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bobnotes Sheldrake-Shermer Dialogs SHELDRAKE-Shermer 3rd Bob musings over this


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Sheldrake’s second and third paragraph (of his statement) are hard for me to understand. What if we change the words to these? —


Nevertheless, we probably agree about many things. First, we both agree that the universe is at least in some part observable by people. This finding is shared by Christians, atheists, and by followers of other faiths. Second, we agree that when people observe at least some parts of the universe, they find those parts beautiful.


For those who believe in consciousness as source, the beauty of nature and the ability of human beings to appreciate or find it in some aspects of the natural world make sense because they have a common source, namely consciousness. Universe consciousness is the ultimate source of human consciousness, and all other forms of consciousness in the universe.


There are more inclusive forms of consciousness in the universe than human consciousness.


That last sentence comes from the Sheldrake quote at the beginning of Shermer’s statement.


I tend to prefer mind to consciousness as the ultimate what is. To me, just as a matter of the meaning of the words, you can have consciousness without mind as problem solver. The problem-solving mind is always absent from consciousness when it answers questions or solves problems or decides courses of action.


HOWEVER, people do keep on using “consciousness” in the way Sheldrake and Neil Theise do. And I think they implicitly include mind (in the sense I’m defining it above) as included in consciousness. They might well say, No mind without consciousness and vice-versa.


Sentience, says Theise, is what you have when individuals (of any size) are aware of each other, process awareness, and take relevant action. And that taking action is what builds the universe. From smallest things (which I think he said scientists agree there must be) into ever more complex self-organizing systems things.


This is my transcripion of the final words of that Neil Theise monolog we watched: (my highlight)


Complex systems are groups of interacting individuals. That’s the minimal criterion.  And then when I expressed sentience in this way, I suddenly realized — Oh, sensing the world, internal processing of what has been sensed, and then responding, that’s interaction. Sentience is what builds the universe. Consciousness is what builds the universe. Now sentience is a subset of more complex levels of consciousness, like we have, but it’s still consciousness. It’s just a very simple form. The way these smallest things are a simpler form of what will eventually become a galaxy. So that interests me. I wasn’t asking a question about consciousnes. I was asking a question about, So what’s the structure of the universe? And what does my research have to say about that? And, it happened to lead to here. So.