On 13 Nov 2011, at 22:56, meekerdb wrote:

On 11/13/2011 7:03 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:

"pure consciousness" is what is invariant through the change of memories.

But how do you know there is such a thing.

By self-observation, thought experiments, and by the mechanist theory---where consciousness is a state of betting in a reality, with a strange confirmation fixed point.

Self-observation: I feel like being the same person that 50 years ago and even beyond (I am 56 years old) even if it is more fuzzy. Self-observation: I use technics for getting altered consciousness state, and there is (feeling of) a clear (and huge) invariant part, despite strong alteration of memory, and perspectives.





You may not consciously remember what happened in your past, but you still know how to walk and talk, you still know a language, you brain knows how to interpret the signals from your retina, you remember how to work you hand,...

Well, under salvinorin A (the psychoactive component of the salvia divinorum plant), even when you memorize who you are, you just don't believe in it. You remain conscious but dissociate yourself from the memories.

Under strong dose you can forget all about walking, talking, language, bodies, mind. From outside you might look "retarded". What you see (when you can still do that) has few relationship with what happens on the retina. But you remain conscious, in fact many people will say having been much more conscious and much more awaken than what we feel in our normal common state.

This is not an argument of course. It might be an invitation to you for looking closer, or to study reports of such experiences. It might be (and I think it is) an hallucination, but, like always with consciousness, you can get undoubtable fixed points, and it is enough to be conscious once of the fact that we can be conscious with no time nor space, to conceive the idea, so if it is already a prediction of the theory (even of the only one which currently makes sense), such first person sensations are just personal confirmation (not personal proof, of course).

Bruno




Brent

That consciousness is a first person experience that we can share, despite we cannot communicate it. It is hard to convey because we are used to believe that consciousness has always a content. Exercises like staying lucid during sleep, or using some dissociative drugs, can help to give a sense to such a consciousness without any explicit experience and identity.

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http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/



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