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Is Matter Conscious?

Discussion in 'Scientific Studies' started by haidut, Feb 28, 2019.

  1. haidut

    haidut Member

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    I stumbled upon this article just 2 weeks after I posted a very similar one on the topic of Universal consciousness. It seems that mainstream science is becoming aware of the dead-end approach it has been pursuing in many disciplines (especially physics and biology) and is looking for a way out of the predicament.
    Is The Universe A Conscious Mind?
    As far as I was able to verify, the 2 authors do not collaborate or cite each other's work so now we have two eminent philosophers/physicians raising the same basic point. Namely, that consciousness is the fundamental property of reality, or as the article below describes it, the real hardware of the Universe from which everything else stems. Matter and everything else that exists, are the result of this fundamental property of the Universe. In other words, the "material" objects (and even our brain) we can experimentally study are the "software" arising from or being built upon the hardware (consciousness). This author actually ties the well-known "hard problem of matter" to the "hard problem of consciousness", suggesting they are fundamentally the same question. The article below and the one in the thread above are remarkably similar to the CTMU theory by Langan, which @Such_Saturation has been posting about, so I would like to hear his views on these 2 articles.

    Is the Hard Problem of Consciousness Connected to the Hard Problem in Physics?
    "...Where does consciousness—in this most general sense—come from? Modern science has given us good reason to believe that our consciousness is rooted in the physics and chemistry of the brain, as opposed to anything immaterial or transcendental. In order to get a conscious system, all we need is physical matter. Put it together in the right way, as in the brain, and consciousness will appear. But how and why can consciousness result merely from putting together non-conscious matter in certain complex ways? This problem is distinctively hard because its solution cannot be determined by means of experiment and observation alone. Through increasingly sophisticated experiments and advanced neuroimaging technology, neuroscience is giving us better and better maps of what kinds of conscious experiences depend on what kinds of physical brain states. Neuroscience might also eventually be able to tell us what all of our conscious brain states have in common: for example, that they have high levels of integrated information (per Giulio Tononi’s Integrated Information Theory), that they broadcast a message in the brain (per Bernard Baars’ Global Workspace Theory), or that they generate 40-hertz oscillations (per an early proposal by Francis Crick and Christof Koch). But in all these theories, the hard problem remains. How and why does a system that integrates information, broadcasts a message, or oscillates at 40 hertz feel pain or delight? The appearance of consciousness from mere physical complexity seems equally mysterious no matter what precise form the complexity takes."

    "...Other natural phenomena, from dark matter to life, as puzzling as they may be, don’t seem nearly as intractable. In principle, we can see that understanding them is fundamentally a matter of gathering more physical detail: building better telescopes and other instruments, designing better experiments, or noticing new laws and patterns in the data we already have. If we were somehow granted knowledge of every physical detail and pattern in the universe, we would not expect these problems to persist. They would dissolve in the same way the problem of heritability dissolved upon the discovery of the physical details of DNA. But the hard problem of consciousness would seem to persist even given knowledge of every imaginable kind of physical detail."

    "...One might wonder how physical particles are, independently of what they do or how they relate to other things. What are physical things like in themselves, or intrinsically? Some have argued that there is nothing more to particles than their relations, but intuition rebels at this claim. For there to be a relation, there must be two things being related. Otherwise, the relation is empty—a show that goes on without performers, or a castle constructed out of thin air. In other words, physical structure must be realized or implemented by some stuff or substance that is itself not purely structural. Otherwise, there would be no clear difference between physical and mere mathematical structure, or between the concrete universe and a mere abstraction. But what could this stuff that realizes or implements physical structure be, and what are the intrinsic, non-structural properties that characterize it? This problem is a close descendant of Kant’s classic problem of knowledge of things-in-themselves. The philosopher Galen Strawson has called it the hard problem of matter."

    "...Indeed, the problem arises even for Newtonian physics, which describes the structure of reality in a way that makes perfect intuitive sense. Roughly speaking, Newtonian physics says that matter consists of solid particles that interact either by bumping into each other or by gravitationally attracting each other. But what is the intrinsic nature of the stuff that behaves in this simple and intuitive way? What is the hardware that implements the software of Newton’s equations? One might think the answer is simple: It is implemented by solid particles. But solidity is just the behavior of resisting intrusion and spatial overlap by other particles—that is, another mere relation to other particles and space. The hard problem of matter arises for any structural description of reality no matter how clear and intuitive at the structural level. Like the hard problem of consciousness, the hard problem of matter cannot be solved by experiment and observation or by gathering more physical detail. This will only reveal more structure, at least as long as physics remains a discipline dedicated to capturing reality in mathematical terms."

    "...The hard problem of matter calls for non-structural properties, and consciousness is the one phenomenon we know that might meet this need. Consciousness is full of qualitative properties, from the redness of red and the discomfort of hunger to the phenomenology of thought. Such experiences, or “qualia,” may have internal structure, but there is more to them than structure. We know something about what conscious experiences are like in and of themselves, not just how they function and relate to other properties."

    "...This suggests that consciousness—of some primitive and rudimentary form—is the hardware that the software described by physics runs on. The physical world can be conceived of as a structure of conscious experiences. Our own richly textured experiences implement the physical relations that make up our brains. Some simple, elementary forms of experiences implement the relations that make up fundamental particles. Take an electron, for example. What an electron does is to attract, repel, and otherwise relate to other entities in accordance with fundamental physical equations. What performs this behavior, we might think, is simply a stream of tiny electron experiences. Electrons and other particles can be thought of as mental beings with physical powers; as streams of experience in physical relations to other streams of experience."

    "...And a radical change it truly is. Philosophers and neuroscientists often assume that consciousness is like software, whereas the brain is like hardware. This suggestion turns this completely around. When we look at what physics tells us about the brain, we actually just find software—purely a set of relations—all the way down. And consciousness is in fact more like hardware, because of its distinctly qualitative, non-structural properties. For this reason, conscious experiences are just the kind of things that physical structure could be the structure of."

    "...Given this solution to the hard problem of matter, the hard problem of consciousness all but dissolves. There is no longer any question of how consciousness arises from non-conscious matter, because all matter is intrinsically conscious. There is no longer a question of how consciousness depends on matter, because it is matter that depends on consciousness—as relations depend on relata, structure depends on realizer, or software on hardware."

    "...One might object that this is plain anthropomorphism, an illegitimate projection of human qualities on nature. After all, why do we think that physical structure needs some intrinsic realizer? Is it not because our own brains have intrinsic, conscious properties, and we like to think of nature in familiar terms? But this objection does not hold. The idea that intrinsic properties are needed to distinguish real and concrete from mere abstract structure is entirely independent of consciousness. Moreover, the charge of anthropomorphism can be met by a countercharge of human exceptionalism. If the brain is indeed entirely material, why should it be so different from the rest of matter when it comes to intrinsic properties?"

    "...Russell’s dual-aspect monism tries to fill in this deficiency. It accepts that the brain is a material system that behaves in accordance with the laws of physics. But it adds another, intrinsic aspect to matter which is hidden from the extrinsic, third-person perspective of physics and which therefore cannot be captured by any purely physical description. But although this intrinsic aspect eludes our physical theories, it does not elude our inner observations. Our own consciousness constitutes the intrinsic aspect of the brain, and this is our clue to the intrinsic aspect of other physical things. To paraphrase Arthur Schopenhauer’s succinct response to Kant: We can know the thing-in-itself because we are it."

    "...The most radical version of dual-aspect monism takes the intrinsic aspect of reality to consist of consciousness itself. This is decidedly not the same as subjective idealism, the view that the physical world is merely a structure within human consciousness, and that the external world is in some sense an illusion. According to dual-aspect monism, the external world exists entirely independently of human consciousness. But it would not exist independently of any kind of consciousness, because all physical things are associated with some form of consciousness of their own, as their own intrinsic realizer, or hardware. As a solution to the hard problem of consciousness, dual-aspect monism faces objections of its own. The most common objection is that it results in panpsychism, the view that all things are associated with some form of consciousness. To critics, it’s just too implausible that fundamental particles are conscious. And indeed this idea takes some getting used to. But consider the alternatives. Dualism looks implausible on scientific grounds. Physicalism takes the objective, scientifically accessible aspect of reality to be the only reality, which arguably implies that the subjective aspect of consciousness is an illusion. Maybe so—but shouldn’t we be more confident that we are conscious, in the full subjective sense, than that particles are not?"

    "...A second important objection is the so-called combination problem. How and why does the complex, unified consciousness of our brains result from putting together particles with simple consciousness? This question looks suspiciously similar to the original hard problem. I and other defenders of panpsychism have argued that the combination problem is nevertheless not as hard as the original hard problem. In some ways, it is easier to see how to get one form of conscious matter (such as a conscious brain) from another form of conscious matter (such as a set of conscious particles) than how to get conscious matter from non-conscious matter. But many find this unconvincing. Perhaps it is just a matter of time, though. The original hard problem, in one form or another, has been pondered by philosophers for centuries. The combination problem has received much less attention, which gives more hope for a yet undiscovered solution."
     
  2. Dino D

    Dino D Member

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    I didnt evan read your whole text... matter is in conciousnes, not the other way around... look into actulized.org website and the channel on youtube witch is maybe the best channel on youtube...
    If you cut an apple in half you dont get to the matter of apple, just two halfs, cut further you get to cells, to molecules, to atoms, protons, electons, strings... and no one did ever found matter... the apple is made out of nothing... it only exist as an experience in your counciousness and thats is the only ,,place" where matter exists, in that place evan the apple is matter... you dont need to go or find electrons, who also dont exist... however, just watch actulized.org chanel on youtube, you cant really get further than that, peace
     
  3. Kartoffel

    Kartoffel Member

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    You should have. They mentioned you. Subjective idealism - thats the name for your "philosophy". There seems to be a substantial subpopulation of idealists in this forum.
     
  4. lampofred

    lampofred Member

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    Very interesting that the metaphor "castle constructed out of thin air" was used. I've seen that exact metaphor used in very esoteric Eastern spiritual texts that argue that matter isn't real, only consciousness is. Did the author come to this line of reasoning on her own or is she repeating things she has read in other places? Not attacking the author, just curious as to where the ideas are coming from and why there's such an influx of "nothing is real" philosophy.
     
  5. Kartoffel

    Kartoffel Member

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    "Given this solution to the hard problem of matter, the hard problem of consciousness all but dissolves. There is no longer any question of how consciousness arises from non-conscious matter, because all matter is intrinsically conscious."

    "Then tell me, what is the material world, and is it dead?" He, laughing. answer'd: "I will write a book on leaves of flowers, if you will feed me on love thoughts & give me now and then A cup of sparkling poetic fancies; so, when I am tipsie, I'll sing to you to this soft lute, and shew you all alive The world, where every particle of dust breathes forth its joy."
     
  6. tankasnowgod

    tankasnowgod Member

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    I wonder why anyone would find it unconvincing. It might be hard to build a house or other building out of raw materials like wood, brick, steal, metal, and other materials, but it is much easier to do that than to build a house out of literally nothing.
     
  7. Dino D

    Dino D Member

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    In the realm of logic from the point of view of a relative paradigm that isnt questioned, and from where you start and assume of your presumption to be true, you will be right... in a debate, a materialist will win, because he will have the science and logic on his side... the thing is, science and logic are not absolute... they are in fact relative... the absolute truth cant trully be defined in relative therms... also i think this is in general ,,the most advance topic" and we should not claim anything about because we are not qualified at all to speak about it... also if you didnt listend to actulized.org and its sources, and if you didnt tried deep meditatiin or psyhodelics, I doubt you cant have evan a slightest seanse about what I mean... we never claim the right to know, as example how exactly a videogame is made and how it works, or how a dj pult works, or how a car usea fuel, or how atoms split or whatever (a common person does not claim that) but we are ready in the first second to claim to know what the univerae, matter and counciousnes is and what it is not... you have to know first, not to think shallowly about it, you have to KNOW, and you can know it for your self... its a spiritual path, and if you get to know it, you will see that ,,it" is the only thing you ever trully known, the pure knowing of awarenes by it self from it self, the recognition of the true self and of the real reality (witch is the same) is truth, and the answer to this topic... truth will set you free hah... I doubt you and I are evan cloase to debate this topic seriously... its like 3 year old kids debate brain surgery or nuclear reactors... get real and humble... you dont know anything at all (in those apsolute thearms) maybe you know that milk is good, and we can argue on that :) that is my answer for all of you, not for you personaly, peace
     
  8. Pointless

    Pointless Member

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    What is meant by structure? Why does he assert this:

    "physical structure must be realized or implemented by some stuff or substance that is itself not purely structural"
     
  9. morgan#1

    morgan#1 Member

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  10. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    Because of the fundamental building block also had structure then you could break that down into lower-level composing "matter" and so on to infinity. At some point, there needs to be a fundamental "building block" of reality that is continuous and structure-less. He makes the argument that this "material" is consciousness. This article is actually about panpsychism (bottom up appeoach) and the one I linked to at the top of the thread is about cosmopsychism (top-down). It is too early to say which approach is more "correct" but (I think) the argument for some primordial ability to perceive inherent in all matter in the Universe is pretty strong.
     
  11. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    I agree with most of what Bohm has to say. In fact, he states several times that his Implicate Order is akin to consciousness. And since consciousness is a manifestation of the Implicate Order in which we all participate, this implies the existence of common/shared conscioness, which Peat also mentioned in his September 2018 newsletter (which incidentally quoted Bohm several times). From the article you posted.
    "...Bohm conceives of consciousness as more than information and the brain; rather it is information that enters into consciousness. For Bohm consciousness “involves awareness, attention, perception, acts of understanding, and perhaps yet more.” Further, Bohm parallels the activity of consciousness with that of the Implicate Order in general. Consciousness, Bohm notes, can be “described in terms of a series of moments.” Basically, “one moment gives rise to the next, in which context that was previously implicate is now explicate while the previous explicate content has become implicate.” Consciousness is an interchange; it is a feedback process that results in a growing accumulation of understanding.
    Bohm considers the human individual to be an “intrinsic feature of the universe, which would be incomplete,in some fundamental sense” if the person did not exist. He believes that individuals participate in the whole and consequently give it meaning. Because of human participation, the “Implicate Order is getting to know itself better.” Bohm also senses a new development. The individual is in total contact with the Implicate Order, the individual is part of the whole of mankind, and he is the “focus for something beyond mankind.” Using the analogy of the transformation of the atom ultimately into a power and chain reaction, Bohm believes that the individual who uses inner energy and intelligence can transform mankind. The collectivity of individuals have reached the “principle of the consciousness of mankind,” but they have not quite the “energy to reach the whole, to put it all on fire.”

    "...Continuing with this theme on the transformation of consciousness, Bohm goes on to suggest that an intense heightening of individuals who have shaken off the “pollution of the ages” (wrong worldviews that propagate ignorance), who come into close and trusting relationship with one another, can begin to generate the immense power needed to ignite the whole consciousness of the world. In the depths of the Implicate Order, there is a “consciousness, deep down–of the whole of mankind.” It is this collective consciousness of mankind that is truly significant for Bohm. It is this collective consciousness that is truly one and indivisible, and it is the responsibility of each human person to contribute towards the building of this consciousness of mankind. “There’s nothing else to do,there is no other way out. That is absolutely what has to be done and nothing else can work.” Bohm also believes that the individual will eventually be fulfilled upon the completion of cosmic noogenesis. Referring to all the elements of the cosmos, including human beings, as projections of an ultimate totality, Bohm notes that as a “human being takes part in the process of this totality, he is fundamentally changed in the very activity in which his aim is to change that reality, which is the content of his consciousness.”


    Earlier in the article there is also a discussion on Karl Pribram's holographic brain model, which Peat has also written about multiple times. (Co)incidentally, Karl Pribram was one of my teachers when I was in college. He was a visiting, retired professor at the time (late 1990s) but he still carried this aura of knowing something about reality that the other professors of "cognitive science" that mumbled imbecilities in his lectures were forever blind to.
    "...The holonomic brain theory or model, developed by neuroscientist Karl Pribram initially in collaboration with physicist David Bohm, is a model of human cognition that describes the brain as a holographic storage network. Pribram suggests these processes involve electric oscillations in the brain’s fine-fibered dendritic webs, which are different from the more commonly known action potentials involving axons and synapses.These oscillations are waves and create wave interference patterns in which memory is encoded naturally, in a way that can be described with Fourier Transformation equations."

    Now consider the above description of the wave-based brain/memory structure and the thread I posted just 2 days ago on neurons communicating with EMF. Synchronicity strikes again! :):
    Neurons In The Brain Communicate Remotely Using EMF Signals
     
  12. Pointless

    Pointless Member

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    A key piece of evidence supporting the inherent perception of matter is out of body experiences. Single blind clinical research has even been conducted on the ability for people to perceive things that their senses could not possibly register, even if they had been awake. The experiments take place during surgery, in sleep labs, etc. It's highly anecdotal at this point, but once it is conducted systematically, it will blow the lid off of the materialist worldview.
     
  13. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    I would not call it highly anecdotal. As you said, there have been a number of single blind, clinical studies on this. And if the studies are done independently, across many different regions of the world (which they have) the evidence (to me) is very hard to refute. I never understood why there is so much opposition to this idea in the medical world and why any experiment like this is quickly and universally condemned in the medical journals. Like, what does the establishment stand to lose if this turned out to be true? Apparently a lot, judging by their actions.
     
  14. Hugh Johnson

    Hugh Johnson Member

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    I am not quite sure if anyone argues "matter is not real". Rather they argue that the material world is an illusion, but illusions do exist. They just are not what they seem to be.

    Not only that but remote viewers have gained information from far away places, used RW to play roulette and the silver market, and regular people can use psychic mind trainer apps, or the cards, to train future prediction.

    You are not being clear enough with your terms. Cosmopsychism is often considered form of panpsychism.

    "There are two ways of developing the basic panpsychist position. One is micropsychism...

    If we combine holism with panpsychism, we get cosmopsychism: the view that the Universe is conscious, and that the consciousness of humans and animals is derived not from the consciousness of fundamental particles, but from the consciousness of the Universe itself. This is the view I ultimately defend in Consciousness and Fundamental Reality."

    Dude, your posts are unreadable. It's a wall of text with no grammar and terrible spelling.
     
  15. Dino D

    Dino D Member

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    I agree... its a complicated topic, my englis is bad and self taught... i can do better in croatian language, but this would not help here...
    The important part is-go to actulized.org (website and youtube)
     
  16. Hugh Johnson

    Hugh Johnson Member

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    There is no such website.
     
  17. Dino D

    Dino D Member

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    Actualized.org - Advanced Personal Development Videos ah, my grammar, look into the youtube channel...

    for the website you have to spend some time to research, it has a ,,start here'' and it has the pinned posts in the forums...
    i dont know what to look for first... this link is OK to start with but spend some time on the website and look at least one video posted in the last year or two...
    Leo's Practical Guide To Enlightenment

    this site is ,,HUGE" and in a way similar to this one (raypeat) and Leo is very very smart, and has a much better grammar then me haha :D
     
  18. RWilly

    RWilly Member

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    I sort of wonder if water is consciousness. Have you ever watched a documentary on water? There are several on YouTube. Some of those experiments will blow your mind.

     
  19. Owen B

    Owen B Member

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    There's implicate/explicate relations everywhere, but with an important distinction.

    In psychoanalysis, object-relations models (Mahler, Kernberg) e.g., the subject is arrayed within a object potential, a probability space. His task is to metabolize his possibilities within that space so that the object space becomes a new subject space arrayed within a new potential.

    But the difference between these I/E relations and those occurring materially is that the former relations are unequivalent. Material I/E relations are between equivalents.

    Conscious I/E relations always occur in an unconscious space. Are there analog relations along those lines? Yes, but our awareness of them is stepped-down, precipitated in a way that is not directly, transparently given. It is "through a glass darkly".

    "Turtles all the way down" doesn't mean there is an ultimate Archimedean point or particle or a conscious mind that is equivalent with matter. It means that one is always already in a situation. The "glass darkly" is inevitability. One can never not be in a situation.

    I think that's a better way to see the meaning of downward causation. Downward causation applied to equivalent relations looks like a way to infuse new meaning to determinism. So that the real problem with panpsychism becomes knowing where to draw the line. As soon as one says, "There's nothing but changing states", you've performatively shot yourself in the foot. You've instantly contradicted yourself. Further, once you make that assertion you've lost the ability to make meaningful distinctions among the states; they're all equally valid and invalid. Is infinite arbitrariness an improvement over impersonal randomness?

    As for Bohm, I'm the last person in the world to tease apart any of the scientific issues involved but I'm convinced that at some point he disassociated himself from any "mind creates matter" POV. I looked for some citations and the best I could come up with was a journal published back in the 70s, edited by Stanley Krippner called "Psychoenergetic Systems". It had at least 3 editions. You'd probably love that stuff. But there's an article somewhere in one of those editions by Bohm and Hiley that was highly skeptical of the "extreme" QM theories.
     
  20. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    I never said I believe in "mind creates matter" as that would be solipsism. Unless you mean consciousness literally creating matter, which is another thing altogether and sounds plausible but I don't know if Bohm or others wrote on that topic. Within the explicate order mind and matter are actually the same, or at least this is what the article in the OP and the one on cosmopsychism are trying to say in a slightly different way.
    But ultimately, all of observable reality stems from the implicate order and (maybe a part of) our consciousness somehow interacts with the latter, which suggests it has some of its (perhaps unknowable as Bohm suggested) properties.
     
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