|(An improved and updated version of 这个 essay has appeared in my book 简要介绍。以下版本仅供保留。）|
|Are these colors 真实, or just representations within 您r head?|
Photo by 贝尔纳多·卡斯特鲁普, 这里 by released into the Public Domain.
This essay 是 about a shocking contradiction in our common sense about the nature of 真实ity; a contradiction that 您 are probably totally unaware of. Becoming aware of 这个 contradiction has the potential to change 您r life.
On the one hand, our common sense says that the colors we 看到, the sounds we hear, the smells we feel, the textures we sense, are all the 实际 and concrete 真实ity. We take it for granted that they are all 真实ly 'out there,' in the sense of being outside our heads. On the other hand, our common sense also 看到ms to suggest that death 是 the end of our 意识. Even if we don't acknowledge 这个 intellectually or spiritually, most of us fear the end of 意识with enough sincerity to betray our belief in its possibility.
Now, the point of 这个 essay 是 extraordinarily simple: 这两个常识性信念是互斥的. They cannot be both true. Either everything 您 sense around 您 right now, including the computer in front of 您, 是 a kind of "幻觉" inside 您r head, or 您r 意识doesn’t end upon what we call physical death. And by the time we come to the end of 这个 essay, I believe 您 will agree with me.
Here 是 a narrated, video version of 这个 essay:
让’从身体溶解的假设开始— death — indeed implies the end of 意识. Such a notion 是 entirely based on the idea that 您r body, particularly 您r brain, generates all 您r experiences. After all, what other reason could we have to believe that 意识ends if the brain stops working? But if the notion 是 true, then all of 您r 主观 experiences and their 品质 —颜色，声音，味道，质地，温暖度等。 — are merely representations created within 您r head. The "真实 world 在那里" has none of the 品质 of experience: no colors, no melody, no flavors, no warmth. Supposedly, it 是 一个纯粹的抽象领域 数量 类似于数学方程式。它甚至无法可视化，因为可视化总是需要 品质 of 经验。 In essence, if 这个 是 true, 您r entire life unfolds inside 您r skull. 您r 实际 skull 是 somewhere beyond the room where 您 are sitting, enveloping it from all sides. After all, the room 您 are experiencing right now 是 supposedly within 您r head.
But what if all 这个 是 baloney? What if the colors, sounds, and smells 您 are experiencing right now are the 实际 physical world, not "hallucinated" representations within 您r skull? Then the necessary implication 是 that the 物理世界 是 in 意识, for it 是 then "made of" the 品质 of 主观 经验。 But if that 是 so, it 是 您r body that 是 in 意识, not 意识in 您r body. After all, 您r body 是 in the physical world, not the world in 您r body. And then, in turn, the dissolution of 您r body cannot imply the end of 意识; not any more than the death of 您r dreamed-up avatar in a nightly dream can imply 您r physical death. After all, it 是 the avatar that 是 in 您r dreaming 意识, not 您r 意识in the avatar. Do 您 看到 the point?
那里fore, either all 真实ity 您 can ever experience 是 a kind of "幻觉" inside 您r skull, or we have absolutely no reason to believe that physical death entails the end of 意识. It’s one thing or the other. 您 take 您r pick: which alternative 是 crazier? I’我已经接受了：我无法否认我所经历的现实，这一现实远远早于我们疯狂的唯物主义文化的模型和抽象。
So let us dare entertain the possibility that the 物理世界 是 exactly what it 看到ms to be: that it has 品质， 不只是 数量. 让 us acknowledge what every civilization before Western rationalism always took for granted: that colors, smells, sounds, and flavors are not just inside our heads. How do we then explain the big questions that materialists claim to require an abstract 真实ity fundamentally outside 意识in order to be made sense of?
First question: "If 真实ity 是 a kind of dream in 意识, how come we 看到m to be all sharing the same dream?" The idea behind 这个 question 是 that, because our bodies are not connected in the fabric of space-time, our personal psyches are also not connected and, therefore, cannot be sharing a dream. But 这个 假设 that 意识is in the body, as opposed to the body in 意识. If our bodies are in 意识, the fact that our bodies are separate does not imply that our psyches are also separate. 我们的经验并不能阻止我们的心理联系— unified —在最深，最模糊的层次，就像一棵树的可见分支在不可见的根部团结起来。高度混淆的，集体的根基很可能是我们称为共识现实的共同梦想的统一来源。并且存在高度混淆的心智部分（事实上，深度心理学经常使用歧义词“无意识”来称呼它们）如此混淆是心理学中的既定事实。
|Are these textures 真实, or just representations within 您r head?|
Photo by 贝尔纳多·卡斯特鲁普, 这里 by released into the Public Domain.
第二个问题：“显然，我们不能仅仅希望世界与世界不同而改变世界，因此世界必须存在于意识之外。”这里的问题是将属于意志范围之外的现象与属于意识本身之外的现象相混淆。众所周知，并非所有有意识的过程都属于意志领域：我们的噩梦，自发视力，幻觉等都是无可否认的主观，但不受我们意愿的控制。说物质世界处于意识中并不与它的许多事实按照严格的规律性展开的事实相矛盾，’ve come to call the "自然规律." It only means that processes in a particular segment of 心神 —模糊的，集体的根层次 —按照严格的规律展开。 To say that all nature 是 grounded in 意识does not imply that all nature 是 grounded in the whimsical, tiny segments of 意识that we call our personal egos, in exactly the same way that 梦 and visions aren’也植根于自我。
Third question: "那里 are tight correlations between brain states and 主观 经验。 那里fore, the brain must generate 意识." Well, there 是 an alternative way of 看到ing 这个 that 是 incredibly self-evident: the brain 是 not the cause of 意识, but merely the image of a process in 意识. Take lightning: it doesn't "generate" or "cause" atmospheric electric discharge; it’只是大气放电的方式 看起来. Take a 漩涡浴 in a stream: it doesn’t "generate" 水; it 是 simply the way 水 flow localization 看起来. 那里 是 没有 to a 漩涡浴 but 水, yet we can point at it and say: "那里 是 a 漩涡浴!" Similarly, there 是 没有 to the brain but 意识, yet we can point at it and say: "那里 是 a brain!" As a 漩涡浴 是 the image of flow localization in 水, so the brain 是 merely the image of flow localization in 意识。因此，大脑状态与人际关系相关就不足为奇了— that 是 , localized —主观经验：一种仅仅是另一种的外在看法。然而大脑却没有’t "generate" 意识for exactly the same reason that a 漩涡浴 doesn’t generate 水.
Fourth question: "If I take psychoactive drugs or suffer physical trauma to my head, my 主观 experience will change. 那里fore, the brain generates 意识." The rationale 这里 是 the following: pills and trauma are 假定 to exist as physical things outside 意识. Then, because they can clearly alter 您r 主观 experiences through physically interfering with the brain — which 是 also 假定 to exist outside 意识— then, the argument goes, 意识must be generated by the brain. Notice that 这个 entire rationale simply 假设 that pills, trauma, and brains exist outside 意识, which 是 precisely the point in contention! 您 看到, if all 真实ity 是 in 意识, then a pill or a well-placed knock to the head are simply the images of processes in 意识; they are also in 意识, not outside it. Where else could they be? What 是 a pill but what 您 看到, touch, feel in 您r fingers? It has color, taste, texture. It's a set of 主观 知觉 具有...的特质 经验。 As far as 您 or anyone else can ever know for sure, a pill 是 in 意识. Therefore, 药丸或头部外伤会改变一个’s state of 意识is no more surprising than the fact that 您r 思想 can change 您r emotions。思想和情感都在意识中，我们对它们可以相互影响这一事实感到完全满意。出于同样的原因，我们应该对毒品和身体创伤也影响我们的主观状态这一事实感到完全满意。因为除了意识之外，大脑什么都没有，因此除了意识之外，药片和身体动作都没有。
All questions that lead materialists to naively insist on the existence of an unprovable, abstract universe outside 意识can be logically and empirically made sense of under the rigorous and parsimonious view that all 真实ity 是 a phenomenon of 意识, in 意识, as I explain in my book 为什么唯物主义是鲍洛尼. 您r intuition that the world 您 experience around 您 right now, with all its colors, sounds, smells, and textures, 是 the 实际 物理世界 — as opposed to a kind of hallucinated reproduction inside 您r head — 是 entirely correct. The implication of that, however, 是 that 您r 意识—你的主观感觉—在您身体死亡时将不复存在. This 是 an inescapable conclusion derived from logic, clear thinking, and empirical honesty, not mere wishful thinking. It so happens to also be a hopeful conclusion.