Let’s look at some components:
There is a body. A marvellous piece of equipment. Everything is there. It can stand old age. Try to find a vintage car my age, nearly 5 decades old, that has been driving 16 hours a day, and still functions at 90% of its best days.
There is a nervous system that controls this body. There is movement or action: output, and there are sensations: input. This nervous system has a concentrated spine, ending in the head in a brain.
What does this brain do:
1. controlling the body’s sensations and actions, and giving exactly the right orders. Like a controller, controlling a robot
2. this brain is responsible for emotions. A rudimentary but highly efficient system to interact with the world. There are facial and body expressions connected to it, moods, and hormones.
4. intermediary output, thoughts, opinions and results can be reused as input again, creating data-pipes in this brain. Data-pipes can give rise to the mind turning in circles.
This entire system and perhaps some missing pieces, bring forward my consciousness.
What are the missing pieces?
There is an operator directing body and brain. It works with desires. Any desire can be brought under the operator’s attention and he will be scrutinize the desire. If considered appropriate, the desire will be acted upon. We call this (free?) will, what kind of thing is this free will?
There is an interrupt. A magic doorbell. An awareness. It can stop the endless data-pipes creating circular thinking and enhancing the emotions. With one push on the doorbell button, the entire data-pipe can be brought to a halt. It looks a lot like sneezing. A reboot of brain. What kind of thing is this doorbell? Is it related to will? Is it related to being startled when we see/hear/sense something very beautiful or ugly? Is it related to sneezing?
There is some strange long distance connector. It tells me that someone is going to phone right now, and that I shouldn’t get into the car yet. I wait 2 minutes and the person that came to mind is on the other side of the phone. This long distance connector is directly connected to the doorbell.
All these things give rise to consciousness. But now there is something very strange going on. Consciousness is not continuous. Every night my consciousness is switched off. Not by free will, but by the body and the brain. Free will can counteract but not indefinitely, until it is switched off itself. Is consciousness the holon of all the components? And why is it switched off every night? Most other functions still operate, except free will, and the internet inside my head, they are both dead. My senses work, but are neglected by the most of the internet inside my head. The body is paralysed to prevent it acting with the controllers still operative. Emotions come to a stand still. The doorbell still works. It wakes me up every morning. Usually just before the alarm goes off. And it wakes up the internet inside my head, every 90 minutes to give me dreams. The long distance connector also works, and has the capacity to ask the doorbell to wake me up drowsily for urgent matters.
Not being able to sleep is often caused by mind turning in circles – interconnected with emotions feeding the mind.
So switching off the internet inside my head, and my system of free will is enough to switch off consciousness. Except for Mister Doorbell who can switch both, and consciousness, back on.
Who or what is that interrupt/doorbell?
And am I only an operator acting on desires and calling it free will and being switched off every night without my permission?
Am I the doorbell + the long distance connector + the operator?
Is this operator really part of who I am, or is it part of who I think I am?