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“Your atoms certainly don’t know or feel or experience anything,..” – This is not correct. Have you noticed that different parts of the same apple have different tastes? That means different molecules and therefore different atoms have different tastes. Thus every atom or even finer particles are all conscious. It has been shown by Princeton University that an electronic circuit board reacts with human intentions. A Japanese scientist has shown that water crystals change shape according to your attitude to the glass of water.
Both Bible and Vedas say, “God is spirit.” That means creator is the soul. Thus every object has its own individual soul and that soul has created that object, according to the destiny of that object. Destiny is unique for every object, and therefore no two objects are identical. For more details and many examples see https://www.academia.edu/38590496/A_COMPARISON_OF_MODERN_SCIENCE_WITH_VEDIC_SCIENCE
You said there is consensus that the mind is merely physical, that is, it’s “no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules”.
All physical activity is 100% deterministic, otherwise how do we know whether a building will not collapse or a plane will stay afloat in the air.
It follows, then, that a physical-only mind means all of our actions, every single one, are fated, decided since the beginning of time. Will you take a gun and go out to shoot everyone you see, or will you do something charitable? It has been decided by that first kick of the Big Bang that set every molecule in motion, one precise consequential action after another. You can’t run away from it.
Why then is everyone behaving as though he has free will? The ignorant might be excused, but not the experts who have concluded that the mind is merely physical.
Tononi and Koch have found a brain measure that may be related to consciousness, but it skips entirely over the mind and thoughts. Graziano seems to be on the right track. Now we need to relate attention schemas to philosophers’ work on Higher Order Theory, i.e. the mechanisms for attending to attention itself.
There is a zen story about a student who said to a master, Master Ichu, “Please write for me something of great wisdom.” Master Ichu picked up his brush and wrote one word: “Attention.” The student said, “Is that all?” The master wrote “Attention Attention”.
Great review and I’m inclined to agree with your thoughts on the first two books. Hofmann seems to be focused more on making a splash by saying outlandish things than truly trying to explain the nature of consciousness. Koch is definitely on the right track, but needs to make a few adjustments to IIT before he can get there.
This article is too much for the uninformed & too much for the informed. Too much for me to extract your salient contributions. If you have a cleaner concise version, I’d like to see it…. :):) You can see how I posted this to my public feed at facebook.com/toSandraLee. I post “The Best of Everything” daily. You’ll find lots to enjoy :) Warmly, Sandra
There are plenty of people who love to talk to you about these things, including me. You are from alone.
Most discussions commence with the presumption that matter is foundational. The puzzling over is simply all about how inert matter can become alive in the first place and then conscious in the second place. Such discussions are a waste of time and energy.
As I grow older I’m almost consumed by thoughts that are in line with things written about in those 3 new books. The hard part for me is I’ve no one to talk to about this as I know no one personally who has openly admitted to such intrusive thoughts enough to mention it.
I concur, wholeheartedly.
Consciousness doesn’t come from brains. Brains and neuroscience are rather contained in Consciousness. The mind body problem has been solved for at least 5000 years by the ancient Non-dualists, (such as the Aztecs).
Sounds like you’ve been listening to Bernardo Kastrup!
No…but I’ll look him up as well. Mostly Leo Gura, but also Headless.org. I’ve also been doing self inquiry and contemplation since age 4. This led to spiritual enlightenment of a non dual nature. I am spiritual but not religious. Most materialists/physicalists conflate the two. Something that Ken Wilbur dubs the Transrational Fallacy.
A slight correction to your comment:
Wilber believes that many claims about non-rational states make a mistake he calls the pre/trans fallacy. According to Wilber, the non-rational stages of consciousness (what Wilber calls “pre-rational” and “trans-rational” stages) can be easily confused with one another. In Wilber’s view, one can reduce trans-rational spiritual realization to pre-rational regression, or one can elevate pre-rational states to the trans-rational domain. (seehttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Wilber)