What part of us is conscious?

When we say we are conscious, exactly what part of us is conscious? Our brains? Our body parts? All the above?

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We get into philosophy of consciousness.

It would seem that, unless we are reductive materialists, consciousness can be the essence of who we are as a share in God’s own consciousness. And the brain is a material vehicle that processes the senses and creates thoughts and images. As conscious beings we are aware of the brain’s activity. IMHO.


Take this analogy: a television represents information from an antenna that receives radio waves. What we see on the television are decoded signals from somewhere else. To onlookers it looks as though the images and sounds are limited to the screen but maybe they come from far, far away. Maybe our bodies and minds are only receivers of conscious thoughts that are decoded and presented to us as emotions and manifest as physical actions, etc.

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But then what is “us”?

Hindus might say we are the Supreme Reality or Brahman - and only manifesting as an individual body. I’m not so sure anymore about this position, that we are essentially “God.” But it is a viewpoint that exists.

Actually, I just realize this subsection of the forum is geared more towards Catholic understandings, so maybe I’ll downplay my Eastern affinities. Still, it might be benefited from a critique, maybe.

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The question remains though: why should we think the soul or consciousness is localized in a human body, if the soul, being spiritual, doesn’t occupy space. What meaning does “location” have regarding the soul, if there is a soul in the disembodied sense?

I think a Catholic philosopher would say the soul is the form of the body. So is it inherent to the body then, as it were a feature of it?

But that almost means dependency as well, maybe.

I seem to recall the idea of a mirror from St. Bonaventure maybe. We mirror God’s consciousness created in his image and likeness.

It seems to me that God is the prime consciousness, the eternal Person, the fundamental “I Am who Am”. but here is the think, we cannot exist withour at least God’s will and intention. That becomes us.

What part of us is consciousness? The deepest aspect of our essence. The “scintilla” the person behind the mind, within the body but even beneath the quantum substructure.

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