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January 01, 2013

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The last sentence in your essay is spot-on.

"...when we cannot travel the wide sea of eternity, the more significant is the island that we stand on now"

But what gives "the island" significance is the "travel" of experience that places us here. We travel in time, reflecting on where we've been and imagining where we'd like to be until we crash or we're exhausted.

Hi Brian. Nice blog. The term 'tricks' is okay but I prefer the idea that the brain/mind has evolved to 'protect' us. We believe we have a separate entity called 'mind' whereas it seems prety obvious that it is a construct derived from experiences 'stored' in the brain. The mind aspect of the brain that comprises the 'sense of self' also requires security and certainty. To assume concepts that protect it from what appears to be a hostile and perhaps confusing and meaningless universe, gives a certain protection to this ‘self’ concept. All the various beliefs we use and meanings we project onto reality act as devices which we unconsciously utilise to assist in the construction of our ‘self’ identities - they purport to be 'who we are'.The mind aspect of the brain that comprises the sense of self also requires security and certainty. To assume concepts that protect it from what appears to be a hostile and perhaps confusing and meaningless universe, gives a certain protection to this ‘self’ concept. All the various beliefs we use and meanings we project onto reality act as devices we unconsciously utilise to assist in the construction of our ‘self’ identities. Perhaps to realise the unsubstantionality of this mind/self is a sort of awakening, but who wants to be awakened to the possibility that the cherised 'I'or 'self' does not exist?

I have just finished reading "The Ravenous Brain" by Daniel Bor, how the new science of consciousness explains our insatiable search for meaning. Sounds like you might like it. He really gets into the recent discoveries in neuroscience and how the brain works, that help explain consciousness and a sense of self.

He is also an atheist, if that matters to you :-)

Thanks for the book recommendation. Amazon thanks you also. The book sounds interesting, though perhaps not hugely different from others I've read on much the same subject. But, hey, my consciousness is fascinated by consciousness. So I'll happily devour "The Ravenous Brain."

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