Interesting documentary/paper on consciousness

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Interesting documentary/paper on consciousness

Postby a_human_being » Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:40 am

I watched a documentary on tv about consciousness where a guy suggests that "microtubules" , long small tubes found in neurons, could be connected to consciousness. I found a paper on it and also found the documentary I saw on vimeo. I found it very interesting although I wish I would understand more of the paper than I do :-/. ... vents.html and

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Re: Interesting documentary/paper on consciousness

Postby a_human_being » Thu Aug 09, 2012 2:21 pm

From the paper:
It may be interesting to compare our considerations with subjective viewpoints that have been expressed with regard to the nature of the progression of conscious experience. For example, support for consciousness consisting of sequences of individual, discrete events is found in Buddhism; trained meditators describe distinct "flickerings" in their experience of reality (Tart, 1995). Buddhist texts portray consciousness as "momentary collections of mental phenomena", and as "distinct, unconnected and impermanent moments which perish as soon as they arise." Each conscious moment successively becomes, exists, and disappears - its existence is instantaneous, with no duration in time, as a point has no length. Our normal perceptions, of course, are seemingly continuous, presumably as we perceive "movies" as continuous despite their actual makeup being a series of frames. Some Buddhist writings even quantify the frequency of conscious moments. For example the Sarvaastivaadins (von Rospatt, 1995) described 6,480,000 "moments" in 24 hours (an average of one "moment" per 13.3 msec), and some Chinese Buddhism as one "thought" per 20 msec. These accounts, including variations in frequency, are consistent with our proposed Orch OR events. For example a 13.3 msec pre-conscious interval would correspond with an Orch OR involving 4 x 1010coherent tubulins, a 0.13 msec interval would correspond with 4 x 1012 coherent tubulins, and a 20 msec interval with 2.5 x 1010 coherent tubulins. Thus Buddhist "moments of experience," Whitehead "occasions of experience," and our proposed Orch OR events seem to correspond tolerably well with one another..

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Re: Interesting documentary/paper on consciousness

Postby viniketa » Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:33 pm

This may be more than you want to know... but it is very interesting stuff! :smile:

Both Stuart Hameroff and Roger Penrose have been looking at quantum consciousness for awhile. The idea of 'momentary' consciousness (bhavanga) arises in the Pali Abhidharma and has been discussed at length by Nina van Gorkom: ... vanga.html

The 'Chinese Buddishm' to which Hameroff refers is acttually Indian Yogācāra, as carried forth in Chinese traditions. There is a recent article by Jeson Woo that addresses this, if you have access to Springer:
"Gradual and Sudden Enlightenment: The Attainment of Yogipratyakṣa in the Later Indian Yogācāra School." Journal of Indian Philosophy Volume 37, Number 2 (2009), 179-188, DOI: 10.1007/s10781-008-9061-9: ... m9/?MUD=MP

To the extent that I understand quantum consciousness, the link to Buddhism comes in the 'tubulins' Hameroff discusses and the possibility of 'quantum entanglement' which would link consciousness with the universe in ways consistent with Buddhist thought. Wikipedia has a good article on quantum entanglement. Also, here are two 'news' articles on recent activities:

"Entanglement study makes a quantum leap" ... 2675.story

"Teen solves quantum entanglement problem" ... dyckovsky/

If they can sever like and dislike, along with greed, anger, and delusion, regardless of their difference in nature, they will all accomplish the Buddha Path.. ~ Sutra of Complete Enlightenment

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