Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Earth-bound Eye Inside Each of Us

Who or what is it that sees the picture light forms in our eyes?

How does this entity access memories of people, places, and things and connect events together?

Why does this wet muscle-machine respond when I simply desire to do something?

Consciousness is there, looking out from behind those eyes. 

When you say "I am John," who is this "I" you speak of?

Is it your body?
Your name?

Is there not something inside you that experiences life?

Your brain constructs a moving scene from all the sensory data it receives, organizing it chronologically, and whoever is running your body can not only view all of this compiled data in near real-time, but also decipher spoken or written communications (and their meanings), communicate back and forth, or any number of activities that require ridiculous amounts of cerebral bandwidth.

What this observer in our head sees is the finished product: all the sound waves synced with light waves, movements, smells, environmental factors, memories triggered by someone expected, a song on the radio reminding you of a summer in high school, and so many narrative experiences.

 The I is there, experiencing life as a narrative created by a storm of electrical impulses collected by the sensory equipment of a wet muscle-machine.

It even knows how this machine called a 'body' operates: it has studied it, dissected it, and experimented on it.  When a machine is broken or worn out, the life is gone, the I doesn't respond; yet the machine is still there, just like a robot without a power source.

Perhaps one could say the brain is the weaver of narrative life, sorting and storing impressions for us to behold--for who to behold?

Maybe consciousness is an artifact of the brain?

A survival mechanism designed to make us fear death and fight for life?
How are we aware of our own life and that it will end?

As amazing as the brain is (and we hardly understand it), there is a fundamental disconnect when trying to attach consciousness to some brain function(s): the quantity can never simulate the quality, and vice versa.

If a scientist pointed to a scan of your brain and said, "This cluster of neurons here is the day you went to the beach with your spouse," would you see it the same way as when you close your eyes and re-live it?

Consciousness is the narrative experience of life, not the mechanical systems which support it.

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