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Showing posts from December, 2011

The brain as a knot of consciousness

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As regular readers know, I am an idealist; that is, I subscribe to the notion that reality – despite being solid, continuous, and apparently autonomous – is a projection of mind. I also subscribe to the notion that the brain is a kind of filter of consciousness: It localizes consciousness – which itself is primary, irreducible, and unbound – to the space-time location of the body. I've explored these two notions separately, not only in my books, but in several articles in this blog. So, here, I will not repeat the argument (logical or empirical) for these two notions, but will instead focus on how they can co-exist.

The idea that the brain does not generate consciousness, but instead limits and filters it down, seems to require dualism and contradict idealism. After all, if all reality exists in consciousness, how can the brain – which is a part of reality – filter down that which gives it its very existence? A water filter is not made of water; a coffee filter is not made of cof…

Our modern madness

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A fundamental metaphysical dichotomy for at least the last few hundred years has been the question of whether reality is objective (i.e. realism) or a projection of the mind (i.e. idealism). Here is a brief analysis of how these two lines of thinking emerge:

An idealist takes his immediate experience as the starting point, and builds from there. To him or her, perceptions in consciousness are the primary data of reality, requiring no reduction. Everything else are abstractions of a different ontological order, including the concepts of matter, energy, and space-time. In other words, we invent the notions of matter, energy, and space-time to create stories that tell us what is going on, but the primary data of reality are perceptions themselves, not the concepts we attach to them; The realist, on the other hand, takes concepts and abstractions as the starting point, like the notion that the perceptions in his own consciousness are caused by objects in an imagined, autonomous reality ou…