I can take a drug such as MDMA and this will completely change the way I feel about people and things in general. It has altered my responses, and my intentions towards people. This is because the drug has altered the way my brain and body function according to the rule set. Now is my consciousness just the part of me that remains aware of this as an experience? My whole emotional outlook has changed - I now feel great warmth and love to strangers which I wouldn't normaly do. So doesn't this mean that emotions such as love are part of the rule set and not part of my consciousness? To my mind,the MDMA has not changed my decision space, but my experience.
This is tricky territory. The words and symbols we use to describe our experience are usually inadequate to the task (here in this PMR)
Consciousness can be experienced from a variety of "STATES", and there are many ways that we can introduce "physical" changes to the body (and brain) that can trigger "ALTERED STATES" of consciousness. Chemicals are one way (but not advised) that we can alter our "state" of consciousness by introducing "physical" changes. Meditation, Binaural Beats, and "sleep" or the "dream state" are some other ways that we can alter our experience and awareness of consciousness.
If you consider Waking cinsciousness while dreaming and you consider dreaming consciousness while waking, you have already expanded your consciousness and awareness times 2. If you add Meditation, and "out of body" experiences to the equation consciousness understanding, knowledge, and awareness can be expanded and increased exponentially, the more you learn, the more you CAN learn. The more aware you become, the more awareness can be achieved.
I see free will as being a function of the VR rather than consciousness - can't consciousness i.e awareness, exist without making choices? Isn't this akin to what is called 'being level' in MBT?
Consciousness, by the definition , includes free will, without freewill you would be something other than conscious. Possibly a program, or an automaton, but consciousness evolution would not take place. The PMR is part of the "ruleset" and limitations imposed on your "subset" of consciousness. Some of the rules can be bent and others can be broken as part of the PUP (psi uncertainty principle) but the measure of our decision space is (at least partially) determined by the quality of our choices and interactions with our environment. But remember, NOT making a choice is STILL a choice. There are NO neutral parties in the game of Consciousness evolution.
...What's bothering me is where that virtual body/brain ends and the IOUC begins. How much of what I believe to be conscious decision making is actually a result of my IOUC doing the thinking, and how much is coming from the VR side i.e. survival as an (virtual) animal, unconscious desires being rationalised as they surface into my conscious mind.
As I see it this "boundary" between the smaller "subset" of consciousness (FWAU), and the larger "subset" of consciousness (IUOC) as well as The larger reality (NPMR) or the even larger consciousness system (LCS) depends upon YOU, your levels of awareness, knowledge, EGO and FEAR, as well as the quality of your interactions with your environment. There is an underlying UNITY of ALL THINGS, but the ILLUSION of SEPARATENESS IS reinforced by EGO and FEAR. You must first understand the relationship between LOVE and FEAR, and the science of entropy reduction (as it relates to consciousness evolution)
... Lets say TBC doesn't render the visual appearance of the brain until someone cuts open your head and has a look - I can understand that. But I have been experiencing things specific to the VR body and brain- animal instincts to survive and procreate. Don't these in some way 'render' my body and brain on some level? Not visually, but to my experiencing self - my consciousness?
Scientists have cut open many skulls and disected many brains, and while we can be REASONABLY CERTAIN that you DO have one (lol, sorry) what they find is that each one is unique. As Tom has discussed in one of his group discussions (related to the brain structure of sheep, where they have found changes in the developement of the brains of certain animals that have formed the behavior of adopting orphaned lambs), our behavior, thoughts, and actions CAN and do render actual changes to the physical brain.
But it is the Physical that evolved, and continues to evolve, out of consciousness. Consciousness did not, and does not evolve out of the physical.
Much of our thoughts are influenced by EGO and separateness, and how much we identify with our EGO, or influenced by FEAR. This could mean that, while you have a need for food (for example), how do you acquire the food you need? Do you TAKE someone elses food or do you find your own, and what lengths are you willing to go for the need to satisfy SELF at the expense of others?
In MY mind there is only ONE consciousness, and ALL the information from the entire LCS is (or can be) accessed and received by ALL. The illusion of separateness is reinforced by our levels of EGO and FEAR. The more we are able to reduce our entropy, overcome EGO and FEAR, and become LOVE, The more access we have to the larger system. The less entropy, the increased decision space, increased LOVE, compassion, happiness and power.