I am new to this forum. So far, I have read several books from Sam and was especially intrigued by his two blog posts
The Mystery of Consciousness and
The Mystery of Consciousness II
Since then this mystery has been torturing my mind. I also read Annaka’s book on consciousness and now I am reading the many forum posts here about the topic. If I don’t find a solution on the hard problem of consciousness here, then I would like to start a discussion thread. That thread would approach the topic from a somewhat new angle. I believe to understand what consciousness really is, one needs to follow the evolutionary history of neuronal activity right from the beginning. Then one would get a clearer picture of: When, how and why did consciousness arise?
What would be the right folder for such a thread? I assume it might be The Hall of Psychology although it would be not at all about standard psychology, and much more in the direction of theoretical neuroscience.
New ideas are welcome here though the overall response can be harsh. I recommend some personal protective gear.
You may open in The Hall of Science. Management reserves the right to relocate threads to The Hall of Holy Grails or Cults and New Age Beliefs if warranted. Good luck to you.
I’ve also read Annaka Harris’ book, Conscious: A Brief Guide to the Fundamental Mystery of the Mind.
Annaka came down pretty definitively on the side of panpsychism, the modern version of it at least, something you didn’t mention in your introduction.
To my mind, panpsychism desolves the “hard problem.”
Any thoughts on panpsychism?
Thanks for the warm welcome!
What I read so far in this forum was very civil. If I start a discussion thread then I am doing that specifically for feedback. Of course I appreciate constructive feedback, but sometimes even harsh feedback might contain some truths. But thanks, I am warned.
Before Annaka’s book the concept of panpsychism was quite esoteric to me. Now it is less so, but I am still a pure materialist. I don’t understand where panpsychism’s “mind like aspects of reality” should originate and I assume that I can explain consciousness without them. Once I post, probably some forum replies will absolve me from my current ideas, but first it will take some time for me to formulate these ideas as clearly as possible. Once I formulated them in German in a blog post, it will be a challenge for me to rewrite that in English.
Silava, considering German is your native language, your are doing a great job expressing yourself in English.
I was a “materialist” too, for a long time. But I’ve always had a sense that materialism couldn’t explain the world the way I’ve experienced it through early psychedelic use in my youth, or more recently, experiencing my consciousness through meditation and “headlessness.” Headlessness is a reference to the method Richard Lang teaches, whom Sam interviewed early this year.
If anything, I’m coming around more and more to embrace panpsychism. I’ve also noticed that panpsychism is being embraced by theoretical scientists such as Max Tegmark and Donald D. Hoffman.
Mario! Did you pick the lock and escape? Did Nhoj grant you probation?