The January 2023 Philosophy Book of the Month is Entanglement - Quantum and Otherwise by John K Danenbarger.

Split Brains | Can one brain host more than one consciousness?

Discuss the November 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes.

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Split Brains | Can one brain host more than one consciousness?

Post by Scott »

This is a discussion forum topic for the November 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All.

The following is an excerpt of transcript from a video by BBC Earth:
BBC Earth wrote:We've been talking as if you have one conscious, experiencing self inside of you.

But what if right at this moment there's more than one you in your head?

Let's take a quick trip back to the 1940s, when an American doctor came up with a pretty out-there idea: Treating epilepsy by removing the connection between patients left and right brains.

Over the decades to come, scientists noticed that this procedure created some very strange side effects for many patients. Their two hemispheres suddenly seemed to have their own individual perspective and impulses. These people weren't necessarily one person anymore.

This famous patient, known as Joe, was shown a variety of words to the right field of his vision and could easily read them. But when shown a word like 'phone' on the left side of his vision, which is confusingly the field processed by the right hemisphere, he was unable to repeat what it was. Didn't see it. This is because his left hemisphere, dominant in verbal processing, wasn't aware of the image. However, shockingly, Joe could draw a telephone with his left hand controlled by his right hemisphere, but he was unable to vocalize what the drawing was.

Other patients could even seem to argue with themselves. In fact, one infamous patient apparently tried to hug his wife with one arm whilst attempting to attack her with the other. So who was the person in question, the hugger or the attacker?

Conclusions from split-brain experiments vary massively. To some scientists, they're evidence that it's possible to harbour two consciousnesses simultaneously and independently in one brain. Two experiencing minds in one body.

In addition to split brain patients, some other examples worth considering include the following:
  • (1) conjoined twins who share some or even most of a brain
  • (2) people with multiple personality disorder
  • (3) when you have a sleeping dream at night, and there are other people in the dream, and via your dream avatar you have in-depth conversations with those other people or even have an argument or debate with them
What do you think? Can one brain host more than one consciousness? Can one brain host more than one conscious being? Can one brain be more than one person?

For those who read my book, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All, these situations and questions are not very mystifying.

As the book explains and shows, the universe can be seen as one big huge brain. (Granted, it would be most analogous to a brain with multiple-personality disorder.)

More to the point, as the book shows through the use of the "Two Yous", it is easy to explain what is actually the state of affairs when it comes to a would-be or so-called 'other' person/consciousness and the question of whether that would-be or so-called 'other' person is in fact a separate other person from you or the same as you (i.e. an extension of you or additional instance of you).

That easy explanation is as follows: It's often (if not always) the case that one of the "Two Yous" is the same as the would-be 'other' person, meaning in relation to that one of the "Two Yous" the would-be 'other' is not actually an other. However, it is equally true that the other one of the Two Yous is independent of and different than that would-be other.

An alleged second (or third or fourth) conscious person existing in a single human brain or body via split brain syndrome or such is just another example of these would-be others that are only an other in regard to one of the "Two Yous" but not both.

Other examples of such would-be others that are only others in relation to one of the "Two Yous" are:
  • (1) the 10-year-younger version of the human you see in the mirror
  • (2) the 10-year-older version of the human you see in the mirror
  • (3) an identical twin
  • (4) an atom-by-atom exact clone or copy of the human you see in the mirror with all the same memories
  • (5) a sibling
  • (6) a 20-year-older version of the human you see in the mirror who suffered from extreme amnesia and has none of the same memories as the human you see in the mirror
  • (7) any different-aged version of the human you see in the mirror (a.k.a. your other selves in time, such as your so-called past self and so-called future self)
  • (8) any different-placed human besides the one you see in the mirror (a.k.a. your 'other' selves in space).
  • (9) any different-looking human besides the one you see in the mirror
  • (10) any conscious animal or creature even if is not human
  • (11) the 13234-day-old man named Scott Michael Hughes (a.k.a. Eckhart Aurelius Hughes) who wrote this post, and who will (in a Newtonian sense of time) cease to exist once the clock strikes midnight in the Eastern timezone on January 19th.
As In It Together shows, the above eleven persons are each only 'others' in relation to one of the Two Yous. Just as you have a real you which is the real you but only one of the Two Yous, all of the eleven persons above each have a corresponding real them that is one of the two thems for each them. And likewise I have two of me, only one of which is the real me.

Further, as the book shows, the real you, the real me, and the real them are one in the same. In the sense of that singular real conscious self, not only can a single human brain host only one, but also an entire universe can only host one.

At that fundamental level, meaning the level of the true real self, even the duality and dualism of 'self' vs 'other' is transcended, revealing a beautiful unifying monism.

The self that is different and separate from so-called others is what the book calls the false self or the unreal you. It is fiction, as modern has science proven, and as spiritual teachers or spontaneous revelation (or a good dose of ego-death-inducing psychedelics) have long helped people discover for themselves all over the world for thousands of years.




The book is available for purchase from all major book retailers in both ebook and hardcover format.
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My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Mounce574
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Re: Split Brains | Can one brain host more than one consciousness?

Post by Mounce574 »

Truthfully, I think yes one brain can host more than one consciouus. I am pretty isolated and i tend to argue with myself. While I am thinking something I will debate the alternative out loud- so I use logic on one side and emotion on the other side. And even if most will deny it, both of these will affect the outcome of the choices you choose to make.
Hannah Jones 8
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Re: Split Brains | Can one brain host more than one consciousness?

Post by Hannah Jones 8 »

Disassociative identity Disorder (DID) or commonly known as multiple personality disorder, is a widely contested debate within the field of psychology and in wider society, especially in the late 1970s thanks to the hit book - and later film adaptation - Sybil, the Billy Milligan case and many others.
Others may state they have an internal dialogue, whether that's the conscience, devil's advocate or a 'higher power', some of these options bring peace of mind to many and help others to justify their actions.
Overall, whatever your reasoning is regarding a brain hosting more than one consciousness, I believe it is up to each person to decide for themselves.
Clara Alston
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Re: Split Brains | Can one brain host more than one consciousness?

Post by Clara Alston »

I think most of us believe that one brain can host more than one consciousness simply through our own experiences. We all have had times when we talk to ourselves, change personalities, and experience the feelings of others. I think the problem comes when we judge those with more than one consciousness. Society sees it as abnormal and discourages it so the ability is deemed undesirable. If society were open to more than one consciousness, the individual would have no fear in their brains' ability and be able to carry them well enough to be observed. I believe it could be a positive ability in this case.
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