by Marinus Jan Marijs
Consciousness is one of the most enigmatic, mysterious phenomena, while it is probably the single most important property humans have. Without it the human mind would be incapable of developing science. But at the same time science is unable to solve the riddle of consciousness. This did lead to the strange situation that behaviourists denied the existence of consciousness. This situation changed with the introduction within Quantum Theory of consciousness, by its (presumed) relation with the collapse of the wave function.
There are many philosophers who came to the conclusion that consciousness was not an epiphenomenon; a secondary phenomenon. It defies an explanation in terms of mechanism. Consciousness is not reducible to the functional properties of physical processes.
“It is widely believed that physics provides a complete catalogue of the universe’s fundamental features and laws. As physicist Steven Weinberg puts it in his 1992 book Dreams of a Final Theory, the goal of physics is a “theory of everything” from which all there is to know about the universe can be derived. But Weinberg concedes that there is a problem with consciousness. Despite the power of physical theory, the existence of consciousness does not seem to be derivable from physical laws. He defends physics by arguing that it might eventually explain what he calls the objective correlates of consciousness (that is, the neural correlates), but of course to do this is not to explain consciousness itself. If the existence of consciousness cannot be derived from physical laws, a theory of physics is not a true theory of everything. So a final theory must contain an additional fundamental component.”
David J. Chalmers: The Puzzle of Conscious Experience [Scientific American, December 1995 pp. 62-68].
Sir Roger Penrose, Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford in:
The Problem of Modelling the Mathematical Mind 124:56 – 125:02
“Consciousness is a completely different phenomenon, from anything else we know in the universe”
The theory put forward by many mystics is that consciousness is a non-physical background of all existence, identical with what philosophers call the Absolute. This Absolute created the relative realm ‘within’ ‘itself’ and the Absolute is in full contact with the relative realm. Therefore another name for the Absolute is ‘the background’. When one comes into contact with this background, consciousness arises. This background transcends the relative realm, including the corresponding levels within the relative realm as shown with the hierarchies / the developmental levels on this website.
That there are nevertheless levels of consciousness is because, if one makes contact with the background through subtle energies, and as there are different levels of subtle energies, this creates different levels of consciousness. Consciousness therefore is not a property of the brain as many modern consciousness researchers have concluded. That consciousness is not a property of the brain is clear in out of the body experiences. The contents of consciousness may be for a great part be dependent on the brain activity, consciousness itself is not. The subtle energy fields are the carriers of consciousness, and the mental processes. When one’s subtle energy fields(the aura) leave the body in an out of the body experience the focus point of consciousness than stays with the subtle energy fields. So consciousness, mental capacities, non-physical perceptual abilities and so on will also function in a non-physical world.
Consciousness is necessary for:
High level functioning
Reasoning (open systems)