An age old question. Brain Science has tried and failed to answer this one adequately. The truth is we are not fully able to articulate just what consciousness IS, but we sure know it when we see it!
For decades, science has tried to quietly ignore consciousness, and
yet, all science is rooted in consciousness. Science has never been
able to explain why we experience subjective consciousness, and has
left this question to religion, philosophy and psychology to answer.
But with the development of quantum physics and brain research, science
has been butting up into the question of consciousness.
This article by Peter Russell discusses the consciousness issue quite intelligently.
Yet, every single individual human alive has the subjective
experience of consciousness. Why? What is the point (if any) of
Religion tells us that we were given awareness and Free Will in
order to make choices that please a jealous and disciplinarian God.
Philosophy offers many possible explanations, but no proofs, as does
psychology, too. Physical science tries to explain away consciousness
as an epiphenomena of brain function, while Quantum Science entertains
far more mysterious possible explanations, but still no concrete proof
of what consciousness IS much less what purpose it fulfills.
Psychologist Charles Tart tells us that ordinary consciousness is a
construct - not a natural occurence. Rather, Tart says, Ordinary or
what is often called "Consensus Reality," selects the consensus of our
culture in an arbitrary and mysterious process not yet explained by
science, even after 50 years of research.
So what's the big bug-a-boo about consciousness?
Only that it is all-pervasive. Nowhere can you escape your own
consciousness. All science is performed by conscious beings and
received by conscious beings for the purported benefit of conscious
beings. Even these words I now write are written by a conscious being
and read by YOU - a conscious being. There is no escaping
consciousness. In fact, our definition of death is "lack of
consciousness." So it seems that it would behoove us to better
understand just WTF it is.
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