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What is beyond consciousness?

  1. Sep 3, 2005 #1
    What is beyond consciousness?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 4, 2005 #2


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    Could you be more specific? The question as currently stated, I think, is too ambiguous to be much more than a kind of Rorschach inkblot.
  4. Sep 4, 2005 #3
    Can one realize the difference between that which is sensed or observed, that which is known or theorized, and that which is neither?
  5. Sep 16, 2005 #4
    I've never had a kid but my friend had a baby, and i was around it a lot. I watched as the baby grew up, hes only 1 and a half now. But as hes growing up, its funny to see him immitate us. he picks up the phone and presses buttons then holds it up to his head, immitating what we do. He turns on the TV, tries to use forks and spoons.

    Everything we have learned is through immitating others. We are just a compilation of our peers. How can we perceive which is beyond what we can observe. What we observe is all we know.
  6. Oct 8, 2005 #5
    Sorry, what do you mean by "realize the difference between"? Do you mean can we explain what is the difference between sense & observations on the one hand and knowledge & theorems on the other? Sure we can.

  7. Oct 8, 2005 #6

    Either I am, or not.

    And, I am.

  8. Oct 8, 2005 #7
    moving finger,

    "realize the difference between" - recognize as distinct entities, with minimal uncertainty.
  9. Oct 24, 2005 #8
    this is not necessarily true!
    with the advent of modern cognitive science, most have significantly lessened the scope of behavism's role in the learning process.
    i believe there is an underlying cognitive architecture that guides how we store and retrieve information, but the process is anything but a simple exchange. for instance, in linguistics, we don't acquire language through a behavioral mapping of syntax and lexicon. if we did, the reverse process of mapping natural syntax should prove an easy task--after all, babies can do it!
    instead, there is most likely a syntax/language faculty of the brain that has innate formalism, whether abstract or categorical, that already knows the rules or contraints of a grammar. the learning, through mechanisms unknown, occurs at a cognitive level, re-arranging the constraints of universal grammar.
    on any observable level, we have failed to account for the acquisition of language.
    in a very different sort of argument, i could also point to kant's belief of the absolute notions of time and space to show that we know more than we observe.
    but all philosophy boils down to a matter of opinion, so take it for what it's worth...
  10. Oct 26, 2005 #9
    what is beyond consciousness ???


    ...I think I need another drink after that

    man that was taxing...:wink:
  11. Oct 26, 2005 #10
    If I understood the question correctly, I would say this:

    We can infer a reality underlying conscious experience by the correlation of past conscious experiences. That this works so well, so consistently, forming the basis of the scientific method, tells us "with minimal uncertainty" something about the underlying nature of observed phenomena. From that, we can infer that this underlying nature holds whether we observe it, and so are conscious of it, or not.

    Nonetheless, we cannot 'know' it without somebody having a conscious experience that infers it. Until a theory has been experimentally verified, it has more than minimal uncertainty. Likewise, where neither the theory nor the conscious experience exists, we cannot know anything about a phenomena until either does exist.

    So we can know "with minimal uncertainty" a great deal about what exists beyond our consciousness - namely, the laws of nature and anything that emerges from them and only those that are known with minimal uncertainty. However this is always preceded by conscious experience.

    Or by "beyond consciousness" do you mean that which we can/will never consciously experience? I would say we know nothing of such things. This does not comprimise any aspect of scientific theory, so long as you are rigorous with definition. For example, we cannot consciously experience an electron in and of itself, but if we define an electron strictly as that group of phenomena we attribute to the electron, we are okay to proceed with our current models "with minimal uncertainty".
  12. Oct 30, 2005 #11


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    What is beyond consciousness?

    nothing, you idiots

    Have a peek!

    It's ok :-)

    Don't faint.
  13. Dec 7, 2005 #12
  14. Dec 8, 2005 #13
    Existence precedes consciousness sequentially, but apart from consciousness is meaningless.
  15. Dec 8, 2005 #14
    I was wondering the same thing... what lies beyond what we consider to be consciousness.

    I thought... does a stick carry its history? Conscious or not.

    I figure it does in a purely physical sense. It carries the consequences and the potentials of its existence.

    This cartage of events could be construed to be a form of data storage without consciousness. Much like a computer. Only in a stick or a rock or a sun etc....

    There is nothing "beyond" consciousness per sey there is the quantum consciousness which is some what different from the biological consciousness.
  16. Dec 8, 2005 #15
    I don't think there has to be any distinction between what is sensed and what is observed. As far as the other part, beliefs tell a person the difference between known and theorized things. I believe that everything that I experiance is known to me, and therefore every theory i come across is known to me, every theory i make is known to me. So I would say that there is no need to distinguish between what I know and what is theory.

    Or do you want to stress the idea of truth? How do we know what truth is, and how can we distinguish true theories from false ones based on our knowledge of truth? Do you want to ask if truth itself is realizable? There are objective truths and personal truths. There are two differences between the two, objective differences and personal differences. A person can define to themself what an objective truth is, and all people can agree on a definition of objective truth. The definition agreed upon by all is the objective definition of objective truth, and this is the basis of decyphering between personal and objective truth in science and math. A personal definition of objective truth is also a personal truth, and an objective definition of personal truth is an objective truth. An objective definition of anything is an objective truth. A personal definition of anything is a personal truth. This is because there is no reason to lie to ourselves if our goal is to realize truth.

    Is this my personal truth of how I define these things, or is it agreed upon by the scientific community also, and therefore I am speaking of objective truths? Perhaps I'm not using the true definition of truth? What is the true definition of truth? Is truth simply what we all agree upon? Couldn't we all agree upon something that is actually untrue?

    What in my post do you find to be true and what do you find to be false? How do you know that your answers to this question are true? Are they true to you, or true objectively? Is there a need to distinguish these things? truely? truth truth truth and more truth. Does the meaning of a word lose it's meaning the more you use it? Have you sensed what you read, or did you observe it? Do you connotate the word "observe" with using mainly your eyes to sense something, or do you also include your other senses to obtain an observation? Do you connotate the word "sense" with the stimulation of your five sneses, or do you also include intuition and emotional feelings? Do you connotate the word "know" with things you are familiar with, or simply all the things you experiance? Do you connotate the word "theory" with things that aren't perceivable with your five senses, or do you also include it with things you can directly feel including the five senses, intuition, knowledge, and emotion?

    I think I've made it clear that I believe there is no need to distinguish between the four things you ask. I can't prove it to you, but I can realize it based on my beliefs.
  17. Dec 8, 2005 #16
    Yes, and both are meaningless apart from identity. Thus an axiom is suggested, existence exists and its identity precedes the content of consciousness.
  18. Dec 9, 2005 #17

    Beyond consiousness is hard to recognize because one is not conscious when one is in the condition of "beyond conscousness".

    One can consciously speculate what is beyond consciousness..... but, one will remain biased by the form of consciousness they have come to know so well and that they also utilize in their speculation.

    In fact it is entirely probable that every cell and no doubt every molecule of our bodies has become so accustomed to the support and aid of a consciousness over the last 3 billion year (more or less) that it is a challenging and difficult task for one to picture or grasp any element of the condition "beyond conscousness".

    Our physical and conscious bias is what skews an otherwise clear picture of those conditions that, somehow, do not rely on a consciousness or, at least, do not rely on what some people have defined as consciousness.

    A perplexing contradition remains: ... as far as our pre-judgmental conscious bias is concerned... we simply cannot observe anything outside of consciousness because we need to be conscious to observe it and also to examine it in retrospect.

    A conscous examination of the resulting experiences or artifacts obtained that may shed light on the condition of "beyond consciousness" will, quite obviously, be contaminated by our conscious bias or bioaware prejudices.

    Challenging topic, thanks.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2005
  19. Dec 9, 2005 #18
    I was comparing the sets of that which is {sensed or observed} vs that which is {known or theorized} vs that which is {neither}. Can any of you give an example of that which is neither {sensed or observed} nor {known or theorized}?
  20. Dec 9, 2005 #19
    hmm... yes... How about a hishmithingewesitch? I bet you have no idea what that is, so you can't sense it, observe it, or theorize it, or know it. In fact, I could provide you with thousands of examples. Then you may ask what they are, and when I tell you, then you will know what they are, so leave it a mystery and you have your wild goose.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2005
  21. Dec 9, 2005 #20
    By definition, you can not. To conjecture something that is not sensed, observed or known is to theorise it, even if it is to theorise only it's existence, non-existence or possible existence. But nonetheless, the set that is neither {sensed or observed} nor {known or theorized} is valid: it is the set of things we have no knowledge of. If we know/theorise/sense/observe everything then it is empty, but it's still there. It is a set of an unknown number of unknown things.
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