Don’t be silly! We are just a sum of the chemical reactions that occur within us. Anything more to that becomes a mindless conquest of the non-existential.

Until a few decades ago, this reductionist view of human beings would have been welcomed without thought. Many people with a materialist view believed it to be true.

French philosopher Jacques La Mettrie’s book published in 1747 called L’Homme Machine (Man a Machine) wrote – “Man is a machine, and the operations of his mind are no more than the results of the physical organization of his brain.”

American pragmatist William James also wrote in his 1890 book, The Principles of Psychology – “The mind is but a stream of consciousness, and consciousness is but a series of sensations.” According to James, there was no such thing as a soul or a separate self. All mental experiences can be explained in terms of physical processes.

If you compare it to human suffering, it would be as though telling an individual that they are the sum of their past struggles and nothing more. Whereas, human experiences have quite potently concluded that one is not defined by their past experiences.

“You are not defined by your pain, by your past, by what has broken you. You are defined by how you believe and by how you rise.” ~Marisa Donnelly

Therefore, we come to the point in the study of human consciousness where one is asked whether they are aware of themselves. It’s a deep thought-inducing question that demands pondering.

To further understand what I mean, let’s take a brief look at Lord Buddha’s experience. We find a similarity in the attributes that define the concept of human consciousness.

As he wandered in India after being enlightened, men who observed him along the way found his aura to be extraordinary and incomprehensible. So, they asked Lord Buddha, rather curiously:

“Are you a God?”

“A reincarnation of God?”

“A wizard?”

“A man?

Lord Buddha patiently answered no to each of these questions.

Running out of options, they finally asked him: “So, what are you?”

“I am Awake”

Isn’t everyone else awake? Well, in this context, enviable to Lord Buddha’s experience that only the rarest could encounter, was enlightenment. He was awakened to master the mind and bring it to the reality of the present moment.

But, in today’s world, the essence of this profound discovery that happened centuries ago finds its way to the doctrine of realism. The concept of realism talks about only focusing on what is rational to the mind approached with logical sense, and what can be seen with the naked eye.

This concept limited our viewpoint and research to only that which was visible.

Therefore, to properly explore the source of human consciousness and to deep dive into the question of Who or What Am I, Manish Pajan, Switi Gupta, and I compiled a document that integrates the knowledge repository of ancient and contemporary philosophies with the findings gained through scientific experiments and research in multiple fields.

It is our humble attempt to systematically showcase that the knowledge available in the ancient texts is now being uncovered, slowly and gradually, bit by bit, by the scientific community too. Terms like #HardProblemOfConsciousness & #QuantumConsciousness are now entering mainstream science.

Furthermore, consciousness today has emerged as the catalyst for fusing science and spirituality for future research and a deeper understanding of the creation, the created, and the creator.  

I am truly thankful for the input from members of the GI4QC Forum who contributed to this paper. My heartfelt gratitude to the members, including  Anand Prakash, Dr. J. P. Dudeja, Rameshchandra Ketharaju, Sandeep Rustagi, Shitanshu Mishra, Prof. Vinay Vidyalankar and Vinod Tiwari.

I hope you find the information in this document revealing and enlightening in your journey towards awareness aka human consciousness.

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