Episode 11: Consciousness
There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns - Rumsfeld
The bigger picture, world-view, we are more than people experiencing COVID, wider view, where we fit into a bigger picture - what is reality? What are we experiencing?
What is consciousness from a science perspective?
Consciousness implies awareness: subjective, phenomenal experience of internal and external worlds. Consciousness also implies a sense of self, feelings, choice, control of voluntary behavior, memory, thought and language.
Actually no-one knows what consciousness is!
Where does consciousness start and end? Are animals conscious? Carrots? Stones? Panpsychism - the idea that everything has consciousness - the degree to which it is experienced depends on the hardware (the brain).
Did it evolve with the brain - therefore only humans are truly conscious?
Science/Materialism, with consciousness having no distinctive role
Dualism/Spirituality, with consciousness being outside science
Science, with consciousness as an essential ingredient of physical laws
Consciousness as a fundamental aspect of reality.
Does everything have some kind of consciousness, and we are experiencing some part of a bigger whole. This means we are all connected. This raises the question of where we start and end? What are the ethical dilemmas if plants and animals are conscious.
Can you be more conscious than someone else? Is there a hierarchy in consciousness?
Awareness as a different concept than consciousness. We can increase our awareness - of emotions, choices and our impact.
Collective consciousness: What is collective unconsciousness - we share an ‘information field’ - all members of the same species (interspecies?) we are able to access this information via symbols and archetypes - channeling, tarot cards, i-ching - pendulums? Is there some kind of information repository?
Sarah’s research into biophotons took her to the lab of Fritz Albert Popp. Fritz-Albert Popp (1938-2018) was a German biophysicist and cancer radiotherapist. He is the father of Biophoton Theory, which postulates DNA as the source of biophoton emissions. Popp also coined the term "biophoton", and founded the International Institute of Biophysics in Neuss, Germany. His extensive research led him to the conclusion that humans are, essentially, beings of Light.
Alternative ways of ‘doing science’
Channelling, random event generators, prayer, intention, gut feelings
Access alternative states via light, such as the ‘Dreamachine’
Drugs - psychedelics and microdosing - Shamanic practices.
Neuromodulation - magnets, light, tDSC
What about the rise of Tech and AI - how far are we from machine consciousness? And what are the implications of that?
Structures in the brain as a way of interpreting consciousness - in quantum physics this is the role of the observer. Microtubules - Hameroff and Penrose and many others. Orch OR (orchestrated objective reduction) suggests that there is a connection between the brain's biomolecular processes and the basic structure of the universe.
Top tips for this episode:
Take responsibility for yourself and your body
The individual as part of one field
Look after yourself to look after others
Nature as an underlying intelligence
Enforced isolation as a time to reflect and appraise
Summary of season: Radical science isn’t so radical, it’s just debunking today’s science
Taking responsibility of your own health
The power of light
Staying local - foraging