A Theory On Consciousness

E. Shaun Russell (e_shaun@uniserve.com)
Thu, 31 Oct 1996 19:02:44 -0800 (PST)

What you are about to read has probably been said before. I
apologize for any possible inconsistancies this post may have, due to my
constant scrambling to the door --it *is* Hallowe'en night!

There has been a lot of signal bouncing around for the past few
months on this; signal --not noise-- dealing with consciousness and
knowledge. Questions have been raised about the feasibility of two parallel
'selves' living at the same time. In addition, there have been queries upon
putting one's consciousness onto a computer chip. Can there be two lives at
once? Can there be two 'mes'?

My theory on this (and please inform me if someone has their name
put to this) is that there *can* be two (or more) consciousnesses stemming
from one original consciousness. However, the exact millisecond that the
second consciousness is conceived from the first, it has a new life; it is
its own and no-one elses. Even though the prototype consciousness may think
that it has the same past experiences as the first, it truly has its own
life from the point of its conception.

In my opinion (and as far as I know), at the point of any
consciousnesses conception --be it from birth or post-conceptual copying--
there are a certain amount of chemicals in the brain that allow a
consciousness to be developed. From that initial potential, every single
experience will add to the general consciousness.

Let me tie this back in with post-conceptual copying. If my(?)
theory is true, then from the moment of the cloned consciousnesses
conception, it will *not* be the original. It cannot be what already is.
The cloned consciousness will be only what it is, not what its creator is.
When the cloned consciousness 'comes to be,' it will have a radically
different view than what the original will. It will feel the emotions of
fear and uncomprehension wheras the original will feel awe and probably

I've never been much of a scientist, but I've heard that a
consciousness can be created through a seemingly infinite amount of binary
1's and 0's. I can only assume that there are thousands of binary numbers
added to the consciousness every millisecond. The only time the conscious
mind is stagnant is either pre-conception or clinical death. I wonder
whether or not there is any form of consciousness while under cryonic
suspension? Hmmm.

Now, of course, the only obstacle to cloning seems to be the actual
cloning process; in effect, putting the mind on a microchip. If the last
paragraph is true, then I believe it will be possible to take one's
consciousness at a certain point and copy it. Seeing as how this theory
states that the binary code constantly carries on, the 'consciousness donor'
(forgive my crude wording) will have to be content with cutting the code at
some point until the computer chip can process the consciousness. From that
point, the consciousness is in a suspended state; like a genie in a lamp.
When the chemicals (or counter-
programs) are harvested to allow for a consciousness, the microchip can be
activated. From that moment on, the consciousness will constantly have new
experiences added to it. The biggest problem with *this* stem of my(?)
theory is that the microchip has to have enough room for its consciousness
to expand within. In other words, the chip has to have a tremendous amount
of room to allow for consciousness expansion. Another drawback is the need
for a dramatically high processing speed.

This theory is a fair amount to chew on and mull over and --as I
said before-- I'm no scientist, and consciousness is a highly scientific
issue. I do, however, think that this will be feasible within the next
fifty years. Please pick apart this theory, as it is only intended to
explore one of the infinite possibilities...

Ingredi Externus!

-E. Shaun Russell

"Consciousness is always being created until it is destroyed."

E. Shaun Russell Extropian poet\musician