Seeking Consciousness

The Brain

In my post In Search of the Soul I talked of giving up one life and seeking another.  Some become itinerant monks and if I lived in a warmer climate I would be tempted to do something similar.

Regardless, my post was metaphor and I hope to achieve something more satisfying.  As a child I had frequent occasions when my brain would short circuit leading to a feeling close to panic.

It was a single and simple thought which provoked this reaction: “what would there be if the world I see around me did not exist?” I could not conceive of nothingness in a calm and reasoned manner. Somehow the thought terrified me.

Many years later I can see that the answers to such questions can only be sought through science and empirical, rational thought.  At the time such words did not form part of my vocabulary.

If this post had not been a whimsical one, it might have been destined for the taxonomy “science” and not “spirituality”. I am not even sure what the latter word means.

And yet I do not intend to talk of consciousness as such but merely of the importance of the search.

We have little understanding as yet as to what makes us subjectively aware of the world.  This is perhaps not so surprising: the difficulty of studying consciousness might be likened to that of a goldfish in a bowl contemplating cosmology.

And yet we need to get there. How can a “Theory of Everything” be complete without understanding what gives a collection of star dust the ability to ponder the origins of the universe?

And so back to  In Search of The Soul.  Instead of wandering India with a begging bowl it might be rather more satisfying to turn my coat.  We may not have an understanding of what “Breathes Fire into the Equations” but to study what we do know about life, the universe and everything holds rather greater interest for me than the financial markets which I have studied to little avail for much of the past 30 years.

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