In this article, noted and fabled philosopher, John Searle, says:
"Consciousness is a biological property like digestion or photosynthesis. Now why isn’t that screamingly obvious to anybody who’s had any education? And I think the answer is these twin traditions. On the one hand there’s God, the soul and immortality that says it’s really not part of the physical world, and then there is the almost as bad tradition of scientific materialism that says it’s not a part of the physical world. They both make the same mistake, they refuse to take consciousness on its own terms as a biological phenomenon like digestion, or photosynthesis, or mitosis, or miosis, or any other biological phenomenon."
Obviously, Searle has never had a mystical experience and has no idea what he is talking about.
For those of us who have had mystical, out-of-body, near-death or psychedelic experiences, we know better.
Searle essentially dismisses all higher consciousness because he has never happened to have experienced it. That's like saying "there's no such thing as ice cream, because I've never seen or tasted it." As a result of this sweeping generalization, he really has no idea what Plato, Descartes, Kant & all Neo-Platonists are talking about.What saddens me the most is that he is so well respected, that people will believe his assertion, reinforcing beliefs that further block the experience of higher consciousness.
I have always maintained that there are 2 kinds of people in the world: Those Who Know and Those Who Don't Know. Those Who Know know that they know. Those Who Don't Know don't know that they don't know.
Clearly, John Searle just doesn't know.
Those of us who have had experiences of higher consciousness know that those states are much more real than this realm of existence. And no amount of linguistic analysis or the invocation of science's magic reductionary explanatory powers will reduce or dismiss the primacy of those states.
As a highly educated person (3 degrees in Philosophy), I do not find it "screamingly obvious" that "Consciousness is a biological property, like digestion or photosynthesis." Rather, I find just the opposite: the biological properties like digestion, photosynthesis, mitosis and miosis are the result of consciousness.
What do you think? Are we bodies with consciousness or are we consciousnesses with bodies?
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By Dr. Dara Fogel
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