What is most primary — matter or consciousness? — Words and Notion
What is consciousness? How does consciousness actually emerge? Is it an irreducible property like electric charges or an emergent property? What is most primary — matter or consciousness?
Is there any atomistic nature for our consciousnesses? If its made of atoms, why are the atoms in our body incapable of understanding they are atoms?
Atoms themselves don’t know each other or even dont understand themselves, they are total strangers among themselves. N one of these atoms are aware of their existence. An atom does not have a life; it does not have a mind. Still they work together making us alive and conscious as mentioned in this post on Atoms- The building blocks.
The nervous system, brain and its atoms are a carrier of consciousness, but they are not its constituents. So another possibility is that consciousness can be something derived from the interactions of complex atomic networks.
In fact its pity that atoms are unaware of their worth. Or actually do these atoms have any sort of innate intelligence? Actually the thought is deeply rooted in the good old question, “what’s life”
How does life arise in the so called biologically important elements? Why are some stuffs alive while others are not if everything is made of atoms? After all does anyone tell that everything is made up of atoms? Newtonian science made us believe in the materialistic nature of universe or think it to be as a big mechanical clock .
So far there is no materialistic thing or evidence available to explain the build-up of consciousness. But its something taken for granted comprising billions of neurons. A sound sleep or any neurological misbehavior or even certain drugs can shutdown the supreme consciousnesses.
We cant observe consciousness, but we can observe stuffs with consciousness only. Consciousness is fascinating in that it can recognize itself, but cant fully comprehend its intrinsic nature. Many of us dare to question it, “What it is?” what’s behind the feeling of a fragrance, pain, love or orgasm? The more you question it, the more crazy you gets.
Mind- Body dualism is closely associated with the thought of René Descartes (1641), which holds that the mind is a nonphysical-and therefore, non-spatial-substance. Descartes clearly identified the mind with consciousness and self-awareness and distinguished this from the brain as the seat of intelligence. Hence, he was the first to formulate the mind-body problem in the form in which it exists today.
But as per materialism or physialism, all that exists is ultimately physical, means matter is the fundamental thing in nature and all other things including our emotions and consciousness are results of these material interactions.
So the question repeats, What is most primary-matter or consciousness (body or soul)?
What do you think? Does matter create consciousness or does consciousness create matter?
If we think there need to be certain consciousness cells (materialistic ones), what happens to them when one die..? Decomposed and lost forever!!. Its a disheartening result for people believing in immortal souls.
So far no one has observed a single living atom. It implies that life occurs only when there are multiple atoms arranged to the required complexity level. From there brain takes it up and process it. So it’s not the individual atoms that understand. It’s the very complex brain that understands.
There are many physicists who think of consciousness as a state of matter, like a solid, a liquid or a gas. Anyways “Life” can not an intrinsic property of matter; it is an emergent property of certain configurations of matter. The reason why this fuzziness exists is precisely because “life”, unlike electric charge, is only a property of configurations of particles.
Atoms, the lifeless building blocks of matter are not creating life intentionally. It’s the way they are put together causing life and further the consciousness. When the conditions are favourable, it just happens so randomly that our senses are yet to understand the possibility of such randomness (starting from the emergence of life after big bang to the present consciousness level). Believers call it Divine.
All the physical realities we observe takes the form of a conscious experience. So there can be a vital force and a force carrier (like the Bosons acting as the force carriers for elementary particles) behind the consciousness (or the so called randomness creating the favorable configuration). It could be the pure energy behind every matter if think as per Einstein’s mass energy relation.
Consciousness would be energy, the purest form of energy having its own field something like the electro magnetic field.. Maybe its some quantum entanglement happening in brain functions leading to consciousness. (Read about quantum consciousness in Finding the me: A journey of self-discovery- part 2)
Anyways, once we die, the atoms are not vanishing, they become something else. They are not dying, just the way they are not living.
Originally published at https://wordsandnotion.com on October 12, 2019.