Wednesday, 5 December 2007

A functional way to look at concepts and consciousness is fickle

What the mind understands (makes out) and what the brain sees are two different things. Allan Snyder gives a thorough approach.

"Our unconscious mind takes the flood of information and simplifies and categorises it into manageable and useful packages. Where it sees lines and patterns of dark and shade, our conscious mind might know it is a horse. We know that, because our brain has learned all about horses, has experienced what makes something a horse rather than a dog or a table, and has formed a concept and a mental image."

So a concept the package of all the lines and patterns of dark and shade accompanied with a mental image and a word. All that flow of information, the lines, the light, the motion; a rich bed of mathematical processes, the product of sophisticated mathematical operations to be reduced to a mere concept, a word and an image. And this process goes on myriads of times, in myriad individuals around the world.

What else I wonder has not been included in that tiny little bit of information that is conveyed to our consciousness? Why do we hold our consciousness to such high esteem? I see no reason.

Allan Snyder quotes

"it's a very efficient way for our minds to work".

How can it be efficient when a lot of information has been lost.

"It allows us to spot things quickly, to name them and communicate the ideas".

I could only imagine how it would have been if our consciousness could respond with the speed our brain records events around us.

But I do not need to imagine it. Allan Snyder's research focus on the extraordinary mental abilities of individuals with savant syndrome. Reports that

"savants experience only raw sensory information, and their precise drawings are a reflection of that. The reason most people can't draw like that is because of the way their minds extract meaning. Once the brain forms a concept, it inhibits the conscious mind from becoming aware of the details that created the concept in the first place. So instead of drawing what you see, you draw what you know".

Our consciousness manipulate the content of our experience. It does not let us reach a deeper level.

Consciousness is fickle. And whoever boasts about the thinking prowess, intelligence and rationality possessed within his skull is fickle too.

Consciousness misleads us. There is another level in our brain's infrastructure that is more efficient, that we can reach and we should draw our power from. Instead of going after frivolous trivial unworthy pursuits in our lives, we should strive to unleash that power within us. Let us put our consciousness down for a worthwhile task.

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