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Is Consciousness a Miracle? | Harvard’s Cognitive Scientist Prof. Steven Pinker & Sadhguru

Apr 17, 2024
Consciousness consists of brain activity 86 billion neurons possibly 100 trillion synapses you don't say I am the brain this means there is someone beyond that we don't look at the brain as something different it is just a body with different levels of functionality than we We know that when a person dies, their Consciousness ceases to exist. Consciousness is that which is the very basis of our creation or where the proof is. Well, I am the proof. I do not believe in

miracle

s. Extra sensory perception. We know that there is no entity that we cannot. perceive through sensory perception, this is what we refer to as science of

consciousness

should never conclude that what we do not know cannot exist, so before deciding what we should talk about and after reviewing the

prof

ile of Dr.
is consciousness a miracle harvard s cognitive scientist prof steven pinker sadhguru
Pinker, as we came back and talked about what title we should keep, so Dr. Pinket CHS is the conscience, a

miracle

. We were giving him

consciousness

a miracle, so he just put a question mark over that and you tweeted last night, so I'd love to hear from you what, in your opinion, consciousness means. and why the question mark yeah, there are some of you may have heard of B's ​​law of headlines, which is that in a magazine any headline that starts with a question mark has the answer no uh and I think that's true. would apply to our in At least my opinion on today's resolution, the question is consciousness, a miracle, no, so what is consciousness?
is consciousness a miracle harvard s cognitive scientist prof steven pinker sadhguru

More Interesting Facts About,

is consciousness a miracle harvard s cognitive scientist prof steven pinker sadhguru...

Well, Louie Armstrong was once asked to define jazz and he said if you have to ask, you'll never know. so we all know what Consciousness is, it is our waking consciousness, it is the experience we are all having, right at this moment, consciousness is a miracle, no, and here is why Consciousness consists of patterns of activity in the brain , we. It may be a little more specific, but I won't go into details, but there is reason to think that it can be specified as rhythmic, synchronized patterns of activity, perhaps in the gamma range, involving higher loops between the prefrontal cortex and the thalamus. parial cortex and other regions of the brain, why do we believe that findings in neuroscience dating back almost a century or more? my compatriot, Dr.
is consciousness a miracle harvard s cognitive scientist prof steven pinker sadhguru
Wilder Penfield, the Montreal neurosurgeon, this street named after him, has now discovered that during neurosurgery, when the brain was exposed Part of the skull was removed and, as we all know, the brain has no receptors for pain, so brain surgery can be performed while the patient is conscious and he found that when he stimulated the cortex with an electrode he could make the patient have a vivid sensation. realistic experience where they might think they were at their 8 year old's birthday party for example, so electricity causes consciousness is not a miracle, drugs cause, affect, conscious, that's why we take drugs mood-altering, whether recreational or therapeutic, uh, yeah So, chemistry causes consciousness.
is consciousness a miracle harvard s cognitive scientist prof steven pinker sadhguru
If a part of the brain is removed by surgery due to a tumor, through a head injury or a stroke, then a part of consciousness is affected and the person may lose the experience of seeing colors or recognizing objects. or even visualize themselves at some point in the future depending on where the injury is. This is not just a correlate, but we know that the brain, the intact brain wiring, is necessary for Consciousness, it is not just two things happening at the same time because if one part of the brain is damaged, the person no longer has the corresponding experience and let's say that if the optic nerve is cut, the person becomes blind.
We also know that if we allow the brain to function normally, the patterns of activity that correspond to Consciousness are increasingly capable of being read to us that any conscious experience has a corresponding brain signature and, through functional magnetic resonance imaging and learning automatic, we are getting closer and closer to being able to read someone's Consciousness from their pattern of brain activity again, no, no, it is not a miracle. They are patterns of electromagnetic signatures of blood flow. These are all physical entities and they are picked up by a very strong magnet and another physical entity and we can see what the person is thinking.
You might be skeptical that the brain as a physical object is capable of supporting Consciousness given how incredibly complex human thought, perception, emotion is, but in fact, if we opened the skull and it was full of Spam, then it would be I could say that Consciousness really is a miracle, but it is not full of Spam is full of tissue, uh, which is certainly proportional in its complexity to the complexity of Consciousness. 86 billion neurons, possibly 100 trillion synapses. What a neural network like that is capable of doing is of stupendous complexity, as the progress in artificial intelligence based on what is sometimes called artificial neural networks reminds us, that is, it is possible to interconnect circuits with some of the properties of brain tissue to duplicate or at least approximate many of the feats of human intelligence and consciousness.
Finally we know that when when the um physiological activity of the brain uh ceases, that is, the person dies, the consciousness of him ceases to exist now, how do we know that? Well, of course, you can't know for sure and many of the world's religions promise people that their consciousness will survive. brain death um but if that were true and if there was at least some kind of connection transfer of contact information between this supposed continuation of Consciousness after the cessation of physiological function uh you could have seances where you communicate with souls of the dead as they did at least at Harvard 120 130 years ago.
Now we know that this is all nonsense, this is stage magic and there is a way to check if you are really communicating with the souls of the dead. You can ask Aunt Hilda where she hid her jewelry. Aunt Hilda's soul communicating from the spirit world could tell you under the third floorboard in the closet and the jewelry would be there if that happened. I would believe that Consciousness can survive. uh brain death uh that has never happened and I would be willing to bet a lot of money that it will never happen uh thanks now uh no, I admit that I think one of the reasons why it's tempting to think that Consciousness is a miracle Despite everything overwhelming evidence that it consists of neural activity, it feels like there is some kind of qualitative gap.
Philosophers call it the explanatory gap, that is, why should all that neural activity really feel like something if you know if it's your Brain, this is a mind-blowing Enigma riddle and leads to late-night bedroom conversations like how do I know that? Is the red you are seeing when you see red the same as the red I see when I am seeing? red and how do I know you're not a zombie you're actually not uh you might have circuits that duplicate intelligent behavior but as far as I know there's no one home you're just a robot how do you know that I?
I'm not a zombie. There are many puzzles like these where our mind is simply not satisfied that something like neural activity can give rise to what we feel from within. On the other hand, I am a

cognitive

psychologist. I am interested in how the mind works and I know that there are many things that we have trouble understanding in our minds and that doesn't mean they are miracles. What happened before the Big Bang, well, physicists will tell us that's probably not the case. the right question because time was born with the big bang, but still I can't help but think about this little speck that stayed there for many years and suddenly explodes, now that's not like that.
Physicists will tell us that this is not the case. Actually, what's going on? You have to stop thinking about it that way, but I can't help but think about it that way. I have the brain that you have too. There are many other facts that I know are true, but are not. having trouble appreciating it again doesn't mean they're miracles, but people are tempted to think they're miracles in the case of the Big Bang, well, you were God first, he went to Shazam, the whole universe was born, that's a sort of a tempting way to satisfy our frustration, our

cognitive

hunger for an intuitive explanation where it may simply be that our mind is not working in a way that is harmonious with what our best science tells us.
I will give one more example from I am a psychological linguist. I'm interested in the language, so the meaning of the word, I can say, uh, Andromeda galaxy. Now I have made some kind of contact with an object that is billions of light years away, how is this possible? Could the mere act of uttering a sound have some connection with this object in space or with Julius Caesar? So, Julia César and I have a relationship. I just referred to it and it's a bit difficult to think how it could be possible. uh, it's possible, but and therefore we are tempted to imbue words with magic, it is because of that strange relationship between words in the world that people in many cultures fall into prayers, incantations and curses out of the belief that Saying something can change the state. of the world, so I'll go over this just to make it clear that the human mind is very good at thinking certain kinds of thoughts, other kinds of thoughts, even though our best science tells us certain facts that they just don't agree with. our intuitions and I think the appropriate response is much worse for our intuitions, why would we think that our intuitions are going to harmonize with what our best science tells us?
There is a tendency to turn these perplexities into this kind of head-scratching. in Miracles, but that is a fallacy and, although there is one last ingredient about Consciousness, sometimes it is called the Explanatory Gap, sometimes it is called the so-called hard problem of Consciousness, that is a bit of a joke because the so-called easy problem is anything. but easy, but the fact that neural activity, the system that experiences neural activity, has an experience, is something that's hard to understand, but it's a fallacy to say, well, it's not intuitive to me, therefore it's a miracle, not a miracle.
Thank you G, you are responsible, namaskaram, good night everyone. I would rather say an answer. As you all know, the same things can be looked at from many different directions, first of all. What's a miracle if you put dirt on the floor? it becomes a miracle if you put a piece of bread in this this becomes a complex human body this is a miracle this way of looking at it when we say a miracle when what we see, the phenomena we see, are not easily available for a process Logically we say this is miraculous, of course the word miracle has been taken to another place by religious groups and stuff, but essentially in the human experience a miracle means that you saw yesterday, planted a seed and today it turned into a beautiful flower , it is miraculous because Of course, there may be someone there who can explain exactly how filth became a flower, how a stinking filth became a fragrant flower.
It can be explained, but it is not easily accessible to human logic, that is why we say that this is miraculous, calling something miraculous does not mean that it is not available. for any reason to call something miraculous essentially means that we appreciate the magic of life well our parents gave us very stingy people they gave us only one cell phone each hello they could have given us a million and made our lives easy but they gave us only one and here we're sitting around talking all this this is a miracle well we can always talk about how CS multiplied what happened this this this but you can't do this in a drum you can't put this in a barrel and do this so this is a miracle process that is happening, so one way to look at it is that you can explain everything about life, another way is that everything in life is magical and miraculous, which is logical, as I see it, logic is logic, it is the aspect most fundamental part of our intelligence, if you don't.
If you have a strong sense of logic, you will be everywhere, but logic is the foundation. We make a strong foundation so that this building doesn't live on the foundation, of course, in America they call this basement, in India we call it a dungeon, so we don't live on the foundation, we make a strong foundation because we want to build something else on top of it. them, so in this sense, anything that comes out of this Earth is quite miraculous, how a worm like Caterpillar turns into a butterfly, almost anything, look at it from the human point of view.
I wonder if there is a miraculous process. We can explain some physical aspect of how it happens, but what intelligence makes this happen. It's quite miraculous. There is no doubt about it about Consciousness. I guess I don't know what it looks like. You must, uh, Steve, you must understand one thing: uh, I have tried very hard to remain uneducated and I have also tried very hard to remain uncivilized. Why is this so, because most of the effort in people's lives is to educate themselves to become civilized in my experience as I see this is something accumulated it decreases your perception both your education and your civilization it is an accumulated process once you accumulatethese things and you identify with them your ability to see life as it is is seriously affected from this context it is very difficult to remain uncivilized and uneducated because from the moment you are born your parents all the other adults the moment they see to a child adult parents have a kind of need to want to educate educate the child teach them ABC 1 to 3 Mary had a little lamp something good these things I didn't care I didn't care if Mary had a lamb or not, so consciously remain uninfluenced by all the information that's thrown at you in so many different ways, school isn't the only place where it happens at home, wherever you go.
Knowing things so that you don't let yourself be influenced by that is a lot of work, education is a lot of work. I understand that staying uneducated is a lot more work. I tell you this because at every moment someone is trying to educate you, consciously or unconsciously, so, having said that To be able to see life as it is then this word Consciousness I think there is a little bit of uh uh probably the way I see it It is very different from us if we talk about a human being being conscious, right? Now that all of you are conscious in that sense, that is, yes, you are conscious, only Bala can get rid of you using his anesthetic magic, which is conscious, human beings are conscious, of course, if you are not conscious, there is no nothing here for you but consciousness.
The English word Consciousness doesn't really represent that, but we generally think that we are talking about an intelligence beyond our own intellect that is functioning within us right now, when I say functioning well, can you explain the process physical of many things with just a piece of bread. It doesn't feel like you are or have your intelligence, but if you put it inside it somehow it becomes you. This is a miraculous conscious process of Consciousness. Let's first look at the human mind. This brain-centered approach, we don't. Look at it that way, we see that there is a physical body, there is a mental body, when I say a mental body, every cell in your body has a huge memory, much more memory than your brain can contain because this remembers how your ancestors They were a million.
Nothing has been forgotten for years, although the texture of the skin is not forgotten to that point, so every cell in the body carries a huge memory and the type of functions it performs is incredible, so it has intelligence and memory, essentially What we call the mind is a certain combination of memory and intelligence that runs throughout the system, whether human beings have learned to use that or not, because this whole business of the modern educational process of today it makes us believe only Thought is intelligence no, no, our thinking is rudimentary because it only works from the few data that we have collected, the data that I have collected, how many I have collected, it is still minuscule in this Cosmos, it is like in In the morning, we were there too. talking about this if I give you a billion piece puzzle if you put five pieces together you will say this is a bear if you get eight you will say this is an elephant if you get 12 you will say this is a dinosaur if you get 15 maybe you will call it a whale.
I don't know, simply coming to conclusions every time we get information is not the way to conclude about what we call Consciousness being conscious, you being conscious, let's use different words so that there is a distinction at this moment let's say that you are conscious I'm just replacing the word conscious uh replacing the word conscious with being conscious you are conscious in Yogic Sciences we call this prna right now you are prna if you fall asleep you are not conscious or you are not conscious, let's use the word consciousness to make a distinction, but beyond that of the intellect, this intellect, how it works, is operated by what we are identified with, depending on what we identify with, consequently, the intellect is the same at this moment, people are fighting. for the nation people fight for religion people fight for race people fight for whatever they believe in simply because they are identified with it and in their intellect this says this is the way there are no two ways to do it two groups of people are two individuals when they call they both believe that this is it otherwise they will not risk their life hello when someone risks their life for something you must believe that they care and they believe that it is so unfortunately it is just that it is your identity, what you It makes you use your intelligence in this way, so there are several dimensions of memory that develop through this identity.
Beyond this there is an intelligence that is not solid in memory, this is what we refer to as chitt and generally that is what I would understand. Like Consciousness, being conscious is different. Consciousness is different. What is the nature of this? Where does this come from? Like I said, I have struggled my entire life to remain uneducated, it is not easy, try and see, try and see how your parents influence your cultural influence. your religious influence, anything else that is around you is not playing in your mind right now, try to see whatever way you try to think will work because your thinking works from data and data comes from all these sources so you can just being here without allowing data to play in your mind takes a lot of work, so from that context I say that what we refer to as Consciousness is that which is the very basis of our creation, well, someone might call it.
God, it's up to them because they are trying to personalize that in their lives because they can't identify with anything other than in human form, they say that, but there are so many people of Indian origin here, they have the man God. They have a woman God They have a cow God They have a snake God They have a monkey God They have all the crawling creatures, you know, all kinds of crawling creatures because, depending on where they live, they made it their God, essentially what they are looking for is personification from the source of what is happening because we cannot explain this Source because logically we cannot conclude the only ways of experiencing how you will experience what are the different ways of experiencing there are four aspects in yoga this is called karma K Gana B what does this mean These are four dimensions of your existence.
You have a physical body, so through action you can do certain things. You have intelligence through your intelligence. You can do certain things if you realize through your action. We call this karma yoga if you realize it through your intelligence. We call this Nana yoga if you realize through your emotion we call it bti Yoga Yoga of devotion or emotion If you realize by transforming your internal energies we call it K yoga these are the only four things you can do no matter what you do you do religion or you do intellectual things you do education you do devotion you do everything you can use your body or your mind or your emotion or your energy this is all that is happening these four things all these four are Paths but at the same time they are There is someone here which is just a big body and has no mind or no emotion or energy.
No, we are a combination of these four things. Why are we so different? Because we are a unique combination of these four things. In one person the body can be dominant in another person their emotions can be dominant in another person their intellect can be dominant each person has a different mix of the same things but these four things are the possibility of knowing what we refer to as Consciousness It is that aspect of creation that is intelligent but not tainted by memory without memory it has no intention it does not manifest without memory it has no direction it is simply there if it finds little memory it finds expression oh where is the proof well I am the proof because if you want to try everything with logical steps, like I said, logic is the basis of our life here, but the Foundation is not the place to live, so first of all if we separate what is consciousness and what is consciousness.
I think a lot of these different opinions about the Miracle will disappear. Well, those who want to enjoy their life will appreciate life and really experience life. They will look at everything from a magical eye. Those who want to dissect life will see it from a logical aspect. Life, uh, isn't a question of right or wrong, it's just two different ways of doing the same thing. I certainly share Amazement's sense of wonder at natural phenomena that tempts us to use the word miracle, a seed becoming a plant. a pregnant woman who gives birth to a child who grows into a person.
These are really wonderful and sometimes I actually use the language of a miracle. I will say it's a miracle now. Actually, I don't want to say it's a Miracle, uh, it's the language that helps convey my wonder and awe, but there's a big difference between literally believing it's a miracle and using the language of Miracles, i.e. what happens when you really have to affect it causally, so let's say you and me. I'll tell you about the guru you are when it comes to turning seeds into edible foods. We know that many civilizations, when there was a bad harvest, when there was a drought, when there was a famine, when the locusts came and ate the grain. they said prayers, they sacrificed a goat, sometimes they sacrificed a Virgin, they prayed, they paid for a miracle, fortunately, you don't do that, admirably you have a base that literally gets your hands dirty, there is nothing miraculous in dirt and you have my admiration for take the land seriously because the transformation of a seed into a store of wheat is not a miracle, it depends on having the right land and I take my hat off to you for taking the land seriously in the same way if you have the miracle of a child. and the child has a disease like leukemia, you could pray to a saint, you could climb the stairs of a cathedral on your knees, you could build a shrine, you could, as we say, pray for a miracle, that would be it.
I would present an immoral. The thing to do knowing that there are ways to keep that miracle of a child in existence by giving him the right medicine that would eliminate the leukemia or cure the infection and therefore even treat a child as a miracle, even treat a plant as a metaphorically poetic miracle when it is actually about action, about the need to do something to perpetuate this miracle, it is very important not to take the language of the miracle literally, but to see it as a matter of cause and effect to worry about rain. and soil and fertilizers and agricultural practices to care about the health of the child the proper medications the proper nutrition the proper environment uh loving now when it comes to Consciousness this is true uh even more significantly then Bala, you are a

prof

essor of anesthesia, you are an anesthesiologist, then you manipulate people's consciousness.
I guess not with prayers, sessions and sacrifices, but you actually apply physical cause and effect, you inject chemicals into people's bloodstream, you put a mask on their face and they breathe certain gases. Do you know if I were a subdued patient? surgery and uh I needed general anesthesia um my consciousness would go off. I would really like it to stay off while I'm open on the operating table. I would very much like him to return when the operation is over. I hope you don't treat all of that as a miracle. I hope you don't say prayers.
I hope you don't make sacrifices. I hope you control the gas mixture and time and treat it as a matter of cause. and effect, please say yes, if you say no, I will have surgery at Mass General, not Beth Israel Deaconess. I think we have the distinction between what he is saying and what the sguru says, so he wants to respond. I think so. I want to hand you a microphone, well, I think we come from two different contexts, that's why I said, probably in Western religions the word miracle is used, due to lack of words, no, because I apologize by saying that I am uncivilized.
The miracle is a way to deceive people. I'm not talking about the word miracle in that context. That's why I said there is a different way of looking at life if you look at everything as logical steps, our logical steps progress. With any data we have, no one can claim to have data on everything that is life and all the phenomena of creation. No one, neither religious people nor men of science, know where existence or the cosmos begins and where it ends. No one knows. Hello. Nobody knows but Someone is grandiloquent enough to explain that it all happened because one person up there, another is trying to rebuild it piece by piece, but how many pieces can you put together?
Because today modern science recognizes that this is a Universe in constant expansion, yes it is a Universe in constant expansion. No matter how many pieces of the puzzle you collect, you still don't have a complete picture, so in that context I say let's go as far as our logic and data will take us from there, there is a blind spot that we don't know about, we just hope it happens and then Sometimes we find if you do certain things, certain things happen, sometimes they don't happen, but the important thing is to use the word miracle as a way to get people to believe in things and work through a logical process for all phenomenal activity. what we do in the worlduh, there's no doubt about it, there's no difference about it, but coming back to Consciousness once again, I would like to distinguish your awareness of yourself right now and Consciousness are two different ones.
Entities as a whole, your consciousness is definitely a consequence of all the things that are happening in the brain. I didn't look because I don't have one, you know, I'm just experiencing it through other people, so I don't know all that, but it's definitely a consequence of what's happening, things are skyrocketing, we know you might not know exactly where they are shooting. I know that things are triggering within us, which is creating a certain consciousness, so this consciousness is a consequence of activity, not just the brain. Don't do that, I think there is a brain right in front, from your toes to your head, everywhere there are different levels of brain.
I don't want to call it the brain, we call this the mental body. There is memory and there is intelligence right in front, so only If all this is turned on, then you have a Life experience, how much it is turned on will determine how deep life experience you have, this is a different aspect, we are talking about Consciousness, which is not exactly an appropriate word in the English language because it is the only word we have, as far as I know, we normally call it chitt chitta, which means intelligence without memory. it has no intention, but you can create any intention with the same Life Energy, someone will do bad things with the same Life Energy, someone will do wonderful things because it has no intention, it is just there, it empowers you in any way, let's say it is like electricity.
You can make sound with it, you can make light with it, you can do whatever you want with it, just like that, the fundamental Force that drives us has no intention, so when we say Consciousness we are referring to that aspect of intelligence that has no intention. intention. intention because it has no memory, but if you give it memory, it will immediately get an intention and an address thank you, thank you, okay. It would certainly echo, support and reinforce the idea that we are, we refer to Humanity, we refer to science, we ignore a large amount. uh variety of topics even as we learn more we become more aware of what we don't know uh we have to be prepared to change our minds, that's in the very nature of science, as we just learned from living through the uh coid pandemic where in The first few weeks there were all kinds of things we believed, like you have to wash your groceries and you can't touch your face and it turned out that even our best experts were wrong, but it's in the nature of science that the best experts are wrong because we started off by ignoring everything and we have to learn it as we go and the more we learn, the more real we realize how much there is to learn and there is a lot about the functioning of the brain to To put it mildly, we do not understand, including many of the phenomena of Consciousness, but It is crucial not to translate our ignorance into a belief in Miracles, there is the well-known fallacy of the god of spaces, that is, if you do not understand at a particular point in scientific development you are tempted to invoke a source of miracles, that is, God, It used to be Zeus throwing lightning bolts when people didn't understand how lightning worked, it used to be life when people used to uh, before we had the theory of evolution and also for people who don't know anything about brain science, The idea that consciousness is a miracle is very tempting and even as we learn more but still don't know some things, it is a tempting fallacy. perform miracles for our ignorance but we the best attitude towards ignorance is certainly humility there are many things that science does not understand but part of that humility is recognizing that there are certain things that we do not understand uh and just in the nature of us as beings not subomniscient we are not Divine we uh we do experiments we propose hypotheses many of them are wrong uh we need to build bigger and bigger scientific instruments uh even when we do there will be questions that we can't answer and the correct attitude is that there are some questions that we ignore and that is The part of humility is not inventing miracles to fill those gaps but rather recognizing that ignorance now, when it comes, let me change. to the question of whether there is consciousness throughout the body as opposed to activity in the brain and it is certainly true that the English language does not give us enough words to point out the different phenomena that we think about, ask questions about trying to explain and philosophers have tried to refine our vocabulary, there is no reason to think that ordinary conversation would provide the vocabulary to make sense of Consciousness, any more than it does for the various tissues of the body, the various molecules in the brain, the various physical phenomena.
Make up a jargon when it comes to Consciousness. There you distinguish the Guru between Consciousness and consciousness. And in fact there is a distinction between access to information. I don't know if consciousness is the right word for that and subjectivity, the qualitative aspect of Consciousness. sometimes called raw feel only the salty taste of salt and the redness of red and uh uh and so on, so be aware that there it is tempting for specialists, including philosophers, to invent jargon and of necessity because the phenomena that you study in depth are not I'm not just going to have labels from everyday conversations, for example, the philosopher Ned Block has distinguished between what he calls um um uh Phenomenal Consciousness and access Access to Consciousness Consciousness may or may not be what you were referring to like Access Awareness Awareness would be the slang term for having access to information, so as just an example, I have access.
Awareness, for example, of the color of your suit, of the presence of people in this room. I can talk about it. I can imagine it. I can answer questions about. I don't have access to that particular geometric shape on my retina that your suit projects. Don't have. I know it's in the brain, but I can't talk about it. I don't have access to the exact sequence of muscle contractions of my tongue that allow me to speak, my brain does it somewhere unconscious, there is no need for me to think about it because it is automatic and there happens to be a lot of activity in the brain to which we don't have access to and there are some that we do have access to, so that is a refinement of the vocabulary of Consciousness that we inherited only from the English language.
The contrast to access Consciousness is phenomenal Consciousness and that is qualitative, the so-called A difficult problem sometimes called sensible, although unfortunately English does not provide us with precise technical terms to make sense of our experience when a Google computer

scientist

thought that one of their big language models was sentient, it was using envoy in a sense. that's very different from what I think philosophers would want to reserve it for, that is, the phenomenal, subjective or qualitative aspect of Consciousness because there is no way, even no matter how intelligent your AI program is, that you cannot know really whether it exists or not. someone at home actually feeling something instead of just producing intelligent responses in context, that's another reason why the hard problem is called hard, uh, simply because it's very difficult to know how we could know if a perfectly realistic robot is perfectly intelligent.
The AI ​​program was Consciousness in the phenomenal sense, in the sensible sense, in the qualitative sense that there is someone somewhere there who is actually feeling something like how would you know? and in fact, this is often another way in which we humans make sense of these puzzles that are not intuitive, we explore them in fiction, in science fiction, in the fictions that philosophers create called thought experiments, but as an example which may be familiar to many of you, several decades ago in Star Trek The Next Generation, there was a plot revolving around whether it would be morally acceptable to take apart Lieutenant Commander Data, uh, an Android to reverse engineer it, that would just be Dismantle a machine or it would shut down a, uh, Consciousness, a sensation, live a life, now, this is great entertainment.
It's thinking through it and one of the things that fiction does is it allows us to think about philosophical puzzles and that's another good way of illustrating it and another way of showing that our vocabulary, as we use it in ordinary conversation, may just not be there. up to the task of the sharp distinctions that we want to make as thinkers,

scientist

s, philosophers, reflective people, finally, one more observation. I think there is a way to make sense of the question of, for example, consciousness distributed throughout the body. or consists of brain activity. I think the answer is brain activity and we can actually imagine the circumstances that separate them.
I mean, when someone steps on my toe, I feel the pain in my toe, but there's every reason to think that what is it? What happens is a pattern of activity in my brain. I locate it in the toe, but the crucial events. Crucial natural physical events consist of activity in the brain. How do we know? Because often amputees will have phantom limb pain, they will still feel their foot. although there is no foot uh and that can happen uh we have all kinds of bodily hallucinations uh we have out of body experiences we have dreams where there is the body uh people who are quadriplegics where the body no longer functions still have full awareness often of their body in the Phantom Li limb it is experienced in reverse if there is if the brain is not active if someone is in a deep vegetative state if they are in a deep coma uh you know, we can't know because there is no one who can ask, but the fact that Just because your foot still has blood flowing to it doesn't mean there is someone somewhere feeling that foot, as best we know if the brain areas of the foot are not active there is no one and nothing to correspond. consciousness of the foot, so Consciousness does not need the foot, it does need the brain as far as we know and that is one reason to conclude that Consciousness consists of brain activity, not distribution throughout the body, of course.
The body is connected to the brain through nerves because there are sensory transducers, there are tiny little cells in the skin that respond to changes in temperature and pressure by transmitting nerve impulses to the brain, in the same way, in the eye there are photoreceptor rods and cones. that transduce light energy into neuronal activity. There are hair cells in the inner ear that translate vibrations into neural impulses, but there always has to be something that the body converts. The energy that affects the body in neuronal impulses that are transported. by nerves in the brain or there is no consciousness, how do we know well if again you are an anesthesiologist, even in the case of uh U, the anesthesia that my dentist does injects a chemical substance into my jaw and it can puncture my teeth and I?
I don't feel anything, I mean, the teeth are still there, but I am no longer aware of the pain in my teeth, thank God, in the same way, if there is nerve damage, if there is a pinched nerve, if there is a nerve cut, if there is a cut nerve. spy I agree the part of the body that cannot send physical signals to the brain there is no longer any consciousness to suggest that it is the brain through the information transmitted to the brain uh that is the seat of Consciousness everything that we perceive uh through five The sense organs, of course, are processed in the brain, which is not just the current understanding, it's always been that way in most of the world and, um, the brain, we're talking about where it was made, it was made. in this body for this body.
I didn't buy it or import it from somewhere, it was made from this body, it didn't come to us from anywhere else, so the evolution of the brain within the individual human being happened in this body, so essentially the way we We see it is ours. Don't look at the brain as something different, it is just a body with different levels of functionality. Significant levels of functionality. Many people may be walking around this University without their brains working, but their livers, kidneys and hearts work without it. I'm not walking, so I'm not questioning whether the brain is important in carrying out all these processes.
There is no doubt about it, but is it the being of everything? No, because there are still many aspects of life that have no explanation, so someday when we are. I have the data that we will explain, but you can only collect data on the physical aspects of life, so essentially if we have concluded that all existence is simply physical, this morning we were talking to all the physicists that everyone is talking about, more than 90% or 99% of everything seems to be empty, it is not physical, so in yogic culture we see it this way, we see that everything was nothing, he was called Shiva, that means he was what is not what He did not enter into a wave due to a certain energy influence and once he entered into wave he gathered memory GS once he gathers memory he finds an intention and a direction from these various miraculous levels.
I'm using that word very consciously miraculous levelsmiraculous of multiple millions and millions of forms of creation occurred, just life on this planet is so absolutely mind-blowing that the numbers and the variety of life that has happened, if you look at the entire Cosmos, we don't even know what is what, so this happened and this still works in every part of life, in everything, even in a single atom, it is assumed that more than 99% is empty or 93 or 94% is empty, what is this vacuum? So this is what we refer to as Consciousness, which is the basis of all good, you can define it as space, you can call it as nothing, you can call it dark matter or dark energy, whatever, but essentially it is what it is not when we say what is not, is not of a physical nature, which is fundamental. to the entire physical creation, so can we explain this logically?
Yes, to some extent, maybe we can do as much as we can, but explanation and reality are two different things. We can always explain everything. We can always explain all the phenomena of human life, but the reality of. Human life is totally different, different people experience it in different ways, let's say there are two brothers, the same genetic material, the same house, the same school, but they do not function in the same way because the way they receive the way they that they process is different, well, that is. It is not what we are talking about, but the important thing is to understand that the human experience does not necessarily come only from brain activity but to what extent do we delve into that aspect of life that is not information but has Intelligence when this intelligence is suddenly activated Human beings do things that other people never thought were possible, that's when people think it's miraculous.
I'm not. using the word miracle in the religious context of saying I did something like that and it didn't happen in that context but something that you can't find a logical explanation for because like you said that's God Gap, is that what the god Gap Gap of the god of the gaps? No, about the holes, we are not talking about the God of the holes, or the holes are there out of ignorance that we know, but there are dimensions of Life that are not of a physical nature, which is not of a physical nature and cannot be defined or described or perceived. through the five senses at this moment all we know is through the five senses.
What's wrong with the five senses? There is nothing wrong, it's just that for different creatures these senses are different. What is light to you? For many creatures it is Darkness. What is the Darkness for? you are light for them because the sense organs are designed because it is necessary for our survival process based on your required survival requirements, consequently, you are designed in a way that what you see, what a grasshopper sees and what see a dragonfly is very different because these sense organs are designed for our survival process and our survival process can be very different from one creature to another in that context what we call the brain is just that receptive process or that uh uh place. of reception where you receive all these sense impulses to what extent does it mean in a day in a day, even if you walk around unconscious or reasonably unconscious, you are still receiving, you know, millions of gigabytes of memory coming into your system and all this it is stored, processed what in some Minds may be well done in some Minds.
It can be done randomly, but everything is being recorded, no one misses it, so this process is a tremendous process for the brain to handle, but the fundamental existence of who we are is only due to neurological activity derived from the brain or the electrical composition of things that be uh believe in a miracle that is not a miracle that is a simple process that is creating fantastic things for us without a doubt fantastic things that do to ourselves and the world in many ways no one questions the effectiveness of that brain but the important thing is that when we talk about my brain, we are obviously talking about someone who owns the brain.
You are also not saying "I am the brain", you are saying "This is my body", "This is my brain", this means that there is someone beyond that. this is a body, not an entity that we cannot define an entity that we cannot describe an entity that we cannot perceive through sensory perception but we know we are here, we know we exist well if we think it is only because we are thinking and processing We exist No, we exist even without that, we have our five senses, each of which depends on a clever little tissue that converts physical energy into neural impulses, I mean, and we could have more than five senses depending on how you count them, but what we don't have and this is also relevant to whether Consciousness is a miracle is extrasensory perception ESP which is access to states of the world not mediated by some physical transmission of signals uh ESP is often considered to comprise Telekinesis, the ability to move objects or cause physical changes through brain power Clairvoyance the ability to sense the state of the world without any causal chain of information transmission precognition the ability to foresee the future telepathy the ability to sense other people's thoughts and there is a living tradition that goes back millennia of believing that ESP exists and we know that it does not exist.
I, if we know anything, it has been proven that every attempt to demonstrate one of the varieties of extrasensory perception is about the interpretation of coincidences interpreted after Hawk, you remember the blows, you bury all the mistakes and false alarms, sometimes real frauds and deceptions as in the self-appointed CL Clairvoyant who appears only to use cheap stage magic, often fooling physicists because physicists are as stupid with stage magic as anyone else, the ones they don't fool are fellow magicians who can easily expose the tricks, the fact that there is no ESP, further proof is that we have never had it all.
What it would take is a little bit of statistical precognition U, you don't even need to foresee events exactly, but beyond the base rate probabilities and you could become arbitrarily rich in the futures market, you could sell short or long. Learn about Bitcoin or Tesla stocks and if you could really see if anyone somewhere could really see the future, you would be the richest person on Earth because it wouldn't take much predictive power to outsmart everyone else. In the rest of the market there is no such person. There is more evidence that consciousness is not a miracle.
That the senses really are the only way we can derive information about empirical reality. If someone proved that ESP existed, he would have to check. a lot of my beliefs about the nature of consciousness and mental activity uh, we are in no way referring to things like ESP or magical ways of knowing things. No, I'm talking about the fundamental existence of who we are, do we exist? I think that in the experience of most human beings, unless they are lost in their logic, if you just sit here you know that you exist, so knowing that I exist is not a derivative of the neural and electrical activity of neurons. only in the brain, even beyond the fact that we exist because there are states where all this can be reduced to almost nothing and yet you exist, in reality you exist much more.
I'm hearing a lot of experiments with halogens and mushrooms and things like that in universities, not from students, from professors, so they are saying that, when they have these spectacular experiences, brain activity actually decreases, not increases, as everyone would have believed. , so there are states that see one important thing is that we should not conclude, especially science, should never conclude that what we do not know cannot exist. It won't be a good thing, yes, but we shouldn't invent things that we have no reason to believe exist either. Thanks, it was great. Conversation, but I think there are millions of people around the world.
Those who have experienced the states of the deeper states of meditation, are not just one or two of different schools that have experienced and that cannot be explained with the current ways of examining them because we do not have the tools for it, so we are not able to explain them. explain the deeper states of meditation and the states they live in, so it is not well invented, so how do we experience it? It's an unknown, so we have that's all you're saying, be open and examine it somehow. Can we understand that well or not? We may not understand it in the sense that it involves such unfathomably intricate patterns of brain activity that they lead to one brain pattern that leads to another brain pattern.
In ways we may not understand. I do not know if. We don't understand it in the sense that it must involve some new form of energy or some kind of contradiction to the idea that everything is brain activity, but brain activity can be very, very complex and there are a lot of things we don't understand. Now I understand, including the effects of meditation, what I am very skeptical of is that any state of meditation, for example, can result in clairvoyance, telekinesis, telepathy or precognition, and I assume not. I'm sure not. I assume so. I'm not claiming that meditation can do that, not at all, so for example, Matthew's brain, I think Steven Lis is here, examined his brain and they looked at his brain activity, fMRI, etc., and They showed a relaxed state of alertness where everything is turned on and this man is like a trait for him, it's not like a state exam and they could see that that relaxed state of alertness leads to a completely turned on but still relaxed brain, so that It is not the usual pattern that happens in a normal person. who is not meditating well, so, for example, yes, I am not proposing that the clearing is very different.
I'm just saying these are rare and these types of brains seem like they're completely fired up, but still very, very relaxed, so I think that's a great state to be in, no, that's interesting. I admire Myff Park. I had an event with him in Paris where we talked about the historical processes that lead to peace and, in fact, there may be aspects of brain function that we do not understand and that could be illuminated by meditation understood as a complex pattern of brain activity that leads to another complex pattern of brain activity, all within your Realm of the natural.
See the things we're talking about. telepathy of course these are childish tricks that is not what we are referring to the English word meditation does not define anything this is a problem because when it comes to subjectivity the English language is very poor when it comes to objectives The world English language is phenomenally effective in having said that if someone closes his eyes and puts, generally people say oh, he or she is meditating, you can close your eyes and do good japana samadi, these are all different states that are thought and transmitted in a systematic way, not just some nonsense . jumbo way, eh, I'm trying to redefine the word miracle, but you're sticking to the religious form of Miracle.
I'm not going to go there, let's leave that word, let's say magical experiences, because magic can still be explained, but it's still magical in our experience. apart from that, we can clearly transmit these aspects from one to another if they come to a dhana initiation, we will only do dhana if they come to danana, we will only do danana if they come to samama, we will only do samyama, clearly different states than one than a human being. may experience all this about electrical activity one day. I think scientists should invest enough time to study these things, not with the attitude of proving it or disproving it, but just looking at it, just looking at it without drawing conclusions because the conclusions come from present things that we know, what data we have, the fundamentals of science. is that everything we know now is not all the fundamental science that we are searching for because the search comes from the most fundamental realization understanding that we do not know that is why we are searching the search is genuine only if we see I don't know if I am searching this or that I already know it's there I'm looking for confirmation that we're not looking to just invent it so essentially it's very important if these two disciplines have to meet it's because the meeting of these two disciplines is very important for human well-being just by thinking that improving the economies of the world, which is wonderful, changing the social structures of the world is fantastic by providing healthcare, everything is fantastic, but still human beings will not achieve any sense of fulfillment or fullness of life experience unless they they turn inward.
This turning inward is not about observing the electrical processes in my brain. It is about looking at something much more fundamental within me if we come to the conclusion that there is nothing more fundamental apart from electricity, then a light bulb goes on, that is Enlightenment, we should not look at it that way now, because we must understand everything this issue. It comes from uh, I'm sorry if I'm making any generalizations, it's a generalization, but I say it contextually, look at all this, uh, the European thing about the Enlightenment or a Period of Enlightenment has come because they were under the tyranny of belief systems.dogmatic. when they separated they felt liberated, but such a thing never existed in the East, we never faced such things, there was nothing dogmatic that dominated us in thought and you know, thinking to the extent we can was always free for us, so We never thought that free thinking was The Enlightenment for us.
The Enlightenment is a much deeper process, so breaking with dogmas and thinking freely is a basic human right. I don't call it Enlightenment, but because of that background, your resistance to the word miracle essentially comes from the religious, you know. that has happened people claiming that all kinds of miracles are happening from here God is speaking to me and all these things we are not talking about we are not talking about Clare w we are not talking about telepathy please use the phone do not compete with The phone company is fine, but is there anything deeper in human existence than the physiological and psychological drama?
In my experience, I 100% appreciate you writing a lot of books and we wanted to ask additional questions, so we'll move on. From this, one of the books that you wrote was Enlightenment now and that book was, um, Bill Gates called it the book of the century and you basically defend reason, science, humanism and logic and, I'm sorry, thank you for correct. So what you've said is that over the centuries people have gotten better, they've gotten better off, their income has increased and they're happier and all that, and you're also saying that sometimes problems occur during life, like during my life, if I look at this over the years, centuries, yes, things have improved, many good things have happened, but still, when I am living for myself, what is real is the current uncertainty, does it exist or the wars etc that are going on, so just knowing that we have made progress is Enough when there is uncertainty like that, what do we do just knowing that it is enough to correct us?
Course correction, yeah, um, so, Enlightenment now. I have a lot of undeserved friends among Buddhists, but it's not about that kind of Enlightenment, it's really about the ideals that came out of the 18th century Enlightenment, um, I tried to documenting that progress was not a matter of Optimism is not a matter of seeing the positive side of seeing glasses half full, but rather was an empirical hypothesis that could be tested, that is, whether we agree on what is good and I think most people would agree that it is better to be. alive than dead better to be well fed than hungry better to be well than sick better to be rich than poor better to be educated than illiterate and ignorant better to be happy than unhappy and so on all these things can be measured and if they have increased over time, that would be progress and it had 75 graphs and most of them have increased over time now never in a straight line not even monotonically i.e. always increasing and never decreasing they all have dips along the way now they have If we have been reminded of the fact That progress is a real empirical phenomenon, it is natural to think, and people in the 19th century thought that there is a force in the universe that somehow always lifts us upward.
Now this would be a miracle and, as you probably can, From what I've said so far tonight, I don't believe in miracles and this progress was not a miracle. The reason there are fewer famines is that people, like the sad Guru, advocated soil conservation and vigorous hybrids, synthetic fertilizers and crop rotation. The reason life expectancy is more than doubling is because of sanitation, antibiotics, and blood transfusions, and for every dimension of progress, there was a cause if we understand those causes correctly, and it's not easy. do it because there are many things. They happen all at once, so it's not so easy to untangle them and find out what the root cause was, but the benefit of understanding progress is that we can have more of it, not by relying on any miracle, but by doing the same thing. things that worked in the past and are likely to work in the future, conversely, it means that if those causes of progress are neutralized, we could have stagnation or regression and, in fact, there are periods in which various events happen that are regressions, not progress.
The war in Ukraine is a prime example and I would argue that that is exactly what would happen if one of the causes of the increase in peace over the last 75 years, namely the replacement of the appreciation of national glory and greatness with the well-being of men, women and children, uh, it is that change of ideas that helped reduce the pace of the war, but if you have a leader who is drunk with the opposite ideology and who believes that National Glory is a sphere of influence, um, national greatness, civilization, grer. is the maximum value and if people die then it is the worst, then there will be no further progress towards peace, there may be a retreat towards war and that is what we are seeing in Ukraine, for example, from the The same way in the extension of the Human life expectancy again is not a miracle, it happens because we have vaccines, antibiotics and sanitation.
If germs evolve faster than we can develop vaccines, antivirals and antibiotics, then life expectancy may decrease as it did during the pandemic, fortunately, reason and science. Along with humanism, I maintain, they are the three drivers of progress that we have observed. It has receded and the pandemic is now under greater control and the increase in longevity appears to have resumed. It is also said that the mental health pandemic is underway. increase for me, the mental health pandemic is increasing right now, so mental health Mental health is okay in some countries in some demographics yes, sorry, in American teens and young adults, there has been an increase in anxiety and depression is more for young women than for young men, more for young women on the left than on the right.
So this is a phenomenon that occurs in some sectors and more in the United States than in other countries now. This is what we don't understand why, but again because the progress we have seen includes an increase in happiness and a decrease in suicide around the world, but it doesn't happen everywhere all the time, that would be a miracle and not It is a miracle. If there are causes of unhappiness, anxiety that are more concentrated in some countries, some demographics, some ages, some periods, we should work very hard to find out what they are so we can undo them well, there is no doubt about the kind of progress we have made in En The last 100 years, in terms of comforts and conveniences that we have achieved through the progress of science and technology, we are the most comfortable generation in the history of humanity.
No one had it so good, especially for women and children. It has never been so good in the world. history of humanity there's just no doubt about it, but one important thing that happened is that in previous generations basic survival was such a challenge because basic survival was such a challenge that it kept everyone focused there wasn't much fighting in the mind because daily get my bread when it's a struggle, you don't have much to go crazy, okay, you don't have enough time to go crazy, but as the issue of survival is resolved in the human being, you will see more and more struggles at the level psychological because the physical struggles have disappeared, now the struggle moves to the software department from the hardware, so we can see this struggle as mental illnesses and so many types of sufferings that people are going through, which unfortunately leads to a very high rate. high suicide rate today in the world, almost in In many countries, but unfortunately in most rich countries it is at the highest level, so our economic development and our social freedoms are fine, but still, if we do not address how a human being experiences themselves, how to manage human experience, we are designing the entire world.
The way we want it fantastic, there is no doubt that what is one person's miracle is another man's engineering. I'm fundamentally an engineer, so what an airplane is is a miracle to one person is engineering to another person, so it all goes the same way. We too because this is the most sophisticated machine on the planet. Have we designed it well? Have we done it the way we want? because something well designed means that when we say that this building is well designed we are saying that it works well for the purpose of We are here when we say that my car is well, well designed, we say that it works the way I want, but is your mind your body? working how you want?
If so, would you have any suffering? Would you have any uh you know uh? you fight within yourself it's obviously not working the way you want your own intelligence is turning against you and torturing individual people uh people don't need any help from the outside normally you know people come to me uh sguru my mother in law, I can 'I can't take it anymore, my husband is like this, my wife is like that, my boss is like that, I say do one thing, you come here without a mother-in-law, without a husband, without a wife, without a boss, only you come, I will give you a nice place to stay and good food to eat, you don't have to do nothing, just stay in the room, be happy, that's all, I'm just doing some random checks on you, if you're miserable we'll stop feeding you because I don't.
I believe in feeding misery, so you leave them in one place for 24 hours, they will squirm in many ways, so you don't need outside help. When there is outside help, you think it is because of this person. I'm miserable because of it. person I'm miserable no the problem is that you don't know how to manage your own faculties your own memory your own imagination what people are suffering what happened 10 years ago they are still suffering what can happen the day after tomorrow they're already suffering essentially no you are suffering life you are suffering two very important faculties that are different and a great privilege for the human being that no other creature has a very wise sense of memory and a fantastic sense of imagination these are the two things we are suffering without this or We would not even be human we would be like any other creature so when you worry your own mind disturbs you and makes you suffer you can call it anger you can call it stress you can call it anxiety or something more serious essentially it is your intelligence turning against you, this means that you do not know how to sustain it , you don't know how to hold onto this great privilege of being human when I say the great privilege that, at least according to the evolutionary sciences, you are supposed to be.
The peak of evolution that means you're on top of the world, but do you feel like you're on top of the world? Most people are not, they are dragging their feet and walking with great suffering within themselves. This suffering is not due to the life around you, this suffering is your inability to manage yourself, so an important aspect of our educational process should be that we are always thinking about how to conquer everything around us, that is It is important that we also bring this into our lives, into our society, how to handle this in such a way. a way so that it never turns against me this is very important if we do not learn this if we do not pay attention to it how not to turn my own memory my own imagination my own intelligence against myself if this consciousness does not arise within us then it is possible that it We have everything and we will suffer.
People can live in a palace and live miserably. This is happening everywhere, so in previous generations many people like to see that in previous generations people were very peaceful, very happy, it's not like that. true, believe me, uh, it's not true, it's just that the past because of the distance in uh, in the South Indian languages, there is a saying that a distant hill looks soft and wonderful, well, past, There is a distance because there is a distance, everything about it is wonderful. I know, but if it's here then there's a struggle because you have to go through this whole process of suffering our own memory our own imagination our own intelligence is essentially because the necessary awareness of how this works, what can we do about it? not subjective objectively we can know how it works we can read it on MRIs and EEGs and this and that, but individual human beings don't know how it works inside me, what can I do about it?
How should I keep my intelligence on what? context so that it always works for me, never against me, very, very wise and another way to put it is to quote Franklin Pierce Adams. The best explanation for the good old days is a bad memory now. um, I wanted to update one. The point is that globally suicide rates have decreased a lot, about 40% in the last 30 years during the period for which we have data. Not in the United States, suicide rates in the United States have increased since their lowest point in the late 1990s. Again, we don't fully understand why I hope we do, but it is important to note that the United States , in many ways, has its own national pathologies that are not true in other rich democracies or in the world and in terms ofsuicide in most countries, not all suicide rates have reduced much, including India, which is going to answer about the suicide rate in those countries where there were economic difficulties and people took their lives because they simply were not capable of surviving in those countries has decreased, but where there is economic well-being for at least two or three generations in those countries it has increased, that is what we have noticed, not all because India has become much more prosperous in the last 30 years and the Suicide rate has gone down, but for people, I mean, the GDP per capita in India, it is one of the economic success stories of the last 30 years, one of the factors that seems to drive people who I have analyzed what that has reduced suicide rates, one of them is urbanization, the rates of which in many countries are much higher in rural areas, in part because there are often women who are in arranged or forced marriages and who are torn from their families , his friend.
They live under the control of their mother-in-law in a city where they have no social contacts and sometimes they will have it in their lives when you have the freedom in a city to develop friends and social contacts. be to choose your social circle that leads to social connections that make suicide much less likely talking about talking about India uh so I'm very involved with Indian society its economy how it works India has made great strides in recent times During a couple of decades, no doubt about it, but that progress belongs to a small percentage of people.
There are many Indians. At least five layers of India can be identified, so one layer of India is doing phenomenally well, another layer of India is benefiting from the first layer. a small trickle layer, but down where almost 55% is in agriculture, it is bad, so most of the suicides that are happening in India today unfortunately are in the agricultural sector, so we are working on this, there is no immediate solution as such. It's not an overnight thing, it's a big conversation. I think people want to ask questions, but I just wanted to ask you one last thing before I give it to you.
Let's be brief. You were me, you were talking about dirt, right? So there's a certain sensitivity to this from the point of view of whether it's really dirt. Should we call it dirt that is useless or should we call it soil that gives life? uh no, I called it dirt just to emphasize its physicality and actually the fact that, of course, Dirt has a negative connotation. Yes, I was a Miracle instead of earth. He was using it deliberately and ironically so as not to denigrate the land. I think the earth deserves our greatest admiration, it is the basis of life, but rather to remind people that we depend on physical things and choose the word that remembers that it does not have that Noble Halo, uh, it is a form, it was a way to emphasize.
My point is that physical things matter, we tend to denigrate them, we shouldn't dirty them, it's important, maybe we shouldn't call them dirt, but calling them dirt reminds us of linguists, so I wanted to ask yes, well, calling them dirt is just a reminder. that we should think twice about some of the things we take for granted and, in fact, choosing a synonym with a better connotation may be a way to change those attitudes, but in a discussion like that doing so was a reminder that we shouldn't Treat physical things like um today um uh as something that's beneath our uh dignity to discuss and take seriously a lot, so I knew when you said the word dirt you were speaking in that context, but uh uh in cultures orientals in most orientals.
In Asian cultures, particularly in India, we always refer to the soil as mother's soil, when we will never simply say soil, we will say Tha which means it is the mother's soil because the word mother does not mean our biological mother, which is the source of who we are. Mother, well, in your computer there is a motherboard, that doesn't mean it gave up the computer, it's just that it is the source of everything that happens there, so in that sense the ground is the largest living system not only on this planet but in the known universe.
It is the largest living system a handful of soil has 8 to 10 billion organisms it is a massive living system in many ways it is the fundamental life of who we are it is just that our attitude towards soil has become so we build Let's say we built a house for ourselves on one floor and then our family expanded so we want to build the next floor so we decided why do all this, just take the foundation stones and build a first floor, well this is going to be a disaster. the approach we have now because almost 85% of the nations on the planet still treat soil as a resource, not as a source of life, not as a living system, simply as a resource that we can use however we want.
The soil of the United States has disappeared in the last 70 years and 27,000 species of organisms are disappearing each year. This is the amount of extinction that will occur in another 25 to 40 years. Each UN agency warns that there will be no agriculture because once the number of organisms sinks into the ground it becomes like sand desertification is one of the main problems there is a whole agency to combat desertification called unccd who are partners with us to make this happen having said it's okay to tell a joke right, this happened in 2060 in 2060 a few scientists were looking for a date with God, don't go by this, I'm not that kind of believer, but I'm just telling you a joke , they looked for an appointment with God and they got the appointment they went there and said hey old man, you did very well with the creation, but everything you can do now we can also do, so it's time for you to retire, then God said Oh, that's it, so what can you do?
Give me a demonstration they said look at this and they took some dirt they made a wig picture of a human baby they did this and that and the child cried alive God said that's very impressive but first get your own land let's um then we have time to maybe one or two questions so I think the mic runners are there so they should go. The mic runners didn't come here. Yes, one of the central tenants of the Hindu religion is that something Sur survives after death and you mentioned consciousness is. uh removed at the time of death and I'd like to give you several examples to the contrary uh so I'm here today and I've witnessed my change over the decades.
I've seen myself go. from childhood to where I am today, but something inside me has remained the same and has witnessed the change, so that is one argument, the other one as a sleep doctor that I can tell you is that when I go to sleep and wake up from In the morning, I am aware of whether I slept well or badly or if I was totally unconscious, so again there was something deeper inside me that witnessed all those stages of sleep and finally you know when I experience life through the different senses and I keep going back.
There seems to be something in the back of my brain that is witnessing it. I'm witnessing how you present your arguments and I'm feeling them, but there's something deep behind that I stayed stable, so I think that's the central tenant of our religion. uh vidanta is called that, everything in my Consciousness that survives My Death is also the same in you and in all of us and I wonder if you have any answers for that. Well, I was with you until you made the jump to uh. what survives after your death because all those other things like the part of you that goes to sleep, passes out of Consciousness and comes back to Consciousness.
I mean, that's still your brain at work, the part of you that likes to think. it's continuous from your childhood to your adulthood again, your brain has been working the whole time, so yes, I'm with you on all that, but that doesn't say anything about what happens when the brain permanently stops working now, by the way , this is not to say that there are no puzzles, conceptual mysteries about what philosophers call the problem of personal identity, so, for example, if an 18-year-old commits a crime, should he still be in prison when he has 65 years? Is he in some sense the same person?
Is it morally justifiable to make a 65 year old suffer for what an 18 year old did or is there some sense in which that person was not the same, because the brain was different and there are many other puzzles. that philosophers Derek Parfett, probably being the most famous, have not explored any of them, although I would say that they rule out the idea that a functioning brain is absolutely necessary for Consciousness and that when it stops functioning, Consciousness ceases, Can I say something about something? Sir, I would like to correct that we should understand that you call something a religion only if you are forced to believe in something that is not in your experience, so the Vedanta you are referring to and the Hindu culture and traditions you are referring to They have no belief system, it is a land of searching, you are supposed to search, this is the reason why in that culture there are no Commandments, no one can give us Commandments, who can give Commandments to the Indians, they are full of questions, so that this is a process of searching how many ways to search well we came up with thousands of ways to search different ways for each individual how to search but the fundamental thing is the fundamental thing about searching as I said once is that you have realized that you do not know why That is what to look for because the majority of human beings do not understand the meaning of I don't know I don't know is the basis of the desire to know and the desire to know is the basis of whether if you know it one day at least the possibility of knowing opens up. just because we realize I don't know if I said that the important thing about what you're saying is a university I don't know if this is a place to go to this aspect because you talked about Beyond Death, what happens and is necessary not to be just an assumption or something that you believe the bottom line is this as we sit here this is my body that is your body 100% this is my mind that is your mind here and there we can overlap but this is my mind that is your mind but it does not exist such a thing as my Consciousness and your Consciousness, there is only one Consciousness, you have captured some, I have captured some, we have methods and ways how you can capture a bigger bubble so that suddenly everything in you becomes better.
I can show you hundreds and thousands or millions of people who are at one level of life suddenly go to another level of experience and live simply because they manage to burst their bubble a little bigger, so this bubble, the bubble film, it is essentially information in the culture that where you come from, we call this karma karma means that as we sit here our body is doing activity this is a type of karma physical karma our mind is doing things this is mental karma our emotions are doing things which are emotional karma our energy is doing things that are Emot this energetic Karma four dimensions of karma are happening to us in waking and sleeping non-stop now, how identified you are with those things will create Tendencies within you, these Tendencies to which very rightly we refer as wasana wasana is a perfect word for this because the The word wasana means odor or smell, so what kind of vasana you have depends on what kind of tendency you develop, what kind of tendency depends on the kind of information you gathered from so many unconscious ways, so this information determines what kind of person you are, but what kind of being you are when I say what kind of being you see, you are the only life on this planet that is referred to as a being, not because beings humans had mastery over language, no, it is because you are the only one who can determine how to be, all other creatures instinctively respond to whatever their requirements and whatever the external stimuli, so what you are referring to as what that is beyond life, what is beyond this body, beyond this psychological drama that we are going through, is just a bubble. of information that can travel, but there are ways that you also know that by having mentioned the Hindus, that means that the goal of that culture is to achieve Liberation or MTI, what this means is that you deprive yourself or demolish all this Karma or this information that you have collected. or distance yourself in such a way that this bubble does not continue, that is a whole process, now this is too far-fetched for you because I am going too fast, there are too many loopholes in this, but this can be conveyed properly and it can be made to be experienced, no just talking about it, I just have a follow up on your book Blank Slate, it's a very popular book and you talk about there being no blank slate, people come in knowing that you also talk about the behavioral genetics parts. of is 40% yes I'm sorry if I'm wrong with the percentages you're talking about genetic influences it's 40% and 10% is environment and it's unknown there's another 40 to 50% it's unknown Am I saying the right person in the? differences between people, yes, so what is the unknown that we have? 50% are unknown pieces that influence behavior.
What do we attribute to it? Isunknown, but I can give you some possibilities, one of them is random events in development. of the brain in utero or after the genes do not have enough information to specify the wiring of the brain to the last synapse and perhaps there are some stochastic, that is, random processes in the growth of neurons and their interconnections where the genes maintain brain development in a band of functioning, but there is a lot of random variation within those boundary conditions. There may be effects of arbitrary events as you live your life that have cascading effects, chaotic effects that perhaps add up.
Just to be concrete and specify what we are talking about, imagine two identical twins. I'm sure many of you probably know some twins and I'm not talking about the exotic cases where they are separated. at birth they were reunited in adulthood and they have all these striking similarities that are interesting in terms of reminding us of the importance of genes, but now consider twins, the ordinary twins, like the ones that everyone knows and that maybe some It is yours who are brought. together they were raised in the same way in the same neighborhood the same parents the same older siblings the same younger siblings the same number of books in the house the same number of televisions in the house they are literally identical no, they are not identical and some of You know twins, no, you are not now, where do those differences come from?
They didn't come from your genes, I mean, unless there were new mutations after conception, they didn't come from the environment, as we usually think, uh, in the environment, that's the puzzle. and that's what we don't know, to me it means a huge, underestimated effect of random causes, whether they're random causes in brain development, in brain functioning, or in environmental experiences that have larger effects than we appreciate, right? ? I think it is one of the great surprises that behavioral genetics has revealed to us. Guru. Can we influence random radiation? That is what it seems. That's what I would conclude.
There may be subtle aspects of the environment that are very difficult. to measure that has predictable and non-random effects that seems a little unlikely that seems to be a kind of sentence uh I think it's more likely that there is a lot more randomness than we intuitively think about the importance of being a human being and not a human creature it's just that all of us definitely come with a certain amount of information from our parents AG, we pick up a lot more during our childhood and maybe adolescence and stuff, but we'll still limit ourselves to the information that comes to us and what we've collected or Will we go further?
That's what being human is about if we are just a replica of our parents' age. Either way, the small modifications in this and this human life have been wasted because that is why you are a human being, that means you can transcend whatever your body speaks everything your mind says beyond that, you can transcend and become something far beyond what the information that the body and mind contain, if you do not exercise this choice in many ways, human possibility has been wasted because we are not exploring possibility. To be a being, we are simply trying to be a better creature than others in the competition we have.
We can win better, we can qualify better, we can run better, we can jump better, but this is just being a better creature, which they all do. the other creatures. All other creatures strive to be competitive and be better than others, so there is a chance that you can. actually get away from your genetic information, we can show you a number of examples where even the shape of your face will change in a matter of few days, if you go through certain initiation processes, you will see that the very shape of your face will clearly change.
For all of you, I can show you photos. I can show you people how they were and how they are today because once the genetic information there is a distance between you and suddenly there are phenomenal changes and in the culture that you are talking about there are death rituals, we are doing these things to distance ourselves from our parents because if the influence of parental genetics is too heavy on us, we will not be a new life, we will only be a copy, so we want to be a new life, so all the time there are many processes many methods both when alive and when They go both ways, we have methods with which we distance ourselves from our own genetics because without that there is no new life, it is just a repeated life, so this whole process of doing things with genetic memory, energetic memory, chemical memory in the system, While Bala is doing research right now on how you can change your chemistry within four to 6 weeks of doing a simple 21 minute practice, it is well established, no one can question that because our idea of ​​Truth has to come from the Laboratory.
This idea must disappear. The truth comes from life. Life and the deepest experiences of life are everyone here experiencing life at the same level of depth. Definitely not. It is not like this? So can we improve this? Definitely yes, how many will do it? improving it is a question of will it is a question of how much life you are willing to invest to improve your experience most people are interested in improving their social presence their economic presence and other things, but essentially all the things that we are doing see why we want education why we want wealth why we want relationships WE believe these things will enhance the experience of life, don't we?
It may or may not be. That's a different matter, but the hope is that it improves somewhat. ways it will improve in some way it may not help these things are happening that is individual with some people they can make use of their education and wealth in a fantastic way many people make misery with their money these are different people so what we make improvements to the social and other structures is different, but improving life, the very life that I am, the very being that I am improving, there is a way, there is a methodology, there are cultures that have invested millennia of effort in this direction. which cannot be eliminated and that is the most important thing right now in the world because olog science and technology has provided more comfort and convenience that people are ready for, unfortunately they cannot enjoy its comfort and convenience today, the The problem is not hunger, the problem is overeating, at least a third of people suffer from obesity and things like that, so it is important that this time we know how to improve this life, not just improve our living situations and our styles. of life, thank you sir, thank you very much. very much and wonderful and thank you all

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