The Hard Problem of Matter
Science en non-dualiteit.
The “hard problem of matter” is not yet a widely recognized term in the field of philosophy or science. The “hard problem of consciousness,” is. It is a concept introduced by philosopher David Chalmers in the 1990s.
The hard problem of consciousness refers to the challenge of explaining why and how we have subjective experiences. It’s relatively easy to explain how the brain processes information, integrates sensory input, and responds to external stimuli. However, it’s much more difficult to explain why these processes give rise to conscious experiences. In other words, why does the processing of information in our brains result in the rich, qualitative, and unified nature of our subjective experiences?
This problem is considered “hard” because it is not just about explaining a particular cognitive function or behavior; it is about explaining why and how certain physical processes in the brain give rise to our inner, subjective world. This question remains one of the central challenges in the philosophy of mind and cognitive science.
The hard problem of consciousness is based on the Darwinistic worldview that is most accepted in the field of science where matter is fundamental and consciousness is a function of matter. Where consciousness arises from the brain.
But what if this worldview is not correct including its assumptions, what if consciousness is the fundament of reality?
There are 3 worldviews fundamental to human behavior.
- Dualism: is not acceptable anymore for science as it consists of two separate realities where science has an idea of how these two completely different worlds with completely different rules and principles interact.
- Darwinism: what is at the moment the most broadly accepted worldview within its fundament that matter is the fundament of reality and conscious experience and consciousness itself are a consequence or a product of material processes we yet not understand. Maybe the most difficult problem that science in many years of research has no clue about is: how matter becomes experience. We can trace atoms, cells, molecules, nerves, and energy fields, but have no clue how this becomes an experience let alone what the experiencer is. That is called ’the hard problem of Consciousness’. In this worldview space and time are properties of matter that are fundamental to anything that exists as a reality.
- Consciousness is primary. This worldview that has been there as a spiritual wisdom for thousands of years is also becoming more popular in science. What is matter is not fundamental and produces consciousness but the other way around. Consciousness is that out of which all experience is made.
Consciousness, being aware, knowing that we are here is the first and most fundamental quality of existence that can be experienced by anyone and is undeniable.
The quality if consciousness is peace, happiness, fulfillment, our natural state, before our mind gets active changes consciousness into all other experiences.
Pre egoic and post egoic recognition
From min 15 Rupert describes the process of pre egoic and post egoic recognition. He discusses the process of separating consciousness from experience and realizing the true nature of oneself. It explains that initially, one identifies with their body but eventually realizes that they are not the body but rather the awareness or knowing principle behind it. This separation between consciousness and objects is necessary for self-recognition and understanding one’s infinite nature. The transcript also mentions that after this recognition, experience is merged in consciousness, indicating a shift in perspective where the world is seen as an illusion made out of consciousness rather than matter.
It is a necessary process that the child has to go through. What we are speaking about here is not a reversal to a pre egoic infantile state. In an infant’s experience, and indeed in animal’s experience, consciousness is completely merged in experience. So consciousness is, as it were, lost in its own creativity. So the first step is the separating out of consciousness from experience to realise that what we refer to as – I – is this knowing principle or knowing agent in experience. So that there is first this necessary stage where we have to conceptualise ourselves as I. First of all, that I seems to be the body and it seems to be separate from all objects and others. And then, as we investigate this so called I, the body, more deeply, we begin to realize, no, I is that which is aware of the body. So there is this separating out process.
First of all, I am the body. That is necessary for a child to learn that I am the body. I am not my mother’s body, I am not the bed. The child has to first separate itself out from its mother’s body. So it starts, I am the body. But then, if it continues that investigation, it notices, no, I am not the body, I am that which is aware of the body. So there is this separation between consciousness and its objects. And then consciousness contemplates its own being and recognizes its own infinite nature. That is only half the process. We then have to go back to the objects from which we have separated ourselves. But this time, instead of consciousness merging itself in experience, as is the case in the pre egoic infantile state, experience is now merged in consciousness.
So in the pre egoic state, consciousness is merged in experience. In the post egoic recognition, experience is merged in consciousness. And this is what Ramana Mahashi was referring to when he said, the world is an illusion. Brahman is the world is an illusion, only brahman is real. Brahman is the world. Brahman as it is conceived. He didn’t mean experience is an illusion, he meant the world as it is conceived as a multiplicity and diversity of objects made out of matter. That world is an illusion. That’s the first statement. Second statement. Only brahman is real. That’s the halfway stage, the separating out of consciousness from its apparent objects. But then he goes back, brahman is the world. What we thought was the world made out of matter is now realised to be a world made out of consciousness.
All we know is Knowing. Knowing is the only experience we really know.
We never experienced the perception of some-thing and we never experienced the some-thing directly.
All we experience is the knowing of the perception or the knowing of the some-thing.
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