A Communion of Subjects

A Communion of Subjects

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A Communion of Subjects

This is one of the best things I’ve read recently in terms of understanding consciousness and experience. Here are some key excerpts, but do yourself a favor and read the full article:

That’s the key idea. Evolution has shaped us with perceptions that allow us to survive. They guide adaptive behaviors. But part of that involves hiding from us the stuff we don’t need to know. And that’s pretty much all of reality, whatever reality might be. If you had to spend all that time figuring it out, the tiger would eat you.

I’ve evolved these symbols to keep me alive, so I have to take them seriously. But it’s a logical flaw to think that if we have to take it seriously, we also have to take it literally.

Now, for the most interesting part:

I call it conscious realism: Objective reality is just conscious agents, just points of view. Interestingly, I can take two conscious agents and have them interact, and the mathematical structure of that interaction also satisfies the definition of a conscious agent. This mathematics is telling me something. I can take two minds, and they can generate a new, unified single mind. Here’s a concrete example. We have two hemispheres in our brain. But when you do a split-brain operation, a complete transection of the corpus callosum, you get clear evidence of two separate consciousnesses. Before that slicing happened, it seemed there was a single unified consciousness. So it’s not implausible that there is a single conscious agent. And yet it’s also the case that there are two conscious agents there, and you can see that when they’re split. I didn’t expect that, the mathematics forced me to recognize this. It suggests that I can take separate observers, put them together and create new observers, and keep doing this ad infinitum. It’s conscious agents all the way down.

This is another way or saying what the non-dualist, Advaita tradition teaches, by the way (https://goo.gl/BBMcD2).

Oh, and if that doesn’t blow your mind, just let this sink in:

It’s not that there’s a classical brain that does some quantum magic. It’s that there’s no brain! Quantum mechanics says that classical objects—including brains—don’t exist. So this is a far more radical claim about the nature of reality and does not involve the brain pulling off some tricky quantum computation. So even Penrose hasn’t taken it far enough. But most of us, you know, we’re born realists. We’re born physicalists. This is a really, really hard one to let go of.

#nondual #advaita #consciousness

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/04/the-illusion-of-reality/479559/

14 comments

  1. Gideon Rosenblatt This is really interesting. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. Yes, maybe we ought to just reread this article again and again and again to get used to the terminology.

  3. This is why it’s so easy for parents to mess up there kids; And some do it unconsciously.

  4. Hello Sir, the more u try to explain these non factual reality the lesser gets the chance of its non existence. Death is the reality of pure consciousness which endures us to speculate nonduality.

  5. Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.

    Albert Einstein

  6. Summary: There is no reality, but the reality I experience. Also, it’s just a representation of something unseen.

    Science becomes religion, then Scientists are forced to believe with as much faith as Priests.

  7. Can mind be a Borge as once named in the show called star trek II. Which is a collection of minds. Or Just an imagination until proven otherwise.?

  8. I’m not sure if I just saw what I wanted to see, but great find Gideon Rosenblatt​

  9. Gideon Rosenblatt amazing synchronicity. I’ve been thinking today about brain function, neuroscience, our personal perception.

    On my recent trip to visit my son, we were walking by the Potomac and out of the corner of my eye I saw an owl. When I looked again, the “owl” was a nub on a fallen log. My son said, “We’re hard wired to see what might be a threat. The shape was processed first as a potential threat.”

  10. That’s interesting, Zara Altair. It’s also probably why we’re able to see faces so easily within random patterns.

  11. Zara Altair Gideon Rosenblatt

    Potential threat has been for long my personal explanation of the so-called “moon illusion”, which makes us appreciate as bigger the things close to the horizon, the moon of course, but also constellations such as the Big Dipper.

    en.wikipedia.org – Moon illusion – Wikipedia

    Close to the horizon is where predators and other threats come from, for our savanna hunters ancestors …

  12. And seeing a man’s face in the moon, Bernard Vatant. In Japan, it’s a rabbit making mochi.

  13. This is a great article.

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