Addressing the Hard Problem

Alan Oliver


This problem (as I understand it) is essentially the difficulty we have in explaining how consciousness arises in the brain. Science has developed technology which has enabled researchers to relate brain activity to electrical and chemical events within the brain, and through carefully designed experiments these events have been shown some consistency with the theory of how the brain works. That consciousness is real is obvious enough, and we don’t need a theory to prove its existence. Moreover, the activity mentioned above is easily related to the brain having fairly predictable responses to external inputs (sensory) and internal activity co-incident with thought. The fact that we personally have no conscious awareness of the external world during periods of anaesthesia or head trauma seems to validate the view that consciousness is a process in the brain. In a paper appearing in this issue and entitled “The Principle of Existence”, the authors submit a model which I believed was similar to that given in The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Pandit Usharbuddh Arya. I have appended the Yoga Model of the entry of consciousness into matter (Fig.1). The reason I found their paper similar to the Yoga Model was that both seemed to progress through the same or similar steps in a journey from prespacetime to the everyday reality in which we and the Hard Problem exist.

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ISSN: 2153-8212