Consciousness - It is simply the awareness of what we, as human beings, are doing, feeling, saying, or thinking. It is an enigma, and yet it is the only thing we truly know is in existence. A great philosopher once said "Cogito ergo sum", or "I think, therefore I am." It is likely one of the most profound realizations in history. It is an understanding of the fact that one's consciousness is indispensible proof to that individual that they, in some manner and form, exist. We are not truly sure of anything but consciousness, but it is the one thing that has eluded any definite explanation throughout history.

So what is consciousness? It seems certain that it is not physical. It is the mind, and it seems detached from the body.

With individuals suffering from epileptic seizures, a common method of solving the problem was to split the brain into its left and right hemispheres, essentially severing all cerebral interstate highways, and leaving ones brain with only shoddy dirt roads to connect the right and left. However, though this brain, the perceived pivot point of our consciousness--of our observer--seemed now to bear no relation. While patients essentially had two brains, they were still left with only one consciousness, observing thought processes on whichever side it so chose.

But, though the brain seemed to be in some manners detached from the observer, it seems to be understood that the observer thrives on the existence of the brain. But why? What is it about the brain that fosters this home for consciousness? If we could create a robotic brain, with as much power for decision making and understanding as a human, would this brain create the same home for consciousness? But what truly separates a brain from a rock, in it's essentials? A brain is simply an object of more complexity, with chemicals and electricity flowing through it to bring a body towards some goal. Is it possible, then, that consciousness is simply some substance that is attracted towards complexity, or is it even possible that that rock truly has a conscious observer inside of it?

I don't know how to answer these questions, and I don't know if anyone truly does, but I want to hear from you, and maybe we can shed some light on this. 

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

A map of London's most toxic breathing spots

Air pollution is up to five times over the EU limit in these Central London hotspots.

Strange Maps
  • Dirty air is an invisible killer, but an effective one.
  • More than 9,000 people die prematurely in London each year due to air pollution, a recent study estimates.
  • This map visualizes the worst places to breathe in Central London.
Keep reading Show less

The most culturally chauvinist people in Europe? Greeks, new research suggests

Meanwhile, Spaniards are the least likely to say their culture is superior to others.

Image: Pew Research Center
Strange Maps
  • Survey by Pew Research Center shows great variation in chauvinism across Europe.
  • Eight most chauvinist countries are in the east, and include Russia.
  • British much more likely than French (and slightly more likely than Germans) to say their culture is "superior" to others.
Keep reading Show less

To remember something, draw it

It works better than other memorization techniques.

(Sticker Mule/Unsplash)
Mind & Brain
  • Drawing something that you want to remember is more effective than using other memory techniques
  • For older people with dementia or Alzheimer's, drawing stores memories in still-intact regions of the brain
  • Even if you're terrible at drawing, it's the neurological underpinnings that make it worth a try
Keep reading Show less