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June 07, 2023


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Just a quick thought Brian, wouldn't it be more fair for an independent unbiased third party scoring and awarding points during a debate? We can all certainly guess who would be the winner if one of the individuals debating is going to determine the winner of the debate competition ;). Thanks for sharing.

How can one win or lose a game that demands a proof for something that cannot be proved by scientist, as they lack the theory, the instruments.

Proving and making predictions has been for long a problem in the so called gamma sciences, as psychology, sociology etc end even economy so much so some do not consider them to be sciences. What to think about activities that are located in our brains.

What spence writes about can be factual true however.

Acadanic language is based in the visible world, so it is de facto not equipped to even describe things that are considered to be in another dimension let alone to measure them.

In my opinion is such an demand, a disregard and disrespect of science., so much so that no self respecting scientist of name will engage in that debate

To me it is just weekend talk wiamong friens aside the barbecue with a glass of wisky in one's hand

Anonymous, this blog is an informal debate game, not a formal one. For many years I played competitive tennis. My opponents and I called shots in or out. No referee. Same applies here. I'm both playing a debate game and calling responses by Tepper valid or invalid.

But in this case Spence Tepper didn't even choose to play the game, since he ignored a question about whether he had any evidence that the brain can operate without filters or concepts. Knowing that he would lose the argument if he honestly answered the question, Tepper chose to stay off the debate field and instead talk about a different subject.

So it's clear that he lost the debate game, since he didn't even play it. Tepper is an intelligent guy who sometimes makes a lot of sense. But over the years I've noticed that he has an extreme aversion to responding to questions that threaten his religious worldview. This is one of the problems with religion. Often it makes people rigid, holding strongly on to beliefs when asked about them.

Sure, we all do this to some extent. But most of us are willing to admit when we're wrong in the sphere of politics, science, or other areas that aren't so strongly connected to our core personal beliefs as often is the case with religion. That can make debating a religious believer frustrating, since they get so defensive when pressed about evidence for why they believe what they do.

um, you're wrong that science can't prove the theory being debated here. We aren't talking about the existence of God or soul. Spence Tepper was asked about a state of the brain, whether it can function without filters or concepts. There's loads of evidence that the brain is continually making predictions about the world based on prior experience and current perceptions.

Tepper was asked to provide evidence that a brain can function without filters or concepts. He couldn't, so he chose not to answer the question.

You say that what Spence said can be factually true. That's true of anything someone says. I can say that I can fly by flapping my arms. That might be factually true. But it is very unlikely. You'd want evidence of this before you believed me. Likewise, just because something might be true doesn't mean we should accept it. If "might" was viewed the same as "is," we'd have to worry about elephants breaking down our door while we're sleeping.

There's a slight chance this might happen, but any reasonable person would view that chance as essentially zero -- unless they lived in a place where elephants do break down doors, which would change our prior expectation, a fundamental tenet of the prediction theory I've been writing about.

You wrote
"You'd claimed, originally, that meditation enables us to bypass the model-building thing of our brain, and bypass those mental filters to apprehend reality directly."

Yes that's right.

Then you added

"Whoops, we seem to have cross-posted there. Saw you recent comment just now, after having posted mine.

" You have this to say here:
'You have accidentally overstated my case, which was that we can view things without filters. That is not by bypassing all the cognitive functions of the brain. It is engaging largely unused functions of the brain, other channels.'

".......But I don't see how that gels with your earlier remarks about apprehending reality directly? You seem to be back-pedaling a bit, now."

Yes I see the distinction.

Keep in mind my earlier comment to Brian.

"We can access parts of the brain that are more objective, higher cognitive functioning centers, and help align the rest of the brain, including the lower brain centers, to those. That's what meditation does."

This all takes place within the brain, including direct perception.

When the filters and reconstruction are circumvented or attenuated what is left is direct perception.

As I had stated earlier

" On a similar front, there seems to be an unspoken assumption in your and Brian's comments that the brain's filtering and reconstruction operate along a single immutable channel that cannot be attenuated, and certainly not by any conscious effort. That has already been disproven by science in several well replicated studies.

"A recent effort to integrate these results is the Zero Point Field model, which helps tie together changes filtering, and conscious awareness.

From the research article...
"Moreover, the data support the conclusion that meditative practices and psychedelics detune the filter, thus preventing the instantiation of self-referential conscious states, which leads to the dissolution of the ego. Instead, the brain taps into a wider spectrum of ZPF modes and, hence, gains access to an extended phenomenal color palette, resulting in expanded consciousness."


I had added

" Our consciousness is the result of several channels of input, each adjusting to our attention, adjusting to local conditions and to time itself. What we attend to, attenuates those filters and their processing.


"These are entirely sensitive and effected by our attention.

" Hence any practice of attention can affect those channels, including their filtering and reconstruction.

Direct perception is what you witness when the filters and reconstruction have been adequately suppressed. That's deep meditation.

But deep meditation leads to rewiring the brain so that your active perception changes also when you perform other tasks...

"... suppression of default mode processing may represent a central neural process in long-term meditation, and suggest that meditation leads to relatively reduced default mode processing beyond that observed during another active cognitive task."

So, yes deep meditators function without the same default mode network intervention of non-mediators even during daily functioning.

How much of that is less filtered and how much zero filtered?

That's an individual matter. But proof exists that the DMN is circumvented.

And here is an article written for the general public about the overall positive effects of meditation, including how the brain turns off the "me" center... The Default Mode Network, all its effects on thinking, and how the brain rewires to function without those filters and adjusters.


From the above article...

"Meditation Reduces Activity in the Brain's “Me Center”
Several studies have shown that meditation, through its quieting effect on the DMN, appears to do just this. And even when the mind does start to wander, because of the new connections that form, meditators are better at snapping back out of it."

And here is a simpler article for the general public directly referencing additional research at Yale on how meditation shuts off parts of the brain...


From the above
"Experienced meditators had decreased activity in the brain's default mode network -- areas that have been linked to disorders such as anxiety, attention deficit, hyperactivity, and Alzheimer's disease. When this network was active, brain regions associated with self-monitoring and cognitive control were activated as well in experienced meditators but not in novices. This suggests that trained meditators may be able to simultaneously monitor and suppress the emergence of "me" thoughts and the urge to daydream. In pathological forms, these states are associated with diseases such as autism and schizophrenia."

If you want to think more clearly, meditate. No other mechanism has been proven to have the wide ranging and positive effects on the brain's health and ability to accurately process information directly, than meditation.

@ Brian

The only think that I have come to understand that in order to grow qualities as concentration, devotion, endurance and even love one has to use an meaningless and valueless activity.

The slightest amount of meaning and value will distract that development

Years ago I saw an Swedish movie in which a man on his way to the village would put some stones on one another and on his way home he would dismantle the pile and lay the stones back.

That is at the core of meditation.

SantMat64, this comment is factually wrong, so I've added this correction. I never objected to Spence Tepper saying that it might be possible to experience God. Tepper said "maybe," after all. In fact, I said that what Tepper said about God was fine with me. My objection was to what this post said: Tepper wrongly claimed that it was possible for awareness to be without filters or concepts. When asked for evidence to back this claim up, Tepper couldn't do that. Instead, he changed the subject. That's why he lost the debate. Next time, check your own facts before you write a false comment.

-- Brian Hines
Brian Hines says you can't win a debate by declaring you won the debate. Then Brian Hines triumphantly declares that he won the debate.

Just what the heck did Spence Tepper say that got Brian so upset? Well, Spence had the temerity to say that in meditation, one might experience God.

Hoo boy, you can't say the G word to our resident atheists! Them's fighting words, uh word.
And so Brian tries to gaslight Spence with a lengthy proclamation on how belief in God is actually "dangerous," and is indicative of bigotry. None of which made any sense whatsoever.

This is what you get when crossing swords with a progressive atheist. They slam your opinion, and you, as a bigot. Simply because your a fan of prayer and meditation.

Ugly as this little contretemps was, it has born fruit, as it's been revealed just who is the intolerant one here.

The second sutra of Patanjali says:"Yogas citta vrtti nirodhah:

>>yoga is the cessation of the modifications, or fluctuations, of the mind.
This sutra gets right to the heart of why we practice yoga. No time is wasted.<<

If the surface of a puddle is without ripples and one is used to the darkness of the surface and looks into it, one can see ones own face as in a mirror.

If there is no sleep, nothing to be conscious of, the advaita masters will say you will realize pure beingness .. I am that

If that is what Spences is talking about, he is at terms with these mystics.
The empty mind, in a calm brain, gives answer to the question: Who am I
That what is experience as "being" cannot be expressed ... one need not to have these experiences to understand that.

@ Brian, AR [ But the issue we're focused on at this time is this: Can meditation enable us to bypass the model-building via which filter we apprehend reality indirectly, so that we might be able to apprehend reality directly? That had been your claim. Can you substantiate it ]

Functionally with meditation's proven cognitive boost, the meditator is peeking outside the
model-building channel to see what he couldn't before... apprehending it directly. Or do the
results call for a more robust explanation with predictive certainty? That would entail a far
more slippery probe of attention I'd think.

Spiritually, if god exists and as a mystic says is the "totality of awareness", the explanation
for direct perception becomes simply an individual slipping off his selfhood briefly to glimpse
into "totality".

Hey, Spence.

That’s a whole wealth of (seemingly) excellent papers on this subject. Haven’t actually read them yet, haven’t had time; but I intend to check them out, the links on this thread as well as the previous one, when I have more time.


Not sure where you’re coming from, though, I have to say.

You started out saying that meditation does let you apprehend reality directly. Then repeated that a few times more. Then you tell me that isn’t what you’d meant --- which was a bit surprising, but okay, why force the issue, the main thing is the content of the discussion not its mechanics, so I said fine, I’ll take it that you hadn’t made that claim after all. And now, after all of that, you end up saying the following to me, in between saying lots of other things as well: “When the filters and reconstruction are circumvented or attenuated what is left is direct perception.” Direct perception, once again. You seem to have now gone back to your claim again here. Maybe you can see why I’m confused. I’m not sure what it is you’re actually saying, as far as what we’d started discussing.

Let’s just get this clear: Are you, or are you not, saying that meditation can help us apprehend reality directly?

Let me clarify what I mean by that. I know that meditation does help center us, and yes, in a very loose sense of the word loosen our “filters”, sure. Helps us see ourselves for what we are, others for what they are, all of that. Properly done, meditation helps loosen delusory thinking, absolutely (at any rate, insight meditation, coupled with absorption, does that, absolutely; and maybe other forms of meditation do that as well.) This I know both in the abstract, and to an extent from personal experience as well. That isn’t what this is about. (At least, not in my mind. And, I imagine, not in Brian’s either; because this is not an extravagant claim at all, and no reason why anyone would contest this.)

By “apprehending reality directly”, this is what I mean: I understand that we (us humans, at any rate) apprehend the world not directly but via models. Like that sinewave voice thingy? You don’t actually grok the voice you hear, you grok your brain’s model of the voice you hear. Are you saying that in meditation you can directly apprehend that voice and what it’s saying, as opposed to the brain’s model of it?

Again, at one level doing that is elementary. A solid punch or a kick to the head will do that. Simply going to sleep will do that. Getting anesthetized will do that. Well not every time, but you know what I mean. You can withdraw awareness, and that will mean the brain’s stopped doing its thing. That you might be able to do that in meditation as well is no big deal, all that takes is sufficient absorption. That’s elementary, nothing worth discussing there either.


THAT is what I’ve taken your claim to mean. That’s what would be the extravagant claim. And that is what, if that is what you’ve said, you’ve been requested to substantiate.

So yeah, let’s just get this clear: Are you actually making that claim, Spence? Yes, or No? Are you claiming that in mediation we can retain awareness, and yet bypass the brain’s model-building thing and apprehend reality directly?

An unambiguous Yes or No answer, please! And without obscuring the answer in a whole mass of irrelevancies.


Next: If your answer to the above is No, then that’s the end to it, right there.

(That is, absolutely, all of what you’ve said here, they make for interesting reading. And your links look very promising, in general terms. But as far as this focused discussion, a No answer from you to the above question directly puts an end to it.)

But if your answer is a Yes, well then, you’ll then need to substantiate it. (Or else admit to not having that evidence, and holding on to your belief sans evidence --- which is your right, but let’s be clear about that.)

Now you’ve already presented a whole slew of reports and articles, and it is possible that they do contain robust substantiation of what we’re talking about. But it doesn’t really help, having all of those reports thrown at one, not unless each of them presents the substantiation asked for (which is clearly not the case, as far as this focused question).

You offloaded on me, Spence, fully a dozen articles and reports! In general that’s cool, and in general terms I do intend (hope?!) to check them all out at leisure. But, I mean, a dozen reports! And it isn’t as if they all substantiate your claim. You singled out the Mayo Clinic report, so I read that; and that turned out to be a general descriptive piece on meditation by “staff” --- and it doesn’t remotely provide the evidence for this claim of yours.

(And no, so far I’ve not read any other report, other than that Mayo Clinic piece. Haven’t had the time. Although like I said, and independently of the focus of our discussion, they look promising enough!)

So yeah, I’ll request you to point me towards one single report. Just one, that, in your view, does substantiate your point. Then I can check it out, and provided it gels with what you claim, and provided the report itself seems above board, I’ve no issues agreeing with what you’re saying here.

And all of that, provided your answer to the question I’ve asked here is a Yes. If the answer's a No, then, like I said, we need take this no further.

“Functionally with meditation's proven cognitive boost, the meditator is peeking outside the
model-building channel to see what he couldn't before... apprehending it directly. Or do the
results call for a more robust explanation with predictive certainty? That would entail a far
more slippery probe of attention I'd think.”


Hey, Dungeness.

See my comment addressed to Spence just now.

If simply the “cognitive boost” is all Spence means, then that’s trivial, at least to those who’re not completely unfamiliar with the basics of meditation. No question of disagreement, in that case.

But if he refers to, and as you say, “peeking outside the model-building channel” --- that is, bypassing the model-building, while at the same time remaining aware of it all --- then yes, that is what we’re talking about. And looking to his backing it up, not in terms of “explanation” or pontification; but of substantiation, evidence.

And it’s possible Spence has already presented that evidence, in the mass of reports he’s already posted here. Let’s see what he has to say.

You wrote
"You offloaded on me, Spence, fully a dozen articles and reports! In general that’s cool, and in general terms I do intend (hope?!) to check them all out at leisure. But, I mean, a dozen reports! And it isn’t as if they all substantiate your claim."

A man wrote to me once and asked me to show him my car. He wanted details. And he claimed I could not do it.

I sent him a close up, detailed photo of the tires.

He said "That's not a car. That's a tire."

So I sent him a photo from a distance of the whole vehicle.

He wrote back, "That's just the exterior. Body, glass and tires. But not the car. I have no idea of that thing can even move."

So I opened the hood and sent a photo of the engine.

He wrote back, " Sorry Spence, you didn't give me what I asked for. That's just a car engine. How do I know that it has anything at all to do with the other photos? That could be from a completely different car or machine."

So I wrote him back," Look, I guess you are right. I can't actually show you a car. To actually see a car you will need to go and see one for yourself. "

But start with the research. They are more important than my half-assed photos.

When you have read them I'm curious to read how you digested them, through your own filters.

You wrote
"But if he refers to, and as you say, “peeking outside the model-building channel” --- that is, bypassing the model-building, while at the same time remaining aware of it all --- then yes, that is what we’re talking about. And looking to his backing it up, not in terms of “explanation” or pontification; but of substantiation, evidence."

Yes outside the model building channels (plural not singular). You will see from the articles that deep meditation shuts down different systems. Those include filters.

The perceiving" you" is at the end of that. Those systems can be shut down and you are still perceiving. But no longer with the admixture of those intrusive thoughts, that are the production of those systems, built and reconstructed by the brain's processing systems.

The Default Mode Network is one name for a whole host of mental processing, both in the limbic and higher cognitive centers.

The reason the DMN is so interesting is that it is on all the time doing its processing thing. Your brain burns almost the same calories at rest as it does at work. Those systems are nearly always on. Except during deep meditation. Even though "you" are awake and aware.

Hi Brian
The score keeper is drunk. But I have great affection for him.

"Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open? Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking. The entrance door to the sanctuary is inside you."


The two things I asked of you, Spence, it’s physically impossible to ask them any clearer. Haha, clearly there’s no way to separate you from that waffle-maker of yours! Not going to try asking again.

Like I said, and independently of this (attempted, and now aborted!) focused discussion, these links look very promising indeed. And that thing about the multiple channels via which the brain apparently does its model-building thing, I’ve no clue whether that’s a commonly known thing in neuroscience, but that’s the first I am hearing of this. Likewise the mechanism of it all, this DMN you mention. Absolutely, I’d like to know more about all of that! Thanks much for posting those links.

Incidentally, I wouldn’t get so hung up on winning or losing these gladiatorial games! I’m pretty sure Brian meant the headline to his leader article completely tongue-in-cheek. And speaking for myself, it’s only been about trying to arrive at better understanding, is all.

Fun talking, Spence, cheers.

Sorry for any lack of clarity...
You asked.
"Spence? Yes, or No? Are you claiming that in mediation we can retain awareness, and yet bypass the brain’s model-building thing and apprehend reality directly?

" An unambiguous Yes or No answer, please!

Yes. Absolutely yes!

When many of the brain's systems, both lower brain and cognitive processing, are turned off you retain, in deep meditation full heightened awareness. So what you witness is absent those brain filters, construction and reconstruction mechanisms that normally work all the time in the background. You are seeing things directly.

See articles provided for evidence...

Spence, I'm not drunk. I'm just holding to this blog's commitment to truth-telling. So far I haven't seen any evidence that what you claimed to be true actually is: that it is possible for someone to alter their brain so it functions without filters or models.

You've thrown out a bunch of distracting links, sort of like how fighter jets used chaff (if that's the right term) to distract incoming missiles. But in this case I remain undistracted. Share some convincing peer-reviewed links to studies that buttress your claim, and I'll be pleased to admit that your statement about filters and models could be correct. And do this simply and directly. I don't want a dozen distracting links. Share a comment with a couple, or even one, convincing links.

What we're seeing here, and why our interchanges are important, is that we're modeling (yeah, I know, you don't like that term) how finding truth should occur. You're a strong believer in God and the supernatural. I'm not, not any more. We could argue forever about who is right and who is wrong.

But a better way is to ask for evidence from the external world that pertains to our debate. Again, so far you have failed to present the required evidence that Appreciative Reader and I have been asking for. Thus it's clear that you have lost the argument. After all, extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence. So far you haven't even produced weak evidence for your extraordinary claim that you (I assume) are capable of viewing reality without filters or models.

As the neuroscientist I've been quoting says, it's unclear what that even means: reality as it is. Humans see human reality. Dogs see dog reality. Religious believers see religious reality. Atheists see atheist reality. The common ground for us humans is science and its ability to assess claims about what humans perceive and determine which of those claims are universally valid, as far as can be determined, and which are only personal.

To repeat, so far you've only presented a personal claim. My problem with that is you're claiming it is universal. If you had said, I believe it is possible to view things without filters or models, I'd have no problem with that belief. You can believe whatever you want. But when you leave a comment on this blog claiming a universal truth, I have a problem with that, because I don't want religious dogmatism to infect comments on the blog more than they already do.

Any particular article you'd recommend? Would help if you could point to one article, just the one, that you feel best substantiates the "Yes" answer you've provided just now.

(Which is not, at all, to dismiss the rest. Like I said I'm interested in knowing some more about all of this, independently of this claim thing.)

Brian, correct me if I'm wrong --- after all, my knowledge of neuoscience is largely limited to the stuff I've read here on your blog! --- but my understanding is that the brain models the reality that we perceive, and it is this model we apprehend. In meditation --- and of course, to an extent, simply by simply introspecting, simply stepping back --- we can indeed help dispel some delusions, some errors in how we apprehend reality. But what that amounts to is basically polishing up our model, and making our model better reflect reality. It isn't actually going outside of the model at all. It's operating within the model, same as before, except streamlining the model to ...well, become a better model. At least that's my understanding, unless I've got it wrong (in which case please correct me).

What Spence is claiming goes beyond that. He's not talking about streamlining the model. He's talking about going beyond that model. And going beyond the model not merely by taking attention and awareness away from the model-building brain; but staying aware despite shutting off the model-building. It is my understanding --- my fallible understanding! --- that that's not a thing, that you can't have human awareness, human consciousness, minus the model building. That's simply how we happen to have evolved.

Which is what makes Spence's claim so extraordinary, so extravagant. At least basis my (entirely fallible) understanding about how this works.

Well, he's finally committed to the claim now, and done that unambiguously. And he also states, in so many words, that the reports he's linked to substantiate his claim.

Heh, a whole dozen of reports does indeed sound a bit like misdirection, like you say! Unless each of them substantiates his claim, so that one might start out with any one at random --- except that's evidently not how it is at all, as the one article I've already gone through shows.

Well, I've requested him to point to one single report, just the one, from the whole mass of stuff he's posted here, that best substantiates his claim. I'm hoping he'll comply, in which case it'll be a simple matter of checking out the report to ascertain if it does indeed bear him out. Let's see what he has to say.

Appreciative Reader, yes, your comment above is right on. Well, so have been your other comments. The brain has to model reality because as is so often noted by neuroscientists, it exists within the sealed container of the cranium, the head. The brain has no direct contact with anything other than itself. It is indeed a "brain in a vat," as science fiction depicts.

As Sam Harris said in his interview with Shamil Chandaria, as soon as photons are detected by the eye, everything after that is processed electrochemical signals, not photons from external reality. So the brain has to make its best guess as to what those signals represent, which is where predictive processing and Bayesian inference come in.

Tonight I'm planning to write about an interesting two hour talk Chandaria gave on "The Bayesian Brain and Meditation." He also has a talk called "Bayesian Brain and the Ultimate Nature of Reality." Haven't watched that one yet. I'm confident you'd enjoy both videos. Chandaria has his own beliefs, of course, and is an avid meditator. But he also is highly scientifically literate. See:



Regarding Spence, yes, I also await his sharing of a reputable research study that shows the brain can function without filters and models. I doubt he'll find this, for the "brain in a vat" reason mentioned above. Again, since the brain has no direct connection to reality, it has to make assumptions about reality and test those assumptions with models that appear to be similar to how Bayesian statistics works.

Hehe, this has been a very cute "game", quite enjoyable to observe. But it brings back memories of when I saw the 1st Harry Potter movie at the cinema, and they were playing that Quidditch game; so much fun to watch and full of intense & earnest appearance of endeavor....but, ultimately, what the hell was the point of all that hectic goal scoring by both teams, when the winner was solely decided by which team's captain caught the golden flying thing? (as you can see, HP is not really my cup of tea.....I fell asleep midway through that movie and never saw another one at the cinema again!! :). It was obvious to me that Quidditch had been invented by somebody who's never played a sport in their life.......

Re Brian & AR's view, it's the same old one. They apparently don't realise that there is not even a general or vague scientific consensus of what "consciousness" is or how it is to be defined. They themselves are totally unable to provide a shred of scientific evidence that consciousness is produced by, or is a by-product of, brain mechanisms. Over the years Brian has posted a mish-mash of pop-scientific views, often contradictory to each other, simply in order to bolster his own religious belief that there is no "God", mystical experiences of worth, psychic or super-natural phenomena, mystery in general etc, with no apparent interest in holistic or integral thinking.

As, scientifically and factually speaking, science hasn't even got the slightest of a clue as to what consciousness (or, indeed, matter....quantum mysteries abound.....whichever direction you go, if you go deep enough, mystery abounds) is, let alone how it could even begin to be produced by matter, Brian & AR's request to Spencer is based on an unquestioned & unexamined mistaken assumption/ideological belief, so my reply would be; if you cannot scientifically prove consciousness even exists, why or how should he prove it exists "without the brain's filters"?

I think a more mature question in scientific terms would be, "is consciousness non-local".

The only evidence we have for consciousness is anecdotal, those mere wispy-cloud imaginings of bags of insentient randomly assimilated matter delusionally believing themselves to be conscious.

And, to make a best guess as to the nature of consciousness, it must be based primarily on anecdotal data coupled with scientific data if possible, and even with all this the best we can say (certainly at this point in time) is that the evidence (from anecdotal as well as scientific disciplines) is SUGGESTIVE of one direction or another in this polarised debate.

Luckily, we have copious amounts of evidence (the winner of the current game refused to review the evidence, all conveniently linked on a single web-page, because there was too much of it ;), often from more strictly controlled (double blind, file-drawer effects, meta-analysis of large data etc) than many medical pharmaceutical studies, of a wide array of "PSI" related phenomena very strongly suggestive of non-local consciousness. In addition to this we have evidence from NDEs, often under scientifically controlled conditions, also strongly suggestive of non-local consciousness. Throughout history, anecdotal evidence attesting to the reality of non-local consciousness has been abundant, plentiful, and for most of that history an unquestioned aspect of reality for the vast majority of humans.

That matter is itself "non-local" should highlight what a strange, intellectual and conceptual loop we are in. Even if consciousness is made by, or an emergent property of, the brain (which it almost certainly isn't...even many of the neuro-scientists whose pop-books Brian has posted from were neo-panpsychists, so if consciousness exists everywhere, then clearly it isn't an emergent property of the "brain"; duh! :), then it still retains the possibility of being non-local in experience too, why not?!

As to the original question by Brian & AR, here is something suggestive that conscious experience can be infinitely more intense, meaningful, profound, colourful, superlative in every human mentation sense with decreased activity. Again, SUGGESTIVE; what does this suggest? Think about it......(okay, a clue, how the HELL can a brain with DECREASED activity result in infinitely INCREASED "mentation"....there, you just needed a little hand didn't you? :):



The reality is, nobody here has a clue as to what they're talking about; light v wave, free-will v determinism, spirit v matter? it's all the inane chattering's of the dualistic mind trying to make sense of an incomprehensible, non-dualistic whole.

Can consciousness be free of this dualistic, concept making mind? I believe so. It is without doubt that it can certainly be freer of the rigid, dogmatic, unflexing dualistic thought than is demonstrated by several in this "game" here.


>> Again,
[1] since the brain has no direct connection to reality,
[2] it has to make assumptions about reality and
[3] test those assumptions with models that appear to be similar to how Bayesian statistics works

IF the brain cannot go beyond itself, it can never know anything beyond itself

To state that there is a reality but that it cannot be known is strange to the mind that drinks coffee .. and even un-logical

um, the brain gets data from the senses. That's how you were able to write your comment, and I"m able to reply to it. The brain makes predictions about what is being sensed. Then those predictions are tested against sense data from eyes, ears, nose, taste, touch, and such. Thus ideally the brain's predictions about reality are corrected by error detection from the senses. I think I see a mountain lion but it's actually a large house cat on closer inspection.

When the sense data match up against predictions, that's a good sign that reality is being experienced. Human reality, of course, since that's all we can experience. All in all, the brain does a good job at this, since mostly we humans share a common experience of reality.

But when beliefs are involved that have little or no connection with sensual reality, religious or otherwise, that's where problems come in. How can a notion of "God" be tested when there is no evidence of God? Same applies to a mentally ill person believing that someone is controlling their mind. It's tough to convince them otherwise, since their brain is making an assumption about something that is outside of sensual experience.

I have nothing to say about God.
What I wrote is something what is ee as an inconsistency in the reasoning about the so called relation between the outside world and the brain/

In case of the "closed box" theory of the brain, the brain cannot sau even if there is something beyond itself.

It is impossible to say that there is a spiritual reality beyond the brain and it is also impossible to say there is a material reality outside the brain.

I have witnessed this for decades ago .. bu not that educated and lacking the drive of Al Gazalli to owe myself the language of a particular academic discipleship to show that there is something not correct in the reasoning ... Among friends i used to call it an "third position" reasoning where a person places himself outside the situation although he is part of that situation..

So you can discard it as Nonsense .... personaly I believe these things spence talks of are there but he does in fact the same as you and others do, you all are talking about proves ..etc

Brian wrote: "Drugs as an avenue to exploring consciousness"

Spence responded: ""Your brain is not a toy to play with."
Sister Andrea (Andrea Martin in Evil)"

A few weeks later, Spence wrote "[lots of stuff promoting the effects of meditation on the brain, and scientific articles supporting this]"

Spence then wrote "If you want to think more clearly, meditate. NO OTHER MECHANISM IS KNOWN [my emphasis] to have the wide ranging and positive effects on the brain's health and ability to accurately process information directly, than meditation."


"Perhaps this will help connect the research I had cited proving how the unique physical changes from meditation practice improve cognitive functioning. There is CURRENTLY NO KNOWN ALTERNATIVES [my emphasis] to meditation practice that produce these healthy effects on the brain."

then posted 1 or 2 paragraphs later:

""Moreover, the data support the conclusion that meditative practices and PSYCHEDELICS [my emphasis] detune the filter, thus preventing the instantiation of self-referential conscious states, which leads to the dissolution of the ego. Instead, the brain taps into a wider spectrum of ZPF modes and, hence, gains access to an extended phenomenal color palette, resulting in expanded consciousness."


etc :)

Ah Spence...like Sri Sri Bhagwan Brian has already written, I'm sure you are a very nice and well meaning person, a beautiful human being.... but I have to say I find there to be enough lack of clarity in your thoughts and experiences as you have posted here, that I can entirely understand the deep rooted scepticism of folks like Brian or AR.

You clearly write as somebody who thinks they embody what they're speaking of and supporting with "evidence", but if I may ask, what is this generic "meditation" you are referring to, and does the socio-culturual and theological context of that practice make any difference to it's "brain benefits"? Ie. I'm asking if you're suggesting all these studies relating to the "benefits" of "meditation" relate to the somewhat bizarre and medieval RS meditation practice and beliefs? Having kept up with all such studies over the decades, I don't recall the one showing the benefits of the great "Science of the Soul" Radhasoami Satsangis meditation practice? Personally, I have not witnessed many benefits in Satsangi meditators in relation to clarity in thought or less DMN reactivity for eg. If anything, perhaps the opposite.....

Having read through some of the recent posts, the following thread was linked to a similar discussion from a few years ago, where you left the following comment:

"Having seen Gurinder turn into Maharaji and then back to Gurinder, with both versions holding up persistently under prolonged scrutiny, I can attest to the personal reality of events that are not based in this physical world but which are nonetheless quite real and persistent. Even shared by others."


Sincerely, and with all due respect, how is anyone to take seriously the suggestion we have transcended the filters of the brain or mind and are apprehending reality more directly because we have had the experience of seeing a failed fraudster's visage transform into a deceased judgmental homophobe's form? Is this not, more rightly, precisely a discussion about the filters and concepts in our minds?

I dunno, but honestly good luck to you. You seem like a most lovely person, a precious gem in the garden of mysteries.



To me, religion is nothing,.
It has no intrinsic value or meaning.

The meaning it is said to have, is attributed to it by those that are for or against it.
With that in mind people can behave in different ways. ... some yo that far that they will kill and be killed

This is my understanding:

IF ..."IF" there will be a moment of judgement at the end of my life, i suppose it will be something the like ....

You Um,
We gave you this male body ... what did you do with it
We gave you these Parentss... How did you behave yourself towards them
We gave you all the others as family, friends neighbors etc -.. How did you treat them

We gave you all the circumstances of life as we gave it to all other species.
How did you behave yourself.

No outsourcing of personal responsibility will be excepted, no pointing with a finger at others, the circumstances as causal for my actions and reactions.

Part of what was given to me, part of the conditions, was the coming to know about mysticism. ... for that ... i hold myself responsibly for whatever I did, thought and felt .. to this day

And ... that said it should be clear that I am not the judge of death and I have always done my best to stay away from that role.

I remember my interactions with mysticism with great pleasure. .. but whether it has an reality of its own .. I never knew and I still do not know and I am not really interested as .. I AM the actor and I experience my actions, thoughts and feelings as the sole reality.

Every article I sited is supportive.

Pick one, read it and then share your interpretation.

They are all from reliable sources.

If any of the research terminology is confusing I can help with that.

Spence, I'll translate into plain English what you just said: "I don't have any solid evidence that it is possible for the brain to function without filters or models, so I'm just going to stick with the irrelevant links that I shared before."

Which is why I correctly said that you've lost the argument, but for some reason (I suspect it is religious) you won't admit that you were wrong.

Watched around half an hour of the first of the two video-lectures of Shamil Chandaria’s that you’ve linked here, Brian. Completely outstanding!

Loved how clearly he explained the model of how exactly perception works. That’s something completely new to me, and counter-intuitive as well: one would have (naively, uninformedly) imagined it’s simply the lower triangle that’s at work; and that there’s the upper triangle as well, and what’s more that that upper triangle’s apparently doing far more of the heavy lifting than the bottom one, while to begin with that appeared counter-intuitive, but when you think about it it does make a great deal of sense.

Gives rise to a great many questions, as you watch through. But of course, better to first listen to the whole thing, no doubt many of those questions will be resolved in the course of his presentation.

You’ve already written a fresh article around these two videos, but I’d like to watch through these two videos first, before I go on to read what you’ve had to say about them.

Spence, I picked one of the reports you’ve presented here, quite at random. The one about ‘Multiple channels of visual time perception’, by Bruno & Cicchini.

I’ve only glossed over it so far. It’s a dense report, and I’ll confess I had to read through it through moving lips. There’s a great deal I didn’t understand, with a quick read. But it doesn’t look incomprehensible, and it shouldn’t be too difficult to make sense of it, if one puts in some real effort to understanding it and also to looking up what one doesn’t immediately understand.

But look: this much is clear enough, that it has nothing whatsoever to do with what you’d claimed. At all. A quick and cursory perusal makes that much completely clear.


I’m going to frank here, Spence. I don’t like how you’re engaging with this issue, it looks a lot like misdirection to me, whether deliberate or somehow kneejerk-inadvertent.

To begin with you had to be dragged kicking and screaming to committing to the claim you’d originally made; after having first said to me, in so many words, that you hadn’t claimed that at all, and that I’d ended up “accidentally” interpreting it as such.

Then you throw in this whole mass of reports and articles. I picked on the Mayo Clinic article to begin with, because you’d specifically identified that one. Turns out it did not remotely present any evidence of what you were claiming. And now you clearly state that each of these reports bears you out, every one of them, and expressly ask me to pick any one out of them to read; and well, I’ve picked this Bruno-Cicchini thing out at random now, and it does nothing of the kind!

It looks to me like you’re hiding behind prevarication and misdirection here. These are all very dense reports; and to a non-specialist, they make for very heavy reading indeed. It seems to me you’re counting on having the dense technical science-y nature of those reports add some spurious weight to your claim, that is not actually substantiated by any of this.

I could be wrong about this, I guess. Not very likely, but possible --- after all, there’s no reason why I should be impervious to Dunning-Kruger! If so, I invite you to take this report up yourself, the Bruno-Cicchini report on time perception, and clearly and in detail discuss it, and explain how exactly the report bears out your claim that in meditation we can go beyond the model-building faculty of our brain and yet retain awareness of our perceptions and the world around us. I’ll gladly put in the time and effort to follow along with you, if you do that; and absolutely, I’ll back you up completely if you do succeed in making your case, basis this report. Otherwise, if you’re unable or unwilling to actually do that, with this particular report, well then I have to say that sending people out on a wild goose chase like this, I don’t think that’s quite …done.


But like I’d said earlier, and completely independent of this fantastic claim you’ve made here, and in general terms: those are some very cool reports you’ve linked to. They discuss aspects of this business that, like I said earlier, I hadn’t known before. Should make for interesting reading.

Thanks for your offer to explain the terms etc that I might find difficult to understand! I’ve bookmarked this page for reading later on; and when I do, I’m sure there’s lots of things there I might struggle with, and I’ll be very happy to take you up on your offer to help me with understanding them.

Let's talk a little more about the article you picked up. It's the least generic, most specific article I provided.

It was in response to Brian's false claim that we are all subject to a single channel of brain filtering and have no control to limit or supress these filters, or to switch channels, as I claim is a simple truth proved by decades of actual neuroscience research on attention and perception, and additional research on meditation.

The truth is that perception happens along multiple parallel channels with filtering at different places along each channel. Not a single channel.

Research demonstrates that these filters and adjustments are entirely sensitive to what we attend to. Our attention affects these filters.

In this research article, even the perception of time changes depending upon what you are looking at. Not only that but the perception of time can change for a specific region you are looking at, while other parts of the same visual field move at a peace set n by other, default clocks, governing he perception is those parts of the preceptual field. Adaptations, filtering and adjustments occur all the time and our attention influences those adjustments.

Here is what I had originally written about this research article.

"Our consciousness is the result of several channels of input, each adjusting to our attention, adjusting to local conditions and to time itself. What we attend to, attenuates those filters and their processing."


Bruno-Cicchini write

" Despite the fact that time appears as a unitary dimension, evidence is building for the idea that brief intervals are handled differently by different modalities. Within the visual modality, the changes in apparent duration described here can be caused by adaptation at multiple stages of the visual pathway suggesting that several parallel clocks exist, which estimate time independently across the visual field. Many of these findings are also consistent with the idea that specific temporal modules can be formed with relatively simple neural mechanisms.

"s. Buonomano et al. demonstrated that even a simple network comprising of hundred neurons is capable of encoding temporal intervals [6••] and, similarly, simulations of multiple oscillators indicate that reasonable timing performance can be obtained with about hundred oscillators [13]. Different clocks might exist not only for different sensory modalities [91], but they might also be specifically selected according to planned actions or movements [77,92]. Having a distributed network of adaptable local mechanisms to process temporal information might be useful for, at least, two reasons: first, to reconstruct a unified account of a fragmented perceptual experience [93,94], and, second, for stimuli of different modalities as well as for different objects in the visual scene, to extract not only their static features (such as size, shape, color, position), but also to have specific information on their temporal properties (such as knowing how rapidly they change)."

So, here is a beautiful summary of a plethora of actual research proving that we perceive over a number of different channels and that the filtering and adaptations they make can alter each other, and are affected by what we attend to.

This particular article was chosen to point out that our attention does indeed alter the level of filtering the brain creates. That helps support he other research I provided demonstrating how deep meditation shuts down all kinds of channels allowing a fully awake view without all those filters.

OK, pleaae take a look at another article and let me know how you interpret it, and we can continue..

Uhhhhh, Spence, look, let's not do this. The mechanics of the discussion, I mean to say, rather than the content of it. I'm extremely reluctant to say things that might sound ...not nice, both in general, and particularly to you. Let me just say that it is completely obvious, without a shadow of doubt, that what you're saying isn't the case at all. Duh, obviously, given that both your words, and Brian's, and mine as well, are clearly written there, with no question of misunderstanding. And I hadn't asked you what this article is about, that's clear like I said, I'd asked you how it backed up what you'd said. You're off ...I don't know, dilating away, attempting a spot of gaslighting in fact if I might frankly describe what I'm seeing here.

Anyhoo. Let's get away from this I-said-he-said business, and indeed from your claim as well. Clearly nothing good's coming out of it. (And again, my sincere apologies if anything I've said here has caused ...distress, hurt. Absolutely not my intention.)


Yes, like I said the research you've linked to looks intriguing. Yes, I'll check it out --- later, when I have time. And absolutely, I'm grateful for your offer to help with understanding them, and have no doubt I'll be in need of that assistance when I do dip into them. (But, again, let's just let go of the fiction that any of this bears on your actual claim, please. I'm not going to revisit that part of it again.)

Here is a study just today that supports my point..

"This finding suggests that cognitive biases may not only affect our decision-making process but also alter our fundamental perception. The results of this study may impact our understanding of human biases and also help refine AI perception algorithms."


Our perception is altered by our thinking. It works both ways, higher brain affects senses and senses thus affect that we see and hear. You may not see what I've written purely because of the way biases influence what actually gets to your conscious awareness.

The problem with dogma is the inability to acknowldge the solid points in the other person's thinking. But it goes further than that. The individual steeped in their own dogma cannot even acknowledge anything, not one single shred of objective truth in the other person, who is then demonized into a non-existent enemy.

If you have decided you are right and I am wrong that dualistic thinking creates a barrier to communication.

You can easily acknowldge the research I've provided without having to agree to any of my conclusions.

But the inability to even acknowldge the research, the objective facts they contain, and it's implications demonstrates the very cognitive biases we see here in Brian and your comments.

Viewing things directly means putting those aside. Not clinging to them.

If you were being objective and interested in this subject I would expect you and Brian would enjoy reading how filters work and how attention, thinking and conditioning affect them. I'm addition the research on meditation demonstrating its positive effects would also be welcome, even if you draw a different conclusion.

As I said earlier, it is that research and our understanding of it that is more important than any conclusion.

You could then offer alternative interpretations of the data, rather than insisting I'm wrong without dealing point by point with the evidence I've offered. The evidence is solid, through the interpretation is subject to our biases.

But dismissing well-verified and supported neuroscience research simply because I site it is disconnected to a reasonable review and discussion of evidence.

But this may not be the place for that afterall.

Haven't seen that report yet. I will, sure, later on. But going by what you say in description of it, this doesn't bear out what you'd claimed. And nor is it the completely new development that you seem to think it is.

Look up Brian's article on Chandaria's presentation. And for a more detailed take on it, watch Chandaria's video itself, that Brian has linked both here in this thread, and also in the article he's written about it.

Rather counter-intuitively, perception isn't just bottom-up. Apparently it is both --- see the two-triangles part of the presentation --- and in fact, the top-down part it is that apparently does the heavy lifting.

To put that in other and simpler words, yes, perception itself is in part a function of our priors, our beliefs and expectations. Which is what this report of yours is about, going by your description of it. Which, broad brush, is old hat; and which, very importantly, is a breakdown of how the brain model works, and not evidence that that model can be bypassed altogether whilst still retaining awareness of the things-in-themselves being perceived.

Your dogged refusal to see this plain fact is, ironically enough given what you say here, is indicative of your own deepseated bias. The thing about Chandaria's model is, it shows how your delusion may be far more deepseated than merely at the level of abstraction. That is, what you see, or imagine you see, may simply be a function of what you believe you ought to be seeing.

It's mind blowing, the video. Watch it, you'll enjoy it.


Again: While, and like I said, your claim thing is clearly going nowhere, and I'm not going to revisit this again. But --- and it is to say this that I did revisit this one last time --- I acknowledge again your fantastic access to research, no doubt a function of the fortuitous combination of your professional interests converging, in this instance, with your personal interests. I was wondering, actually, while watching Chandaria's video, exactly how the two-triangles perception model, the science of it, is actually validated in practice. It seems that this article of yours might speak to just that. So I'll check it out, absolutely, when I have time, and with pleasure, and with sincere appreciation as well; and no doubt be glad of your assistance that you've kindly offered with the technicalities of it, if at that time I find it hard work understanding.

1. Our senses filter and adjust sensory input and then report this to the other higher processing centers that further build and reconstruct what our conscious awareness perceives.

2. But as research shows us, these are all very sensitive to our attention... What we attend to, and what we attend to repeatedly.

3. Furthermore, our conditioning and beliefs also influence those filters and reconstruction, right down to the sensory level.

The first point is not in question. You and Brian have confirmed as much.

Where I see denial from you and Brian is in the remaining points: the research demonstrating that attention affects those filters, and that deep meditation turns off many of those centers, both in the lymbic and higher brain functioning centers, even when the long-term meditator is fully awake and, even when they are engaged in task work.

And the additional research proving meditation practice improves cognitive functioning.

This is evidence in support of my statement, (or from your perspective, my theory) that meditation practice, by reducing the intervention of those filters, conditioning and reconstruction, allows us to perceive directly.

Brian has played a bate and switch with my statement. I was referring to your direct perception of sensory input circumventing filters and processing. Brian tried to claim I was circumventing the senses themselves. Nowhere have I stated that. Brian and your notion of direct perception is confused with the notion of non-dualistic experience, where observer and object are one. I'm discussing physiology, not philosophy. The philosophy of non-dualism has zero evidence to support it, BTW.

In deep meditation, different configuration of the active brain centers takes place. We are no longer perceiving using the normal channels. And furthermore, the brain itself undergoes physical changes as a result of meditation practice.

I'm not saying you aren't still using eyes and ears. But you are perceiving without the same filters and conditioning their input typically undergoes. And with internal focus meditation, you become aware of other sensory input that is typically invisible to normal waking perception.

This is my theory to explain the research results which prove that you perform better, your brain functions in a different way, and physically undergoes change, all as the proven effects of deep meditation.

So when Brian asked for proof that the brain of a long term meditator functions differently than the brain of a non-meditator, I provided clinical evidence of that. But as I have repeatedly said, this all takes place in the brain.

The issue here is your confusion with my use of the term direct preception. I have always used this in the clinical sense, that you perceive what your senses report without filters.

You have chosen to redefine direct perception as perception without senses. That is different from what I have written consistently here.

Spence, you keep trying to change the subject. All along I've challenged your baseless assertion that the brain can function without filters or models. The BRAIN. Not perception, which is just part of what the brain does.

You haven't been able to present any convincing evidence that what you say is true, while I have countless (almost) neuroscience books in my library that prove the brain doesn't function without filters or models.

So you've lost the argument. That's fine. You're not perfect. Neither am I. Nor is anybody. Simply admit it and move on. But you keep leaving comments filled with your religious dogmatism about how meditation shuts off what the brain usually does and results in some sort of "pure awareness" state.

That's wrong. Meditation is happening through the brain, obviously. No brain, no meditation. All Appreciative Reader and I have been asking for is one, just ONE, peer-reviewed article in a reputable journal that supports your claim that somehow it is possible for the brain to function without filters or models.

You've struck out on that claim. Game over. We just got through the bottom of the ninth. A person confident in themselves admits when they're wrong. But a religious dogmatist can't tolerate any chinks in the armor they've constructed around their blind faith.

I'd hoped that you were able to be that confident person. Sadly, it appears you're that religious dogmatist. But there will be another subject on this blog that will give you a chance to practice honesty and openness in your commenting.

Hi Brian
You wrote
"you keep trying to change the subject. All along I've challenged your baseless assertion that the brain can function without filters or models. The BRAIN. Not perception, which is just part of what the brain does."

Wow, listening skills could use some work.

I originally wrote and have repeated that changes in perception leading to direct perception (of sensory information) can take place through meditation practice within the brain:" all this takes place within the brain."

Within the brain you can learn to reduce those filters and therefore have direct perception. That's what continued progress in deep meditation does. I cited lots of actual research to support various elements of that opinion.

You could just have admitted you misunderstood what I wrote, hold to a different opinion, and along the way acknowledged the great medical and physiological research I had cited. You could have used the findings to support a different set of conclusions. But you seem so invested in manufacturing "wrong", that you missed some really great research results.

A truly non-dualistic approach would appreciate the truths reflected in every perspective. To see the world holographically.

Maybe one needs to see the world holographically first.

OK Brian
Some research for you.

Those filters you keep referring to use specific regions of the brain...and both modify and are modified by our attention:

"The full circuit, they found, goes from the prefrontal cortex to a much deeper structure called the basal ganglia (often associated with motor control and a host of other functions), then to the TRN and the thalamus, before finally going back up to higher cortical regions. So, for instance, as visual information passes from the eye to the visual thalamus, it can get intercepted almost immediately if it’s not relevant to the given task. The basal ganglia can step in and activate the visual TRN to screen out the extraneous stimuli, in keeping with the prefrontal cortex’s directive....

"Furthermore, the researchers found that the mechanism doesn’t just filter out one sense to raise awareness of another: It filters information within a single sense too."


And meditation turns some of those filters off...

"A review of this literature revealed compelling evidence that mindfulness impacts the function of the medial cortex and associated default mode network as well as insula and amygdala. Additionally, mindfulness practice appears to effect lateral frontal regions and basal ganglia, at least in some cases. Structural imaging studies are consistent with these findings and also indicate changes in the hippocampus."

Finally --- finally! --- finished watching that second presentation vid of Chandaria’s. (Been a while, so, it was this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kw5Q5h8s6FI.)

Took so long to finish it, spread over a few separate sittings, partly because I was lazy, partly because I was unfocused, partly because I was actually busy; but also, in part, because I found this presentation a bit underwhelming, and nowhere near as riveting as the first one. Not Chandaria’s fault, it’s hardly fair to expect that everything that comes out of his mouth should be just as unputdownable as his best. Also, had I not watched the first one, or read your blog post about it, and gone straight to watching this second one, then I guess I’d have found it way more interesting; because he kind of retreads much of the same ground here; which again is fair, because one can hardly expect that he’ll always cover content that is different than what he’s already covered elsewhere.

…But, and all of that said, even objectively speaking I’d say this one was …less dense, less science-based, less factually focused, than the other one. For instance, it is rather more uncritically accepting as given some of the technical aspects of Theravadin practice (and presumably Mahayanic as well), without actually discussing the science around it. And also, for instance, spending far more time on what philosophers had to say about this, like the Indian Advaitins of old, as well as those usual suspects, Kant and Schopenhauer et al --- which is first of all old hat, and second of all completely unevidenced, and as such of little interest other than incidentally, and as it relates to the *history* of our thoughts and ideas about consciousness (which is a very different subject than what consciousness is actually all about; even if the two are, obviously, kind of sort of related).

Notwithstanding, it was still a pretty good presentation; and, like I said, the main reason I found this one not quite riveting is because Chandaria himself had set the bar so very high with the first vid!

And incidentally, the small issues that he touched on towards the end, that were not part of his thesis per se, as far as I could make out, but simply him riffing off in response to the questions asked, and/or raising wrinkles not yet ironed out, questions not yet answered, those were intriguing! For instance, the idea that the mind creating models with which to apprehend reality might be exactly what consciousness amounts to. That this model building is intrinsic to how we best survive, how everyone best survives, so that the building of models is probably not just what us humans do, but everyone with brains; and, while this may be a stretch, but Chandaria extends the idea to “all biological beings” (while emphasizing that he is only speculating here, that this question is not yet answered). And finally, why it is that when it comes to awareness, as opposed to consciousness, why it is that there’s so much within the model that we’re not aware of; and what it is that determines what “layers” of our model we are aware of and what not; and whether there is some threshold of …utility?... something else? … that might determine whether some element of our model crosses over to us being aware of it.

…I continue to remain completely fascinated with Chandaria’s work, and do intend to check out more about him and his work, later when I have time. …Thanks, very much, Brian, for introducing his work to us here!

Oops, wrong thread. I'd wanted to post this comment in the thread about Chandaria's work, but somehow seem to have ended up posting this here.

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