Consciousness: Our Portal to Fulfillment

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Human culture expands rapidly and our concept of consciousness is rapidly evolving with it. Philosophers have filled the void concerning the true nature of consciousness not yet determined by science. Despite the subjective nature of consciousness, perceived by many to be a personal and private aspect of human existence, neurobiologists are investigating and measuring objective characteristics of introspective reasoning and associated elements of morality. Most agree that consciousness is key to human happiness and belonging. I will argue that consciousness is a physiological phenomenon, equivalent to the concept of self, as well as a portal to one’s culture, collective experience and fulfillment. I contend that it is critical to…show more content…
Despite religious objections to the contrary, neurobiology in no way accounts for the soul or human spirit in its explanation for moral behavior and consciousness. The mental processes afforded by consciousness allow humans to reflect upon the ideas of other humans and create imaginative responses which form an evolving anthology of culture. According to the neuroscientist Antonio Damasio, each human has a capacity for introspection he calls “the self.” Damasio says that “the self introduces the subjective perspective in the mind, and we are only fully conscious when self comes to mind (Damasio, 2011).” This “autobiographical self” places learning in context with the past and generates original reflections in kind, reflections that give rise to new language, concepts and modes of expression. In this way, the self is able to grow ideas in collectives of other individuals and, via exponential growth in communications ability, effect a rapid development of culture. In this way, consciousness allows personal ideas to have wider causal range and even become transformative globally. According to Damasio, “without consciousness, we would have no access to true happiness and even the possibility of transcendence (Damasio, 2011).” This suggests concepts are determined in the collective and can’t be validated without the collective. In other words, if are stripped of consciousness, there is no comprehension of one’s own
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