Consciousness is a mystery to us, which to me, sounds like quite a contradiction. We are unable to simply define consciousness specifically, although we can speculate what it might be. Humans set themselves apart from other animals because they claim “I think therefore I am”. The problem with this view is that we do not know whether animals have this ability, even in a less robust form. The other side of the coin shows that we see no animals which are delving into philosophy and logic or other complex forms of thought. This complexity of thought seems to be more than just a greater number of neurons or a higher level of connectivity between neurons. The result seems to be greater than its parts.

The purpose of consciousness is certainly up for speculation. Like evolution, consciousness emerged slowly over time and became more complex as brains got bigger. Though, I am not sure if this directly suggests that the size and complexity of the brain determines the complexity of thought. I would go as far to say that what we observe as consciousness is actually just a complex effect of a combination of complex senses, complex chemical reactions, a large number of neurons and a complex network of connections between them. Just as the wind is an effect of the entire mass of air around the planet itself, consciousness is an effect of the entire brain including the body. With this definition in mind, I would like to conclude that consciousness has no intrinsic purpose which stems from any one part of the body or brain. It is a very complex illusion which is the effect of a very complex system.

The problem of thought, and how it fits with philosophy and logic is even more elusive. Assuming that consciousness is an illusion does not imply that it lacks meaning. In everything that we communicate to each other, for example, we are able to understand each other (most of the time) because we all agree on a specific system. Within that system there is meaning, although outside of the system is quite another story. This language is an elaborate alias for our thoughts, which also have meaning to us, because we give it meaning like we do language. Philosophy and logic are both culminations of a long lineage of human thought, and they are themselves a system branching off of thought and language. We also give them meaning, but here comes the blow-your-brain part. Sometimes we call these things absolute truths, and we all agree that logic is all about truth. I believe that this only holds true within the system, but not outside of it, since we are the ones who give it meaning.

I do not mean to discount everything that humans have been working on for thousands of years. I simply would like to point out that everything is relative. If we change the meaning of logic, or change any of the rules in any one of our intricate systems, the system will change, and we will change, and though we may believe that system, the system changes as we change. In that respect, I feel that we must be very careful what we give meaning to, for we may get ourselves in to a very difficult loop.