Subhash Kak on Quantum Physics and the Perceiving Self

The perceiving self cannot be in a unique neuron in the brain, because that would require such a neuron to have the capacity to process all the information that the individual possesses, which is clearly impossible for a cellular structure that can only do simple processing. Conversely, if the perceiving self was distributed over an area, then we need to postulate another homunculus within this area to process the information reaching the self.

Thus the conscious self can neither be localized to a single cell, nor assumed to be distributed over the entire brain or a part of it. We cannot speak of where the self is, but only of how the self obtains knowledge. Since the self is associated with the brain it uses it as the lens through which to perceive the world. Our knowledge of the world is, therefore, contingent on the neurophysiologic nature of the brain.

If we are able to make sense of the world it is because we are biologically programmed to do so on the relationship between our brain and mind. This idea is expressed in the slogan that the outer is mirrored in the inner. In an elaboration of this idea it is assumed that patterns seen in the outer world characterize the inner world as well.

Subhash Kak, quoted from Quantum Physics and Consciousness, ed. Roger Penrose (Cosmology Science Publishers: 2011) p. 3


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