Note: There are two types of consciousnesses. One is global, based on Panpsychism, which is the idea that all matter in the universe is conscious, and the other is sentient, which makes us aware of our sensations, thoughts, surroundings, existence, etc., which are subjectively felt by us. Both consciousnesses work in different manners. The consciousness explained on this minisite is of the latter type.
What is Consciousness?
In our day-to-day interactions, we need to act and react to our body and the environment, often instantly, to provide us beneficial outcomes.
Consciousness is a stream of data that gets continuously filtered out from such interactions which may require power of making judgments in order to become available for the decision making process, thereby benefiting from such interactions (a result of the optimizing aspect of the evolutionary process).
Filtration Process: In our waking state, a continuous filtration process keeps segregating our ongoing interactions for those that are:
2) condition based
3) random and
4) genetically programmed
Rest of them are
5) new interactions, and thus may require the power of making judgments on how to handle them
Consciousness is required only for no. 5, i.e. those that may require the power of making judgments.
A typical computer is controlled via graphical user interface (GUI) displayed on a monitor, which displays information that may need user’s intervention, who judges and manipulates its elements in order to reach his goals. All other information processing in the computer does not need his intervention.
In the same way, information provided by consciousness (which we are conscious of) is what we can intervene on to decide how to handle its underlying interaction in order to reach our goal. All other information processing in our brain (which represents unconscious processes) does not need our intervention.
The main difference between the two is that the selection of information to be displayed on the computer monitor is pre-programmed, whereas what information should reach our consciousness is dynamically filtered in the way mentioned above.
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