Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Beginning of Consciousness

My view is compatible with much of the work going on now in neuroscience and psychology, where people are studying the relationship of consciousness to neural and cognitive processes without really trying to reduce it to those processes.
David Chalmers, Philosopher
I had not planned on running down the hill. But the slight change in slope gave my jogger stroller the power to pull me faster and faster, like a reckless one year old Labrador. I held the leash with all my strength, my one connection to my baby girl. My feet brushed the blacktop with force. The cool wind slapped my face, my hair flew back. My lungs grew large with morning air, my brain filled with hot, fast blood. The bottom of the hill came fast enough for me to catch my breath and laugh.
Feelings are like that. A slight change comes, and everything follows. Until one feels it all, the whole result sometimes for just a moment, like a laugh. Feelings are biochemical, just bodily responses to outside stimuli. The heart changes pace, brain pathways slicken. Fluids run wild. A tipping point is reached and a conscious moment begins.

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