WRESTING consciousness from the lords of scientific reductionism, where its mysteries have languished for decades, takes imaginative and fearless warriors.
Descartes held that non-human creatures must be reductively assumed to be nothing but mere automatons, signaling a tired materialism, not frontier science.
The Cartesian assumptions do not sit well especially with animal welfare advocates, environmentalists, especially not Theosophists who insist that consciousness is endemic to all kingdoms of nature, not just the human.
Possessors of sentient consciousness include, Theosophy says, such unlikely candidates as bacteria, minerals — and yes, even atoms!
Descartes held rigidly to the premise “I think therefore I am”— without ever explaining what a thought is, or explaining the ever-elusive, dogged persistence of consciousness. Whether awake or asleep, comatose or vegetative, its presence is in-dismissible.
One wonders if it doesn’t seem far more reasonable to assume in fact that the opposite is true, i.e. —“I AM, therefore I think?”
Adherents biasedly line up on one or the other side of the issue. (Actually, Theosophy could argue both sides are accounted for by its teaching of the mind’s dual nature.)
In fact, the elusive, omnipersistent ‘mind’, is not a production of the brain at all, but an aspect of universal mind.
Over one hundred years ago, unraveling the mystery of the existence of the ‘soul’ was attempted by physical science, employing of course the expected material, reductionist methods — using a mechanical device to weigh it!