Strawberries, Neurons, and Red
If the color we perceive were created by the brain – like most neuroscientists claim – the physical world we live in ought to be colorless. However, if colors (or any quality we may have an experience of) were not in the physical world, how could it be possible that we perceive them?
The easiness with which most scientific educate readers have faith that “neurons are the ones” is nothing short of a messianic religious belief that eventually we will all be resurrected. In the last couple of decades, scientists of all areas have invested a lot of energy in the quest for a neural mechanism capable of producing our everyday conscious experience. Yet, the fact is that, so far, nobody has a clue.
Can we really believe that everything we experience – from pains to colors, from pictures to music – is nothing more than an appearance concocted by our neurons? Why should it be easier for neurons to transmogrify neural firings into music than for a cello to shape airwaves into music?
The notion that the brain create meaning to be associated to a meaningless world is absurd since, if it were true, the brain, being part of the world, would be meaningless too.
So, one may venture to consider a rather unexpected and controversial hypothesis – namely that what we call consciousness is the world we live in. Our experience is neither an inner world nor an internal representation nor a virtual model. It is not how the world appears, but what the world is.
I experience a red apple, because, for a moment, I am identical with the red apple I have an experience of.
Cambridge, MIT, 9 February 2014