This reality consists of physical reality (space, matter, energy, and the laws of physics) and consciousness. It is clear that there is a link between the two. By simply willing it to happen, we can make our bodies move, interacting with and changing physical reality. If you pick up an object, you are using consciousness to manipulate physical reality. It is also clear that physical reality can affect consciousness. If your body is injured, you consciously experience pain. If you stand near a flame, you consciously experience the sensation of heat. This suggests that one is subjective to the other and therefore its existence arises from the other. Mainstream, contemporary science would have us believe that consciousness arises from physical reality. However, scientists have no evidence for this. All they know is that there is a link between a brain and consciousness. That only proves that there is a link; it provides no indiciation as to which arises from which.
The closest thing to a physical explanation for consciousness we have is neurons. However, neurons control our entire central nervous system, not just our brain, and they are still there when we are unconscious while sleeping. Our brains make our bodies breathe even when we are not thinking about it and even while we sleep. Our brains turn information from photons into visual images. They do a lot of things that we are not consciously responsible for. Neurons are the basis of a body's central nervous system, not of consciousness. The only evidence that a brain or neurons are responsible for consciousness is that there is a link between the two and there is no other physical explanation for consciousness. However, there does not have to be a physical explanation for consciousness if consciousness is not subjective to physical reality.
We already know that consciousness can affect physical reality. We also know that we dream and essentially create our own realities within our minds. There is no reason to doubt that this can be taken to a further level. There is no evidence, philosophical or empirical, that physical reality can create something as complex and perfect as consciousness, but we already know that consciousness can create anything it wants within its own thoughts. This suggests that this physical reality is subjective to consciousness and is essentially a collective dream of all consciousness experiencing it. Consider also how perfect, how complex yet simple, consciousness is. If it was simply neurons, we would be artificial intelligence no different than an advanced computer, not truly conscious. Consider how perfect physical reality is. It cannot have occured by chance. Everything fits together far too well. It has to originate from consciousness. This leads to only one conclusion: Conscious creates physical reality. We do not exist within the Universe; rather, the Universe exists within us.
That realization answers what, to many people, are the biggest and most important two questions that can be asked: What is the purpose of the Universe? What is the purpose of life? The Universe is what consciousness creates for itself as an environment for experience. Life is what consciousness creates for itself as a means for experience.
This realization, however, leaves another, arguably more important question unanswered: What happens when we die? This question relies in large part on whether or not we, as conscious beings, exist forever. To answer these questions, one must consider what reality really is. Of course reality conists of physical reality and consciousness, but physical reality is subjective to consciousness. Objective reality, then, is essentially two things: Consciousness and time. However, time is not really a thing, so it might be more correct to say that objective reality is only consciousness. Time is simply something that passes. It is objective. That leaves consciousness. Each conscious entity is objective and can be seen as a quantum of consciousness.
Time is infinite. Your life is finite. It is only approximately one century out of eternity. One century out of eternity is a finite number out of infinity, or one out of infinity. One out of infinity is infinitesimally small--so small that most mathematicians would say that it is exactly equal to zero. Although that is not technically correct, the difference between a finite number out of infinity and zero is infinitely small. If your existence is finite, if you die when your body dies, then the chance that this moment in time happens to occur during your finite existence out of infinite time is one out of infinity. That is, if your existence is temporary, then the chance that you currently exist is zero. Yet you exist.
It could, of course, be argued that the above argument is invalid because there will always be someone who exists, and out of infinite possibilities, some extremely unlikely or even infinitely unlikely possibility will always exist. This is true. The current state of the Universe, down to every detail, is one out of an incomprehensibly large number of possibilities, yet here the Universe is, in its current state, despite the unliklihood. This moment in time is one out of infinite. However, it is guaranteed that the Universe exists in some state. It is guaranteed that we are currently in a finite moment in infinite time. Although the chance that the Universe exists in its current state is extremely low, and although the chance that we are currently in this exact moment out of infinite time is infinitely small, the current moment and the current state of the Universe were not chosen at random for this thought experiment; rather, they were chosen because we currently exist in this moment in time and the Universe currently exists in its current state.
With consciousness, one could make a similar argument. Go outside and look around. Do you see a man? Yes, that man exists right now, but what if he does not exist a few decades from now? Why can he not cease to exist? Why can there not be infinite conscious entities over all eternity, each one having a finite lifespan? Why can that conscious being, that man, not cease to exist, only to be replaced by another? Was that man not chosen simply for this thought experiment because he happens to exist right now, in the same way that the current state of the Universe and the current moment in time were chosen in the last thought experiment not at random but because they currently exist? This is true, of course. That man was chosen not at random, but because he happens to be right here right now. Perhaps he will cease to exist and another conscious being will come into existence. That man's existence proves nothing to me. It proves nothing to you. My existence proves nothing to you. Your existence proves nothing to me.
With consciousness, however, it is not that simple. Although that man's consciousness and your consciouss prove nothing to me, my consciousness proves something to me. Although that man's consciosness and my consciousness prove nothing to you, your consciousness can prove something to you. Your existence is everything to you. Literally everything. All you know, all you ever have known, all you ever will known. To you, your existence, your perception, is the entirety of existence itself. If your perception is finite, if it has only existed for a few decades and will only exist for a few more decades, then the rest of infinite time is nothing. It is not like being in this moment where there will always be another, but rather, it is this moment or *nothing*. All other possibilities are identical: Nothingness. All possibilities except this one tiny sliver of eternity. Yet it is this one tiny sliver of eternity, the only one that differs from the rest, the one out of infinity, that currently exists. If it is true that the rest is nothingness, that you will cease to exist, that consciousness can die; that chance is one out of infinity. If your existence is finite, then the chance that you currently exist is zero. If you currently exist, then the chance that your existence is finite is zero. This leaves only one conclusion: Conscious exists forever. Consciousness cannot die.
Knowing that physical reality is subjective to consciousness, and knowing that consciousness exists forever, leaves one question still unanswered: What happens when we die? Given that physical reality is subjective to consciousness, we clearly exist beyond the confines of the physical Universe. When our body dies we break free not only from our body, but from this Universe. Philosophical thought experiments alone cannot tell us for sure where we go, but it is reasonable to assume that, given the fact that we, consciousness, created something as complex and perfect as this Universe, we have the freedom and ability to create other realities and do whatever we desire when we are not bound by the limits of a physial body. Perhaps when our body dies we return to pure consciousness until we are ready to be born into this Universe again, or perhaps we go to a sort of in between reality where there is some level of physical reality but we are more free as if in a dream, or perhaps we remain in this Universe, our perfect creation, but simply without the limits of a body. All that we can be certain of is that, eventually, we will live again. Between birth and death, we experience life. Between death and birth, we can only speculate what we will experience. Regardless of what exists beyond physical incarnation, dying in this life is like turning off your Xbox: You leave the game and return to 'real life'.
Do not fear death. Death is an illusion. Live a good life. Accomplish something worthwhile with your life. Leave Earth a better place than it was when you arrived here. Enjoy your life. When death arrives, accept it openly and move on to your next adventure in this expansive reality and infinite eternity.
>This board is dedicated to the discussion of history and the other humanities such as philosophy, religion, law, classical artwork, archeology, anthropology, ancient languages, etc.
for the record, this thread is completely on-topic.
But your statement doesn't leave much room for discussion. You're just lengthily stating your own philosophy as if it were fact. In the future you should try to frame your posts in a way that allows for some discussion, and some differing viewpoints. You kind of blew your load right away on this one.
I think there is room for differing viewpoints in this thread. If you disagree with something, say what you disagree with and why. If you agree with everything, perhaps you can expand upon the ideas. Not every thread has to start with an open ended question.
It is beyond physical science, it doesn't contradict physical science. If physical reality is not objective, then physical science cannot be used to attain all of the answers regarding reality. That does not contradict physical science in any way.
Consensus reality is how we determine what is most likely reality. As physical science is based on consensus reality, it does not leave room for unsubstantiated claims such as those made in your original post.
>As physical science is based on consensus reality
Even if "consensus reality" is a valid means of determining the truth, one thing (physical science) that is based on consensus reality does not automatically hold the path to the whole truth of the nature of reality.
Can there be room for true evolution of thought if physical science is limited to consensus? Physical science is void of meaning if its basis is skewed by a consensus engaged in the forgetfulness of being.
It's from Heidegger. Most entities (the consensus) existing in the average day-to-day of being do not question the nature of reality. This is a forgetfulness of being. Existing without questioning existence.
Physical science is paramount only if the question of being is solidified as a basis. Consensual science is not based in this, and thus skews the meaning and value of its extension Physical science.
I think your outlookk on the world is beautiful, but how do you explain the fact that brain damage significantly alters consciousness? Permanently?
I don't really understand the dispute over the state of reality, then. If billions of independent creatures agree that reality is a certain way, the likelihood of them being incorrect is minimal. If something so basic as ubiquitous observation can't be used as a basis of argument regarding reality, what can?
Anyone else sort of understand the general concept of the OP abd replies but fail to fully grasp it? I feel like I'm just obtuse, I guess it might be because I haven't went through higher education yet and I'm on the younger side compared to the rest of the community here (18).
Feels bad knowing that you can't grasp higher concepts
That's a good question.
I think the answer lies in you defining your own reality. Each individual perception is it's own state of existence. There is a shared existence, and thus a shared understanding via entities' relationships to one another, sure. If not there would be only chaos. But its more a shared psychosis than solid reality. Each individual observes and perceives in way unique unto themselves.
That's very interesting, I'll have to think about that. My personal mindset is that all questions must be answered, which is why I believe scientific inquiry to be the best means of discovering those answers. Thank you for intriguing me.
I've heard a lot about Nietzsche. Any others you'd recommend reading?
>The Universe is what consciousness creates for itself as an environment for experience.
I thought it was the other way around. The universe created consciousness as a way to experience itself.
Animals have varying degrees of consciousness. Dolphins, pigs, and chimpanzees could be said to have consciousness imo.
Due to me going through babbys first existential crisis I desperately want to believe that consciousness cannot 'die', but I feel like metaphysics is just a joke.
Like for example this guy
If damage to the brain and psychoactive drugs can put you into an altered state of consciousness, and these things are tangible things in our reality, then consciousness has to be the brain right? Qualia just being a combination of chemicals in our brain?
None that I can elaborate on unfortunately, Heidegger is the first philosopher I'm full-on tackling atm. I hear Hegel's name come up as a contemporary though.
Scientific inquiry has and will continue to take us far. But without a base understanding of our own being, the data can only bring a superficial understanding of reality.
I disagree as well, to an extent. Our 'perfect' physical reality is the product of the smallest of possibilities occurring in the spacetime of infinity. If consciousness coincides with infinity, I can see the perspective of physical space being the vessel for consciousness to exhibit itself, and will continue to expand infinitely as our biology/universe evolves. But its jumping to conclusions I think saying our collective consciousness is responsible for creating it.
Well, yes. Humans only agree on what things are because we have just the right amount of brainpower to process it. Our eyeballs can only collect so much light. That information is captured and only "exists" as fast as we can think.
If our biology is altered too dramatically, suddenly we are alone in our new perceptions. And that's a scary thought.
I can't note any scholarly sources. But from my perspective, our consciousness is a product of our biology. However, I don't believe consciousness is our biology. Psychoactive drugs allow one to surpass their biological limitations and expand their consciousness, if only briefly. Damage to the biology hinders it's performance and conscious output.
But I believe though consciousness is attached to biology, it is independent from biology.
With mental illness that alters consciousness like schizophrenia and dementia, psychoactive drugs, etc it seems that consciousness is entirely dependent on biology. Why can a blow to the hear render someone unconscious? Why can drugs make someone unconscious but in a non-dreaming state? Changes to biology changes consciousness. It all points to consciousness being a product of out biology and not anything eternal. Dualism doesn't make sense.
Its true, consciousness is a product of our biology. But then what explains anthropological evolution? We seem to be evolving at an exponential rate in that sense. I believe it is a result of something more, something collective.
Going back to OP's bit, the universe is expanding. But what's intriguing is it expands at an inconsistent acceleration rate. I believe its likely it is expanding with and as the collective consciousness.
Call me selfish but none of this id consoling to me. When I die and go back to the hivemind or collective consciousness or whatever I will not be ME. My consciousness will be destroyed. Annihilation is a terrifying concept.
You'll be grateful to know then that when you die you won't go back to anything. You'll just not "be" anymore. All existence ends.
It's a shame, I'd prefer anything to that. I'd gladly accept an eternity of torture in hell if I could.
haha, I wasn't trying to be consoling. I was trying to be genuine. But to put it less frighteningly, you don't have to believe everything will be destroyed. We'll never know what happens when we die. If we did, this evolutionary pursuit would be moot. It might not be destroyed. To fill that void in logic, you can turn to faith. You can believe in whatever makes most sense to you, between a spectrum of realism and comfort. I like reincarnation currently.
Though you die, your subconsciousness entity will be reborn eternally. Rather than believe this is a meaningless exchange, you can believe in something higher. you can believe that this exchange is to further grow and expand your consciousness.
You ever notice that some principles just naturally click with you and those same principles are never truly grasped by others? It could be because those principles have already been learned in a past life. And as you continue the cycle, you are ever growing consciously until you reach a transcendental moment.
Its fun to think about and expand theories like these. For example, at some point you learn the passing of time is an illusion, because with infinity, everything is taking place at once. All of past, present and future are thus predeterminate. In death you are no longer bound by a fixed direction through time, and may be reincarnated into a being outside of your conception of spacetime reality, making our max remaining time here on Earth of 6 billion years not too big a deal.
That's what religion is for. Pre-birth is not a state of being because the biological materials making you didn't exist yet, any one of the jillion other potential outcomes could've taken your place.