Concepts and the scientific viewpoint of consciousness

“Necessity is blind until it becomes conscious. Freedom is the consciousness of necessity.” Karl Marx

“Ideology has very little to do with ‘consciousness’ – it is profoundly unconscious“. Louis Althusser

The definition of consciousness  

“The quality or state of being aware especially of something within oneself

or the state or fact of being conscious of an external object, state, or fact” 

It is linked to the word awareness. 

The definition of awareness

“The quality or state of being aware and knowledge and understanding that something is happening or exists”.

In simple terms I would say that consciousness is in an organism that has some knowledge of itself and its environment. Many scientific studies I have researched focus on human consciousness primarily and I’m sure that is probably be on most individuals’ minds when exploring this topic. There is a debate on the level of consciousness in animals and even in plants. I would say there is different degrees of consciousness in human society of individuals who are self-aware. In similar manner I believe there is consciousness in all living things but at different stages and levels. For example, according to evolution consciousness has to emerge from simple constraints to the complex awareness of civilisation today. 

When you explore the concept of consciousness it has much to do with a person meaning and experiences in their personal lives. Karl Marx said, “Necessity is blind until it becomes conscious”. It is fundamental to a person reality and perception especially inline with their belief systems. For example, the child believes in Santa Claus because of what they have been told and seen. They wake up in the morning , the cookies are gone and an array of gifts miraculously arrived during the night. In quantum physics the phenomenal entanglement theory when subatomic particles maintain a relationship, vibrating when the other vibrates and is separated at great distances from each other for no apparent reason difficult to understand. Louis Althusser correctly said, “Ideology has very little to do with consciousness”.

Harvard writer respects the limits of scientific objectivity in excellent paper that shows that are limits of understanding according to different notions. The great thinkers down through the pages of humanity have enlightened our meaning of the universe. Problems I perceive with science as we recognise it in its familiar rational perspective has limits. If it can’t explain its cause or effect and measure it often rejects it as a pseudoscience. For example, when I was growing up my friends said when you meet the right romantic relationship you will know. I thought what a load of rubbish , I don’t believe that nonsense. But the tables changed and that special night when my late wife and I were at a wedding I knew I was going to marry her. I don’t know how but just knew, she said you never had any idea. Also, before diagnosing her cancer , I knew she had it but she kept denying it. When they said she had terminal illness , instantly I knew she was going die but she couldn’t except it. Finally, just before she died for some unknown reason I said to go, and She died. This is just few personal experiences where Psychology and science can’t accurately define why. There where two opposing views but intrinsically or some kind of consciousness knew the future.

Mind and Brain Dualism

Many argue that the mind and brain are separate entities and for centuries this has led to a clear distinction especially in the religious domain. The subject only compounds the exploration of consciousness because of belief systems either religious or scientific approach. For simplicity in essence, I would say its not the systems we are exploring but the ideas. For example, a child wants to know how we are going to the park and when.  You don’t explain the combustion engine of the car you are going to drive and the exact time to the millisecond. Again, the perception of what we believe is a personal responsibility and there are no right or wrong answers about dualism and the mind.   

Metaphysics definition

A division of philosophy that is concerned with the fundamental nature of reality and being and that includes ontology, cosmology, and often epistemology and abstract philosophical studies : a study of what is outside objective experience.

The advocates of metaphysics can take you down a rabbit hole and still find no conclusive evidence of consciousness from my perspective. I am very open minded to all concepts but due to my own analytical ego bias, I find it too vague to appreciate these ideas at present. I have had many spiritual and phenomenal experiences and only metaphysics gives some kind of resolution to what may be. 

Thermodynamics definition

The total amount of energy and matter in the Universe remains constant according to the First Law of Thermodynamics (Conservation) states that energy is always conserved, it cannot be created or destroyed.

According to one resource it says “The brain, in general, accounts for about 20 per cent of your total energy requirements. That’s an average of 400-500 calories a day”. As mentioned at the beginning of this post consciousness definition is “being aware and knowledge and understanding that something is happening or exists”. From my perspective is a difficult equation to solve because thoughts are energy. What happens to the energy of the universe before we are born and after we die where is the equilibrium? 

Some argue that consciousness is everywhere, and we are all connected. One article said, “panpsychism is the belief that everything is “enminded.” All of it. Whether it is a brain, a tree, a rock or an electron. Everything that is physical also possesses an interior mental aspect”. This apparent in many healing therapies from eastern philosophy for example reiki and acupuncture. 

In conclusion the possibilities are endless, and imagination of consciousness is another dimension to explore in future posts. I personally believe that there is infinite consciousness or awareness that the many great inventors , prophets, philosophers, artist ,etc tapped into that gave humanity their rich experience and knowledge we have benefitted from.

”It is paradoxical, yet true, to say, that the more we know, the more ignorant we become in the absolute sense, for it is only through enlightenment that we become conscious of our limitations. Precisely one of the most gratifying results of intellectual evolution is the continuous opening up of new and greater prospects.” Nikola Tesla

References

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/consciousness

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/awareness

https://www.sciencefocus.com/news/plants-are-they-conscious/

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/06/how-consciousness-evolved/485558/

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quantum%20entanglement

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/scientific-objectivity/

https://www.britannica.com/topic/mind-body-dualism

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/metaphysics

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ibn-sina-metaphysics/

https://www.britannica.com/science/thermodynamics/The-first-law-of-thermodynamics

https://www.sciencefocus.com/the-human-body/how-much-energy-does-thinking-use/

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-consciousness-universal/

https://katu.com/afternoon-live/lifestyle-health/the-science-behind-energy-healing

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About Steve Hyne

I am creative and curious about life. I have a passion for the brain and the psychology of human behaviour. I love the renaissance art, culture and architecture. Music is my best friend follows me on my life journey of discovery.

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