Lausten are you familiar with Dr. Mark Solms’ work? It’s weird that after nearly a year of searching out what I could about consciousness and chasing down tangents of the many lofty variations of the ideas smart people have fabricated out of their ego’s and desires, rather than serious sober physical reality based science. Finding disconsonant irritation rather than anything intellectually useful. Calling it science because they could formulate some fancy looking mathematics within their smug brains. Well, like I was starting to say it’s weird, but good, that I didn’t stumble onto him until this past Thursday. But first, more rambling background.
This past year, I recall, constantly being reminded about David Chalmers’ and how his Hard Problem of Conscious presumably settled it. Namely, that truly understanding consciousness was an insurmountable problem, period. As though scruffy Chalmers was Moses coming down off the mountain with his slate and that his description of “Hard Problem of Consciousness” settled it… taking on mystical proportions in the minds of the faithful.
Another constant point of irritation was all the fuss being made about visual processing and trying to find deep conclusions about consciousness within how our mind processes optical illusions, a la D. Hoffman.
Also the general inability to appreciate the deep evolution roots of consciousness, beyond superficial lip service.
But, I’m just an intelligent lay person who’s spent his entire life working with his hands and pondering such, beyond my pay scale, questions and mysteries. I have plenty of knowledge, understanding and intuitions and the kind of honest curiosity that doesn’t mind beating the shit out of itself, in order to cast away unsupportable notions and adjust my understanding in light of solid facts and arguments and whether it resonates with my understanding. Mind over Ego, instead of Ego over Mind. At least that’s the aspiration me, myself and I keep struggling towards.
The last Thursday came Dr. Mark Solms PhD and it was like a warm sunrise after a long cold night curled up under a tree.
The Source of Consciousness - with Mark Solms
March 4, 2021, The Royal Institution
Mark Solms discusses his new theory of consciousness that returns emotions to the centre of mental life.
Understanding why we feel a subjective sense of self and how it arises in the brain seems like an impossible task. Mark explores the subjective experiences of hundreds of neurological patients, many of whom he treated. Their uncanny conversations help to expose the brain’s obscure reaches.
Mark Solms has spent his entire career investigating the mysteries of consciousness. Best known for identifying the brain mechanisms of dreaming and for bringing psychoanalytic insights into modern neuroscience, he is director of neuropsychology in the Neuroscience Institute of the University of Cape Town, honorary lecturer in neurosurgery at the Royal London Hospital School of Medicine, and an honorary fellow of the American College of Psychiatrists.
The talk just made me hungry for more and I’ve been binging on more of them, I’m on seven or eight and they never seem to get boring or old or repetitive. Have listen to this one a couple times since it’s his most recent and a summary. The man’s evidence and conclusions fit seamlessly into the vision I’m trying to articulate.
Consciousness is not the product of our cortex, it starts deep in our brain stem and is shared by the community of living creatures, to different degrees. Incidentally, seems to me that many don’t realize that the deeper we go into the brain, the deeper we go into early evolution.
Regarding Chalmers, Solms does a wonderful job of dissecting Chalmer’s statement - in the process echoing my lament that the framing of a question is critically important to the amount of information you can hope to receive from your answers. And that the questions we’ve framed around consciousness are way the hell too anthropocentric to be of much help in understanding it.
Then his starts with the science. AWESOME ! ! !