Growing into consciousness

Jeff Baldwin mvcs at
Mon Dec 30 22:31:29 EST 1996

As the brain develops in infants, brain structures are developed
grown. Cerebellum and sensory cortexes are most developed at birth and
the others follow as time progresses. Somewhere alone the line,
consciousness in terms of mental awareness/cognition as we know it
develops. Our systems are able to be conscious of many things and
experience many types of thoughts, realizations, understandings, etc
which are quite abstract and complex.

Assume that the idenity hypothesis is correct. For every thought,
awareness, mode of consciousness, etc., there is a 1-to-1
corresponding physical correlary in material brain. Thus, brain is
able to experience many varied and complex modes of expereince which
entails large changes in physical state.

As infants grow, the complexity of the physical states and potential
states into which the brain may change also grows.

In adults, the variations in possible brainstates availible is in the
extreme. Somewhere between the infant and the adult, then, all
experiences and learning and etc take place. Infants start simple and
then become complex as they grow.

Think of the variety of cultures and experiences exhibited by adults.
It is in the extreme. Yet they all started from essentially the same
starting point. Growth into adulthood has produced the extremes in
brainstate capabilities (in terms of what people are able to
experience). How "large" of a variation in brain state is represented
by extreme differences in "higher mind" experiences? Take the example
of a mass-murdering criminal determined to wreck as much havoc as
possible as compared to the likes of Ghandi, M. Teresa, and the like.

Think also of the variety of languages. Some are complex and others
are not. One will require large amounts of brainstate complexity, the
other not. If one is a cultured, well-traveled person being exposed to
*LOTS* of sensory and "higher mind" stimulation, the brainstates
available to that person will be much different that the uneducated
peasant worried only about how to scratch out today's meals. Again,
there will be large difference in brainstate structures and dynamics.

And yet, for the criminal, the world-traveler, the peasant, the
humanitarian, and everyone else in the world, joy is joy, grief is
grief, sadness is sadness, and etc. for worry, happiness, love, etc.
With such large changes in brainstates resulting in such pervasive and
systemic differences as can be observed, there are commonalities in
brainstates. And these commonalities are non-localized in the brain.
There may be _sort of_ the "seat of the emotions", the "seat of
thought", etc., but there is an interplay between the cortexes which
is nontrivial and which gives rise to the variety of human
experiences. All of the emotions and perceptions and etc people can
have are stored in a memory. The wiring is such that everyone
remembers in about the same way. But what goes in is extremely
different for each person. The commonalities and the variety are all
stored in memory structures which are essentially the same for
everyone. Perhaps not the encoding within the structures, but the
structures themselves.

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