Colleen Steen

Fairfax, VT, United States

About Colleen

My TED story

A friend who knows about my near death experience sent me the link to Jill Bolte Taylor's talk because he percieves similarities in our experiences. I continue to enjoy the educational presentations and insightful comments. Thank you TED for providing the opportunity to connect the world with this forum.

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

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Colleen Steen
Posted 3 days ago
Julia Sweeney: Letting go of God
Hi Rhyan, In my perception, the most important and insightful statement in your comment, is about seeking answers in our self, rather than simply accepting information someone gives us...even when the information is clearly meant to be humorous. Julia is very clear about her intention, as it says in her bio...she presents comedic works that tackle deep issues.
228191
Colleen Steen
Posted 6 days ago
David Chalmers: How do you explain consciousness?
Shaikh, Even though the body/mind is generally working harder when we are awake, it does not seem to deplete the systems because there is a "flow" of energy. Sleep, is time for systems to rest...systems are not working so hard in a body at rest:>) I cannot name what form energy takes upon death, and I don't think anyone else can either. That is yet to be named:>) I only know that at the time of the NDE, I perceived my "self", as a mass of energy and I could see the body (not a pretty sight), on the bed in ICU. The energy was separate from the body, which was close to death. Energy is the only way I know of to describe it at this time, and the energy that is "me" was not in the body. "How this c-energy make us aware of ourselves and environment." I believe that the energy/consciousness fuels/powers the body/mind. It does not necessarily make us aware of ourselves or our environment, but rather, it provides the power by which we can explore ourselves and our environment. Like the lamp in our home. The electricity does not make us turn on the light. We take the initiative to turn the switch to allow the electricity/energy into the lamp. "Why sensory organs are required? Why it cannot give awareness without sensory organs?" That is just how we evolved Shaikh! I suspect you are looking for more than that, but it is something that I do not know. I cannot answer your last question either...sorry:>(
228191
Colleen Steen
Posted 6 days ago
David Chalmers: How do you explain consciousness?
Shaikh, Yes, I believe consciousness may be an independent energy WHEN NOT moving through a body. I believe the living body is a carrier of energy/consciousness. Yes, I believe consciousness may be another form of energy that we do not yet know how to explain. There have been numerous other conversations about consciousness on TED, and some scientifically oriented people have suggested that there may be energies in our universe (and maybe beyond), that are not yet identified. "Do you mean at death, biology becomes 'bad conductor' or insulated of consciousness-energy?" Yes, I believe at death, the body is no longer a carrier or conductor of the energy/consciousness. "How would you explain re-gain of life in transplanted eye, kidney etc from a dead body to sick body?" I suggest that the energy/consciousness existing in a live body can help heal an injured/replaced part. You know that a body part needs to be functional when transplanted...yes? They could not take a long-dead body part and expect it to work in a living body. As long as the tissues are still capable of functioning, they can be transplanted. "Does this consciousness-energy travel through living beings only?" I believe it travels most directly in that which is living, although it may also be free flowing in our world. "Can the consciousness-energy transform into other known form of energy (heat, light etc)?" Perhaps it is the underlying energy which fuels/powers everything? "What are properties of consciousness-energy?" I don't know. "How would you explain paralysis, sleep, coma, emotions, awareness?" Paralysis - malfunction/dis-ease/illness/imbalance in the body. Sleep - a necessary part of the human condition - a time when the body rests/recharges/heals. Coma - another state of consciousness (this is not consistent with the accepted definition, which says that coma is a state of Unconsciousness) Emotions - a state of feeling...an aspect of consciousness. Awareness - consciousness.
228191
Colleen Steen
Posted 6 days ago
David Chalmers: How do you explain consciousness?
Hello again Shaikh:>) At death, the physical bodily systems cease. I suggest that the energy of consciousness changes form because it no longer moves through the body. I suggest that consciousness exists even without change, so change is not the "cause" of consciousness, although change and consciousness function together. Cause - "something that brings about an effect or a result; a person or thing that is the occasion of an action or state; esp.: an agent that brings something about" I suggest that consciousness is much bigger than a "person or thing", although you may be referring to "cause" as "an agent that brings something about"? The fetus, lives off the systems of the mother, so I suspect that the mother and fetus also share the energy of consciousness. I agree that the body needs constant nourishment or else it will die, at which time, the flow of energy/consciousness no longer moves through the body. I do not agree with the use of the word "dissipates" in reference to consciousness, because that suggests, according to definition..."to cause to spread out or spread thin to the point of vanishing; to lose". While the energy/consciousness may not be moving through the dead body (lost to that body, or vanishing from that body), it changes form and does not vanish from existence.
228191
Colleen Steen
Posted 6 days ago
David Chalmers: How do you explain consciousness?
Shaikh, I do not agree that "change causes consciousness". It appears that change may influence consciousness and consciousness may influence change, but change is not the "cause" of consciousness. I perceive consciousness to be an ongoing energy. It has been proven that babies are conscious on some level BEFORE birth, so consciousness does not "come with birth" as you suggest. Does energy, as we know it diminish/dissipate? Or does it change form? I believe science tells us that energy changes form. Is this what you mean by "dissipate"?
228191
Colleen Steen
Posted 7 days ago
David Chalmers: How do you explain consciousness?
Ok Lisa...moving on... I did not say anything about my perception being "better". It is simply PART of the whole explanation, in my humble perception. I observe, with all your comments, that you believe your/Leibniz's account is "better", and you seem to be trying to convince us that Leibniz's ideas, which you have obviously embraced, are "better" than anyone else's ideas. That's ok...it is YOUR belief...and it might be "the" answer in your perception. I believe it may be PART of the whole answer/explanation. I do not perceive the concept of "flowing energy" to be at all complex. Science has proven that there is energy in our bodies and in our world, so it seems very simple to me. If you believe that Leibniz's ideas are more complete and more insightful...so be it. I am not here to argue in favor of one or the other beliefs. I am simply saying that my belief is that consciousness is part of everything and everyone. Therefor, every thought, feeling, perception, perspective, idea, opinion, belief, etc., that people offer, is part of consciousness. Again Lisa, for clarity...I am interested in everything that is written in this thread, because I believe it is all part of the whole...just as we (humans) are all part of the whole...interconnected. It's certainly OK for each of us to follow through in whatever way we choose Lisa:>)
228191
Colleen Steen
Posted 8 days ago
David Chalmers: How do you explain consciousness?
I agree Yubal, that consciousness cannot be totally explained "this way or that way" with only certain elements, because the energy of consciousness seems to embrace everything and everyone on some level. The more we delve into possibilities, the less mysterious it becomes:>)
228191
Colleen Steen
Posted 10 days ago
David Chalmers: How do you explain consciousness?
Shaikh, I perceive everyone and everything in the life adventure as an opportunity to learn, grow and evolve as an individual, while contributing to the whole. You have said a couple times in this discussion, that consciousness is simple, and I wholeheartedly agree with that Shaikh. "Consciousness is the quality or state of awareness, or, of being aware of an external object or something within oneself" (Wikipedia) I believe consciousness is part of the energy life force, which we are all connected with on various levels. After a near fatal injury, near death experience, craniotomy, being kept alive on life support systems and "unconscious" according to the medical model (substantiated with medical records, which I obtained), I was aware of everything that was happening around me. The brain was damaged to the point where the ability to communicate was compromised, but I was aware of a much more expanded consciousness, even though labeled "unconscious". After recovering (which according to the medical prognosis, I was not expected to do), I researched, studied, read and explored quite a lot about consciousness, because I wanted to learn more about the experience (opportunity). I certainly do not have all the answers, and based on my experience and expanded exploration, I totally agree that consciousness is very simple and natural. We may not ever be able to totally understand and explain it, and everyone's understanding and explanation is based on his/her personal thoughts, feelings, perceptions, perspectives, ideas, opinions and beliefs, which can contribute to our understanding in various ways...expanding our individual consciousness and the collective/universal consciousness:>)
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Colleen Steen
Posted 10 days ago
David Chalmers: How do you explain consciousness?
Thank you Shaikh. I appreciate you and your participation in this conversation as well. These discussions are valuable in that it is an opportunity for people with different perspectives to connect and interact, thereby expanding our consciousness/awareness:>)
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Colleen Steen
Posted 10 days ago
David Chalmers: How do you explain consciousness?
Please rest assured Lisa...the comment was not about you personally. It is common practice to try to explain something as we personally understand it, which is what everyone is doing, including me! You write..."Tell me if I'm wrong in this." I do not judge you or anyone else to be "right" or "wrong" in any part of this conversation. I believe there is flowing energy, (consciousness/awareness) in, and around humans and everything in our world. I too find it interesting Lisa...as I stated... "I find it interesting..."