Neuroscience, Consciousness and Spirituality

Volume 1 of the series Studies in Neuroscience, Consciousness and Spirituality pp 279-288


An Emerging New Model for Consciousness: The Consciousness Field Model

  • Robert K. C. FormanAffiliated withJerusalem Institute of Advanced Studies Email author 

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A surprising level of agreement about the nature of consciousness emerged at a recent multi-disciplinary “meeting of experts” gathering on Neuroscience, Spirituality and Consciousness in Freiburg Germany, 2008. Contra the reigning hypothesis for consciousness, the epiphenomenal model, this hypothesis suggests: (i) Consciousness is a fundamental element of reality. (ii) Consciousness is mediated by the brain. That is, consciousness takes place with the help of the brain but is not within it. Brains are transducers of consciousness. (iii) Consciousness is independent of the brain. As the field of consciousness is experienced through consciousness-transducing brains, consciousness appears to exist independently, though it remains so far unobservable unless transduced by brains. (iv) The ability to be conscious of a connection with something larger may be the fundamental nature that distinguishes the human being. The ability to sense ‘something larger’ (which cannot itself be observed), a mystical ability, may be the skill distinguishing human beings from other hominids.