What is Awareness, Scientifically?

Awareness

From Wikipedia:

“Awareness is the state or ability to perceive, to feel, or to be conscious of events, objects, thoughts, emotions, or sensory patterns. In this level of consciousness, sense data can be confirmed by an observer without necessarily implying understanding. More broadly, it is the state or quality of being aware of something. In biological psychology, awareness is defined as a human’s or an animal’s perception and cognitive reaction to a condition or event…

“Awareness is a relative concept. An animal may be partially aware, may be subconsciously aware, or may be acutely unaware of an event. Awareness may be focused on an internal state, such as a visceral feeling, or on external events by way of sensory perception. Awareness provides the raw material from which animals develop qualia, or subjective ideas about their experience.”

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Here awareness is being described in terms of human subjectivity. This subjectivity seems to be taken for granted as awareness. It is being used as a “standard” to measure the awareness of other animals, organisms and objects. An objective definition of awareness seems to be missing.

In order to define awareness scientifically, let’s do the following thought experiment. Imagine being out there in the interstellar space, but with no stars or heavenly bodies around to provide any reference points. Pay attention to your motion. You will find that there is no awareness of motion even when you could be moving at the speed of light. Awareness arises only when there is a change in motion and inertia is manifested.

Light that contributes to awareness seems to be made up of changing electrical and magnetic fields. Inertia in the form of permittivity and permeability accompanies the changing fields. Objects that contribute to awareness seem to be full of changing motion at molecular and atomic levels. Awareness of sensations, such as push and pull, accompany changes in motion and inertia.

Science talks about structure like visual cortex or other parts of the brain to explain awareness. But the brain too is made up of atoms and molecules, neurons and electrical impulses. All such phenomena consist of motion. So there is motion outside the brain as well as inside the brain. Science is simply associating the motion inside the brain with awareness.

Thus awareness  cannot be separated from changes in motion and inertia. Motion accompanies all change. Even the change in color is a very fine motion.

We think of awareness in human context as something subjective and complex. This is a human-centric perspective, which once held that Earth is at the center of the universe. If we look at awareness objectively, it is found to be intimately tied to changes in motion and inertia.

Awareness accompanies inertia arising from change in motion.

Atoms consist of continually changing motion. An effect of that is the properties expressed in the periodic table. Simple motion associated with electromagnetic waves leads to simple properties. Extremely complex motion associated with human make up leads to complex properties. These properties incude the human awareness that we are subjectively familiar with.

Awareness is expressed in the properties of inanimate objects and animated organisms. 

This is a very different take on awareness of which human awareness is a special case. If we move away from the narrow, human-centric view, we find that awareness is all around us.

The universe is imbued with changing motion, and thus, it is imbued with awareness.

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Comments

  • vinaire  On December 14, 2014 at 8:52 AM

    12/14/2014 – I have rewritten this essay to improve my arguments.

  • vinaire  On December 14, 2014 at 6:37 PM

    One’s body is made up of motion. Similarly one’s self is made up of awareness.

  • vinaire  On December 14, 2014 at 9:15 PM

    I have modified the last few pragraphs to emphasize that motion and awareness can be used almost interchangeably.

    Awareness of light is its simple motion.

    Awareness of a human is his complex motion.

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  • Leela  On May 23, 2017 at 12:43 AM

    The awareness is always existing, but motion is associated with matter that go through changes. Awareness is not going through changes, otherwise we may I am aware sometime and sometime not. Like saying am existing sometime and sometimes not. Question is who is aware? Where is that coming from? Who’s that? Then who am i?

  • vinaire  On May 23, 2017 at 6:55 AM

    Your premise that awareness is always existing needs to be examined. Would you be aware of the moments when you are not aware. You won’t, obviously, because you are not aware. You will only be aware of the moments when you are aware. So the belief that awareness is always existing comes under question.

    “Motion” in material realm translates as “change” in mental realm. You cannot have motion without the perception of change. Thus, “change” itself is perceived as very fine motion.

    Awareness does go through changes. You may not be aware of an elephant at this moment, but you will become aware of one the moment you hear or see that word. You may then become aware of two elephants. Next you may become aware of three elephants. Awareness is always changing.

    The question, “Who is aware?” is quite interesting. If you have some familiarity with Physics, you can think of the concept of “center of mass”. Similarly, you may conceive of a “center of awareness”. It is the resultant of all awareness vectors. You may call it the “I”. I am sure this is going to raise more questions in your mind.

    By the way, we are discussing such questions with mindfulness at the following page on Facebook. You are welcome to join. But for relatively private conversation you may write on this blog.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/vinaire/

    Make sure you are logged on Facebook.
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