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Controlled Hallucinations

     The Consciousness Community is forever talking about the "hard problem" and the "easy problem", generally referring to inquire about how the human brain directs complex phenomenal experiences (easy), and how this molecular process could possibly explain why humans have this subjective experience called consciousness (hard).  It is, as most agree, the most important question in the world. It has preoccupied humanity unceasingly since the beginning.  The Neuro's, the Philo's, the Theo's, the Psycho's, the Bio's, the Physio's, the IIT's,  and virtually every other academic discipline, is hot to be a part of the answer to this ultimate question.

     For most of us, reflecting on the wide range of Consciousness Commentary,  produces little more than a headache. However, recently I came across a simple phrasing that, at least for me, (whoever and or whatever that me is) yielded a spark of clarity, I think.  Again presuming that there is a me, the insight that the reality which surrounds me provides only very fundamental sense information, i.e. sight,sound, touch, etc., that which I experience as consciousness is my  cumulative and evolving memory, priotized as to relevance, by current sensory input.... hence the "controlled hallucination" characterization.

     Although, I do not know that I experience hallucinations, nor has anyone suggested that I appear to hallucinate, I have experienced a lifetime of dreaming, and the occasional remembrances of dream content.  It seems palpable that the dream state and the hallucinatory state are very similar except for the obvious "navigation engaged/sleep walking" attribute of what we call hallucinating.    If then hallucinating is a state in which memory being accessed randomly, with little sensory input, then normal waking consciousness, it seems,to follow, is the same, but just more structured. Specifically, the consciousness state seems to be when sequencial memory is selected, cohered and constrained by my changing sensory field. 

     Yes, I am a zombie, just wandering around all day remembering memory vignettes of memories of previous memories. Fortunately these memory vignettes are being sensory played according to a "real time playlist" being imposed by external events in my sensory field.  In this, for now postulate, for sure I have to add that these external events include sensory input from the body most comprehensively remembered by my brain...."the body me"  What turns on and off this memory loop and where in time/space this memory loop can be located is too hard to think about.  Long ago, I came to  conceptually understand "emergent phenomena", as in "where the hell in this piano is that chord?"  Further, me sayeth not, except to acknowledge that I do enjoy this ongoing fantasy minimally influenced by whatever is really out there.


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