TED Conversations

Farrukh Yakubov

Student, Purdue University

TEDCRED 50+

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Where do you think consciousness comes from?

Science can give answers to many things, but consciousness seems to be an unsolved mystery. Why do you think people have consciousness? Where does it come from? Do you think it can be created artificially? How?
You may answer based on anything you know, it does not have to be a proven fact. Thank you.

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    Jul 11 2011: Wonderful discussion..I am a contemplative but I avoid using words like God or Consciousness because they are words with as many meanings as there are people who use the words and because I decided iong ago that my pitiful little brain could make understanding "God" or "consciousness" my life's work and never make a dent..and never get anything done on this earth that might have been helpful and useful

    Yesterday, though, I got very excited and energized by the idea that what human beings have experienced as a sense of "divine other" or "inner observer" or "great spirit" or "emerging consciosness" may actually be biological..in dwelling, in every single cell of our bodies

    .I had just watched for the third time a wonderful award winning 1995 science documentary on how cells work, Death By Design. I was very deeply moved that the principle by which the activities of every cell are directed ( when not overcome by disease) is to promote the health and well being of the organism in which it resides..including "agreeing"" to die for the sake of the whole.

    I was also deeply moved by the fact that an individual human cell cannot live alone..it receives its instructions to live from other cells and without this connection it dies

    .Before sentient beings had any kind of brain our cells were our brain, and still are part of the "brain function" within us.The entire life and death of a cell, every single cell in us, is about the benefit of the whole. I love the idea that the "inner voice", the "inner observer", "consciousness" is a brain connection with this ancient way of of knowing that the purpose of each organism is to serve life, to serve and benefit the whole.I love the idea that "consciousness" is physically indwelling and universal not a matter of ideology,philosophy, or religion.
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      Jul 13 2011: I've seen documentaries discussing these concepts of cells making decisions based on external information and they blew my mind too. This was one of the key ideas that lead me to believe that consciousness is in no way unique to humans. Bacteria communicate, cells communicate, it seems all life communicates. Communication requires three steps, encoding information, transferring that code and decoding back into information. This begs the question: how does the cell know to encode, transmit and decode? It would seem that a driving force is present. If you say nay, cells have evolved to do this on their own then doesn't that mean that information encoded itself somewhere along the line and does that not violate the second law of thermodynamics?
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        Jul 16 2011: GC their are special monitor cells that give the directions/instructions ( this is brought out a bitt in Death by Design but more explicated in a separte resrach pece on the monitor cells). I am very taken with this idea that the fundamental operating prncipla of every cell within us is to serve the whole, serve the well being of the whole and fascinated with this idea of interaction between cells, our fundamental biology, and our experience, our culture and ove eons our history.

        I am not sure how it all hooks up with "the inner I" the "inner observer" .All of the NDE's?OBE's , including Colleens remembered with unique clarity, confirm that the inner I is non corporeal..not resident in the body..that we somehow "come with that I" Perhaps that cellular sentience is what the Buddhists call "sentience" and perhaps that too is somehow connecetd with consciousness or faciliates our recognition of consciousness at work in our lives both at the interior "I" level and at the level of the field of consciousness that seems to surround and nurture all life. .
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          Jul 16 2011: The fact that cells operate to serve the whole reminds me of hive mind mentality seen in ants and bees. I wonder if there are parallels that can be drawn. Are you familiar with this at all?

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