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  1. UC Berkeley Redwood Center for Theoretical NeuroscienceUpdated 6y
    Is consciousness an illusion?
    Yes, consciousness is an illusion.

    That does not mean it does not exist, or that it is not real!

    An illusion is something that is not what it appears to be. Merriam-Webster says an illusion is something that “misleads intellectually.” A hologram is an illusion because the 3D object you see is not really “there” (but it was somewhere, e.g. in the original photography studio; and the holographic plate in front of you is real).

    Consciousness appears to us to have properties that it does not really have. Consciousness appears to be a seamless, high-fidelity, complete, and accurate direct experience of the world. And yet countless psychology experiments and visual illusions demonstrate that consciousness does not actually have these properties. Consciousness is fragmented, internally inconsistent, lower resolution, and more distorted than we think.

    1. (contd)

      Yohan John makes a great point in asking the question “to what is consciousness an illusion”? The answer to that question is “to itself”, a circular answer that highlights one of the core paradoxes of consciousness. Awareness, or self-awareness, presents the feeling that we are simultaneously and synchronously both the subject and object of our perception; and yet both roles cannot be logically simultaneous due simply to the time-lag required to process information and form a point of view. Who we perceive ourselves to be is who we were a few hundred milliseconds ago. But hopefully we haven’t changed much.

  2. New age buzz words and pictures of beautiful models mixing with beautiful music is not not the great depth and it may be a trick. I’m skeptical of being too hip, cool and groovy. There is the appearance level and the truth and we must not confuse the two.

  3. Intelligence is not as important as it looks and it is not the goal (neither is superiority). A crook or con artist can be intelligent and intelligence does not automatically include discipline, morality, sincerity or true vision. It is usually an illusion. Always remember if you seek to be or feel superior you are going in the wrong direction. None are superior. this is not about the battle between the good guys and the bad guys for that just leads to justifications based on illusions of intelligence or virtue which are false.