Monday, 18 February 2008

Consciousness digressions.

Extract from that website about William James about stream of consciousness

"In this room -- this lecture-room, say -- there are a multitude of thoughts, yours and mine, some of which cohere mutually, and some not. They are as little each-for-itself and reciprocally independent as they are all-belonging-together. They are neither: no one of them is separate, but each belongs with certain others and with none beside. My thought belongs with my other thoughts, and your thought with your other thoughts. Whether anywhere in the room there be a mere thought, which is nobody's thought, we have no means of ascertaining, for we have no experience of its like. The only states of consciousness that we naturally deal with are found in personal consciousness, minds, selves, concrete particular I's and you's."

In free association, and following up his conjecture that hints about the independence of thought from its conduit, and that is the brain. Therefore imagining the thoughts as existing by themselves, in time and space, an entity by itself that carries a signature, no matter whether that signature is hard to comprehend and pinpoint. The only thing that we know is that each person can instantiate thoughts contents, in one way or another.

"Each of these minds keeps its own thoughts to itself. There is no giving or bartering between them. No thought even comes into direct sight of a thought in another personal consciousness than its own. Absolute insulation, irreducible pluralism, is the law. It seems as if the elementary psychic fact were not thought or this thought or that thought, but my thought, every thought being owned. Neither contemporaneity, nor proximity in space, nor similarity of quality and content are able to fuse thoughts together which are sundered by this barrier of belonging to different personal minds. The breaches between such thoughts are the most absolute breaches in nature. Every one will recognize this to be true, so long as the existence of something corresponding to the term 'personal mind' is all that is insisted on, without any particular view of its nature being implied. On these terms the personal self rather than the thought might be treated as the immediate datum in psychology. The universal conscious fact is not 'feelings and thoughts exist,' but 'I think' and 'I feel.' No psychology, at any rate, can question the existence of personal selves. Thoughts connected as we feel them to be connected are what we mean by personal selves. The worst a psychology can do is so to interpret the nature of these selves as to rob them of their worth."

Are the thoughts isolated from one another? That neither contemporaneity, or proximity in space, or quality and content can bring together and produce a common consciousness? A global consciousness?

Each personal self in a form of interaction with one another, a result of the content of the thoughts, which will dictate attention. What will be noticed and what will not. Which, in turn, will produce more thoughts. In feedback fashion. Which will merge consciousnesses in a rudimentary global consciousness. Thoughts mixing by proxy via their assigned agent. A room filled with thoughts at regular intervals, buzzing with their activity. Can that buzz be detected in any way? Does that buzz leave traces, whatsoever? That can be detected? Can the state of the room, after it has been emptied, apart from the physical evidence of the personal selves physical presence, which is not withstanding the passage of time, be the witness of the thoughts that occupied its space? That withstand the passage of time?

That space, the room occupied at that particular time interval, would have been left far behind in earth's constant rotation around the sun, the sun's constant rotation around the galaxy centre, the galaxy's constant rotation around the axis of its local system and so on coupled with its longitudinal expanding motion, making sure it never occupies the same space again.

A trail of thoughts by all earth's personal selves left behind in our planet's journey in the vastness of space. Detecting the trail? Or detecting all trails? Streaks of personal selves thoughts criss-crossing the universe.

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