The other day, these guys were discussing the topic of consciousness. Out of the jumble of sounds (that’s usually what their discussion sounds like … unintelligible sounds), emerged a discussion about the nature of consciousness and the relationship between consciousness and the brain.
Any such discussion needs to begin with finding out what brain is. Now, naturally, that’s a tough one for them, as between these two guys, they don’t share one full brain, one can be certain. Well, cutting a long story short, the discussion has to begin with what these things are that these guys are talking about. At an essential level, the brain is a combination of atoms and molecules, chemical flows, electrical currents. These chemical flows through these atoms and molecules, along with these electrical currents which flow in different ways through different parts of the brain, create different forms of sensations, feelings, or emotions in the brain. However, there’s a difference between any such configuration, and a specific configuration called the brain. For instance, a configuration called a chair wouldn’t exhibit the same tendencies as a brain (unless you have a chair which let’s you know that you don’t look good in a red tie). The basic difference would be self-awareness. The brain is aware of itself, and this concept of awareness of oneself is what’s called consciousness. So we can say that the brain is conscious. Or is it?
Hmmm … Fact is, consciousness is a function of life, and the fact that someone is alive. At death, consciousness ceases to exist, or so we believe. But does it really? If the brain is the creator of consciousness, then one would have to conclude that this configuration of atoms, molecules, chemical flows and electrical currents is capable of somehow generating consciousness. But this should mean that it should be possible to generate consciousness artificially in a brain that’s dead. That’s not been done till now, but that’s no reason to believe it cannot be done ever. All we can say as of now is that there seems to be another component which seems to be in-charge of consciousness. And this is beyond the material configuration of the brain. Why? It seems logically difficult to have a conscious brain creating itself. This is a sort of a circular reference where, a brain creates consciousness, but then, the brain itself has to be consciousness to create consciousness. Otherwise, an unconscious brain cannot create consciousness for itself, being unaware of its own existence. Hence, by this reasoning of logic, a brain has to be conscious to become conscious. That’s like needing the curd culture (for the uninitiated, that’s called jaaman) require to make curd.
This could only lead us to one conclusion … There is something else which creates consciousness. The mind that would be?