Any insights into the 'hard problem of consciousness'? Options
#1 Posted : 11/21/2020 10:14:36 PM
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Hi folks!

Just curious for anyone who is aware of this philosophical problem, basically, how does our first-person, inner-theater type of subjective experience and feelings emerge from our physical meat brain? There are better summaries of this problem on Wikipedia and such.

To find this problem interesting or relevant you really need to believe (as I do) that consciousness arises purely from the brain and not a soul or other realm.

So has anyone experienced insight into this problem while on DMT or other psychedelics? I think it might be possible to have insights here. Perhaps as our normal consciousness breaks down it reveals clues as to how it is constructed?

Let me know!

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#2 Posted : 11/22/2020 1:01:38 AM


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I tend to take the opposite point of view.

Rather than the generator of consciousness, I take the brain to be a receiver of consciousness. Just because you turn off the radio doesn't mean the station is not still broadcasting.

Where psychedelics (and meditation and other techniques of consciousness alteration) come into play, is that they let you fiddle with the tuner and explore different frequencies.

Just my take on things fwiw.
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#3 Posted : 11/22/2020 4:01:25 AM


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How are you so sure that it arises purely from the brain? Since it is something we don't understand, I think it makes more sense to keep our options open, including the possibility that we will not able to understand the source.

Psychodelics didn't give me an insight into how our subjective experience arises. However, they helped me see how beautiful of a mystery it is to be conscious. I've also had the strong feeling that concioussness is universal and we are connected to a unified concioussness "field". It's hard to explain, one explicit thing I remember telling myself in this state was "as long as a human being is alive somewhere at sometime, 'my' conscious patterns exist, and they can feel the same way about me participating in our shared (one) concioussness here and now".
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#4 Posted : 11/22/2020 5:11:36 PM

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I don't have an answer, but can share some thoughts on consciousness.

I used to think consciousness was essentially a mental process. Then I saw a video (Kurzgesagt?) that made me realize how much it was about sensory perception: sight, hearing, etc.

Our senses, which may have been precursors of consciousness, evolved to protect us from danger and help us survive. This would seem to lend support to the idea that the emergence of consciousness is an evolutionary phenomenon.

Still, perception is not enough. A camera can 'see' and a microphone can 'hear', but they don't seem to be conscious, not in the same way as us anyway.

Perhaps consciousness is something that's non-physical (whatever that may mean), but needs some physical complexity (such as a brain) to hold on to and work in tandem with to be meaningful; just like radio waves need an antenna to receive them and some electronics to process them.

It may permeate all space, but only spark where it encounters something like a brain that can translate it, process sensory signals, store memories in physical storage etc.
A thing of Spirit that needs a thing of Matter; and it's at the interface of the two that the magic happens.
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