Oh, what a beautiful creation.

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Re: Does the Human Brain Create or Receive Consciousness?

Post by Veritas Aequitas » Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:20 am

Nick_A wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:21 pm
V A
When consciousness is assumed to be from an outside source, there is the possibility of an obligation to the outside source, e.g. from God thus the obligation to obey the commands of God. The worst is when the commands of God are laden with evil elements as in the case of Islam. [note the Armenian Genocide by Islamists is traceable to verses in the Quran]
You are describing the effects of idolatry which is a corruption of the conscious connection between human consciousness and the ineffable source of consciousness.
Nope!
Note idolatry is the greatest sin in monotheistic Islam. So my point has nothing to do with idolatry.
I have argued the yearning to view consciousness is from an external sources is purely driven by one's own psychology arising from an existential crisis.
The existential crisis resulting from the human need for meaning beyond what the world provides is as normal as the need for nutrition.
Yes, it is inherent in ALL human beings. The majority who are greatly affected by the existential crisis and drove them to view consciousness is from an external source, i.e. a God which in SOME ways contributed to terrible evil and violent acts.
You are in the same shoes as them albeit in a lower degree thus not violent.
Btw, what do you have to lose if you give up the idea 'consciousness is from an external source'? - there is nothing to lose except the psychological effects of Angst.
This is the normal secular approach. It results in killing the attraction to eros in the young as well as inflicting metaphysical repression on the young. Why would I be attracted to a secular approach which causes spiritual death?
You are shifty here.
I am not diverting to any secular approach.
It is very possible to give up the idea 'consciousness is from an external source' from within the highest practice of spirituality, note Buddhism and others of the like.

What you are practicing may not be involved in spiritual death but many of your bethrens of the same thought are actually repressing spiritual growth, e.g. Islam which believe consciousness is from an external source, i.e. a God.
On the other hand if you accept consciousness is an emergent from one's own brain/mind, one will have the freedom and control over whatever one acts consciously, instead of by what God [in a book] said so!
You deny the human condition which prevents the freedom and control necessary for striving to become human. Without conscious help from above our species is destined to turn in circles following nature's cycles described in Ecclesiastes 3
Deny?? how can I deny when I claimed the following as above, i.e.

"one will have the freedom and control over whatever one acts consciously"
plus the freedom the act within the highest moral expectations.

How can you claim freedom when you are bonded to something external [illusory]?
Note without conscious help from the external [God] humanity has achieved the 100% establishment of laws to abolish chattel slavery which some theistic beliefs are still stuck with immutable commands that condone slavery.

Btw, do not introduce anything to do with 'secular' [red herring] in this discussion.
My proposals are based on non-theistic spirituality of the highest level.

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Re: Does the Human Brain Create or Receive Consciousness?

Post by Nick_A » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:42 pm

atto
Bullshit. Animals show signs of love.
Yes, that is the point. Animal love is a rudimentary expression of higher love or the love of life itself. A mother bear gives love to its cubs but not to you. Animal love is selective. Higher or conscious love is the love of life itself. it experiences the value of its wholeness and gives the energy of love in support. it is a conscious human potential. But as animal Man we are limited to rudimentary selective love with the potential to evolve into a quality of being in which conscious love is the norm.

I know it is insulting to admit our limitations but those who do profit from their humility.

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Re: Does the Human Brain Create or Receive Consciousness?

Post by Nick_A » Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:00 pm

Greta wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:53 am
Nick_A wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:38 pm
Greta
Not incomplete, just developing.
But humanity has attributes that do not arise from the earth and are unnatural for animal life which is why they their potential descended into our being from above.

When referring to our Source Simone Weil wrote:
That reality is the unique source of all the good that can exist in this world: that is to say, all beauty, all truth, all justice, all legitimacy, all order, and all human behaviour that is mindful of obligations.
Higher values are unnatural for animal Man. The ability for example to feel beauty, justice, and obligations beyond the immediate do not arise from animal evolution since there is no animal value with them. They are higher values normal for higher consciousness which serves to help animal Man become human.
Of course they arise from the Earth. In the past cells with a nucleus were a strange new innovation. Later, multicellular organisms were an oddity, surely not of this Earth. Ditto trilobites and their well developed eyes in a natural world that was either blind or blurred. Later, the size and danger of dinosaurs was not part of nature - until it arrived. Similarly self-reflective consciousness, which allows one to control one's own conditioning and gave rise to a level of control that made complex adult morality possible.
You will fight this to the end but consciousness descends from above while reactive contents of consciousness ascends from below. What makes Man unique is that human being exists at the point within the scale of being that serves as the transition between mechanical and conscious life.

Matthew 11:11
Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
A perfect description of the point of transition between animal consciousness of Man born from below and the Kingdom as representative of higher consciousness. Of course the idea is repulsive to all those defending life in Plato's cave but those who have sensed a greater reality outside of the confines of the cave Man has the potential to become a part of, the description makes perfect sense.

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Greta
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Re: Does the Human Brain Create or Receive Consciousness?

Post by Greta » Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:30 pm

Nick_A wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:00 pm
Greta wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:53 am
Nick_A wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:38 pm
Greta



But humanity has attributes that do not arise from the earth and are unnatural for animal life which is why they their potential descended into our being from above.

When referring to our Source Simone Weil wrote:



Higher values are unnatural for animal Man. The ability for example to feel beauty, justice, and obligations beyond the immediate do not arise from animal evolution since there is no animal value with them. They are higher values normal for higher consciousness which serves to help animal Man become human.
Of course they arise from the Earth. In the past cells with a nucleus were a strange new innovation. Later, multicellular organisms were an oddity, surely not of this Earth. Ditto trilobites and their well developed eyes in a natural world that was either blind or blurred. Later, the size and danger of dinosaurs was not part of nature - until it arrived. Similarly self-reflective consciousness, which allows one to control one's own conditioning and gave rise to a level of control that made complex adult morality possible.
You will fight this to the end but consciousness descends from above while reactive contents of consciousness ascends from below. What makes Man unique is that human being exists at the point within the scale of being that serves as the transition between mechanical and conscious life.

Matthew 11:11
Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
A perfect description of the point of transition between animal consciousness of Man born from below and the Kingdom as representative of higher consciousness. Of course the idea is repulsive to all those defending life in Plato's cave but those who have sensed a greater reality outside of the confines of the cave Man has the potential to become a part of, the description makes perfect sense.
Cool, conversation by declaration. My turn.

Actually, conscious life has been around for many millions of years. Humans are a little more aware than other animals but still very small and pretty clueless at this stage. I would not attribute humanity today with their future potentials, as we don't yet know to what extent they will be realised.

Re: "From above"? Well, almost everything is coming from the Sun, which comprises 99.8% of the solar system's total mass - the Earth is rubble by comparison. It's the nucleus of our atom, our creator, maintainer and, eventually, our destroyer. Alas, the Egyptian Sun god, Ra, and the Aztec Sun god, Huitzilopochtli, presided over some of the more bloodthirsty societies in history. Seemingly the Sun did not bring more advanced consciousness to them - or maybe they just misread the signs? Then again, perhaps it's time for a cult worshipping Saggitarius A*, the creator and maintainer of the Sun?

Ah, but such physical talk annoys you, doesn't it? ... "You are just a secularist!" ... "You cannot understand the higher dimensions of consciousness!".

What you would like to believe in are other dimensions of reality, where God would act as the base dimension from which all others spring, rather like the Sun's role, but informational rather than physical. Then again, there might be something else going on we little humans haven't thought of yet.

If we don't much worry about the science, then this is a brainstorming session. In that case we can happily ignore rules of evidence and freewheel (after all, boffins are paid to stay disciplined within their professional mental straitjackets - we need have no such compunction about cutting loose).

So, in such a spirit of feral intellectualism, I say that consciousness appears to be a natural deepening of reality's integration and reality with itself with growing maturity. Over time reality becomes a little clearer to itself generally, just as a child, and then adult, becomes more aware of him or herself.

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