Discussion of Finding our Sense of Self

by Phil Beaumont
(Finding our Sense of Self Article)

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Mar 23, 2012
Re: Prior to Brain
by: Phil

It's a good question. The inability to confirm that there is a brain through visual observation doesn't actually make it possible that you are a brain. If this were so, and you were to arrange to observe your brain during surgery, you could then conclude that you are not the brain by virtue of the observation. The conclusion, of course, is inevitable, which makes the actual observing irrelevant.

The actual observation is not the confirmation of the 'prior to' idea, which is self evident. In other words, you must be prior to whatever you are aware of whether or not you actually observe it.

This means that you cannot be that which any concept refers to, since this conceptualization is itself a product of what you are, being observed by what you are.

Put another way, that within which concepts form cannot, itself, be that to which the concept refers, as you are clearly prior to all concepts. Concepts appear to what you are. The concepts themselves are also 'objects' appearing to you.

Mar 17, 2012
Prior to brain
by: Anonymous

Having a little trouble with the idea that consciousness is prior to the brain. I see why science "generally concludes" that consciousness is the result of brain activity. And I can see why you are sort of reversing that based on your recognition that what is observed can't be what you are, so you can't be the brain. However, I can't say I have ever specifically "observed my brain" so much as just observed brain activity (thoughts). Certainly I have observed other physical brains, and also have observed the "idea" of my brain. But the point of observation seems to be very near the same point where thought is "seen." In which case, it does seem as though I could be a brain, and that any sense of being "out of body" (which has happened here quite a bit), is merely a product of imagination.

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