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    Thread: An Investigation Into Consciousness

    1. #1
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      An Investigation Into Consciousness

      PRE-DISCUSSION


      Introduction


      Consciousness has been one of the biggest mysteries of science for a very, very long time. Honestly, people don't even know the exact definition of consciousness. I will not, unfortunately, be able to solve consciousness fully here, nor do I intend to solve consciousness myself, at all; I am no biologist. Instead, I wish to merely present speculation on the underlying nature of consciousness, for the sake of thought and discussion. Please note that a lot of this is not proven, but merely speculation on my part from facts that I have discovered.


      What Is Consciousness, And Ground Rules For Discussion


      Before we can move on to the speculation and discussion about consciousness, we need to first define what consciousness is in the context of this discussion. While I did mention that it is debatable, if we don't come up with a clear definition to use as a framework for discussion, our speculation will devolve into nonsense. So, for the sake of maintaining consistency in our discussion, I would like to define consciousness as "The state of being in which one individual is able to think critically and constructively." If you would like to join this discussion, I would appreciate it if you either:
      1) Followed this definition for the sake of consistency
      OR
      2) Indicate what definition of consciousness you will be referring to in your comment, so myself and others are able to distinguish when you are using a different idea of consciousness for the sake of discussion.

      Please note that this does NOT mean that I am trying to discourage you from using a different definition of consciousness; any amount of information from other viewpoints is incredibly constructive to the discussion of this topic especially; however, clarity on the foundational arguments you are working off of is also important, so that individuals who are reading an argument that strays off of the originally established definition are not confused by ideas you have presented.

      Also, before we begin this discussion, I would like you all to remember to be constructive in your arguments and agreements; I know that the Dreamviews community does tend to be very good about these kinds of things, but I feel like this is worth mentioning anyway.

      And so, without further adieu, I will finally begin laying the groundwork for our little bit of discussion.


      MY THOUGHTS



      An Introduction To The Argument


      I was going through reddit, reading stories about lucid dreaming, and, in one of them (Sorry, no link available for this one right now), I read about someone whose subconscious mind likes to mess with them (so really, pretty much every story about lucid dreaming, huh?). This got me wondering about why exactly so many people's subconscious minds were mischievous. I began going through YouTube to find information about the subconscious mind, and I eventually stumbled across "You Are Two" by CGP Grey. Now, I won't go over any of the information discussed in the video; I would not be able to explain it nearly as well without directly copying; but, it got me thinking about consciousness.

      If we, as entities, are the result of two hemispheres of the brain that can each function independently, but interact with one another to create a more coherent, capable, and organized whole, then what are the implications of that for consciousness?


      My Idea


      My take on this whole situation is that we have a total of three separate minds, and you may have heard their names before. They are: The Conscious Mind, The Subconscious Mind, and The Unconscious Mind. These three minds, I believe, work together to form a coherent whole. Their respective functions and relevant information I have listed below.
      • Conscious Mind- The 'left hemisphere' of the brain. This is the interaction of the parts of the brain that come together to create our critical thinking, logic, and some of the other higher-thought processes.
      • Subconscious Mind- The 'Right Hemisphere' of the brain. Responsible for the creativity and dreaming we all do. While the subconscious mind does have logic, it is significantly reduced when compared to the Conscious Mind, which is why dreams can be so random. On the other hand, the Subconscious Mind does have critical thinking abilities of a comparable level to the Conscious mind, which it combines with its reduced amount of logic to create coherence in our dreams, despite the apparent randomness of these dreams.
      • The Unconscious Mind- Many people would use Unconscious and Subconscious interchangeably. However, for the sake of this, I will not be using this manner of definition. Unlike the other two Minds, the Unconscious Mind is, as it sounds, not conscious. Instead, the unconscious mind regulates the communication between the Conscious and Subconscious minds, and also directs primal instincts like fear, which it then communicates to your other minds.


      While I do have the two conscious minds labeled by hemisphere, that probably isn't 100% correct. They both likely have parts in both hemispheres.

      Anyway, I feel like this explains pretty well quite a few dreams and other processes in our brains. For example, it explains why it is so hard to create a description of the ideas behind a creative work in words, and why people's subconscious tends to behave somewhat independently in lucid dreams, often being uncooperative. There are a few things I don't have quite worked out yet, but I quite like this idea.





      Please feel free to add on to this, criticize it, or discuss it!
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    2. #2
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      I never thought of the right hemisphere as being sub-conscious. But with your definition of consciousness, it absolutely makes sense to do that though.


      There is also the shared unconscious which I think needs to be a part of a model of consciousness. My latest realization of it's effect was just half an hour ago actually. There is what seems to be a recurring theme of statistical anomalies which are best explained by a line of unconscious communication going from my dreams and to my mothers unconscious mind... Alternatively her incompetence with computers is an act and she's actually a master haxor and can remotely view my encrypted dream journal and is using it to mess with my head.
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    3. #3
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      Quote Originally Posted by LighrkVader View Post
      There is also the shared unconscious
      Is the shared unconscious like some kind of mental connection to other people? Like how the thoughts of one person can seemingly influence another's, or is it something else entirely?

      If we are going by that kind of 'Spiritual'~esque definition, I would probably equate that to be more of a coincidence-type of thing, but there might be something that is there and provable about such a thing.

      Thank you for your take on this idea!
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      I wouldn't say it's a connection. But it connects as well. I guess it can be explained like biology.. Imagine that your consciousness can be seen as a small part in a larger body, like a celle, or an organelle, or a molecule. The body shapes the cells experience, but it's evolution depends on themes and the common and recurring happenings on the lower levels. (I tried haha)

      In Jung, which somebody more knowledgable than myself will have to explain properly the shared unconscious presents itself to the consciousness as archetypes in dreams. The archetypes represent the recurring themes I mentioned above.

      Edit: FUCK. I lost track of time. I have to work, I have a whole lot of lab-rapports that I need to finish.. . It's going to be a long night. I'll check in tomorrow.
      Last edited by LighrkVader; 02-22-2018 at 06:41 PM.
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    5. #5
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      Quote Originally Posted by LighrkVader View Post
      I wouldn't say it's a connection. But it connects as well. I guess it can be explained like biology.. Imagine that your consciousness can be seen as a small part in a larger body, like a celle, or an organelle, or a molecule. The body shapes the cells experience, but it's evolution depends on themes and the common and recurring happenings on the lower levels. (I tried haha)

      In Jung, which somebody more knowledgable than myself will have to explain properly the shared unconscious presents itself to the consciousness as archetypes in dreams. The archetypes represent the recurring themes I mentioned above.
      Oh, Okay. I think I get it now! Thank you for the explanation!
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    6. #6
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      Good thread.

      Indeed, after a month of discussion with Darkmatters, I have come to take the stance that the left-brain is mostly conscious mind, and right-brain is mostly unconscious/subconscious.

      But there's something we never quite sorted out. There's the third eye. The bit in the middle of the brain which takes data from both sides and outputs a result into your awareness.
      I think the "third eye" technically refers to all of these: Corpus callosum, thalamus, hypothalamus, pineal gland, pituitary gland, cerebellum, and the brain stem

      Darkmatters refers to something called "unconscious awareness". I am actually thinking the third eye is the unconscious awareness part.
      But I'd love to see Darkmatters or anyone else chime in on this.
      Last edited by slash112; 02-22-2018 at 07:28 PM.
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    7. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by slash112 View Post
      Good thread.

      Indeed, after a month of discussion with Darkmatters, I have come to take the stance that the left-brain is mostly conscious mind, and right-brain is mostly unconscious/subconscious.

      But there's something we never quite sorted out. There's the third eye. The bit in the middle of the brain which takes data from both sides and outputs a result into your awareness.
      I think the "third eye" technically refers to all of these: Corpus callosum, thalamus, hypothalamus, pineal gland, pituitary gland, cerebellum, and the brain stem

      Darkmatters refers to something called "unconscious awareness". I am actually thinking the third eye is the unconscious awareness part.
      But I'd love to see Darkmatters or anyone else chime in on this.
      Interesting!

      So you would say that the "Third Eye" refers to the various parts of our brains that act as mediators to the subconscious and conscious minds' communications? Not necessarily communicating information between the two directly, but regulating what actually gets sent, and interpreting that information in a more digestible manner for the appropriate part of our mind? I wonder if such a thing is, to an extent, independently conscious, similar to how our brain's hemispheres are.

      If I'm misinterpreting what you're saying, please inform me, so I can understand your idea better!
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      Quote Originally Posted by slash112 View Post
      I'd love to see Darkmatters or anyone else chime in on this.
      I almost dove in. I wanted to, and I really would like to, but I'm so deeply invested in my Jung thread and it takes up so much of my time and thought, that I really can't start in on another thread that looks to be deeply absorbing and thought-provoking. There's just not enough time for it all!

    9. #9
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      Hahahah no worries! You do you!

      Anyhows, I propose the following model:

      Left-brain: Conscious mind
      Right-brain: Subconscious mind
      Middle-brain: Unconscious mind


      Ironically enough, the unconscious mind (in this model) is responsible for awareness.

    10. #10
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      Middle-brain? I suppose you mean the Third Eye, as you defined it above?

    11. #11
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      Quote Originally Posted by slash112 View Post
      Ironically enough, the unconscious mind (in this model) is responsible for awareness.
      Woah, that's pretty bizarre to think about! Consciousness/awareness being caused by an unconscious part of you. It almost seems self-contradictory, but I can see how that could be possible!
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      Keep in mind, Slash is an experienced meditator, and when he says awareness, (I THINK) he's talking about what Buddhists call the Observer, which can watch your thoughts and feelings, and therefore is not your thoughts or feelings but something much more foundational to consciousness. This is me trying to avoid posting on this thread..
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 02-22-2018 at 08:13 PM.

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      Lemme just pull a quote from Google to explain why I kinda shy away from using "third eye" there.

      A parietal eye, also known as a third eye or pineal eye, is a part of the epithalamus present in some animal species. The eye is photoreceptive and is associated with the pineal gland
      The pineal itself is weirdly like an actual third eyeball. Sorta.
      So I'm just thinking now, it makes more sense to say that the third eye is PART of the middle-brain.

    14. #14
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      lol

      Thank you for clarifying that! I probably would've had it completely misinterpreted otherwise.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      Keep in mind, Slash is an experienced meditator, and when he says awareness, (I THINK) he's talking about what Buddhists call the Observer, which can watch your thoughts and feelings, and therefore is not your thoughts or feelings but something much more foundational to consciousness. This is me trying to avoid posting on this thread..
      Well actually, the pure awareness transcends even the awareness that I'm talking about here. The observer watches awareness.
      It gets really weird when you trace awareness back into itself.

      So in this thread I've only been talking about physical awareness. Not transcendental awareness (which is ever-present and all-pervasive).
      Last edited by slash112; 02-22-2018 at 08:22 PM.
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      Quote Originally Posted by slash112 View Post
      The pineal itself is weirdly like an actual third eyeball. Sorta.
      So I'm just thinking now, it makes more sense to say that the third eye is PART of the middle-brain.
      That's very interesting! When I heard the term 'Third Eye' before, I had always seen it as simply another aspect of spirituality! I had no idea that it was actually a prominent feature of normal animals! It sort of puts the idea of a third eye in a new light for me.
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      Yeah I feel ya, I came into this information a couple years ago and it does change things.

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      Quote Originally Posted by slash112 View Post
      So in this thread I've only been talking about physical awareness. Not transcendental awareness (which is ever-present and all-pervasive).
      So, in your interpretation, physical awareness that causes consciousness is performed by the Middle Brain, and then the awareness or observation of that awareness is transcendental awareness caused by "The Observer?" That's rather fascinating, I think. It also seems like a looping idea- like, observing the observation of your awareness... Is that a thing? Or am I overthinking it?
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      Yeah, I'd say Middle-brain awareness is meta, and the transcendental Observer is meta-meta. Mind getting blown! (< Alien third eye emojie)

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      Quote Originally Posted by SpaceGod View Post
      It also seems like a looping idea- like, observing the observation of your awareness... Is that a thing? Or am I overthinking it?
      Actually you're thinking along the right lines.
      It is very confusing at first, but it makes a whole lot of sense when you let it sit with you. Makes even more sense if you move your "sense of self" into the observer.

      The thing is, no matter what you are doing, no matter what your physical awareness is pointed at, no matter how "aware" you are of your surroundings, there is ALWAYS an awareness happening, right?

      The observer refers to that ever-present, never-changing awareness.

      Physical awareness changes all the time. Anything that can change, is NOT the observer. The observer is the unchanging, pure awareness.

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      And yeah, you can be "aware of awareness". You can even be "aware of awareness being aware of awareness". xD

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      I see! That's fascinating! As an unchanging, omnipresent awareness, would that also mean it's present in a state of no awareness, like deep sleep? Would that mean it's possible to be 'awake' even in deep sleep states?
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      Wow fantastic questions SpaceGod, you're hitting all the nails on the head here.

      Yes deep sleep actually shows us a reflection of our true nature. It's a reflection of our "true self"/"observer".
      In deep sleep, I am pure awareness aware of nothing, not even time. This shows me what pure awareness is like without the appearances.

      You can explore delta sleep with a conscious mind, but the moment you introduce the conscious mind to deep sleep, you loose the true reflection. But in doing this, you get to explore a very close reflection.
      Check out Sageous' thread on exploring delta sleep: https://www.dreamviews.com/beyond-dr...lta-sleep.html

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      ^ There's also the book The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep, which is also about remaining aware through every level of sleep, including the deepest - I believe they're Delta-wave levels (?)

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      Do you think that the reason LaBerge recommends lying on your back or right side(not left side) for WILD is becuase the part of your brain responsible for dreams will get more blood pooled there and will be more active?
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