350. The Origin of Consciousness

October 29, 2014

Consciousness is told by the difference between a sink of dirty dishes and clean dishes put away. Between smooth and rumpled sheets. Between a world free of or ravaged by Ebola. Between doubt and certainty. Joy and sorrow. Hope and fear. Sickness and health. Win and lose. Full and empty.

Consciousness arises in the delta signal that tells the difference between old and new, good and bad, pain and pleasure, wisdom and ignorance. It flows from comparison between like and dislike, acceptable and unacceptable, music and noise, here and there, beauty and disarray.

I am speaking of the gap between two opposing states of awareness. Between expectancy and actuality, hill and hollow, straight and crooked, dead and alive, high and low, weak and strong, rich and poor, tall and short, you and me.

Memory allows us to make such comparisons so, strange as it seems, memory is essential to consciousness in the present moment. Memory is the background of all that happens in the now. Consciousness resides in the flow between states of mind as a virtual state in itself. It is there in the mind but not in the brain as a distinct entity. It is nothing you can point to but something you have to experience. Like the flow of a river or flight of a bird.

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