How Subjective Mind Arises From Brute Matter

Earlier this year, the New York Times Book Review reviewed Antonio Damassio’s book Feeling and Knowing, which offers a theory on how consciousness arises through the interaction between sensory input and an internalized info base. Since much of magick involves imposing the objectives of consciousness on elements surrounding the magician, this seems pertinent. An excerpt reads:

“Intimately familiar though we are with it, consciousness confronts us with a mystery. It doesn’t readily fit into our scientific conception of the world. Consciousness seems to be caused by neural firings in our brains. But how can these objective electrochemical events give rise to ineffable qualitative experiences, like the smell of a rose, the stab of a pain or the transport of joy? Why, when a physical system attains a certain degree of complexity, is it “like something” to be that system?

 “This is the ‘hard problem’ of consciousness: the problem of how subjective mind arises from brute matter. (There is also an ‘easy problem,’ that of determining what role consciousness plays in the information-processing economy of the mind. But one thing at a time.)”

Frater Lux Ad Mundi

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