Unique Conscious Personalities in One Body | Are you unknowingly sharing your body with other conscious minds?

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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Unique Conscious Personalities in One Body | Are you unknowingly sharing your body with other conscious minds?

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

For this post, let's assume, at least hypothetically, for the sake of argument, that causal determinism is true, meaning if a sufficiently powerful supercomputer knew everything about one continuous 3D slice of 4D spacetime it would be able to deduce with certainty everything that ever happens anywhere in all of 4D spacetime, including all of what's in your past and all of what's in your future.*

Let's also assume, for this post, at least hypothetically, for the sake of argument, that free-will in any and all senses of the term does not really exist. For this topic, let's assume or pretend that nobody and nothing has free-will of any kind whatsoever; All free-will is an illusion.

With those assumptions, we can look at consciousness and your conscious experience as a conscious being as being like watching movie. You might sympathize with the characters, especially the protagonist (e.g. the person you consciously see in the mirror), but you don't and can't actually influence their behavior.

In contrast, one who believes in free-will would presumably find the analogy of playing an open-world video game as much more fitting than the analogy of merely watching a pre-recorded movie. But, in this discussion, we have excluded free-will of any kind at all as a premise for the sake of argument.

With that in mind, how sure are you that you are the only person watching the movie you are watching?

Are you unknowingly sharing your body with other conscious minds?

We already know that one body and brain can host multiple different conscious beings via the evidence and proofs shown in my previous topic, Split Brains | Can one brain host more than one consciousness?

Indeed, you can even watch videos of people with split brains as their right arm literally physically fights with their left arm, which isn't much different than watching conjoined twins fight each other.

But in those cases the two separate conscious beings know that they both exist and know that they share body.

So, what I am asking in this new topic is this: Can it happen without you knowing?

For instance, is it possible that events you've written off as a reflex were something that a co-watching conscious being saw as their conscious choice?

It is possible that a more right-brained conscious being is watching the same movie as a more left-brained conscious person, and both of you mistakenly think that you are the only one in there?

This sort of a reverse of solipsism. A solipsist might think other humans, individual ants, and ant colonies as a whole are all not conscious at all, and it's hard to prove or disprove such an idea. But for the same reason it's hard if not impossible to disprove the opposite view: That other humans all have multiple different conscious entities within them.

While you can know for a fact that your human has at least one of this proverbial movie-watchers**, you cannot know whether other humans have 0, 1, or many more than one. You know your human has more than zero, but you don't know if it has more than one.


* Causal determinism is another special form of the so-called holographic principle: It says any one so-called 'slice of time' contains all the information about all other so-called 'slices of time'. I use the word "so-called" in regard to these so-called 'slices of time' due to the relativity of simultaneity. There is more than one way to do these slicings, and all are equally correct. The difference between time and space--like the difference between electricity and magnetism--is an emergent subjective illusion that can only exist within a reference frame, of which there are infinte equally valid (and equally invalid) different ones. Time and space both reduce to timeless spacetime in the same way electricity and magnetism both reduce to electromagnetism. Objectively, there is only timeless spacetime, just like objectively there is only electromagnetism. The same electromagenetism can seem like electricity from one reference frame versus another, just like the same timeless spacetime can seem like space in one reference frame and time in another.

** i.e. a discreet individuated conscious entity/personality
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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Re: Unique Conscious Personalities in One Body | Are you unknowingly sharing your body with other conscious minds?

Post by Sushan »

This is an immensely captivating topic of discussion. The exploration of consciousness and the potentiality of more than one conscious being residing in a single brain evokes not just scientific considerations, but deep philosophical and spiritual implications as well.

First, from a Western perspective, the split-brain experiments do offer intriguing evidence suggesting that two separate centers of consciousness can emerge from a single brain. As you rightly pointed out, these experiments have shown instances where the two hemispheres of the brain, when disconnected, seem to demonstrate distinct sets of desires and impulses. This could be seen as aligning with the idea that one brain might be capable of hosting more than one consciousness. This is further underscored by your reference to multiple personality disorder and the experiences of conjoined twins.

However, a counterargument exists. Some neuroscientists believe that while the two hemispheres can process information independently, it doesn't necessarily mean they host entirely independent centers of consciousness. Instead, they might represent disjointed components of a singular consciousness that has been artificially divided due to the surgical intervention.

Turning our lens Eastward, the concept of a singular universal consciousness is deeply rooted in many Eastern philosophical traditions. The Vedantic tradition of Hinduism posits the idea of the "Atman" or the individual soul, and the "Brahman", the ultimate universal soul or consciousness. The Atman is considered to be a fragment or reflection of the Brahman within the individual. The Chandogya Upanishad, an ancient Indian text, declares, "Tat Tvam Asi" which translates to "Thou art that", suggesting that the individual soul (Atman) is not separate from the universal soul (Brahman). In this context, while we may feel as discrete entities, we are all part of a larger, interconnected consciousness.

Buddhism offers another perspective. It emphasizes the idea of "Anatta" or "Anatman", meaning 'not-self'. This doctrine posits that there is no unchanging, permanent self, soul, or essence in phenomena. Instead, what we perceive as the self is a collection of constantly changing physical and mental components. Hence, while one might feel like a singular entity, this selfhood is illusory, and there's no permanent "self" or "consciousness" in the way we typically understand it.

Your proposition of one body possibly harboring multiple consciousnesses resonates with certain aspects of these Eastern philosophies. If our sense of self is malleable, as Buddhism suggests, then the idea of multiple consciousnesses in one body isn't entirely far-fetched. Conversely, if we follow the Vedantic perspective that all individual consciousnesses are reflections of a singular universal consciousness, then the distinctions between multiple conscious beings in one body might be more about perception than reality.

Lastly, considering your reference to your previous topic, it indeed sheds light on this multifaceted discussion. If the universe can be perceived as one massive brain, then the lines between individual and universal, self and other, become even more blurred. We had a similar discussion previously under the topic, "Our mind is a piece of a 'universal mind'!".
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Re: Unique Conscious Personalities in One Body | Are you unknowingly sharing your body with other conscious minds?

Post by Bettny Andrade »

This is an extremely controversial and perhaps somewhat confusing topic.

Many people suffer from diseases that at a medical level are proven to harbor different personalities, which may be more than different consciences, but different entities.

If we go further, and touch on the topic of the paranormal, yes, there are bodies of people inhabited by "beings" or foreign entities, where the true owner is "asleep" and that entity is the one that controls that body at will.

In general terms, there are so many things related to this topic, which vary depending on each case, some really strange and chilling, that it could be a topic with many ramifications to study in detail.
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Re: Unique Conscious Personalities in One Body | Are you unknowingly sharing your body with other conscious minds?

Post by Vane Manyenga »

Individuals with DID may experience gaps in memory, known as dissociative amnesia, where one personality is unaware of the actions and experiences of the others. Therapy aims to help integrate these various identities, fostering communication and cooperation among them.
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Re: Unique Conscious Personalities in One Body | Are you unknowingly sharing your body with other conscious minds?

Post by Agoms Collins »

The notion of "Unique Conscious Personalities in One Body" is a fascinating exploration into the complexity of human consciousness. It proposes the idea that within a single individual, there may exist distinct and separate consciousnesses or personalities coexisting within the same mind.Imagine the mind as a vast landscape with different regions, each inhabited by its own conscious entity. These entities, or personalities, possess unique traits, preferences, and ways of interacting with the world. Some may be more dominant or active, while others may remain dormant or less prominent in everyday life.In this conceptual framework, the mind resembles a community of individuals sharing the same space, yet each with its own inner world and experiences. These personalities may have varying levels of awareness of each other, ranging from complete separation to occasional interaction or even collaboration.Exploring this idea invites contemplation on the nature of identity and selfhood. How do these personalities emerge and evolve over time? Are they shaped by life experiences, genetics, or other factors? Do they represent different aspects of the individual's psyche, or are they entirely distinct entities?Furthermore, delving into the dynamics of these multiple personalities raises questions about agency and control. How do they coexist within the same body without causing chaos or conflict? Is there a hierarchy among them, with certain personalities exerting more influence over thoughts, emotions, and behaviors?Moreover, the concept of unique conscious personalities in one body sparks curiosity about the potential for integration and harmony. Can these disparate parts of the mind learn to coexist peacefully, each contributing its strengths to the overall well-being of the individual? What role does self-awareness and introspection play in fostering understanding and acceptance among these different aspects of the self?In summary, contemplating the idea of unique conscious personalities in one body offers a window into the intricacies of human consciousness. It challenges conventional notions of identity and invites us to explore the rich diversity of inner experience that shapes who we are as individuals
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