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I think consciousness will one day be created in the laboratory. Not next week, or next year. Perhaps in a thousand years. At that time we will know much about it, but it will not answer the ultimate question of why anything at all exists.

It would be created as an active interconnection of universal self aware (dynamic model of self and environment) entities. Based on todays technology it might be built as neural network simulation running on thousands of machines across the Internet. It might result from the study of life and copying it. It may emerge accidental in the quest for artificial intelligence. It will evolve.

Self-awareness only requires that an entity include a working model of itself and its environment. Consiousness I believe is self-awareness on a social/collective/composite level. But indeed, the subjective "feeling" of being that goes with consiousness is a mystery that future robots may contemplate but never resolve objectively.

I believe, being and existence are one. We can make a candle and it comes to be, but though we burn it we cannot erase its being. Consciousness to me is collective being with self awareness.

Being is existence, collective being is composite connected interacting beings. As we can make or define things, we make beings, we do not put the being in them, it is manifest by virtue of existence.

I have found that consciousness is like a set of radio programs on many different frequencies. We can tune in at different frequencies through meditation. Most often these channels of consciousness are not aware of each other and have no direct communication but collaborate on building and executing our model of reality. These intelligences within us also collaborate with external intelligences manifesting the spirit of life, and ultimately the spirit of being.

Usually one frequency, usually somewhere in the beta range, 20-40 cycles per second, dominates the external body action while others maintain and regulate various internal body functions and pursue lower priority mental activities. All but the dominant one are forbidden control and we are not directly aware of them. When a new one takes control, its history becomes our conscious memory and the former moves to the background undetected by us in most cases.

Q: This figure of 20-40 cycles per second, is it an estimate or a measured frequency, and what is the significance of different frequencies?  Are higher frequencies 'more conscious' and lower ones less so?  Does this model mean we all have multiple personalities?

measured (and subjective meditation experience):

  • 0-6 cycles/second delta level - fish and reptiles - heart beat, spirit world, God
  • 7-12 cycles/second alpha level - mammals and dinosaurs - most human bodily functions
  • 13-25 cycles/second beta level - human - vision, movement and speech, spirit, God
  • 25-50000 sound - or brain really humming :)
  • radio
  • heat
  • radar
  • light
  • UV
  • Xray
  • gamma ray

Complexity and ultimately consciousness can exist at any frequency, lower frequencies seems timeless and all knowing, high frequencies really hum. Indeed there are multiple trains of thought that we are normally unaware of, they are sort of different personalities, but really just parts of your one personality unless their is a conflict between them.

What we call habit behavior is really conscious but we have no reason to be aware of it or if of what we think we are thinking. Only one train of thought is remembered at one time.

Intuition and Beliefs

Difficult problems by definition are non-linear. They do not succumb to linear solutions. They are solvable by techniques such as neural network simulations and EvolutionaryProgramming. It take a non-linear solution to solve a non-linear problem.

With a linear solution, you can explain the answer, You can say because x and y and z blah blah blah. Non-linear solutions, however, only provide an answer. If the problem is defined correctly the answer will be correct.

It used to frustrate me immensely that the woman in my life would not listen to reason and refused to give a good reason for their conclusions yet very often turned out to be right.

Finally I figured out how it works. They build an analogy to the problem in their mind that most men see as irrelevant and they run the model to get the answer and as the model runs and gets better answers they change their mind in what seems to be an arbitrary manner.

It seems obvious to me now that most all "leaps of intuition" work in a similar manner. These sort of solutions also have the property that they can be easily distributed amoung separate processors creating a collective intelligence.

Non-linear models involve feedback mechanisms. various solutions are tried randomly and by heuristic and reinforced or dampened by feedback as the problem runs. There is always a best solution, but it can be overthrown at any time by new data and suddenly the old solution is replaced by the new. The fact that separate parts of the model can run independently as long as feedback is provided, in one mind or many, is independent of the sudden "leap".


Page originally had the spelling of Consiousness, so for the history of this page prior to this Version 1, check there. ---StarPilot, playing SnuckerBug.

"Consciousness to me is collective being with self awareness." "Self-awareness only requires that an entity include a working model of itself and its eenvironment" - HumanBrain

I think this article will enlighten you on the difficulty of reducing consciousness to physics:

Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness [1]

-- GetReal

Any system that processes information has some level of conscious experience. <CROSS JOIN> There is no distinction between processing information and manipulating matter/energy.

Tell me what this means. Did I miss the point of the article? --DavidSiegel

The connection between information processing and experience: (1) has not been established. A computer that manipulates a bunch of symbols according to a rule book is not necessarily experiencing anything, no more than an abacus being manipulated - is experiencing anything. (2) Even if there are cases where information processing entails experience - that connection is a further fact that needs to be explained.

That experience would accompany some subset of physical processes instead of those physical processes just working in the dark i.e. without any such experience - is a further fact that needs explaining.

One could adopt the belief that every physical thing experiences or that every physical interaction entails experience - but that would be an additional proposition to add to physics.

The great task of physics, chemistry, biology and brain science - is to show how experience arises from mere physical processes, not merely to accept it as an unexplained brute fact.

-- GetReal

Science can answer how the machinery of consciousness works. What I've discovered subjectively how is is composed of streams of associations (thoughts/consciousness) on every frequency or channel, and organically left, right, front, back, all brain within a brain within a brain. I expect science can show that this model corresponds to neural network activity od the brain.

I descended in meditation down to the consciousness of much lower than one cycle per second where beating the heart is conscious. My experience is that nothing is really unconscious and consciousness is the whole myriad of thought streams both currently controlling our body, by direct awareness and by "feeling" their effect on whatever they do control. The stream that seems most important generally takes control and all others continue in the background without our direct awareness as confusion results if we try to give control to more than one.

If we want to understand this beyond the physical, only the science of memes, so far, is instructive. So that we can differentiate between the understanding of the mechanism and the non-physical, I call the non-physical part "Being", as distinct from consciousness or self awarness, which can be tested for in behaviour and explained by physical processes. My understanding is the "being" is social or collective, as it is a distributed meme process.

The treatment of information in Chalmers link is excellent.

To borrow a phrase from Bateson (1972), physical information is a difference that makes a difference.

I would also point out that Bateson defined knowledge as a difference that makes a difference that makes a difference. This is very cool stuff. It shows how fractals of domains of information are layered into information about information, or meta information. In a similar sense, conscious being is the awareness of self awareness. Like a higher mammal recognizing itself in a mirror. It is having a center of being outside oneself.

The physical world also is composed of information channels on every frequency in the quantum and in every fractal level of organization in information ecologies where by the simple rules of EvolutionaryGameTheory intelligence ultimately emerges dominant. But this intelligence too is collective, not individual, and is seems to me we are part of that collection, the cosmic consciousness.


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