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What Is Consciousness?

BY: Natalie Viglione

· Neuroscience,Disrupt Now Program,Evolution

I watched an amazing TED Talk (I am addicted to TED and my dream is to do a TED Talk in the next 10 years…just putting it on my desire list, Mrs. Universe), and this one was with Neuroscientist, Anil Seth. He is exploring how the "inner universe" of consciousness be explained in terms of mere biology and physics, and the brain basis of consciousness and Self.

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Those that know me well know that there are another two things that I would do if I had all the time in the world. 1. To also become a neuroscientist, and 2. become an attorney. I mean I just turned 39 so maybe I can do both before I die. Why not?! I digress. This TED Talk explores a topic near and dear to my heart- consciousness. Anil’s TED Talk provides profound insight on how each person literally controls the way that they experience life, which all relays well into my Disrupt Now system that brings about transformation in people’s lives and/or businesses.

Many of us can hit a point in our existence where we get stuck in victim roles (the “oh, poor me”, “why me”, etc. scenarios when things "happen" to us), or roles in which we’re not being our true selves or being authentic in relationships. Largely these situations happen due to insecurities or confusion with how to exactly connect to others deeply (as humans), but also based on stories we continuously tell ourselves (among other things).

These problems can stem from so many things (past or present), and as a person who is a support mechanism in people’s lives to help them change (myself and other educators, trainers, coaches like me, or those that help to understand deeper traumas and issues like psychotherapists), it’s important to look at how one is seeing and experiencing the world around them. Is it a healthy perception or an extremely flawed perception? Well, in this TED Talk, Anil provides some amazing scientific data on the topic of “consciousness” and provides proof around what many teach which is utilizing an “inside out” approach to living rather than an “outside in” approach. And, yes, I am included in the "inside out" approach.

So how does consciousness happen exactly?

According to Anil:

“Somehow, within each of our brains, the combined activity of many billions of neurons, each one a tiny biological machine, is generating a conscious experience. And not just any conscious experience -- your conscious experience right here and right now. Our conscious experiences of the world around us, and of ourselves within it, are kinds of controlled hallucinations that happen with, through and because of our living bodies.”

Imagine our brain. As Anil explains it, and neuroscience shows us, all the brain has to go on is electrical impulses that come into it, and this sensory information is related to objects and things in the world. And, it’s our perception that moves into figuring out what all of that stuff is. Most of the time the brain is guessing what things are based on sensory signals, prior expectations or beliefs, and it then forms an opinion about what things are “out there” which is our perception of our realities.

Here’s what Anil has to say:

“So, instead of perception depending largely on signals coming into the brain from the outside world, it depends as much, if not more, on perceptual predictions flowing in the opposite direction. We don't just passively perceive the world, we actively generate it. The world we experience comes as much, if not more, from the inside out as from the outside in... As humans, we’re all hallucinating all the time, it’s just when we agree about our hallucinations is when we call that reality.”

Let me call that out a couple things real quick… we don’t just passively perceive the world, we actively generate it! As humans, we're hallucinating all the time, but it's when we agree about those hallucinations is when we call it our "reality"... WOAH! Mind blowing...

 

Here’s why this is so incredibly profound. Think about it. Our perceptual prediction of the world is something that we actively generate FROM THE INSIDE OUT versus the OUTSIDE IN. So, as humans, if we think that the world happens to us, technically and according to actual scientific research, that is incorrect. WE ACTIVELY PRODUCE THE WORLD WE EXPERIENCE! If you want a different reality, then all you have to do is make that reality happen. Your back story, the way you rely on certain things in the world may not be even necessary nor even the true reality because we predict ourselves into existence.

“Our own individual inner universe, our way of being conscious, is just one possible way of being conscious. And even human consciousness generally -- it's just a tiny region in a vast space of possible consciousnesses. Our individual self and worlds are unique to each of us, but they're all grounded in biological mechanisms shared with many other living creatures.”

-Neuroscientist, Anil Seth

I believe this and always have. The real reality is that we really are all connected through consciousness and it’s this consciousness collective, this connection to all things, that gives us, as humans, profound power! And, the power to be whatever we desire to be, to live the reality we want to live… woooow. Is your mind exploding as much as mine is?

#disruptnow #saynotostatusquo #breakfree

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