Friday, September 14, 2007

The only evidence for consciousness in and by itself is its own self-experience

Re: Understanding Thoughts of Sri Aurobindo by Srikanth
on Sat 08 Sep 2007 03:15 PM PDT Profile Permanent Link
Wonderful book review! Substantial, focussed, and synthesizing!
  • Debashish, does Kireet Joshi say anything about how exactly genetic alterations/mutations or physical changes in DNA affect "consciousness"?
  • For that matter does anyone?
  • What might be the physical basis for the connection?
  • True - mutations are the basis of several diseases - but is "consciousness" regulated or influenced by specific or groups of genes as well?
  • Can we at least speculate as to how sensory awareness and mental capacities of an organism distinguish themselves from "consciousness" at the genetic level.

Scientists are very close, I think, to understanding the functions of various genes individually and in association with others, but I am not so sure that they can make the distinction, at least not yet.

Reply by Debashish on Mon 10 Sep 2007 08:43 AM PDT Profile Permanent Link No, Kireet Joshi does not comment directly on the relationship between genetic mutations and consciousness except to point out that this question is one that remains unaddressed by biological evolutionary theories, which consider evolution purely in terms of form and function. But quite evidently, nature demonstrates an evolution of consciousness as well, which is why philosophers such as Bergson, Whitehead or Sri Aurobbindo who address this question, cannot be dismissed.
Regarding speculation on the relation between the two, clearly the complexity of form and function is related to the expression of consciousness, but consciousness has an independent basis which is self-evident. By "self-evident" I mean the only evidence for consciousness in and by itself is its own self-experience. The self-evident knowledge of consciousness is primordially non-dual darshana, then the objectification of direct vision of self-experience, pratyaksha, then intuition and finally faith. Science has proceeded by shutting the avenues of this form of direct knowledge and rests entirely on external evidence for "proofs." Hence the question of consciousness cannot be adequately answered by it. Only a science of consciousness can answer the question regarding the true relation between evolution of consciousness and form, such for example, as Mother's discovery of the mind of the cells. DB

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