The most important thing about us is that we are aware.  We are experience havers.  We are experients. 

Against what Buddhism strives for through meditation, we are never just aware.  We have to be always aware OF something, some object.  When you think you are just simply aware and your mind is empty, you are wrong.  You are in fact treating nothing like an object.  You objectify it.  So you shift from objects to this one.  You are clearly turning away from objects to try and focus on another one, a useless one.  You try to overcome the hurtful side of being aware and the risks of being aware by escaping.  You are lying to yourself.  You are lying to others too for every meditator gets the lies from somebody else and may pass them on.  It is collective lying.

 Franz Brentano described consciousness as intentional for it always reaches out to something.  It is letting that reach happen.  It is putting the mental hand out as it were.  For him intentionality was the defining feature of the human mind.

Despite us all being conscious we don't really know how to put it in words.  It is very hard to describe accurately.  It covers things such as our thinking ability.  How we remember things.  And the power to imagine.

It is definitely mysterious but is not reliable and not supernatural and not a gift from a loving trustworthy God.  Why?  Memory makes you who you are but it pretends to preserve what happened and record.  In fact it changes a lot of details.  It reconstructs.  It gets it wrong.  Maybe you could call it a liar or purveyor of half-truths.

Anyway the strange indescribable side of awareness seems to lead to notions that there is something non-physical in us, something non-material and magical that information from the senses goes to. We cannot touch our thoughts and they seem like spirits, non-material things, that we summon up.  We easily assume this ghost as it were is the real us.

Religion founds itself on this perception though there are exceptions. Some religions such as Mormonism hold that ultimately spirit is a material thing itself.

Free will is based on the notion that you have the power to transcend physical constraints or any constraints and do what you will.

These things happen because we are programmed to exaggerate how good our awareness is. We also trick ourselves on top of that.

Consciousness can be called “about-ness”. It is being aware of something. In fact being aware of your beloved partner entails some illusions. You are aware of things about them. Sounds. Traits. Shape. Smell. You have a picture of the person in your head. The list of things about them is endless. Yet each thing you think you know about them is more complicated than you realise. It's more about how you see it than anything else. There is far more to any person than what you can learn about them from talking to them every minute of your life. There is far more to what any person does than what you can learn from them by talking all that time. If they are a doctor, you know stuff that is very broadly accurate but that is all you can hope for. It is not as clear as you tell yourself.

It is warned that we must not think of consciousness as a pure or 100% reality. Psychologists tell us you do not need it for an action to be all yours. There are forces in you that you are not aware of that prepare for a possible thing you may do. There are unconscious forces at work WHEN you finally act. There are also non-conscious forces as well. For example, you may not realise you don’t have enough water taken and this is affecting your decision making. To be consciously acting is not JUST consciously acting and it does not matter. The notion of a pure consciousness is in fact so like the notion of a supernatural soul that it is not fit for any sensible or atheist or natural or secular anthropology or psychology.

Religionists try to argue that our power to have thoughts seems to be based on something non-physical. They say that your thoughts are not things in the physical sense therefore they are ultimately caused by something that is not a thing either such as the soul and the soul is caused by God who is a totally immaterial being. But to cause – whatever – does not mean that the cause has to be like the whatever. The wind causes the apple to fall but that does not mean the apple is made of air.

The argument that consciousness is a mystery is distorted by religion to allege that the mere fact that it exists may point to a miracle working conscious God. But we know far more than just the bare fact that consciousness is there and is real. We know the equally important truth that brain damage wrecks it and diminishes it. This does not support the idea of consciousness being like a ghost or spirit. So if there is a mystery it is not a religious type one. Leaping to God is an overreach.
It is easy to see why we think our consciousness is magical and why we think it can survive death. It is anything but magical when you look at the facts.
As it poses as telling us more than it actually does, and as free will would require informed choice, it is not the great basis for free will it seems to be either.
If God created your soul and it is the same as your consciousness then God is a liar.


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