Mind and Matter: Who Am I?
(The following is subject to frequent revision.)
"I" (my self) am like a wave in a vast ocean of Consciousness. I am connected to everything, in various degrees of immediacy. Ultimately, of course, I do not "exist" as a separate entity; I am but a momentary manifestation of Consciousness. My mind (my salient little bit of consciousness) is inseparable from my body. Neither has a recognizable identity without the other. So, my "self" does exist, but only in a manner of speaking.
The ocean of Consciousness manifests itself as "water," the physical universe. My body is distinct physically from the rest of the water, but only for a time. It has mass and energy, and can affect other physical objects in my environment. Even that is temporary. Water is, ultimately, just the water.
Awareness, affect, and will are all identifiable only as aspects of my self, yet they derive from Consciousness mediated by physical (biological) states and processes within the proximate boundaries of my body. Sensations, feelings and thoughts are localized, but are only part of my full range of awareness. Beyond them, awareness begins to lose its locus. Intuition is one word sometimes used to identify awareness extended beyond the mental-logical capacity. Intuition may be triggered by sensations, feelings and/or thoughts, but does not originate in any of them. It seems to come from another level of awareness, perhaps even partly beyond what I sense as my self. Intuition can be misinterpreted by the mind affected by sensations, feelings and/or thoughts.
Latest revision: Donald Skiff, April 12, 2001