I’m personally not a big Fan of the whole #TBT … however I thought, I’d give you guys my take on a topic, which has been cause for an incredible number of discussions in the past: “What is consciousness?”
I’m aware of the fact, that this is a very sensitive topic, because we all have different ideas and ideals about it, so please keep in mind that this is just my opinion and I’m not trying to convince you, but instead I’m trying to present my chain of thoughts to get you involved and thinking about this topic. I should also say in advance, that I base my ideas on sience and reason, not however, Religion.
Lots of people feel, that the existance of this state of awareness, can’t just come from a biological organ, but that it has to come from some spiritual substance or higher being. It is just to hard to comprehend and in fact, evolutionary biologists still argue, whether consciousness has any survival value, which would be necessary if it has evolved through the process of natural selection. I think people generally underestimate the power of our brain. In one square centimeter of brain tissue you will find more synapses (the connections between neurocells) then there are stars in our Galaxy and they are constantly changing, as we learn.
In my opinion one of the problems when we try to understand things that are fundamental to us, is the lack of an outside perspective. However when it comes to consciousness, we do in fact have this outside perspective; It’s called “Sleep”. Scientists measured the brain activity during sleep and noticed, how certain parts of our brain reduce their activity while other parts actually increase. These physiological changes result in a change / alter of our consciousness which we can observe during our dreams. This connection between change of brain functions and change of consciousness is the reason I believe consciousness is truely emerging from our brain. “But if it didn’t evolve, where is it coming from?”, you might ask. There is actually only one explanation left: Consciousness is fundemental, meaning everything has a consciousness. Lets say you wanted to compare the amount of consciousness in a human to the amount in an cat, what would be the measuring unit? Most people would say something like “complexity of their brains”, but this is not a real unit, how would you measure the complexity of a brain? You would could then say “Amount of Information processed” This is definetly a step in the right direction, but were not at the core of the question yet, because “Amount of Information processed” actually means Information/Time. Time always stays the same,(at least for the Person/Thing that has consciousness, not for an external observer. I talked about this in my last blogpost) so its actually the amount of Information that defines the amount of consciousness there is. That being said though everything in the universe has some Information and therefore some consciousness. Even the simplest particles, like electrons still have Information associated to them, like their spin. That ultimatly means that everything in this universe has a consciousness.
This is my take on consciousness, I hope you enjoyed it!
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