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The nature of consciousness is among the most profound mysteries humans have encountered. And yet, whether we think that consciousness reflects a fundamental feature of reality, or a mere illusion, we do know, at least in our case, that brains are involved. We also know that changes made to our brains correlate with dramatic changes in consciousness.
As scientific and technological development continues, we’re likely to gain much greater ability to retune this biological instrument, and potentially gain access to a much broader variety of possible conscious states.
Future augmentation of brains could open us to a limitless horizon of mental experiences, pregnant with unimaginable value and significance. When mind itself is stretched across the canvas, what will we want to want? What values will guide such minds?
One thinker who is exploring these questions is the philosopher Andrés Gómez Emilsson, who I was honored to interview on the Waking Cosmos podcast (listen below). In this conversation we discussed the universal drives of self-creating minds, the elusive nature of consciousness, the recent rise of panpsychist theories, and the power of psychedelics for exploring psychic space.
Perhaps the issue that most animates Andrés is the nature of happiness and its relationship to suffering. Do we need the depths of suffering in order to experience the heights of ecstasy? Will it one day be possible to “engineer away” all suffering through technology? And if so, can we really be happy all the time “without going insane?”
My conversation with Andres was truly mind-expanding for me, and I hope it will be the first of many. You can listen below on iTunes, SoundCloud, and YouTube.
If you value open-minded philosophical conversations like this one, please consider supporting Waking Cosmos on Patreon, and help me turn this into a full time project! Thank You.
To Listen on iTunes, go through this link: https://goo.gl/fFNSov