I am reading a book about the human brain, and it has inspired me to think about my own mind, emotions, thoughts and ideas. Now I listen to my thinking in a new way, thinking about thinking, and it has become more clear to me why understanding consciousness is so difficult! Here I explain why, click read more if you are interested in thinking about thinking!
I am amazed at how quickly emotions can change; at how cognition can be instantly redirected by conversation, a topic, ideas. Words are very powerful, even how you say them affects the way that others hear what you are saying, the tone, often missing from writing. Your mind is a word engine, that thinks in your primary language, your inner monologue of thoughts proof of this fact!
Long ago a great philosopher wrote of the age we live in today, saying essentially that people would in the future, appear to be intelligent with almost omniscient access to information, and they will appear wise when in reality the understand very little. I believe Thalmus was referring to the internet age, when an iPhone or Android phone can pull facts instantly from the web, news sources, Facebook, wikipedia, where anyone can become an expert at almost any subject by reading about a given subject for 8000 hours. When I review the number of hours of my life I have spent reading online I am astounded.
Right now, you are alive in the instant, and you live in moments that are constantly passing into history. No one is able to live in the past or the future yet, but we can think about history or tomorrow, we have the ability to live inside our minds, in the storm of electrical activity that makes up consciousness, to reflect on how we got to where we are, or to think about our goals and where we are going. What you are thinking about right now will affect what you actually do in the future with your life!
I was reflecting on what I learned about Zen Buddhism many years ago in my high school world religions class. The core teaching there is to live as much as you can embracing the instant now, right where you are, in each moment as fully as possible.
My faith in God, and my faith in Christ Jesus calls me to embrace wisdom while rejecting foolishness. Emotions often make me feel foolish, the ebb and flow, always bouncing around a median that makes up my awareness.
Thoughts are combination of ideas, knowledge and feelings, and in this complex fusion comes the difficulty in understanding the human mind. Scientists can keep toiling away at putting electrodes in the human brain, creating elaborate helmets and other Brain Computer Interfaces, but at the end of the day, no one knows if we can ever probe the mind in real time to extract a digital reading of consciousness. At best we will be able to surely recreate consciousness in AI technology, using neurosynaptic chips that mimic the structural functioning of the human brain, with synthetic neuron chips, where billions of synthetic neurons are connected in trillions of ways to one another, able to form plastic links to one another, the way that the human brain learns new information. Today, such AI is already a technology being used in Drones and by government to do advanced surveillance.
Its an interesting day and age we live in! Thinking about it!