Consciousness is like a beacon that suggests something special exists in this material world. For millennia it has engendered mystery and questions about ourselves: but there has been a tendency of the world to believe what we desire to believe, to choose what is comfortable. Feasible speculation has been offered as fact. Ancient gods were once seen to rule and influence aspects of life: that was the common logic. In the modern world, many believe that everything of this world can be traced to the atom and to the chemical nature of the physical world, with nothing beyond that, but indications would suggest this to be as fanciful as the belief in the ancient gods, especially when it comes to consciousness. Should we accept such an expedient explanation when it flies in the face of science itself? In scientific terms, the concept that we are simply matter and nothing more, is purely an assumption made by some, that actually has no confirmable backing, and in some ways contradicts science and logic. There is a complexity to the mind probably beyond even genetics, but there is one simple fact that precludes consciousness from arising out of the material world, and confirms there is much more to life than we understand. Sometimes, this scientific fact simply gets pushed under the carpet for the convenience of comfortable belief, and scientists themselves are often guilty of this, but in truth, much remains to be understood.
DO WE UNNECESSARILLY DEVALUE OURSELVES?
Many forget that consciousness is a greater puzzle than the Rubric Cube, and in some respects this material world is largely an illusion, thanks to the nature of the atom, and the reflection of light. The world is full of anomalies we ignore, but that says something about who we are. Human awareness and intelligence is an extraordinary occurrence in what is essentially a molecular world. The complexity of the biological and cellular worlds sometimes makes us forget this. We allow them to account for things we don’t understand, like the ancient gods accounted for the things the ancient world didn’t understand. At the same time, we take consciousness for granted, that amazing capacity we have that allows us to be aware of what we see, aware of what we think, aware of what we plan, aware of what we project, aware of our desires and longings and all of the things we wish for. We not only develop complex ideas and thoughts but we are aware of them and we manipulate them while at the same time we consciously consider what we might achieve through these new ideas and manipulations, yet we are physical, and the brains we attribute these amazing attributes to are also physical, in that they are composed entirely of chemicals. How can this world of matter be the well of magic upon which lies each individual’s consciousness? What could be the mechanism for this? By what magic can such a wonder appear, a wonder that can give an inanimate object, the brain, made purely of lifeless chemicals, consciousness? That answer lies at the heart of the great divide between those who would have us as nothing more than grains of molecular sand on the chemical landscape of the cosmos, and those who see us as a part of a spiritual journey.
Recognising consciousness cannot be a manifestation of chemicals is possibly more useful than it has ever been, when as a world, we float down a river of uncertainty, both in relation to where we head, and who we are. It’s time we stopped deluding ourselves that the brain can account for consciousness, and recognised that consciousness is the wonderful attribute of life that comes from the spirit within us. The brain is merely the instrument used to interact with, and experience, the material world.