Consciousness
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Consciousness
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Unpacking the toolkit of human consciousness

Unpacking the toolkit of human consciousness | Consciousness | Scoop.it

Graziano has developed a new theory of consciousness he calls the "attention schema theory" that suggests that specialized systems in the human brain compute information about the things of which a person is aware, and project the property of consciousness onto ourselves and others. In that sense, the puppet's consciousness is every bit as real as that of anyone wincingly laughing at his jokes about living atop Graziano's hand.

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"Every past theory of consciousness has a gap. Even the most modern theories at some point just point to a circuit and say, 'And then awareness appears.' But understanding where the magic comes from is pointless," Graziano continued. "The phenomenon that scientists can say with certainty happens is that the brain attributes the 'magic' to itself. We can understand how that happens and the computations behind it. And that's what this theory attempts to do."

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Remaining human: A Buddhist perspective on Occupy Wall Street

Remaining human: A Buddhist perspective on Occupy Wall Street | Consciousness | Scoop.it

Over and over, the Buddha taught that what causes suffering is holding on to inflexible views. The stories that govern our lives are also the narratives that keep us locked into set patterns, habits and addictions. The same psychological tools that the Buddha cultivated for helping us let go of one-track rigid stories can be applied not just personally, but socially. Enlightenment is not personal; it’s collective.

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Our sphere of awareness begins to include everything and everyone. The way we respond to our circumstances shows our commitment to non-harm.

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If we are going to fully express our humanity and wake up as a collective, we need to replace our youthful ideas of transcendence with the hard work of committing to the end of a way of life in which our work is not in-line with our values.

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This is an endless human task. We also have to stop cooperating with the system that breeds greed and confusion as it shapes our lives and our choices. This movement is the beginning of bringing that system to a halt.

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What are the structural differences in the brain between animals that are self-aware (humans, apes) and other vertebrates?

What are the structural differences in the brain between animals that are self-aware (humans, apes) and other vertebrates? | Consciousness | Scoop.it

If we assume that the prefrontal cortex permits metacognition, then the answer is simple: species that fail to demonstrate metacognition tend to lack brain areas that resemble the prefron­tal cortex. But because this area serves many cognitive functions and is well connected to the rest of the brain, the region is probably not the sole locus of metacognition. In other words, the prefrontal cortex may be necessary but not sufficient for self-awareness. Some psychologists speculate that self-awareness may arise in animals with greater overall cognitive ability, larger brain size or a higher degree of connectivity among brain areas.

Identifying the precise structural differences that make some creatures self-aware and others not is quite challenging. Most important, it is difficult to pinpoint and compare subtle structural differences across species in the face of more dramatic differences in brain morphology. For example, dolphins and chimpanzees both demonstrate metacognition, but their brains look completely different.

 

By Robert O. Duncan | Scientific American

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Have You Had A Noetic Experience?

A Noetic Experience may involve intuition, insight, psychic or mystical awareness. The Institute of Noetic Sciences studies the different aspects of "inner knowing"

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Embodied identity--a deeper understanding of body awareness.

A key point was the fact that bodily experiences always exists in the present moment. The experience of the body, the balance, and stability of the physical self were basic experiences that were connected to the conception of well-being and control. To understand one's emotions and needs through the awareness of the body were understood as the base for self-confidence, trust in one-self, and the ability to take care of oneself and one's needs physically and mentally. The subcategory "living in relation to others and in society" was conceived as an important aspect for the embodied self to interact with others and for societal participation. Working with the body in physiotherapy practice should include an understanding that body awareness is inseparable from the identity and may have an impact on the health of the individual.

 

full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites.

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Burgaliere Corinne's curator insight, December 3, 2013 6:42 AM

Body , mind and soul!...

Le corps et ses experiences  sont les racines de l'equilibre!

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Healing through the dark emotions

Healing through the dark emotions | Consciousness | Scoop.it

….When I say we are “intervulnerable,” I mean we suffer together, whether consciously or unconsciously. Albert Einstein called the idea of a separate self an “optical delusion of consciousness.” Martin Luther King Jr. said that we are all connected in an “inescapable web of mutuality.” There’s no way out, though we try to escape by armoring ourselves against pain and in the process diminishing our lives and our consciousness. But in our intervulnerability is our salvation, because awareness of the mutuality of suffering impels us to search for ways to heal the whole, rather than encase ourselves in a bubble of denial and impossible individualism. At this point in history, it seems that we will either destroy ourselves or find a way to build a sustainable life together.

 

Miriam Greenspan - excerpts from a Sun Magazine

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You are not the mind

Concentration, meditation, and learning to direct the mind according to your own will, prove that you are not your mind. Can the mind control itself, or does it need some higher power to control it? This leads you to realize that you are separate from the mind, otherwise how can you master it? It is you, the real you that is directing the mind. The ability to focus the mind or stop its activities in accordance with your willpower awakens the understanding that you are not your mind, and this is a great step toward self-realization.
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Think About This: The Agony of Emergence

Think About This: The Agony of Emergence | Consciousness | Scoop.it

One of the most underappreciated figures in the history of evolutionary spirituality is the German philosopher and linguist Jean Gebser. His masterpiece, The Ever-Present Origin (1949), outlines his unique vision of the emergence of human consciousness. Gebser tracks human history through a series of “mutations,” or structures of consciousness, from the archaic mind of our ancestors to the more contemporary stage of mental focused awareness. In one particularly evocative passage, Gebser reflects on the beginnings of this mental awareness, as represented by the myth of Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom who was born from the head of Zeus. To Gebser, such powerful imagery captures the heroic struggle of human development:

 

And it would be well for us to be mindful of one actuality: although the wound in the head of Zeus healed, it was once a wound. Every “novel” thought will tear open wounds . . . everyone who is intent upon surviving—not only earth but also life—with worth and dignity, and living rather than passively accepting life, must sooner or later pass through the agonies of emergent consciousness.

 

via EnlightenNext Magazine

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