sentient entities and other identities

This post is about what I would like consciousness to be. But not even the biggest brains on the planet know what consciousness actually is. So we have licence to speculate until the cows come home.

I would like consciousness to be...

...a force-field extending in all dimensions* and directions, centred on the physical body but diffuse so that there is no clear boundary between the field of consciousness and the rest of reality.

Diffuse fields can mingle, overlap and interleave. Which implies that within such fields could be

  • more than one person* (multiple personality disorder: "all our clouds are drifting through each other"), or

  • less than one person,(autism, Asberger's syndrome: "my cloud's very thin and wispy and tends to get blown away in strong winds").

Perhaps there's no such thing as zero consciousness/awareness. Perhaps even a rock has its equivalent of consciousness/awareness. Perhaps the consciousness of a rock lies in its mere existence. Perhaps. Or perhaps not. As one of my online friends has said: the defining principle of animism is that there is no such thing as zero consciousness. Of course, just because it's an animist idea doesn't make it true, or false.

Other connections/equivalences to explore include those listed below.

  • Higgs and Brahman:
    The still hypothetical "Higgs field" of modern quantum physics vs the Hindu concept of "Brahman". In Hinduism Brahman is the fundamental underlying ground of Reality. In quantum physics the (still theoretical) the Higgs field is hypothesized to be the fundamental underlying ground of reality, and "home" of the Higgs particle, which controversial biologist/evolutionist Richard Dawkins refers to the Higgs particle as the "god particle".

  • Buddhist and hotdog vendor:
    Quantum entanglement vs the "we are all one" concept in Buddhism and other schools of thought. Joke: what did the Buddhist say to the hotdog vendor? "Make me one with Everything".

  • Bohm and Indra:
    Quantum physicist David Bohm's concept of a hologrammatic universe vs the concept of "Indra's web" in Hinduism. At each node of Indra's web are pearls. And in each pearl is the reflection of all other pearls. The idea being that the whole of Reality lies within each piece of Reality, and that the whole of Reality can be "generated" by just one small piece, albeit at a lower (degraded) resolution, eg hologram of princess Leia in Star Wars.

  • Gestalt psychylogy, the scala naturae (great chain of being) and the binding problem of neuroscience:
    All of these have to do with the ability of people to define and categorize, integrate and differentiate, divide and multiply, limit and delimit, place in context and create context, pack and unpack, create order and choas.

The force-field of consciousness varies in terms of strength/density: some sentient entities are more sentient than others. Some people are more self-conscious than others.

The force-field of consciousness is generated by the process called "life" running on a material substrate of carbon-based molecules connected so as to facilitate the smooth running of re-entrant processes such as life and consciousness.

The substrate on which runs the process referred to as life ("as we know it") is based upon carbon molecules. But there's nothing in principle preventing other suitable substrates being used, eg based on silicone molecules, or even "virtual"/"notional" substrates.

What constitutes a person is discussed in "getting personal", "getting even more personal", "living arrangements", "how many people are you today" and "thanks for inviting my photograph to your birthday party".

See "Reincarnation: do the math". Note that the biggest person there is, is Everything: one monadic living sentient entity (organism if you prefer) comprising and integrating all matter and energy and other stuff in all the known and unknown realities.

*The number of dimensions may be greater than three. String theorists postulate 11, 26 or even 31 dimensions; all but three "compactified" to such a teeny tiny extent that we don't notice them.


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Anonymous said...

You mentioned a biologist named John Dawkins. I think you meant Richard Dawkins.

masterymistery said...

Anonymous, thank you. I'll fix it immediately.

puny human said...

I love your speculation. Since we can't know for sure, why shouldn't anything be possible? OTOH, consciousness as a field that centers on agglomerations of material being makes good sense to me.

masterymistery said...

Puny human, actually in hindsight I've almost contradicted myself. Because I believe with many others that consciousness is a process. So in context of this post, it would have to be a process that generates a field. Or perhaps in the specific context a process is a field.

for example, a magnetic field, is the process of aligning the movement of subatomic particles (bosons: force carriers) in a coherent direction/pattern. So maybe Life/Consciousness is a field equivalent to a process of aligning the (still hypothetical) particles of consciousness in a coherent pattern, dynamic pattern. I say "still hypothetical" because I've just dreamed it up here and now.

Thanks for your comments.