My name is Luiz Felipe, I am 38 years old, Brazilian, graduated 
in engineering and i am crazy about science and philosophy.

Recently, after reading and watching documentaries about general 
relativity and the problem of consciousness, I made 
a structured reflectionon on a 4 pages "paper" . I' ve 
already referred this "paper" for a science-list(egroups) in Brazil , where 
there are some members with good knowledge of general relativity. So 
far, none of them know how to stand in relation to what I wrote.
Thus, I am sending this "paper" to this list (i already sent this paper to 
Alberto Corona), in order to know if I made any mistake in understanding 
general relativity; specifically on the concepts of block universe and the 
flow of time, and it's consequences.

Thanks for the attention, and sorry about my english :-) !

Best Regards!
Luiz Felipe

Summary: This study aims to analyze the philosophical (materialists, 
dualists and idealists) explanation of consciousness and its consistency 
with a major current physical theory: General Relativity.


*1. Introduction*

The problem of consciousness today occupies one of the most important 
points to be clarified by philosophy and science. By its nature, there is 
no consensus among both philosophical, as in science, with respect to its 

The main philosophical position today are : materialistic, where 
consciousness is explained as a result of neural processes (is the basis 
for scientific research on consciousness) or as an illusion generated by 
brain processes (deniers); dualistic, which considers consciousness 
independently of matter and which postulates that consciousness is a 
fundamental entity of the universe (as fundamental as space-time and 
matter) and idealist, who believes consciousness as the basis of all 
physical existence.

*2. Theories of Relativity*

The Special Theory of Relativity “break”s the objective flow of time. 
According Belizário (2001) "The idea is that the" flow "of time is 
different for different observers." With that, according to Einstein 
himself, the distinction between past, present and future is a persistent 
illusion, a illusion, that comes from our perception, which curiously 
depends on our consciousness.

According Damour (2010) "General relativity has opened the door to an even 
deeper twist of the ordinary concept of time. However, the most popular 
treatments of science have a tendency, when speaking of General Relativity 
(GR), and especially when describing relativistic cosmological models 
(inflation, Big Bang), to use language that suggests that the GR 
reintroduces the notion of temporal flow, which had been abolished in 
Special Relativity.

Far from it. The GR space-time is as timeless as the Especial Relativity. 
The Big Bang should not be referred as the birth of the universe and its 
creation "ex nihilo" but as one of the possible limits of a strongly 
deformed (and timeless ) block of space-time. "

*3. General Theory of Relativity and the Philosophical Currents of Awareness

The materialists consider consciousness as a result of neural processes. 
The possibility of consciousness as a result of one or more processes in 
the brain has as an implicit assumption (necessary condition), the physical 
existence of the flow of time. Because if the flow of time does not 
physically exist, then we have no existence of physical processes and, 
consequently, we have no conscious being "produced"; emerging from this 

>From the above, we can conclude that:

1) The "materialistic hypothesis" of consciousness is fully consistent with 
the "*Newtonian Universe."* A universe in construction, where the existence 
of processes is required, and the physical existence of the flow of time 
allows these processes to occur.

 So, in a *“Newtonian Universe”*, where space and time are absolute, and 
the flow of time is a physical reality, the explanation of consciousness as 
a result of a process, adheres to this reality, but if the flow of time 
doesn’t exist (physically), so we have no processes and therefore we have 
no consciousness being "produced"; emerging from these processes.

 2) If we accept the premise that the GR is correct about the lack of the 
flow of time, then all philosophical position that hypothesize 
consciousness as a result of one or more neural processes, should be 
compulsorily incorrect, because it is premised on a reality incompatible 
with the reality described by GR.

 In this case, we have only two hypotheses to explain the phenomenon of 
consciousness. The idealistic and dualistic (discussed below).

The dualistic hypothesis of David Chalemrs consider consciousness as a 
basic entity, wich does not interfere in the matter.

Occam's Razor warns us not to multiply entities of a model than is 
necessary. However, since GR (assuming, as a premise, that the GR is 
correct about the lack of the flow of time, and about the "Block Universe") 
explains the material universe, but is not sufficient to explain the 
conscious experience (which allows us to experience the flow of time), it 
becomes legitimate to postulate another entity, so that we can have a model 
that can deal not only with the description in the third person of our 
physical universe, but also with own first-person experience (awareness), 
which leads to the perception of time flow.

Thus, if we postulate that consciousness is another fundamental entity in 
our universe, which may, through an unknown mechanism, interacting with the 
"Einstein Universe " without interfering in it, we have as a result, a 
hypothesis of awareness that is compatible with the reality described by 
GR, which also explains why we perceive the flow of time and changes along 
the "Block Universe".

In this case, we can think of consciousness and its relation to the "Block 
Universe", similar to a video game, game, and set the HD plus Reader. Just 
as the game exists as a whole, together with the HD, and its sequencing is 
the result of the interaction of the reader with HD, we can consider that 
the spacetime contains the whole of our history (and in a sense, our 
immortality), and assume that the illusion of the flow of time refers to 
the stream of consciousness "through" space-time, this flow allows us to 
experience our story sequentially and always forward in time.
This modified Chalmers Hypotheses maintains compatibility with the GR: how 
we have to give up totally, our free will, compatibility with GR is assured 
since all our past, present and future are already determined.

 Sean Carroll, in a article “The Flow of Time” says that *“Modern physics 
suggests that we can look at the entire history of the universe as a single 
four-dimensional thing. That includes our own personal path through it, 
which defines our **world line <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_line>**.This 
seemingly conflicts with our intuitive idea that we 
exist at a moment, and move through time. Of course there is no real 
conflict — just two different ways of looking at the same thing. There is a 
four-dimensional universe that includes all of our world line, from birth 
to death, once and for all; and each moment along that world line defines 
an instantaneous person with the perception that they are growing older, 
advancing through time.”*

Notice that i don’t deny Seans claim (in what I am proposing), that every 
time we are aware of the "present moment" plus "moments earlier" The 
problem is: what makes us walk through these moments, so we constantly forward 
in time. 

His argument doesn’t  addresses this question, and brings another problem: 
as he considers the existence of instantaneous awareness, consciousness - 
through a "materialist" explanation – is no longer the result of a brain 
process, and become a state. Because even with nothing happening (impulses 
and going), consciousness is still there. Even with frozen time!

But if the illusion of time flow of time is the result of the flow of 
consciousness through a “frozen” space-time, them we can satisfactory 
explain the instantaneous awareness, and our movement forward in time.


Whereas, as a premise, that the GR is correct about the physics lack of 
flow of time, then the whole “materialist” explanation of consciousness is 
necessarily wrong, due to incompatibility between the physical reality in 
which it’s need to be in order to be correct, and the reality described by 

The price to pay to have an dualistic explanation for consciousness is the 
total absence of free will.


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