Consciousness: How Human Consciousness Works

Today we are together with an associate professor of differential psychology and mental health; we will try to understand how our consciousness is structured. Go away!

If we, the people, have developed the soul, the consciousness, the intellect, then all of this should have some evolutionary value. Otherwise, natural selection would not allow all of these phenomena to evolve. Homo sapiens have a brain that weighs about 2% of its total body weight. Still, it is an incredibly energy-intensive organ that consumes nearly a quarter of all the energy that the body consumes. Why do we need such a complex and gluttonous device? After all, it is evident that many beings have not developed a psyche in the animal kingdom. Still, at the same time, they are fully adapted and have already lived more than one geological period.

Take grass bites, for example. Can cut the star in half, and two stars grow out of the pieces. We could only dream about this – it’s almost immortality. And insects solve the adaptation problem differently: they change generations quickly and work effectively on their genome. An individual can only live for a few hours, but more and more organisms allow the population to adapt entirely to changing circumstances.

The most significant car in the world

It is impossible for a human being. Our body is much more complex than the body of a fly or gravel, it grows and matures for many years, and this is too valuable a resource to “waste” it as insects do. Of course, generational change also plays a role in the development of human life – for this, it is an instrument of aging, but our strength as a population is different. The advantage that our long-growing and long-lived body needs are the ability to adapt very quickly. One can immediately assess changing circumstances and find out how one can adapt to them while alive and well. It is thanks to consciousness that we succeed in all this.

“The brain is the greatest machine that can work the real thing into the ideal.” The benefits of this skill are enormous. When we encounter a phenomenon or a problem, we do not have to solve it or understand it from scratch – we have to compare the new information with the idea of ​​the world we have already created.

The story of human evolution from near-zero psyches in infancy to the diverse experiences of mature personalities is a constant accumulation of adaptive information, additions and corrections to the individual image of the world. And the activity of human consciousness is nothing more than continuous filtering of new details with acquired experience. I have to say that the Russian word “consciousness” very well reflects the essence of the phenomenon: consciousness is life “with knowledge.” Evolution has given man a unique computer resource – the brain, which allows you to compare new realities and past experiences constantly.

Does our consciousness have flaws? Of course, the main thing is the inadequacy and inaccuracy of any personal image of the world. For example, if one encounters a blonde, he may, based on personal experience, decide that the blonde is too frivolous or materialistic and reject a severe relationship. But, perhaps, the whole point is that he was once unlucky with a particular blonde, and therefore his experience is atypical. It happens all the time, and sometimes the accumulation of facts that contradict the individual image of the world can lead to what psychologists call cognitive silences. In a moment of silence, the old idea of the world collapses, and a new one appears in its place, which is also part of our adaptation.

The veil is unconscious.

Another flaw of consciousness is that it is not omnipotent, although it creates an illusion for us (but this is only an illusion!) That it is allowing 100% of all new information to pass through. However, he does not have such a physical opportunity. Consciousness is a very new developmental tool, which was once built on top of the unconscious part of the soul. In which beings’ consciousness first appears and whether certain animals possess consciousness is unique, exciting and far from understanding. Unfortunately, there is still no scientific tool for communicating with animals – whether cats, dogs or dolphins, so we cannot determine to what extent they are conscious.

At the same time, the unconscious, the resources of the soul that are outside the limits of consciousness, have been fully preserved in man. It is impossible to estimate the size of the unconscious or control its content – consciousness does not give us access to it. It is generally accepted that external consciousness is limitless, and this psychological resource comes to the rescue in situations where the aid of consciousness is not sufficient. Help is given to us in the form of processes, the results that we notice, but the processes themselves do not. An example of a textbook is a common element that Dmitry Mendeleev, after a long, painful thought, said he had seen in a dream.

Where do the socks belong?

On the other hand, human consciousness also has another reserve, not as dark and inaccessible as the unconscious. This hardware in psychology is sometimes associated with the term “person,” It works like this. When a person compares incoming information and his picture of the world, he primarily wants to answer the question: “What should I do in the current situation?” And if the consciousness does not have enough tangible experience, then the search for an answer to the question begins: “What do people, in general, do in such situations?” This question is addressed to childhood to parents. Mom and Dad give children a set of behavioral patterns (patterns) on “what is good and what is bad,” but everyone’s upbringing is different. The way in the same case can vary significantly from person to person. For example, the husband’s pattern says that socks can be thrown in the middle of the room, while the wife’s pattern says she should immediately take dirty laundry to the washing machine. This conflict has two possible consequences.

In one case, the wife will ask her husband not to throw away socks, and he may agree with the wife. At the same time, two people’s consciousness will assess the situation “here and now,” and a compromise will result from a quick adjustment. In the other case, if the husband “endures,” the wife will most likely offend him with words such as: “This is disgusting! Nobody does that! “Nobody does” or “everyone does” – this is the “reserve airport” of consciousness, its reserve system. Such a system plays an important adaptive role – it does not allow the project to be transferred to an external consciousness (it will not control it at all) but leaves it in consciousness. Unfortunately, at the moment, to some extent, the most favorable mode of adaptation, the analysis of immediate reality, is turned off.

Human Consciousness
Human Consciousness

A mirror for the hero

So, man’s most significant evolutionary advantage is constantly bringing his inner image of the world in line with reality, thus predicting future events and adapting to them. But how do we assess the correct adjustment? We have a response tool – an emotional response system, for something is fun for us, and something is uncomfortable. If we feel good, then nothing needs to change. If we feel bad, we are worried, which means there is a stimulus to change the adaptation model. People with weak reactions are people with schizophrenia who have a lot of thinking, but they are more than weird.

These people do not care how to apply their various thoughts to reality. They are not very interested in this, as there is no positive reaction. On the contrary, people of a hysterical nature have a strong response. They are constantly under the influence of emotions; only they do not change the adaptive model for a long time. They go to college and do not study. They start a business and destroy it with their inaction. Can compare the symbol to a broken clock, which shows the exact time only twice a day. Well, schizoids are clocks where hands rotate randomly in different directions.

Which of us is a genius?

Another development project is related to the work of consciousness. It helps a person adapt quickly to changing circumstances and works to live humanity as a whole. We all have our inner image of the world and, to some extent, reflect reality. But for someone, it will undoubtedly be satisfying, and we are amazed at how this person – let’s call him a genius – understood what others could not understand. The more people who see the situation adequately, the greater the chance of survival for society. Therefore, the diversity of human consciousness is also significant from the point of view of the evolutionary process.

Each port has a personality.

Two systems – adaptation systems and systems of self-identification of adaptive functions – together form a human personality. An advanced character can be considered an individual for whom both systems work as much as possible. He quickly grasps the essence of phenomena, clearly realizes them, thinks vividly, and feels everything embracing them. They often say of the perception of such men: “Wow, how exactly did he say that! I could not! “The personality is like an excellent cuisine, where everything is precisely as much as necessary and unconscious and adaptability and introspection. Does such integration require too much information? Not at all. For a high speed of adaptation, you need essential information that will allow you to draw the correct conclusions and take the right action.

In this case, the person must match the place and time precisely. Many outstanding personalities would probably not have gained such a reputation if they had found themselves in a different socio-cultural environment. Moreover, several characters have in common even in one person under certain conditions. It may, for example, be related to so-called altered states of consciousness.

A state where all the soul’s resources are turned to the external environment is considered normative and biologically crucial to man. You must always be vigilant and constantly analyze the information received. But when the attention is focused in part or whole on the inner state, this is called a changed state. In this case, the personality can also change. Everyone knows that a drunk person can do such actions that he could not even think of in a regular (sober) state. And everyone realizes the foolish behavior of lovers on their own.

The American psychologist Robert Fisher coined the term “ports,” Our mind is like a captain at sea who travels the world, and in every port, he has a wife. But none of them know anything about the others. So is our consciousness. It can produce different personal qualities in different countries, but these personalities are often not familiar with each other.

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