December 3, 2015

On Consciousness

“I think therefore I am.” - Descartes

I’ve been more and more cognizant of my own thinking lately. Maybe that has something to do with getting older. Maybe it’s all the podcasts I’ve been listening to. My metacognition has tripled in size since college and has expanded heavily throughout my 20s; most of which, I’ve come to realize, has happened during the later part of that decade. One might even be able to visualize this transformation with the archives of this very blog. But I’ve never perceived my mindfulness as a problem. Or irrelevant. Ever.

I am therefore I am. There’s my take.

In this (great!) article, “I feel therefore I am” by Margaret Wertheim, consciousness is suggested to be ‘a problem’ or ‘irrelevant’ within our physical subjectivity of the world and its concrete processes.

Consciousness, to me, should be regarded as a persona in which the individual perceives and interacts with said reality. Including emotion. We feel with more than just our heart. We feel with our mind and soul, too. We have empathy. Not to mention, an entire nervous system composed of electrical pulses pumping through us. Rather, consciousness is a part of all that. It is what makes us human. It is what makes our reality interactive.

It isn’t a problem. A problem keeps us from accomplishing something: a hurdle to overcome (or go around). It isn’t irrelevant; otherwise, we wouldn’t have been able to define consciousness in the first place.

Even though I differ on the premise (or perhaps not even understand it!), this essay is a wonderful read with some great insight. Check it out!