[My Big TOE Definition]

Consciousness is a purposeful awareness that makes intentional choices.

More explicitly, consciousness is an evolving (self-modifying) awareness that employs both will and intent to facilitate its evolution through choice. Clearly, consciousness must have free will.

Without the ability to make free-will choices, awareness would be extremely limited, entirely passive, and not what we define here as conscious. Choice-making is what differentiates consciousness from mere awareness.

To effectively utilize will and intent in the service of evolution requires consciousness to have:
input (from an internal and/or external environment)
• the ability to create information (by interpreting data)
free will (the ability to freely make choices contained within its decision space)
• a purpose to guide its choice

By definition, the will of consciousness is always free to make choices that are contained within its decision space. A consciousness always has a choice, i.e., it cannot have a zero decision space and remain conscious or maintain a free will. Consciousness and free will (and thus a finite decision space) are logically necessary for each other to exist.

Consciousness can be thought of as an information system that has evolved memory, processing, and the ability to change itself through free-will choice (in order to facilitate its evolution – i.e., satisfy its purpose).

Information systems evolve by decreasing their entropy (creating useful information and the ability to produce better, more useful responses to incoming data). Within a self-aware information system such as the Larger Consciousness System (LCS), entropy is most effectively decreased in the long term when will and intent are applied in such a way that choices are made that move a system toward satisfying its purpose. The considered effort of will and intent to move the system towards states of higher or lower entropy, define both the practical value (quality) of the choice and the moral value (quality) of the intent.

Consciousness (the LCS) and, thus, all the reality within our knowing – is most accurately modeled by a digital information system. An Individuated Unit of Consciousness (IUOC), a subset of the LCS, is also best modeled by a digital information system.

Only consciousness contains information. Consciousness accepts data as input and processes that data into saved information (meaning, value, and significance to the consciousness). Likewise, a consciousness may take a portion of its information and output a description of it in the form of output data in order to communicate to another consciousness. The data on both the send and receive ends must be in the form of language that is shared by sender and receiver. Here the word “language” is used very generally. (See the definition of data).

An IUOC contains an ever-changing knowledge-and-experience base of information called its content. IUOCs experience and interact within virtual realities (VRs). You are an IUOC playing a virtual avatar (your body) in a VR game (our universe). An IUOC may send or receive data as a way of evolving its content. Information is personal to the IUOC and cannot be shared directly, although descriptions of its content, subjectively colored by the IUOC’s quality and content, can be approximately coded into data and shared through a common language created (evolved) by cooperating IUOCs.

A typical (high-entropy) IUOC works at two distinct levels: the intellectual level and the being level.

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