Is consciousness an illusion?

Is consciousness an illusion?

Spirituality

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Are we truly cognizant of the world around us, or do we just think we are.

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@kilroy70 said
Are we truly cognizant of the world around us, or do we just think we are.
Even by moon's standards, you should know, you are there!

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@kellyjay said
Even by moon's standards, you should know, you are there!
I'll admit it was a trick question.
If we think we're cognizant of the world around us, then we probably are...

cognizant of the world around us.

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@kilroy70 said
I'll admit it was a trick question.
If we think we're cognizant of the world around us, then we probably are...

cognizant of the world around us.
It all boils back to reality, if your mind is trustworthy or not, if so, why, if not, why not? Your ability to grasp the world around it, is either through something reliable or not, and your logic on discerning the world around you is with something trustworthy or not? Then your worldview is either correct or not, since the answers are not going to physically alter the world around you, just your perception of them, it will always be a matter of faith.

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Consciousness is not an illusion, if you're able to think, ergo sum.

Whether you're "cognizant" of that world around you is a different and possibly unanswerable question.

What is the "world" to a fish in a fishbowl? It's entire world is that fishbowl and it has no ability to realize there's a world outside of it. Sure, it can see through the glass but can it understand that it's actually looking at images beyond its walls? Or does it regard them the same way early humans thought the stars were part of Earth's sky like clouds?

You can say the same about dolphins born and raised in an aquarium. As far as it knows, that is the world. Meanwhile, dolphins that live in the ocean know the world is vastly more expansive than the dolphin in the aquarium can possibly know.

As humans humans the scope of what we know our world is exponentially more than our primitive ancestors. To early humans the "world" was Africa, where humans originated. As time passed, the world included other lands reachable over the oceans. Then we realized our world is just one rock among other worlds floating in the universe. Then we realized what humans have been looking at for eons isn't even the universe; it's one galaxy filled with uncountable other suns and planets, in a university with a possibly infinite expanse including countless other galaxies.

There could be things laying beyond our universe that we don't currently have the ability to know of us. Even without going that far, right here on earth, humans can only detect a very limited amount of the light spectrum with our senses. Could the rest of the light spectrum contain colors we can't even imagine? Or what about the billions of micro organisms that we know exist all around and even in us but can't possibly detect with out own senses?

What does it mean to be "cognizant" of the world around us? What constitutes our world? I don't think this question can be answered.

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@kilroy70 said
I'll admit it was a trick question.
If we think we're cognizant of the world around us, then we probably are...

cognizant of the world around us.
Consciousness is not an illusion, but we are cognizant of only a tiny fraction of what is going on around us and even inside us. Most people most of the time are hardly even conscious of their own heart beat or blood pressure, unless they have been specifically trained to do so or are just coming out of a panic attack.

Nietzsche wrote that the function of consciousness is to ignore 99% of what is going on. As nomadic hunter gatherers, we evolved to focus on prey and predators; we notice things that move. Things that are every day the same, we tend not to notice.

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@vivify said
Consciousness is not an illusion, if you're able to think, ergo sum.

Whether you're "cognizant" of that world around you is a different and possibly unanswerable question.

What is the "world" to a fish in a fishbowl? It's entire world is that fishbowl and it has no ability to realize there's a world outside of it. Sure, it can see through the glass but can it underst ...[text shortened]... " of the world around us? What constitutes our world? I don't think this question can be answered.
Now keep expanding the outer limits of your personal consciousness. You’re mind is stuck in a fish bowl. The true world consciousness is a constant, let go of all to see. Our personal consciousness around us and believed by each we see through broken glass and create by our personal surroundings and experiences and believing them true.

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@kilroy70 said
Are we truly cognizant of the world around us, or do we just think we are.
Another thing to keep in mind we live and have our being in a little sliver of time, in the moment now. Now is so small it is unquantifiable we can’t cut it down into any fraction, our past grows with each moment while the future is always just beyond our reach.

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@kilroy70 said
Are we truly cognizant of the world around us, or do we just think we are.
Did you take the RED pill?

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@kilroy70 said
Are we truly cognizant of the world around us, or do we just think we are.
Consciousness is a set of capacities that enable us to ask such questions as the one in your OP although a truly enabling consciousness would have placed a question mark at the end of your sentence.

The most interesting thinking on consciousness - and the hemispheric asymmetry of the brain - that I have accounted recently is by Dr Iain McGilchrist who is a psychiatrist, neuroscientist and philosopher.

Loads of digestibly-sized samples @ YouTube.



His book The Master and His Emissary is utterly fascinating.

There is a large degree of contemplation of the divine too.

If anyone wants to listen to an mp3 audiobook version of it, PM me. To me it is must-hear or must-read work.

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@kellyjay said
Another thing to keep in mind we live and have our being in a little sliver of time, in the moment now. Now is so small it is unquantifiable we can’t cut it down into any fraction, our past grows with each moment while the future is always just beyond our reach.
I think you are mistaken. We CAN "cut it down" into fractions: hours, days, weeks, months and years. We have approximately three score and ten years. It's a long time in which there is much we can do: love and be loved, learn and teach, have a family and affect our environment. The fact that our time is finite makes it all the more precious.

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@mike69 said
You’re mind is stuck in a fish bowl.
If you feel this about your life and your interactions with your human environment, then that is a pity.

If, instead, all you are saying is that your religious beliefs make you feel able to claim that the minds of those who don't share your beliefs are stuck in a fish bowl, then that too is a pity.

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@mike69 said
Our personal consciousness around us and believed by each we see through broken glass and create by our personal surroundings and experiences and believing them true.
You sound too pessimistic to me. I think the facility we have for our personal consciousness to interact with our surroundings and our own experiences, and those of others, is wonderful.

If this facility has been given to us by some sort of creator entity then I for one, am grateful. Life is a most extraordinary opportunity that I do not think is enhanced by dwelling on whether there some posthumous sequel.

If you have difficulty, with your personal surroundings and experiences and "believing them to be true" without your religious beliefs, then maybe that is a personal issue for you rather than for people who have different beliefs.

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@kellyjay said
It all boils back to reality, if your mind is trustworthy or not, if so, why, if not, why not? Your ability to grasp the world around it, is either through something reliable or not, and your logic on discerning the world around you is with something trustworthy or not? Then your worldview is either correct or not, since the answers are not going to physically alter the world around you, just your perception of them, it will always be a matter of faith.
Isn’t this basically just your same old mantra where you insist your subjective beliefs about the world align with your subjective beliefs about "the truth" of world [yes, it's a tautology] and therefore you have conjured up "objectivity"? Set me straight if you think you are, in fact, saying something more sophisticated than that.

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@kilroy70 said
I'll admit it was a trick question.
Yes indeed, there is no difference between being "cognizant of the world" and thinking one is "cognizant of the world". "Being cognizant" and "thinking" are, for our purpose here synonymous.