Consciousness is one of the most discussed, but still, one that lacks a final consensus as to what is it, among philosophers, scientists, and psychologists! Likes to state here, that most of the confusion around ‘consciousness’ arise from our insistence in calling it ‘consciousness, not mind: we better be aware of the reason why we, especially Science, like to call it ‘consciousness’, a term very narrow and restrictive of all what man does with his emotions, thoughts, his sense of Reason, and the existential urges or drives he carries as a victim.
It is better we call Science, ‘man’s spirit of open and objective seeking and thinking’, with the sole purpose of gathering more and more knowledge about the ‘biology’ of life and ‘physics’of ’cosmos. Her obsession for treating life ‘biological’ and the cosmos, ’physical’, in other words, her keeping them as her ‘universal- premises’, or as ‘referring point’ for all her further inferences, clouds all her knowledge pursuits. Better we avoid calling them ‘prejudices’ for her professional dignity’s sake.
But we can’t pretend to be not aware, that by physical she simply means, whatever the ‘whole’ we know as ‘existence’ would one day be explained by laws of physics. On the other hand, religions believe in phenomena beyond ‘physical’ too, as they think, the ‘whole’ of existence can not be explained by physics alone. So she believes, there exist ‘powers’ or ‘forces’ in cosmos beyond the explanations of Science.
We must know, even though we think that Logic is a universally applicable exercise to find the truth, it is feebly depended on some or other of our ‘universal’ beliefs, (axioms) or mother premises. Logic is our exercise of connecting our inferences with ‘consistency’ with such ‘universals’. If there is no premise like’ man is mortal’ ( the universal premise) there can not be any Logic in the syllogism, ‘ Man is mortal, Socrates is a man, so he is mortal’. It is mandatory in Logic, that there should be something already known as her referring point.
It is the above ‘universal’ premise of Science,( everything that exists is physical) that compels her to stick on with ‘consciousness’ term. She wants to be consistent with her beliefs, that ‘consciousness’ is, after all, an ‘evolved’ property of physical matter, in the process of her attaining more and more ‘survival’ efficiency. Consciousness gives neurons memory, and this memory of past events helps the unit of life to deal with ‘survival’ task more efficiently.
But the inherent ‘sense’ of man murmurs to him, that something entirely physical cannot remain without a beginning in time, and without specific boundaries. Infinity of time and space are not terms compatible with any physical explanation.
Then, there is the nagging question of ‘what triggers what’ in the working of neurons; do thoughts trigger neuron-firing or neuron-firing triggers thoughts and other mental activities? Love to share with open minds, following links that delve deep into the question of whether existence is physical or non-physical: http://patternsofapproachtodiscoverreality.blogspot.in/2013/11/conversation-on-metaphysics-with.html
So, we can only stick on with a physical explanation of ‘consciousness’ simply as a workable model, but not as an ultimate ‘insight’ into what all that are attributed to the realm of mind.
‘Consciousness’ ignores ‘existential drives’ that every person experiences within!
The moment one frees his mind from the narrow, restricted purview of the concept of ‘consciousness’, he could start looking at the following ‘drives’ that every person feels within, directing and guiding his behavior: http://unrecognizedobjectsofthemind.blogspot.in/2013/07/existential-drives-of-man.html
Now, this author would like to draw the attention of all open-minds to the contents of the following link, that fundamentally draws our attention towards certain well noticeable ‘features’ of our EGO, our ‘other’ oriented self-identity. ( How is our ‘self’ is ‘other-oriented’ a further link will explain)
To understand ‘consciousness’ at close angles, we must first accept that, consciousness pre-supposes a ‘conscious’ entity. It can’t be a ‘mirror’ like function, where there involves no conscious entity, a self. Consciousness is always ‘consciousness’ of a ‘knowing’ entity, one who is ‘conscious’ of first, its own self, the one who is the owner of the experiences, and then what he/she experiences.
Here is a simple Logic. If atoms can have a clear, specific structure based on it’s expected functions, why can’t ‘consciousness’ too? Yes, we are compelled to accept here, that it makes ‘sense’ to believe, the self of man also is subject to an Atom like structure and functional laws. It Nature has set sensible laws, how an Atom should work, she must have set similar, sensible laws for the phenomenon of SELF too.
Now let us have a look, what could be those smart structure and laws behind the emergence of ‘consciousness’?
The following link explains it well, so to avoid repetition, the link is given here for all open-minds: http://thewhyquestionofexistenceanswered.blogspot.in/2015/03/the-rationale-of-being-existentially.html
For additional explanation on the origin of human self, the ‘conscious entity’, the following link might help: http://unrecognizedobjectsofthemind.blogspot.in/2017/05/the-physics-behind-birth-of-human-self-i.html
It will become evident to those who have read all the above blogs, that the content of ‘consciousness’ has no direct relevance to existence. Its contents serve the purpose of only originating a ‘knowing’ entity. So, analyzing consciousness content is like analyzing the patterns of cloud in the sky; it has no specific pattern! Following blog-post on ‘thoughts’ might complement our insight on mental activities: http://hiddenobserveronthelimitationsofmind.blogspot.in/2015/01/an-attempt-to-understand-phenomenon-of.html
Hope it is evident now, that to understand the phenomenon of mind, we must first abandon the narrow term ‘consciousness’ The term was originated to limit the vastness of what mind-realm of man actually does, and restrict it as a part of the physical realm.