User:Visarga/Articles on consciousness

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Quantum consciousness[edit]

  • Quantum holographic theory
    • information about the entire organism is carried in the quantum emissions from its parts[1]
    • even inanimate objects must be considered in some sense intelligent (in KS, inanimate objects are manifestation on prakāśa, the Self Conscious Light of Shiva)
    • I say: what if quantum phase information is carried to the eyes by light, then assimilated into the brain and into consciousness - then - on a quantum level, the consciousness could become entangled with the observed object? Then samyama might literally mean identification of the subject with the object. In this line of thinking, we might say that samadhi is a gradual expansion of the range of entaglement of consciousness to more than our own brain or body, gradually including the exterior medium too
  • There are similarities between a certain type of quantum computation and neural networks. [2]
    • In adiabatic quantum computing, the qubits are still encoded in atomic states but the problem is encoded in the environment of the atoms. The combination of states with the least energy (called the ground state) for that environment is the answer to the problem. Neural networks use a similar principle, where a memory is encoded across a series of "neurons" as the lowest-cost stable state.

Holographic mind[edit]

  • Edmond Chouinard in this paper is proposing a model for consciousness in the terms of modern physics books.google.com


About sleep and consciousnes[edit]

  • "slumber seems to boost our ability to make sense of new knowledge by allowing the brain to detect connections between things we learn" [3]

Grad unification of forces[edit]

  • http://economist.com/science/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10018587
  • At the precise moment the universe began, its constituents—which today appear as fundamental forces such as gravity and electromagnetism, and subatomic particles such as electrons and quarks—were unified into a single substance in the extreme heat of the explosion. As the universe expanded, though, it cooled. And as it did so, it went through phase changes, just as steam condenses to liquid water that then forms ice as the temperature falls. At each point at which the phase of the universe changed, one of the forces of nature became distinct, or a type of matter emerged as being different from the others. Only when this process was complete did the familiar pattern that makes up the laws of physics properly emerge


Holographic Principle in Physics[edit]

  • all of the information contained in some region of space can be represented as a `Hologram' - a theory which `lives' on the boundary of that region; the theory on the boundary of the region of space in question should contain at most one degree of freedom per Planck area
  • [4]

Emergence[edit]

  • Consciousness is not some mysterious substance, fluid, or property of matter, but a level of organization emerging from abstract processes and relations. [5]
  • Greenfield believes that consciousness is an emergent property of the brain, similar to the 'wetness' of water or the 'transparency' of glass, both of which are properties that are the result of -- that is, they emerge from -- the actions of individual molecules. [6]
    • We can say a single SiO2 molecule is "pretty transparent" in the sense that most of the light goes through; also wetness is just another name for electric interactions between molecules; a single molecule of water also has it; so please somebody give me a really irreducible emergent property
    • So basically they are discussing the emergence of new properties of substance
    • How does emergence happen? they add "interactivity" to the basic atom/neuron/etc
    • This still doesn't explain anything? Just renames the problem. Now you know "consciousness" is an emergent property of the brain, but you don't understand at all the exact emergence process involved
    • so, now the problem is called "How does consciousness emerge?"
    • the dispute between emergence and existence as a fundamental property is very meaningful because it either puts matter above consciousness or consciousness above (or inside) matter
  • def: In the domain of emergence, the assumption is made that both actual systems as well as models operate by selection from the immense space and variability of the world of the possible, and in carrying out this selection, new and unanticipated properties emerge.[2]
    • emergence leads to novelties: the whole is somehow different from the sum of the parts
    • Emergence is related to a creative transformation, a nonlinear increase in complexity, apparition of a new paradigm
    • Emergence is (always?) related to holo-reflection (pratibimba)
    • in the mind, intuition is an emergent process
    • Emergence does not mean randomness; it is an orderly unfolding of the world, but an unfolding rich in novelty.
    • Because of complexity, reductionist rules operating at one level can produce emergent unpredicted consequences or rules at a higher level.
    • Emergence, in the sense used here, occurs only when the activities of the parts do not simply seem to give the activity of the whole


  • Examples of Emergence
    • center of gravity -> each atom of the object exercitates its influence in the summing up; thus emerges the center of gravity as a reflection of the object in an abstract plane of physical thinking; it is not real per se
    • water vortex -> any water molecule under the influence of centripet force, gravity and superficial tension applies force on all the other molecules; each molecule reflects on the other; pratibimba; emerges - the vortex, a dynamic state of stability
    • wetness of water -> so far removed from the basic properties of water that it unrealistic to think of a single water molecule in these terms
    • transparency of glass

Mirror neurons[edit]

Cytoskeleton microtubules[edit]

A primer on consciousness studies[edit]

Angular Gyrus[edit]

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/184 by Vilayanur S. Ramachandran


Brain mapping[edit]

Advaita[edit]

  • Jean Klein
  • Ken Wilber

Perfect memory[edit]

  • Woman With Perfect Memory - http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/print?id=1738881
  • hyperthymestic syndrome
  • "some people are able to recall past events by categorizing them. Certain events, or facts, are associated with others, and filed away together so that they may be easier to access. That's a trick that is often used by entertainers who use feats of memory to wow their audience"
  • How memory works [7]

Reactivating memories with electrode stimulation[edit]

  • The accidental breakthrough came during an experiment originally intended to suppress the obese man's appetite, using the increasingly successful technique of deep-brain stimulation. Electrodes were pushed into the man's brain and stimulated with an electric current. Instead of losing appetite, the patient instead had an intense experience of déjà vu. He recalled, in intricate detail, a scene from 30 years earlier. More tests showed his ability to learn was dramatically improved when the current was switched on and his brain stimulated
  • [8]

Time and consciousness[edit]

Time Travel in the Brain[edit]

  • The human body moves forward in time at the rate of one second per second whether we like it or not. But the human mind can move through time in any direction and at any speed it chooses [9]
  • my take on it - Iccha, Jnana and Kriya can be described as aspects of time in relation to Consciousness:
    • Jnana Sakti is the eternal present - as any knowledge travels with the subject in the present moment, remaining easily accesible
    • Kriya Sakti is the past - as any action is already part of the past
    • Iccha Sakti is the future - as it projects us into desired future scenarios


Brain creates its own time[edit]

  • Inner time is linked to activity. When we do nothing, and nothing happens around us, we’re unable to track time. Time seems to expand when our senses are aroused. The brain can learn to compensate for a time lag as if it didn't exist. [10]

Perceiving the subjective speed of time[edit]

  • the hub of the interval-timing system is a region of the brain called the striatum, part of the basal ganglia. But it is not as simple as saying that the striatum is the brain's pacemaker. Instead, they say, it monitors activity in other areas of the brain including the frontal cortex. As neurons in these brain regions go about their business, coordinating movement, attention, memory and so on, they produce waves of electrical excitation that are detected by the striatum and integrated into an estimate of how much time has passed [11]
  • I too theorized that subjective time is merely a function of assimilation of the objective aspects (be they exterior or mental) into the subject (consciousness). Just like the body needs food, consciousness needs to assimilate knowledge (information). Time is merely the function of "eating" relative to consciousness
    • new information -> momentary: fast passage of time; in retrospective: longer interval
    • repeated information -> momentary: slow passage of time; in retrospective: shorter interval
  • "the slow life movement" : approach things with intent and purposefulness and joy in mind rather than efficiency -> they mean to shift the focus from the objective world (fast paced) to the subjective world (slow paced); there is a direct correlation between the degree of development of the self reflexive consciousness and the quality of life;
  • in other words, this is the meaning of the "Live in the Moment!" Buddhist maxim Present (time)#The present in Buddhism, Stoicism#Spiritual_exercise, Anapanasati#_ref-3, The Power of Now - Eckhart Tolle, Samatha meditation

Time may not exist[edit]

  • time may not exist at the most fundamental level of physical reality [12]


Qualia[edit]

  • Qualia enable humans to respond innovatively to novel situations. Robots, however, may only follow their given programs [13]
  • Compared to computers crunching a problem, consciousness proves to have a kind of unique quality, a depth, a power to reflect on a superior level of abstractness, to make a jump that would be impossible to a computing machine (see Gödel's incompleteness theorems)
  • noetic : subjective
  • noematic : objective

The nature of consciousness[edit]

  • Human beings are capable of thinking about the very thing that is thinking about thinking; our consciousness is strangely loopy [14]
  • Consciousness constitutes both subjectivity and objectivity (and thereby makes the latter accessible to the former)
  • The self introspective path taken by tantrics is similar to Phenomenology as defined in Edmund Husserl: the reflective study of the essence of consciousness as experienced from the first-person point of view
  • Husserl : it is impossible to naturalize consciousness

The creativity gap[edit]

  • the problem with transcendental idealism is that it says the universe is created in a "transcendental consciousness" which acts as a substrate; yet we only have knowledge of our limited human consciousness and there seems to be an almost infinite gap in power between the two; I could only "create" a very small "world" inside my mind, compared to the hugely complex real world which is created by the transcendental consciousness; human consciousness is so small we can't see how it would be like to create the universe itself as an object in the space of consciousness -> power gap; transcendental consciousness is too powerful compared to human consciousness; are we even the same stuff?

Trying to measure consciousness[edit]

  • what is the bandwidth and memory space of the phenomenal consciousness? can we add up pixels for sight, frequencies for sounds, individual tactile sensors for skin, individual smell and taste detectors for smell and taste and come up with a figure? how many Gigabytes of info does the consciousness "consume" per second, and how many remain in memory?
  • a possible way to measure the creative power of human consciousness is to count all the words, all the concepts, memories, ideas, everything that is hosted inside consciousness and is readily retrievable; for example a human might know 100,000 words. Maybe there could be 10 or 100 times more individual points of information inside memory; how many gigabytes has the common memory (not talking about recollection under hypnosis); can we measure the volume of the memory?
  • I think consciousness is the substrate of perception and mental activity, but can we measure how much space can there be inside the mind? Where is the cutting point?
  • The computational power of the brain [15]

Simulating objective world inside the mind[edit]

  • If we tried to simulate a piece of the physical world inside consciousness, how large a piece would we be able to create inside our human minds? How much can we accomplish in a lifetime? Can we become Gods inside our own minds? Can a world exist inside our minds?
  • This links back to the problem of creativity - how much of it do we have as humans, and how much of it must God have?

We think with our whole bodies[edit]

  • A modern research in the integration of body and mind [16]
  • In KS there are 7 sets of techniques related to the physical body: perceiver, perception, awareness, stopping, abandonment, understanding and posture

Global workspace - Fame in the brain[edit]

  • information becomes conscious when certain “workspace” neurons broadcast it to many areas of the brain at once, making it simultaneously available for, say, language, memory, perceptual categorization, action-planning, and so on. In other words, consciousness is “cerebral celebrity,” as the philosopher Daniel Dennett has described it, or “fame in the brain.” [17]
  • The continuity of the "stream of consciousness" may in fact by illusory, just as the continuity of a movie is illusory. Global Workspace Theory

Militant Atheists' mistakes[edit]

  • Militant Atheists like Dawkins are using science to tyr and prove Atheism, they make the same mistake that many Deists make{or theists for that matter; such as the creationosts/I.D. types}, that of having an agenda. [18]


  1. ^ Bioelectromagnetic Medicine, Paul J. Rosch, Marko S. Markov, page 155 [1]
  2. ^ Book Title: The Emergence of Everything: How the World Became Complex. Contributors: Harold J. Morowitz - author. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of Publication: New York. Publication Year: 2004. Page Number: 20.