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Saturday, March 8, 2014

I Wonder!

I sometimes ponder the question - Why is my consciousness in this body?  To me it is bewildering that among 7 billion people on earth there is a single consciousness within this body which I refer to as "me."  And it stays here and doesn't go anywhere, except when I am in dreamless sleep or meditating.

The possibility of any one particular sperm from my father fertilizing any one particular egg from my mother calculates out to be one in 800 million, and that's during just one sexual encounter. That one sperm and that one egg produced an embryo that metamorphosed into a baby and became me.  At some point along the way the being (me) became conscious - aware of self and the surroundings.  

I don't think that my consciousness is any different than anybody else's consciousness. Consciousness is simply being aware of the fact that you are alive, functioning, thinking, moving, responding, and so on while at the same time aware of what is going on around you.  Humans are not the only animal to possess consciousness. Many animals are aware of themselves and the environment.  If they weren't  they wouldn't be around very long. They would be fodder for something that is conscious. Which brings up another interesting question.

Why couldn't my consciousness have ended up in another body? Could my consciousness have gone into some other person or another life form rather than ending up in me?  If not, why not?  And why is it happening right now at this very moment rather than one thousand years ago or a thousand years from now?   

One thing for sure; nobody knows the answers to these questions.  Science offers answers to many things but one thing it can't answer is the perplexing enigma of consciousness. Is it important to know what consciousness is? Not any more than it is to know the distance from earth to the sun, the speed of light, or the human genome. 

That's what is fun about science. You see something intriguing, have a question about it, and try to find out what it is all about.  It is simply a game and by playing the game all kinds of things can be learned.  To be human is to be curious, inquisitive and keep asking questions.

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