Consciousness As an Attribute of Intelligence
Existing Along a Spectrum
(12) Consciousness is an attribute of intelligence, which exists as a spectrum and is not limited to humans. Of all the properties that are manifestations of intelligence, the one which is greatest in importance above the rest is the attribute of consciousness. This is because consciousness results in, or allows, self-awareness. It is self-awareness that is an absolute prerequisite for our perceived existence. Without it we would cease to be human, and there would no longer be a need for matter-energy or space-time. The universe could be a complete vacuum and no one would care. There could be no "higher power" of any nature since one would surely have to be at least as conscious as humankind. That makes consciousness the single most important attribute to all of existence. All the physical forces of nature, which are constantly perturbing our entire material existence, would be unnecessary.
There is simply no possible way of doubting one's consciousness. As Descartes in 1629 wrote, "Cogito, ergo sum." "I think, therefore I am" must be true. The inability of science to prove the existence of consciousness is a weakness or criticism of science and not of consciousness, which screams loudly of its own existence. For me to be able to think that I am conscious requires, by definition, that I be conscious.
The more brain research that is done, the greater the accumulation of evidence which indicates that mind or consciousness cannot be reduced to the physical brain. Hidden variables are present that simply cannot be explained on the basis of its physical electrochemical structure alone.
The British neurologist, Cyril Burt, has stated that, "A comparison of the specific micro-neural situations in which consciousness does and does not arise suggests that the brain functions not as a generator of consciousness, but rather as a two-way transmitter and detector, i.e., although its activity is apparently a necessary condition, it cannot be a sufficient condition of conscious experience.".1
Modern biophysics demonstrates that the body is a volatile, fluctuating electromagnetic field, or actually an infinitely interlocked series of fields within fields. This begins to give shape to a mind-body model of consciousness in close physical interaction with the brain.2...Wilder Penfield's belief that consciousness and the physical brain are discrete but in interaction with each other would appear to be increasingly probable.3
It is as difficult to define the properties of consciousness as it is to define those of intelligence. Certain of its attributes would also be prerequisites. Those properties that one might include as pertaining to consciousness are the following:
|(1) Self-awareness is that property which refers to the awareness of being aware of self.4...As indicated before, this must be the most important attribute of consciousness, for without it there is no longer any reason for any other facet of existence. We do not yet know whether this represents a threshold phenomenon or is a continuous spectrum involving all other organisms and systems. However, there is very good evidence which indicates that some primates, if not certain other mammals, possess self-awareness.|
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